top of page
'10 Expobar Office, double boiler E61! --  Sold

It's been a while since we've had an E61 for sale.   We've been concentrating on levers, and going down the vintage rabbit hole.  But this was too good to pass up.  So in a nod to mod (and the people who are patiently waiting for "something newer?") here's a double boiler E61, with updated Gicar PID, rotary pump, cool touch steam wand, and on and on.   Probably everything you could ever want in an E61 machine!


Completely gone through, including rebuilt group with new seals and a NEW "mushroom" valve (internal part you never see normally, but is usually heavily scaled after a few years.  See pic.)  


Even though we roll a humongous old 2 group La Pavoni E61 most mornings, and still love the E61 "look," we have to admit that some of the novelty and charm of our beast has worn off over the years.   


One of the "selling" features of the now expired E61 patent (designed by Faema in 1961!) was the thermo siphon action of the water from the boiler through the group, which kept the group heated even when idle, and the massive brass casting that held that heat.


But because most E61s (commercial, and "home" models) were single boilers, that meant the group was heated by water hot enough to produce steam.  Which, in other words, it's easy to get too frickin hot!  


So unless you are pulling non stop shots (like a busy coffee shop) you have to run water through the group to cool it down before pulling your shot.  We always vaguely "knew" that, but it wasn't until we hooked up a digital thermometer to the old Pavoni, that we realized how MUCH water it took to cool the sucker down!  Like two full cups of (which can take like, a minute!) 


And that can feel like a long time when all you want is to make your damn espresso, and go back to the world's latest disasters.

So around the turn of the Millennium (2000ish) some bright designers got the idea to add a second boiler to "high end" home espresso machines.  One dedicated to the higher temps necessary for dry steam, and a second that could run at the lower temps needed to brew sweet espresso.  (If your shots consistently seem bitter, and you're not using overroasted beans, there's a good chance you're extracting your espresso at too high a temperature. ) 


The new double boiler machines cost a fortune (even more than the already pricey "regular" E61 chrome boxes) but a segment of espresso geeks were willing to pony up the difference for the theoretical improvement.  


The early versions could have problems, as you might expect with the "growing pains" in any new technology.  


But by the time this machine came out (around 2010) most manufacturers, including Expobar, had sorted out their various issues, and even Breville came out with "double boiler" espresso machines.  


Obviously we don't think two boilers are "necessary" for making good espresso, or we wouldn't be selling machines built in the 50s and 60s (or even 70s, 80s, and 90s!)  You can work around the temp idiosyncrasies of almost any espresso machine.  

But we have to admit that a double boiler simplifies life with an E61.  


No more running hot water down the drain before pulling a shot.  (Especially if it's been "idling" a while.)   Or staring at thermometer read outs.


Because the brew water is always the "right" temp whenever you want to pull a shot!


And the PID means the temp is even more stable than a traditional pressurestat machine.   (Although you could argue which is more "reliable" over a long time horizon, you can't argue which machine has the most stable brew temp.) 


So here you go. 


The first double boiler E61 offered on VoltAge110. 


Made by Expobar in Spain, with a long history of building interesting espresso machines.  This has a more spartan look than some competitors (which we actually like) but still fits the role of "fancy home espresso machine" sitting on the counter. And the best news is this machine is about half the price of most of the other boutique E61 double boilers you'll see.  


This one was well maintained by the previous owner, and we've gone all through it as well, so no issues of any kind, except.... one of the LED sections in the PID display has gone "dark" so that the number "8" can look like "6," until you stop noticing it.  


A new display module would cure this, and we could install one, but decided to give people a chance to save 150 bucks for this minor tic.  (If you want a new display installed, let us know, and we can jack up the price!)  


Since there's really nothing for the user to do except flip the switch to "on" with this machine the display is really only there to let you know when it's heated up.  (About 20 min from dead cold.) 


The factory setting is 200 degrees F. (that's boiler temp minus an "offset" which theoretically accounts for the heat loss by the time the water hits the puck.)  You don't really need to understand the math behind the PID.   But we've adjusted the brewing temp down a couple degrees.   (It's easy to adjust if you want to experiment.)  


This also has a separate solid state relay to switch the heating element on/off, which removes a lot of the voltage stress on the control ("brain") box.    


So a cool machine if you're looking at E61s.  A lot of bang for your buck.  


You can spend more, but you won't be getting "better" technology in another machine.  You can pay for "new," or a different look.  But in terms of functionality of a modern double boiler E61, this pretty much has it all.


There weren't many double boiler machines sold compared to the normal heat exchanger models (even though everyone seems lust after double boilers when shopping for that first "big" machine.)  And they're often the "last machine" people buy.  So you don't come across many used ones for sale.  


And if you do, they're often fifty percent more than comparable single boilers.   Which means they're typically way over a thousand bucks, even used.


So we're breaking the double boiler "grand barrier" with this Expobar Office Leva.  Something that wasn't possible even a few short years ago.  Progress?!


'10 Expobar Office, double boiler E61! -- Sold

    bottom of page