As of April 2015 production, Ascaso is combining the ground/pod system into one. This means no more conversion kits. A new grouphead design, now made with 100% solid brass. There are no internal changes from Version 3.
The addition of the PID on this already great machine makes it even more wonderful for the espresso enthusiast! The PID display offers functionality to program the temperature of the boiler. This allows fine tuning of the water temperature to the needs of the particular lend of coffee being consumed. Some coffee blends require a moderate temperature of 195 d C versus others that like 204 d F. The ultimate result that can be found is the wonderful taste in the cup!
This extraordinary home-model espresso machine has incorporated many improvements over its predecessor::
a) There is increased cup height between portafilter spout and drip tray to 3.35 inches
b) The lateral removable water reservoir allows easy access for refill and cleaning without moving moving machine away from overhead cabinets. It also allows you view the water level.
c) The featured cool touch and multi-directional steam wand allows brief handling for moving an internally piping, hot wand.
d) The rubber protector over wand allows holding the wand for longer periods of time (we do not know of any cool touch wand will allow you to hold the wand for more than 5 seconds continuously)
e) The steam wand is made of stainless steel, unlike chrome over brass found on other machines
f) The 325cL brass boiler is plated with nickel and incorporated with a professional grade 3-way solenoid valve
g) The professional-grade 58mm portafilter handle was designed and manufactured with a 10 degree tilt for ergonomic handling
h) The non-slip grip on portafilter handle offers a feel of professionalism in the home
i) A solid aluminum tamper is included with the accessory kit
j) Highly polished filter baskets with micro-fine smooth holes offer superior extractions over standard baskets.
Advantages over competing models in similar price ranges, include
a) Large size cup warmer (~14.5" x 10.6")
b) PID display shows temperature of boiler in Celsius or Fahrenheit
c) Side rails (rear rail was removed from machines for the USA to provide greater area for cup warmer)
d) Exterior body completely made of stainless steel
e) Boiler over grouphead design allows water to evenly heat grouphead which leads to better espresso extractions
f) Steam wand is multi-directional, sizes at 10mm professional grade, is stainless, and includes internal hard plastic lining for cool touch capability and 1 hole steam tip
g) Ergonomic, no-slip grip, professional grade portafilter assembly knocks the socks off of the competition!
The main reason to get this machine is the taste of the espresso in the cup! The PID controller and thermal sensor on the boiler makes it happen at such an affordable price!
Like its predecessor, the version 2 has approximately a 30-45 second wait time to go from coffee mode to steam mode (after depressing the steam switch). After steaming milk, the user can depress the steam switch off. After placing a cup under the steam wand, the user can rotate the steam valve/knob to the on position, and the hot water switch must be depressed for the the pump to activate so that the 'too hot steamed water' exits and the temperature of the boiler can be brought down to make additional espresso. In espresso coffee mode, this machine can make back to back espresso until the reservoir runs out of water.
The professional, three-way solenoid valve relieves the pressure on the filter basket immediately when you depress the coffee switch to off. This prevents the 'explosion' of coffee grounds that is normally found on home espresso machines without three way solenoid valves. The solenoid valve on this machine also assists in creating a dry puck after the extraction (please note there are certain coffees, grinds, and amounts of coffee that will make a wet extracted puck which no three way valve will help).
Maintenance is simple! Descale once every 3 months to remove the calcium/magnesium build up inside the machine. Backflush once every 50 espresso extractions. Clean the water reservoir once every 2 weeks and the drip tray once every 3 days - each manually with non-abrasive dish-wash detergent. To further protect your investment, plug the machine's electrical plug into a surge suppressor 1080 joules or higher. The surge suppressor should then be plugged directly into the wall outlet or a timer if you have one. In fact, if you do have a timer, make sure the coffee, hot water, and steam switches are in the off position. if these are left in the on position, your machine could potentially be damaged.
Enjoy the Ascaso Steel Uno Professional PID Version 3 espresso machine today in preparing your favorite beverages! Espresso, cappuccino, latte, cafe americano, and hot chocolate to name a few!
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All prices are in USD