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The difference between commercial espresso machines and domestic espresso machines

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  • The difference between commercial espresso machines and domestic espresso machines

    Hoping that someone more knowledgeable than me could please explain what the difference would be between the shot of coffee that a commercial multi-group head espresso machine (Slayer, LaMarzocco for tens of thousands of $ etc..) would produce, and the shot that I get from my Breville dual boiler ($1,500 rrp) (the question isn't specific to the Breville, you could substitute any home-use espresso machine for a similar price into the question). Is there any difference? Assume that you have the same good barrista, same coffee beans, with the same grinder and everything else is equal, would you get a different result? If so, what technical aspect of the espresso machine would lead to the difference? Note that I am not talking about steaming milk, for simplicity lets just look at a good old shot of espresso.

  • #2
    I don't think there is any difference in shot quality if you are comparing a good commercial with a good home machine, supose a commercial like a synesso ect might have better temperature stability. However I think the real difference come in the grinder

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    • #3
      You may/may not get a similar shot quality from a good domestic m/c,..but any differences will start to really show after an hour of continuously pulling shots,

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      • #4
        This is a good question.
        I have often reflected on the idea that the quality of your 'home shot' is ultimately dependent on your ability to 'manage' the temperature of your machine at the moment of the pour - i.e. you flush - the temp light goes out - you pour.
        If I eventually buy another machine, I am thinking I would like it to have a temp stability device (e.g. PID etc) so that I could scratch that variable off my list of factors to take into account. Maybe this is rubbish - if so feel free to say so.

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        • #5
          The slayer has variable pressure, supposedly it can bring out different flavors but Ive never tasted back to back shots with a normal machine

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          • #6
            The difference between commercial espresso machines and domestic espresso machines

            I personally think it all comes down to the person using the machine, really - you can spend $10k+ on a machine, but if you've got a person who doesn't have a clue, it's really just a funky hunk of metal. As can be attested by the way that I can make myself a coffee 99% of the time that I love on a $2.5k machine or go to a GJ's where they make me a I coffee that I may enjoy 1% of the time on a $5k+ machine (heh, yes I am being overly generous with the 1% figure).

            Money does not equal quality necessarily.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Coffee2Di4 View Post
              I personally think it all comes down to the person using the machine,.
              Did you miss this part of the OP.. ??
              .... Assume that you have the same good barrista,.....

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              • #8
                The difference between commercial espresso machines and domestic espresso machines

                Whoops, sorry, I did!!! I probably should be a good mod & remove my own post, but c'est la vie!

                Ahem, back to your usual programming!

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                • #9
                  The first real difference between commercial and domestic equipment is that commercial is built to deliver volume, while domestic isnt.

                  The second real difference will be in the amount of technology that goes into controlling the parameters. This affects the resulting brew, and of course is very dependent on the level of understanding of a multitude of variables in the coffee making process, of the equipment operator. A good commercial machine can be expected to be better controlled than a domestic.

                  Lastly the difference that makes the most difference in most domestic machines, is that most of them dont have the same sized coffee filter as a commercial, so the character of the resulting brew can never be the same (some disclaimers could be inserted here but I dont want to turn this into another lengthy dissertation).

                  Without going into the specifics of different brand / model equipment in both groups (commercial VS domestic), that should suffice in general terms, and much more will start to get into smoke and mirrors territory if people want to discuss laboratory differences instead of real life cafe/home differences.

                  Hope that helps.
                  Attilio
                  very first CS site sponsor

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