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David Schomer’s Blog | Cutting-edge espresso technique and equipment review

EQUIPMENT REVIEW LaMarzocco GB-3

Dear Readers,

The Shot

How the world does turn…just a few years ago sweet caffe espresso was impossible due to inadequate machine temperature stability, now you can pull perfect shots right in your own kitchen.

 

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Pictured above is the LaMarzocco GB-3.  This machine has PID control of the brewing temperature combined with LaMarzocco’s superior “water jacket” group head that brings all that wonderful temperature stability  right to the coffee bed with unfailing fidelity.  The machine is capable of perfect caffe espresso….coffee that tastes just like the freshly ground beans smell.  

The distribution block just above the screen is all stainless steel as well.  Stainless does not contribute that rancid bite in the coffee  that brass does and contains no lead.  This helps produce a cleaner taste but you need to be sure the machine is seasoned after cleaning.  Stainless steel will contribute a slight metallic note to the cofffee if no coffee oils are present on the brewing surfaces.   (This is true of all espresso machines-too clean is not optimal.  Fresh, not rancid, coffee oils must be present for the top coffee.)

 

Steamer

The steamer is lever operated and will produce perfect cappuccino foam in a 1/3 Litre   pitcher.  The key is t be able to roll the entire volume of milk to produce the chiffon texture and it’s no problem on the GB-3.

Reliability

Not much has been written by me on LaMarzocco’s reliability…an oversight I regret.  When something is always there for you you tend to take it for granted. ( The original PID prototype, a two-group Linea that I modified on Ash Wednesday 2001, is still pulling perfect shots for us at my roasting plant.) 

The GB-3 is very reliable and is backed by LaMarzocco’s nation wide distribution network for parts and technical support in every major city. (Incidentally, the Franke nightmare is over and LaMarzocco regains controle of their distribution network this coming Monday….yeah!)

Applications

I have to believe that this is the ultimate gourmet restaurant machine as well as the perfect home machine.  The machine is not cheap, but it operates on 110V power (for the US market), and contains it’s own water tank and waste water resouviour under the grate.  This means you save a lot of money on installation which can offset th price of the machine.

Toy Value

A  home machine simply must look cool.  With lots of chrome combined with Marzocco’s retro oval logo and brown panels this machine weighs in heavy on toy value…the elusive eye candy.