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Single Boiler Diagram

SINGLE BOILER

Single Boiler espresso machines have one boiler that does double duty, providing both brew water and steam for frothing milk. Single boiler machines have fewer parts, and are thus generally a less expensive option for people wanting a quality espresso maker. There can be a lag time when switching between steam and brew.

 

 

Thermoblock Diagram

THERMOBLOCK

Thermoblock machines have a single brew boiler and a separate thermoblock for creating frothing steam. They offer almost instant steam when compared to single boiler machines without a thermoblock, but can be slower frothers compared to heat exchange or double boiler machines.

 

 

HEAT EXCHANGE

Modeled after commercial espresso machines, Heat Exchange (HX) machines have a single steam boiler which is used to heat brew water on demand. HX machines have become the most popular enthusiast machines on the market because of the great performance they offer. There is no lag time between brewing and steaming, and are generally powerful steamers. PID enabled HX machines offer a bit more brew temperature stability than a standard pressure stat machine, but the steam boiler temperature fluctuation caused by a pressure stat model will have little effect on brew temp.

 

Dual Boiler Diagram

DOUBLE BOILER

Like the name implies, Double Boiler espresso machines have two boilers: one dedicated to steam, one dedicated to brew water. These have perhaps the largest capacity for making multiple drinks one after another, have no lag time between pulling a shot and frothing milk, and have ample steam power. PID temperature control on the brew boiler is recommended as a traditional pressure stat can cause 5-10 degree temperature swings which will have an affect on shot quality.