Profitec Pro 700 Espresso Machine Review: A Latte Lover’s Dream
Do you dream of making the perfect latte at home? Are you on a quest for a richly flavourful espresso and perfect silky microfoam? I have the answer! Look no further than the Profitec Pro 700.
This impressive dual-boiler espresso machine punches well above its weight in the milk frothing department. Yet, it has a few other tricks up its sleeve, too. Keep reading to find out what makes this model stand out from the crowd.
Summary: The Profitec Pro 700
- Dual boiler semi-automatic espresso machine with PID temperature control
- Best-in-class steam power with 2 bars of pressure
- The rare home machine capable of true line pressure pre-infusion
I love steaming milk on this machine. Plenty of power along with quick recovery times! Did approximately 30 lattes back to back and this machine didn’t even sputter.– Customer
The Profitec Pro 700 Review
Since its release in 2014, the Profitec Pro 700 has been one of the company's top sellers. And there's a good reason for that. This popular prosumer machine is the aspiring home barista's dream.
In this section, I'll get into the nitty-gritty details, from brewing capacity to internal layout, so you can decide if it's the perfect addition to your espresso bar.
Brewing Capacity – 4.5/5
The Profitec Pro 700 is the brand’s upper-end dual boiler espresso machine. It’s essentially the big brother to the rest of the line-up, with both the most features and the highest price tag. This is the model for the most serious of home espresso lovers.
The main feature that sets it apart from the slightly less expensive Profitec 600 is the rotary pump, which allows it to be plumbed directly to a water line. There are several advantages to this design that make it worth the higher price tag.
For starters, there's convenience. You don't need to worry about filling the water tank or emptying the drip tray, removing many day-to-day maintenances. But more importantly, from a brewing perspective, this model allows true line pressure pre-infusion, a rare feature in this market. Pre-infusion of any kind is a crucial step in achieving the best possible extraction, according to barista and roaster Neil Soque, and line pressure pre-infusion is incredibly soft and desirable (1).
When you wet the puck, the coffee grounds are less likely to become damaged or disturbed when full pressure is introduced. This subsequently decreases the risk of poor extraction, and improves the sensory profile of your espresso.
Then there's a final bonus: a rotary pump is much quieter than a vibratory pump. So if you've got a light sleeper in the house, this upgrade might be well worth it.
Hello, what’s with the boilers?
At the centre of the Pro 700 are the two stainless steel boilers, a 2-litre steam boiler and a 0.75-litre brew boiler. With dedicated boilers for brewing and steaming, you're able to pull a shot of espresso and froth milk at the same time. This is the main advantage of dual boiler espresso machines because serious coffee enthusiasts know that having both ready simultaneously is crucial for that perfect latte or cappuccino.
Both boilers have independent PID temperature control. As compared with older espresso machines with pressure stats, a PID is a significant upgrade. It guarantees more accurate brewing and steaming temperatures with greater precision, so you'll see far fewer temperature fluctuations. A steady temperature is crucial for shot consistency, and it's instrumental if you like experimenting with different coffee and roast levels.
The boilers are connected to a classic E61 group head on the front of the Profitec Pro 700. The always reliable E61 brew group has been the industry standard group for the last 50 years. It siphons hot water from the steam boiler and circulates it constantly through the group to maintain temperature stability.
As with all E61 espresso machines, you start and stop the shot using the lever on the side of the group, which has a more professional feel than just pushing a button. A handy addition to the current Profitec Pro 700 is an automatic shot timer, which starts and stops in conjunction with the lever.
If you’re interested in flow profiling, which is all the rage among serious espresso geeks these days, you’ll be happy to hear that the Pro 700 is now available with a flow profiling add-on (2). It’s an aftermarket addition but designed in partnership with Profitec, so it’s guaranteed compatible and won’t affect your warranty. With the addition of the flow profiler, you can tinker with the pressure on the coffee puck as you pull a shot. With practice, you can use this to enhance desirable flavours or minimise unwanted bitter or sour notes (3).
