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Thread: Why so little interest in ECM Casa 4?

  1. #1
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    Question Why so little interest in ECM Casa 4?

    I've decided to take the plunge and buy a decent espresso machine after looking at an ECM Casa IV in a Brisbane shop recently. Apart from one or two youtube videos I can find out very little about them - they are certainly not a hot topic here. Why is that? Their bigger siblings are popular in the 'pointy end' forum.

    They look like a very solidly built single boiler but a bit more pricey than a Silvia. Comparing the two:

    Silvia
    • Does not have a pressure gauge. There are many threads here where people are having trouble with too rapid extraction followed by lots of guessing re: grind fineness, tamping and pressure adjustment. It appears the operator is flying blind without a gauge. I'm keen to avoid that.
    • Does have a low water cut off. Excellent feature. I don't know why they aren't ubiquitous.
    • 235mm wide


    Casa IV
    • Has a pressure gauge
    • 200mm wide
    • Does not appear to have low water cut off. Without this, the 'make coffee' button is more correctly labelled 'self destruct'. It's just a matter of time before one of my housemates tries to froth their milk with vaporised copper and brass.


    I guess it would only take one Casa IV repair and I could have bought (non suicidal) Lelit PL60 instead. But I don't really feel I need a dual boiler, 350mm wide machine on my kitchen bench.

    A northside brisbane shop sold their last display Casa IV and hinted a new model might be out in the next few weeks. I will wait and see what transpires. In the mean time is there anything else I should be looking at? I'm keen to keep it around the $1,200 mark.

  2. #2
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    Looks a lovely machine but is priced considerably higher than a Silvia and I couldn't tell you the $400-$500 benefit of a Casa IV over a Silvia.

    I wouldn't get hung up on the pressure gauge. The shop will help check your machine is running fine, and what comes out of the portafilter and lands in the cup will help you diagnose and improve your coffee extraction better than a gauge

    Good luck and enjoy the journey
    Magic_Matt likes this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    I really like the Casa IV from a purely technical POV. Glossy white insides; OPV/bypass on TOP! Eureka! It's great. Buy one.
    Magic_Matt likes this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    Agree with the pressure gauge comment, it won't help you make better coffees or diagnose your shots. I think the reason this machine doesn't get a lot of attention is that it's a single boiler almost bumping into lower end HX machines price wise. That's fine if you don't drink milk drinks often. If you do, you might consider something like a Nuova Simonelli Oscar - not sure if that's pushing your budget?
    ElShauno likes this.

  5. #5
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    $1200 for a single boiler is pretty poor value. There have been a number of hx come up for sale on the forum recently that would be better value.
    The 5 minute heat up times almost nespresso speed though.

  6. #6
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    Trentski, yes I'm seeing that now. I'm also seeing how important a PID is after a bit more reading... either that or master temperature surfing.

    That's interesting about the stainless chassis Paul. I think I need to take a close look at the Lelit PL41 and PL60.

    How wide is the dead band on a modern thermostat (non PID) machine? If it's anything like the thermostat I once used to keep my home brew warm, it's far too wide; about 12 or 15 degrees. I ended up with wort that either went dormant, or bubbled over.

  7. #7
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    I drink laté or sometimes cappuccino. So yes, double boiler or HX would be better. I've just watched a couple of videos showing the time it takes a PL41 and a Silvia to heat up to steam. I think that wait will grow tiresome real quick.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 2muchcoffeeman's Avatar
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    I have had a number of single boiler machines- an Audrey and a couple of Silvias and they were all great when well used. They were all PID free. Well calibrated e-61 single boilers are brilliant shot machines and take it to the next level.

    The elephant in the room though is the Simonelli Oscar II and they'll be available at under $1.5k (sponsor Casa Espresso). It will make life tough for the e-61 single boiler gear.
    trentski, ElShauno and JustinM like this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinM View Post
    I drink laté or sometimes cappuccino. So yes, double boiler or HX would be better. I've just watched a couple of videos showing the time it takes a PL41 and a Silvia to heat up to steam. I think that wait will grow tiresome real quick.
    That depends. Will you be making more than one milk based drink at a time? If so then a small HX or DB will definitely make life easier. However if you're in a similar position to me then a small single boiler is perfectly adequate as I'm the only coffee drinker in the house. My current machine is very basic, but with an upgraded steam wand a bit of experience I'm able to make a great milk based coffee each morning. This is it-



    I get heaps of steam power and by tricking the steam system into continuous cycling I get endless steam as well. This kind of operation also works on a Gaggia Classic, but I'm not sure about the Lelit. On the very odd occasion I'm making another coffee or two for guests it does become annoyingly slow, but this is infrequent enough that I don't worry about it. So work out how you'll be using the machine 90% of the time and base most of your decisions on that.
    ElShauno and LFM60 like this.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    That depends. Will you be making more than one milk based drink at a time? If so then a small HX or DB will definitely make life easier. However if you're in a similar position to me then a small single boiler is perfectly adequate as I'm the only coffee drinker in the house. My current machine is very basic, but with an upgraded steam wand a bit of experience I'm able to make a great milk based coffee each morning. This is it-



    I get heaps of steam power and by tricking the steam system into continuous cycling I get endless steam as well. This kind of operation also works on a Gaggia Classic, but I'm not sure about the Lelit. On the very odd occasion I'm making another coffee or two for guests it does become annoyingly slow, but this is infrequent enough that I don't worry about it. So work out how you'll be using the machine 90% of the time and base most of your decisions on that.
    Loving this machine's retro vibe. What is the model?

  11. #11
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElShauno View Post
    Loving this machine's retro vibe. What is the model?
    Bialetti Viva Il Caffé.

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