How it's Made - The Profitec Pro 600
We’ve reached a point in our relationship with Profitec where the announcement of new products is met with equal parts excitement and curiosity. Hot on the heels of the Pro 700 steam upgrade we suggested to them, the Pro 600 turned out to be exactly what we were hoping for. After some hands on testing at WLL HQ, we sent a team to Europe to get a firsthand look at how they were made.
An observable trend with Profitec’s machines is that their price and features increase with the model number. The Pro 500 is a PID heat exchange machine and the Pro 700 is a rotary dual boiler with dual PIDs. Logically, the Pro 600 is a dual boiler, dual PID machine, albeit with a vibration pump and smaller boilers than the Pro 700. Profitec also took some chances with the aesthetics on the 600, putting a new spin on the traditional E61 look rocked by so many other machines, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
From a performance perspective we were very impressed by both the steam output and the temperature stability. Two boilers (0.75 l brew and 1.0 l steam, both stainless and insulated) is the way to go when you want to regulate brewing accurately. The dual PIDs allow for independent control of brew and steam temperatures so that neither one affects the other. Profitec was also keen on including the updated PID and safety valve we had them install in the Pro 700, allowing the Pro 600 to reach 2 bar of steam pressure. Based on our testing, we found that the higher temperature produces consistent steam pressure, even with a smaller boiler. The new PID also means that the machine has access to the “eco-mode” and backflush reminders as well.
In Milan we met with CEO Michael Hauck and head engineer Tiziano Cutaia at the Profitec factory. The inspiration behind the Pro 600 was to produce a more fully featured dual boiler machine than the Pro 300, while allowing you to exchange features like a rotary pump or larger boilers for more room in your budget for a quality grinder or accessories. The exclusion of a plumb line from the Pro 600 also allowed Profitec to relocate the expansion valve (OPV) conveniently behind the drip tray, making it the easiest machine in their catalog when it comes to adjusting brew pressure.
In the presence of the Profitec brain trust, we also had the opportunity to address two issues we had observed with the sample unit we had received a few months prior to our visit. We noticed that the angle of the holes on the steam tip made it a bit tricky to purge water into the drip tray. Item two was that the PID screen was shutting off whenever the pump ran to refill the boiler. After a tête-à-tête between Todd and Tiziano, the PID situation was resolved. Michael also assured us that the angle of the steam holes would be corrected.
As for the aesthetics, the Pro 600 departs from Profitec’s playbook in a couple of ways. For starters, the 600’s E61 features a custom stainless steel mushroom similar to those on its ECM cousins. The use of black has also been ramped up with the inclusion of black brew and steam pressure gauges along with black plexiglas panels on the sides of the machine (echoing the T-64 grinder). The last change is the new horizontal orientation of the steam and hot water wands, similar to the Rocket Espresso R 58.
So who’s this machine for? If you have no interest in plumbing, but want the best of temperature control and steam power then the Pro 600 just might be the machine for you. It plays in the same niche as the Expobar Brewtus IV and Profitec Pro 300, improving on both with higher steaming pressure and a more attractive package. The Pro 600 is also competitively priced, allowing you to stick to a $3,000 - $3,500 budget without having to skimp on grinder quality. Have any burning questions about the Pro 600? Be sure to leave them in the comments section below!