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  • ECM Manufacture Enlightenment

    I find the product positioning of ECM's Barista and Mechanika IV and Technika IV HX machines interesting . The Barista is $300 - $400 cheaper than the Technika and Mechanika models and does not appear to be as widely available or even promoted that much by ECM. Is build quality or feature set significantly different ? Is it made in another manufacturing facility, or is it a marketing thing? Are the ECM machines made in Italy or Germany?

    Also read somewhere on the net a claim that the Bezzera Gea is a Technika IV - it certainly looks very similar. Maybe someone in the know in the industry could shed some light. Just interested.

  • #2
    Yes they look similar but without checking the spec's it hard to decide what's different. Visually there are a few subtle difference, top of group head, the lever, markings on the knobs and feet come to mind.

    Looks like the sort of thing a manufacturer would do to a model as part of a rebranding exercise or sell off parts to be built elsewhere...

    I have the Electronica myself, love the machine, especially the pull down steam knobs

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    • #3
      I have the Electronica myself, love the machine, especially the pull down steam knobs [/QUOTE]

      Yes, they are a very nice product - maybe even a bit underrated.

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      • #4
        Quote from ECM MANUFACTURE's own website. Didn't have to search far and wide at all

        "The innovative ECM Manufacture espresso machines are produced by our own manufacture in Milan and marketed selectively worldwide through ECM Manufacture-trained specialist dealers".

        I realize the above is not new nor scintillating information, but part of my question is now answered. Maybe a Coffee Snob out there knows which manufacturer in Italy collaborates with ECM ?

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        • #5
          Last I heard, ECM manufactured in Germany under a lapsed licence to use the brand from the original ECM Milan- which is now Rocket Espresso.

          I was once told that legal action was either pending or taken but have no idea whether that ever eventuated.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
            Last I heard, ECM manufactured in Germany under a lapsed licence to use the brand from the original ECM Milan- which is now Rocket Espresso.

            I was once told that legal action was either pending or taken but have no idea whether that ever eventuated.
            Yes me too....

            After that, the compliance plate on the machine should indicate what country it is made in.

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            • #7
              The compliance plate on the Technika states Heidelberg, Germany which apparently is Head Office, but does not actually say "Made in Germany" (or Italy for that matter).

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tridoros View Post
                I find the product positioning of ECM's Barista and Mechanika IV and Technika IV HX machines interesting . The Barista is $300 - $400 cheaper than the Technika and Mechanika models and does not appear to be as widely available or even promoted that much by ECM. Is build quality or feature set significantly different ?
                I've also been trying to find this out. I think the Barista is an older model. It uses the stock e61 group head, not the supposedly improved ECM e61. The e61 improvements seem to be increased use of chrome for key components of the e61 in order reduce scale build-up. It also has the older looking portafilter handle, not the lovely chromed one that all the newer current models seem to have. On the other hand, it has a subtely octagonal body which in my opinion looks better (certainly more distinctive) than the square one that the rest of the ECM range has. I think it is also only available with steam and hot water knobs not the levers available in the 'profi' models of the Mechanika and Technika. Personally, I like the look of the knobs more but users seem to really like the levers. From the little information I have been able to find I think the innards are pretty similar (eg. same size copper boiler) so the Barista may indeed be a bargain. The best information I have been able to find has been in the Bella Barista 'closer look'.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ArtW View Post
                  The e61 improvements seem to be increased use of chrome for key components of the e61 in order reduce scale build-up...
                  Hmm....Not so sure about that. The first place we look for scale on an e-61 machine when they come in for a service is the mushroom. In most (all?) machines they are chromed. We see plenty of scale....

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                  • #10
                    This post lists the differences between the ECM Barista and the ECM Technika Profi:

                    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...tml#post500970

                    Comparing the Mechanika Profi to the Technika Profi, they're the same except for the bodywork. The bodywork on the Mechanika is simpler and the cup warmer tray comes off to expose the water tank whereas the Technika has a flip lid for water tank access.

                    charlie

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                    • #11
                      OK thanks Charlie. So based on information from the other thread, it seems I got it mixed-up, the difference in the e-61 group is that the mushroom is made of stainless steel, thus avoiding the need for chrome and therefore the risk of the chrome flaking off. I'm wondering if there are any other differences? ECM kind of makes a big deal, patents pending and all that but is not specific about the improvements. They do say "due to the unique construction of the brewing group, the water does not splash while being recirculated". I know Vibiemme has extended the group at the bottom to vent through the drip tray. Has ECM done something like this? Are there any other differences from the standard group?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ArtW View Post
                        OK thanks Charlie. So based on information from the other thread, it seems I got it mixed-up, the difference in the e-61 group is that the mushroom is made of stainless steel, thus avoiding the need for chrome and therefore the risk of the chrome flaking off. I'm wondering if there are any other differences? ECM kind of makes a big deal, patents pending and all that but is not specific about the improvements. They do say "due to the unique construction of the brewing group, the water does not splash while being recirculated". I know Vibiemme has extended the group at the bottom to vent through the drip tray. Has ECM done something like this? Are there any other differences from the standard group?
                        I know one point of difference is that the mushroom is made of stainless steel so that scale doesn't cause chrome to flake off the mushroom. The mushroom is also one piece rather than having a separate bolt at the top (but I'm not sure if there is a functional reason for this or if it's just for aesthetic reasons). I'm not sure about the reference you've found to water splashing but the reference to "recirculated" sounds like it has to do with the flow of water in the thermosyphon rather than through the drain valve when backflushing.

                        charlie

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