Post By shortblackman
Are pressure gauges necessary
Some machines have no gauges, some with just steam, some with just pump and others have both steam and pump pressure gauges, are gauges there to make the machine look more impressive, to make us think the machine is more sophisticated than it really is, or do they play an important role in producing a great coffee.
I understand there is a cost involved in adding them and hence thats why you don't see them in the lower priced machines, but in the machines that choose to provide just one gauge, why not make it a pump pressure gauge, isn't the pump more important than the pressure of your steam.
From reading and watching videos, a lot of people use the pump gauge to help problem solve and refine their shots, low pressure could indicate, a course a grind or not tampered hard enough or maybe a pump problem, I wounder if after you have gained some experience and had your machine for awhile, and everything is, as they say, dialed in, do you even look at the gauges.
Did the gauges play a part in your decision making when looking for a machine, and after buying that machine, do you look at the gauges everytime you make a coffee, if you don't have gauges would you like one and which one would you select, steam or pump, maybe it is a mod you can do to the machine at a later time.
My third reason for getting the la Pavoni pro (with the gauge) is that it looks cool.
Mainly I thought it would help me to know when the boiler had heated up enough, and that boiler pressure would have an optimal point. It has proved to be helpful for me in this regard.
Now that I'm used to the machine, I could probably do without it (the gauge, that is!) but it did help me to get a feel for the machine....
(My second reason for getting the gauge machine is that that the model with the gauge has a bigger boiler).
Are pressure gauges necessary
The gauges really just help me know why(if) I'm having trouble making a coffee. Steam pressure gauge is great for knowing if your boiler is really up to a stable temp and can sustain your milk steaming or if you have to wait. Making back to back coffees with an HX this becomes invaluable feedback. Brew pressure gauge probably good for troubleshooting a failing coffee machine, but is also quite handy for back flushing (I look at it every time I back flush). I don't use the info from the brew gauge when pulling a shot, I'm too busy looking at the shot itself! I would never troubleshoot my espresso variances by the brew gauge, only my taste and sight.
If I didn't have the gauges I'd have other ways of knowing what I want to get from them, so they're not necessary, but they're handy.
+1 readeral. I don't think the brew pressure gauge is a good way to judge a shot. If you can't yet judge by sighting the shot, using a measured shot glass and timing is the best method. The brew gauge was helpful once when I was having issues with excessive channeling and it turned out the pressure was too high. Adjusting it back down to 9 bar helped a lot. Also as per readerals comment, the steam pressure gauge lets you know when to wait for your steaming until the boiler is back up to pressure. Neither are essential.
Agree with the 2 above. Pressure gauges can also useful if you experience a problem with your machine and have to ring the supplier to 'walk through' some diagnostics prior to bringing the machine in.