User-Friendliness – 4/5
For such a high-end and complex piece of equipment, the Profitec Pro 700 is remarkably easy to use. Yes, the learning curve will be a bit steeper than a cheap appliance grade espresso machine — you can’t just plug it in and push a button — but it’s not much steeper, and the superior results more than justify the effort.
If you haven’t plumbed in your Pro 700, you’ll be thrilled with the 3-litre water reservoir. It’s among the largest in its class, with most other machines offering something closer to 2 litres. That means you’ll waste less time on refills, a particularly appealing feature if you’re making drinks for a crowd.
If you do manage to drain this massive tank, you never have to worry about it running dangerously dry. The Pro 700 knows to switch off automatically before it can cause any damage. The water tank is easily accessed under the top-side passive cup warming tray, and it’s removable for easy filling.
In keeping with the water management theme, the drip tray is also huge, holding a full litre of liquid. It’s pre-drilled with a drain hole, so you can easily plumb it directly to a drain. This is certainly recommended if you’ve plumbed the espresso machine to your water line.
Underneath the drip tray, Profitec has cleverly added some extra storage space where you’ll find a backflush disc and spare steam tip. Hidden behind the drip tray, there’s one switch to toggle between reservoir and plumbing and another switch that turns the steam boiler on and off. Being able to turn the steam boiler off if you’re only making espresso makes this machine far more efficient.
Despite the ample size of the drip tray, there's still an impressive amount of clearance under the group head. If you're a lover of large lattes, you'll be happy to find you can fit a cup up to 8.25 cm tall. Or, more importantly, you can easily slide in a digital scale to weigh your shot output.
A few new updates have made the latest edition of the Pro 700 even easier to use. The pressure gauges on the front have been switched from white to black, which is nice aesthetically and makes them easier to read. A new ECO mode has also been added. You can program the machines to automatically turn off the boilers after anytime between 30 minutes and 10 hours to save energy.
Milk Frothing – 4.5/5
If you're a lover of cappuccinos, lattes, and latte art, this is going to be the real selling point of this machine for you (4). The Profitec Pro 700 quickly has the best steam pressure in its class!
With most machines, you can expect steam pressure on the order of 1.2 to 1.5 bar, but this one achieves 2 bar of pressure without breaking a sweat. The high pressure is nicely balanced with the stock 2-hole tip of the steam wand, but you can easily sub it out for a 1-hole or 4-hole if you prefer. The pressure is so high that if you're coming from an appliance-grade machine, you'll probably find it overwhelming at first. But once you've learned to tame it, there will be no going back.
This same impressive steaming system is also available on the Profitec 600, the non-plumbable baby brother of this machine.
Yes, people have tested it
In tests, it takes only about 20 seconds to steam 175 ml of milk for a latte. That means you can have your perfect microfoam ready and waiting in less time than it takes to pull the double shot for your latte. After steaming for 20 seconds, it only takes 6 seconds for the boiler to recover, so you’ll have no problem making back-to-back drinks for a thirsty brunch crowd.
Want to make a larger drink? Even after 60 seconds of steaming, the pressure is still at 1.5 bar, where most machines are at their max.
Both the steam wand and hot water wand feature a double-wall no-burn design, which is helpful for a couple of reasons:
- There's the obvious: the wands stay cooler on the outside, so you don't risk an accidental burn.
- In the case of the steam wand, it ensures dryer steam by avoiding internal condensation.
- It makes clean-up easier as you won't be left with a layer of crusty dairy burned to the outside of your steam wand.
Though, it's still important to wipe the wand down after each use.
Both the steam wand and hot water wand are operated with knobs rather than joysticks, which means you won't get the same instant on/off as a joystick, but you will get a bit more sensitivity. However, the knobs are well-calibrated such that only a quarter-turn will open the valves, which is probably as close to instant as you'll likely need. If knobs are a no-go for you, take a look at an ECM machine like the Synchronika instead. It has essentially the same specs as the Profitec but uses joysticks for steam and hot water.
