When it comes to coffee machines for the hotel industry or hybrid coffee machines that allow you to enjoy a professional experience without leaving your home, the German manufacturer ECM is one of the firms that comes to the fore first.
ECM Manufacture is a renowned German manufacturer in the European coffee sector, and more specifically in the field of espresso coffee. ECM (an acronym for Espresso Coffee Machines, not very original, truth be told) is an expert in the manufacture of espresso machines with the highest quality standards in the market. Only the best of the best.
All its parts are produced in the factories in Milan and distributed worldwide thanks to a complex team of sales and distributors. You won’t find ECM coffee makers on the shelves of any department shop or in the corner shop, that’s for sure.
ECM is a young company founded in 1996 and is still a family business today. It has managed to combine the passion and tradition of espresso in Italy with the reliability and the vanguard of German manufacturing. The result is nothing short of exceptional: its espresso machines are the best on the domestic market (with often prohibitive prices, of course). Most models have a professional version for the hotel industry, with two groups of coffee.
Buy ECM coffee machines – Prices and models
As you can see from this pricelist, all ECM coffee machines have very defined common characteristics. They are very high-end stainless steel espresso machines with a semi-professional orientation, very bulky and quite expensive.
Here is the updated price list. Check it out before you buy an ECM coffee machine because as these are quite expensive machines, a small discount or a percentage up or down can mean quite a few pounds of savings.
ECM Classika II
We will start our review of all ECM coffee makers with the Classika II model, a model we already talked about in-depth in our guide to semi-professional home coffee makers. This is the most “domestic” of the entire range and the only one that is 100% designed for use in the home as long as your budget allows it, of course.
We can also find it under the name ECM Cellini Classica.
As you can see, it is a 1200-watt espresso machine with an impressive presence, completely built-in stainless steel, and which has various features that you will not find in any “normal” espresso machine.
For example, the use of copper and brass in almost all the internal components through which water circulates (as they are better temperature insulators and better resist corrosion from continuous contact with the water), the ultra-large 3-litre tank, or the pressure gauge for manually controlling the espresso extraction pressure.
What are the disadvantages of the ECM Classika II? Well, there are very few, and its high price means that only baristas or experienced amateurs will be able to take full advantage of it and amortise an investment of this calibre. And its dimensions, which make it a somewhat uncomfortable machine if our kitchen is small: 25 x 42 x 39 cm.
ECM Mechanika IV
The ECM Mechanika IV coffee machine, unlike the previous one, is distributed in two differentiated versions in the two main ECM product lines: The Home line and the Profi line. The machines we will be reviewing later on also contemplate this duality in their marketing.
In this case, we will focus on the domestic version of the Mechanika IV model, which has a single coffee group. The professional version is called the Mechanika IV Profi Due and differs from the other one only because it has two coffee groups.
The first thing we need to be clear about, to avoid misunderstanding, is that the ECM Mechanika IV Home (i.e. the domestic version) is marketed in two other variants. One where the water is taken only from the tank (which is quite large, by the way, no less than 3 litres) and another with a WT-WC connection, with a button to select whether we want the coffee maker to work with the water from the tank or connect it directly to the water outlet. The price difference can be about 200 pounds between the two.
Apart from this detail, these are the main features of the ECM Mechanika IV model (with or without WT-WC connection):
- 3-litre water tank.
- Large capacity cup warming tray.
- Full stainless steel housing.
- Technical adjustments and solutions to make the coffee maker as quiet as possible.
- Pressure gauge for exact calibration of both boiler and extraction water pressure.
- Copper and brass inner tubes.
- Overall dimensions: 30 x 45 x 40 cm.
ECM Technika IV
The Technika IV is one of the ECM coffee makers offered in the Home and Profi versions. One more domestic and one more professional.
The performance of the model is similar in both versions. Still, the Profi has several additional improvements such as the WT-WC connection, which serves no more and no less than to connect the coffee machine directly to the tap or a water outlet, so that you do not have to wait to fill the water tank when it runs out. In other words, just like the coffee machines in the hotel and catering industry, which can prepare dozens of coffees without a break.
Let’s take a quick look at the overwhelming list of functions of this ECM Technika IV coffee machine:
- Exclusive ECM coffee group, chrome and silver
- Water tank with a capacity of 3 litres
- Professional pressure valves (also available with rotary pumps)
- Double pressure gauge to control the pressure both in the boiler and in the espresso extraction.
- Luminous warning for when the boiler runs out of water.
- All the pipes and inner tubes of the coffee maker are made of copper, with brass inserts and rivets.
- Professional stainless steel steamer.
- Stainless steel plate warming tray.
- Dimensions of the piece (without the filter holder, which protrudes a lot from the block): 32 x 47 x 39 cms.
If you have read the review of the last two models, you will have noticed that they are very similar, even aesthetically. There is no good reason to choose between the Technika and the Mechanika, regardless of the price or the offer you find when you buy.
ECM Elektronika Profi II
This Elektronika Profi II model is available in two versions. One is the standard one, which we comment on in this review and of which you can see prices and photos accompanying this text. The second version is called ECM Elektronika Profi Due and is the same as the previous one, but with two groups of coffee. Naturally, it is an option designed exclusively for businesses, bars or restaurants.
We will now discuss the ECM Elektronika Profi II version with one coffee group, which is suitable for use at home.
Like all ECM machines, this is a stainless steel coffee maker with a rather considerable size – and weight -. It has a direct connection to the water supply of your home as standard (although you can also use the water tank that is integrated into the coffee maker; you have to flip a switch) and offers some quite interesting and unusual features that you would find in an ordinary espresso machine. For example:
- Boiler and other insulated components, to minimize the acoustic impact of the machine.
- It has a control panel from which you can activate advanced functions such as the cleaning programme or the coffee dose to be used for each extraction (features typical of a super-automatic coffee maker).
- Two separate tubes, one for steam and the other for hot water.
Sounds tempting. The truth is that this ECM Elektronika is one of the best coffee machines, in absolute terms, that we can buy in the world to make espresso coffee at home. Its price will be prohibitive for many, but the quality standards set by this model are practically unbeatable in the market.
Why buy an ECM coffee machine?
We assume that if you have reached this page and are considering buying an ECM coffee machine online, you are an experienced user and know exactly what you want and what you have in front of you.
Although the ECM coffee machines are all top of the range and rank among the best espresso machines on the market, we cannot recommend their purchase to everyone.
They are very demanding and expensive machines. There is no point in investing in this kind in a coffee machine that we will not use even 20% of its capacity.
On the contrary, if you have barista skills and want to enjoy a 100% authentic experience in your home (and you have enough budget), then yes: the ECM coffee machines are made for you. An expensive but safe choice.
When choosing between the various ECM models on offer, you have to remember that the most advanced ones (those with both domestic and professional versions) are very similar to each other functionally.
All are stainless steel, have tanks of 3 litres, use copper and brass in the internal components, have a space for preheating the cups, the sizes and designs are similar, you should not break your head too much studying which option to choose. Go for the one that is in stock (not always in stock) or the one that has a better offer at that moment.