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Precision-crafted for the modern barista, these machines offer consistency and efficiency, automating the crucial aspect of measuring water volume for each shot of espresso. Ideal for high-volume commerc... Read More

Auto-Volumetric Espresso Machines

Auto-Volumetric Espresso Machines

Precision-crafted for the modern barista, these machines offer consistency and efficiency, automating the crucial aspect of measuring water volume for each shot of espresso. Ideal for high-volume commercial settings like coffee shops and restaurants, our volumetric machines allow baristas to multitask without compromising the quality and consistency of each espresso shot.

What is a volumetric espresso machine, exactly?

A volumetric espresso machine is a type of espresso machine that automates the process of measuring the water volume used for each shot of espresso. It does this with a flowmeter which counts pulses of water that go through the machine. By contrast, semi-automatic espresso machines require the barista to manually control the amount of water used for each shot by starting and stopping the flow of water at the appropriate time.

However, volumetric machines use a pre-programmed computer to automatically measure the water volume for each shot, allowing for more consistent results and freeing up the barista to focus on other aspects of making espresso.

With a volumetric machine, the barista sets the desired water volume for each shot and the machine automatically dispenses the correct amount of water. This can help ensure that each shot is consistent in terms of volume and strength, which is important for creating a high-quality espresso.

What’s the difference between a volumetric and automatic espresso machine?

Generally, there is no difference. They’re used synonymously. The term automatic espresso machine is a little bit of a misnomer. Historically, it’s been used to describe the volumetric function of an espresso machine. In other words, if semi-automatic means that you need to start and stop the coffee dose, then automatic would mean that you can program a button that stops itself based on the program you set.

Today you can brew by weight as well as by volume. For example, Victoria Arduino coined the term “Gravimetric” to describe their brew by weight process. La Marzocco launched their weight-based espresso machine as an “auto brew ratio” (ABV) espresso machine. Both volumetric and by weight programs live under the automatic umbrella.

However, we try not to use the term automatic since a traditional espresso machine can be more accurately described as either auto-volumetric or brew-by-weight. It also frequently gets confused with the term super-automatic. So we rather wish folks would stop using it.

Who typically uses a volumetric espresso machine? Should I buy a volumetric machine?

Volumetric espresso machines are typically used in commercial settings such as coffee shops, restaurants, and cafes. These machines are designed for high-volume use and are ideal for businesses that need to produce consistent, high-quality espresso shots quickly. This is because a barista doesn’t have to monitor the shot extraction every single time. This allows the same barista to pull shots, steam milk, and even engage with guests.

If you are a low volume cafe, or a cafe that uses scales to measure coffee by weight instead of volume, a volumetric espresso machine may not be necessary. They’re typically more expensive than semi-automatic espresso machines and add unnecessary complexity if they aren’t part of your regular workflow.

However, if you are running a high volume commercial coffee business, a volumetric espresso machine may be a worthwhile investment. These machines can help to streamline the brewing process and ensure consistent results, which can be important for maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Ultimately, the decision to purchase a volumetric espresso machine will depend on your specific workflow needs and budget. If you’re a high-to-medium volume cafe and want to have your baristas multi-task while pulling a shot, then a volumetric machine is a great option. If you’re a low volume cafe, or a coffee perfectionist, a semi-automatic or brew-by-weight espresso machine might be a better option.

Will a volumetric espresso machine guarantee that I’ll make perfect espresso shots?

While a volumetric espresso machine can certainly help to improve the consistency and efficiency of the brewing process, it does not guarantee that you will make perfect espresso shots every time.

The quality of the espresso shot depends on many factors, including the freshness and quality of the coffee beans, the grind size and dosage, the tamping pressure, and the temperature and pressure of the water. While a volumetric machine can help to ensure consistent water volume, it does not control these other factors.

But most importantly, you’ll need to keep tabs on your brew time when using volumetric dosing. This is the best way to ensure that grind size and coffee dosage are consistent. You may have programmed your coffee dosage to 2 ounces, but that doesn’t tell you anything about how that two ounces of coffee will taste. That’s where time comes in. A shot of an espresso will typically pull between 25-35 seconds. If your shot pulls in 5 seconds, it’s very likely it’s not going to taste good. If it pulls in 1 minute, it’s likely it won’t taste good. If it pulls in 30 seconds, it’s pretty likely you’ll have a decent shot of espresso.

Overall, there is no substitute for training. Barista skills and experience are the most important factors in producing high-quality espresso. You can have the most advanced espresso machine and make bad coffee. It takes practice and experimentation to develop the right technique. It takes daily refinement of your grind, to ensure you are able to pull great espresso shots.