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Pressure Control: Electronic vs Mechanical

Our best-selling commercial espresso machines are the more economical ones but there are vital differences to consider between models. Some technology can be more expensive and that is why we encourage you to opt into our free equipment counseling. The goal of any commercial espresso equipment buyer is to purchase a machine that has minimal temperature swing at its groups. Temperature effects the taste and ultimately the satisfying experience of your customer’s coffee beverage. Anyone who has had a Luke-warm cup of coffee knows how disappointing that can be. There are several ways espresso machine manufacturers achieve temperature stability. One is by maintaining steam pressure either electronically or mechanically. 


A Mechanical Switch Operates with a Lag

A good example is found comparing Rancilio’s two most economical commercial espresso machines, Classe 5 and Classe 7. Both are traditional machines operating with a single boiler and heat exchanger system. In the Classe 5, Rancilio uses a mechanical pressure switch. The switch is an economical part but has a lag to prevent It from wearing out too quiclky. It is either on or off. Although minimal, this lag allows a variance in boiler pressure causing a fluctuation in the temperature at the Classe 5 brewing group. This mechanical switch needs to be replaced on a schedule to prevent the espresso machine from failing unexpectedly. Now consider the Rancilio Class 7 which operates with newer technology.


Electronic Parts React Instantaneous

Classe 7 uses a transducer that works with a board which operates a solid-state relay.  This electronic technology uses no moving parts which means the transducer is always measuring boiler pressure and can communicate any slight pressure changes to the board. The board pulses the solid-state relay which energizes your heating element  resulting consistent pressure at your desired set point.  The Classe 7 has better, more consistent boiler pressure and therefore better temperature stability at its groups. Unlike the mechanical switch, you potentially have electronic parts that may never need to be replaced.


If espresso beverages are not your focus, the Rancilio Classe 5 will be a suitable choice for your business, however If coffee is your priority or you are more particular about taste, you'll be much more pleased with the Classe 7.  Priced higher, the Classe 7 will provide you sharper temperature control and  more consistent beverages during high volume output. If you have questions or comments regarding this piece contact us at  




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