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Heat Exchangers

Our Heat Exchanger Product Offering

At Espresso Outlet we have a full range of heat exchanger espresso machines for sale, from a small, compact, budget friendly unit like a VBM Junior Domobar that is water tank only, to high end prosumer units with E61 group head, built in PID and direct water line connections, like the Rocket Giotto Evoluzione R or the La Cimbali Junior Casa D1. Along with having a complete range of machines for the home user, we also have commercial grade heat exchangers for your business. Below is a listing of home heat exchanger espresso machines, for our business offering, please see the business category. We offer lowest price matching and will meet or beat competitors advertised prices if they are lower than ours whenever possible. Don't wait for Black Friday to get the cheapest deal!

We have heat exchanger coffee machines from manufacturers including Rocket Espresso, Bezzera, ECM Germany, Quick Mill and many more.

How Heat Exchanger Espresso Machines Work

How A Heat Exchanger Espresso Machine Works

  • Cold water from the water source is pumped into the boiler.
  • The water in the boiler is heated to steam temperature, or about 255 degrees
  • Steam and water from the hot water tap comes directly from the steam boiler.
  • When a shot is pulled, water for brewing goes directly from the cold water source to the brew group. The steam temperature boiler has a tube inside of it that the brew water flows through. As it’s flowing through the tube it is flash heated to brew temperature, or about 203 degrees.
  • After a brew cycle is completed, water that remains in the tube will eventually increase to steam temperature. Because of this, a cooling flush is required prior to pulling a shot.
  • A PID temperature controller or P-Stat on a heat exchanger controls the temperature of water in the steam temperature boiler. Since water for brewing is flash heated as it flows through a tube, they will not work for directly adjusting brew temperature, however brew temperature will indirectly raise or lower depending on the temperature setting of the steam temperature boiler.

Pros and Cons of Heat Exchanger Machines

Pros

  • Less energy consumption
  • Brew water comes fresh from the water source
  • In many cases, quicker recovery time
  • Lower price vs double boilers
  • Lower maintenance / repair costs vs double boilers

Cons

  • Temperature adjustment of brewing and steaming are not independent
  • Less precise brew temperature adjustments

Single Boiler vs Heat Exchanger vs Double Boiler, Which Is Best For You?

As a rule of thumb:

  • A single boiler is a good espresso machine to get if you primarily drink plain espresso and only a limited number of milk-based drinks – as an example 90% espresso. If you tend to change your beans often, then a machine with a PID temperature controller is important. Also, if you are the only person in your household that makes espresso, a single boiler can work fine.
  • A heat exchanger is a good espresso machine for someone that drinks primarily milk-based drinks and for someone that tends to use the same beans repeatedly (limiting the need to adjust brew temperature).
  • A double boiler espresso machine is good for someone that does a lot of milk-based drinks and a lot of plain espresso. If you change your beans often, use a lot of delicate single origin beans and have a sensitive palate, a double boiler is your best option due to enhanced temperature stability and control.

Are Heat Exchange Espresso Machines Semi-Automatic?

We are frequently asked whether heat exchangers are semi-automatic. The answer is, yes, they can be, but they are also available as manual levers, volumetric or automatics, and super automatics. A heat exchanger is a type of boiler, but does not directly effect the automation of the machine.