Build Quality – 4/5
Profitec espresso machines are made in Milan, a hotbed of top-notch espresso machine manufacture. Profitec is the sister company of ECM, and both are known for incredible build quality. As the top-of-the-line model, you can trust that no expense has been spared with the Pro 700.
The chassis of this machine is a single piece of stainless steel, and the outside is a gorgeous mirror-finish stainless steel wrap. The Profitec Pro 700 is built like a tank; a fact made clear by its 31-kilo weight. That said, it isn't enormous, measuring just 34 cm wide by 47.5 deep by 42 cm tall, so it won't dominate your kitchen. A lot of the depth comes from the massive water reservoir, which is an undeniably convenient feature if you're not planning to plumb this machine.
If you're really pressed for clearance, you can remove the rails from the cup warmer up top, which shortens it by an inch.
One of the biggest quality improvements on recent versions is the new mushroom valve on the E61 group head.
You'll find the same upgrade on high-end ECM models as well. Traditionally, the mushroom valve relies on two nuts that are either chrome or ceramic, but both have issues. Chrome is prone to scaling and corrosion, and ceramic is brittle. The Pro 700 uses a single stainless steel nut instead. The new design improves both aesthetics and durability.
Cleaning and Maintenance – 4/5
As a user, you probably won't have much occasion to appreciate the engineering of the Profitec Pro 700. You'll only take note when you wake up one morning and realise your espresso machine has been running perfectly for years.
However, any service technician who has to pop the hood on this thing will appreciate the thought that has gone into the internal layout. Everything is smartly positioned and easily accessible. The electrical components are well insulated from heat and moisture, and the internal wiring is routed practically. As just one example, the steam-boiler vacuum relief valve vents to the drip tray to avoid any internal moisture.
Additionally, the choice of the long-popular E61 group head makes it easy to find experienced technicians to work on this machine should you have any problems, and spare parts are readily available (5). The stainless steel boilers are also long-lasting, with fewer corrosion issues than brass or copper boilers (6).
You need to perform basic cleaning and maintenance to keep the Pro 700 running as long as possible. This is true for all prosumer-grade espresso machines. You should backflush regularly, which is easy to remember, as Profitec has added a backflush reminder to the PID display on this model. You should also keep a microfibre cloth handy to keep surfaces clean. And using filtered water is a crucial way to lengthen the lifespan of any espresso machine.
Don’t Buy the Profitec Pro 700 If…
You don’t intend to plumb it in: If you don’t have the option to plumb this machine to a water line, you probably won’t get your money’s worth. While the quieter rotary pump is a nice bonus, the ability to do line pressure pre-infusion is really what you’re paying for. Instead, consider the Pro 600, a smaller dual boiler with a vibratory pump, or look at the Profitec Pro 500, a heat exchanger machine with similar capabilities.
You don’t have a lot of space: The Pro 700 is pretty compact given what it offers, but at 31 kg and 47.5 cm deep, it’s still a BIG addition to your kitchen. If you need something with a smaller footprint, consider the Profitec 300. This compact little machine measures just 25.5 cm x 41.5 cm x 38.5 cm and weighs 20 kilos, but still has dual boilers, PID temperature control, and a 3-litre water tank. The main trade-off is it lacks the milk steaming power of the bigger models.
You want a more retro experience: Despite its classic E61 group, the Pro 700 is a thoroughly modern semi-automatic machine. If you want something a little more old-school, check out the Pro 800. This innovative Profitec machine uses a traditional manual lever to pull the shot but pairs it with a modern-day pump and PID for a best-of-both-worlds scenario.
Dual boiler machines are at the top of the heap when it comes to prosumer espresso machines, and the Profitec Pro 700 is among the best of the bunch. With its unmatched steam power, PID controlled boiler temperature, rotary pump, and impeccable Italian build quality, you can expect this machine to be churning out perfect espressos and lattes for years to come.
- Soque, N. (2021, March 1). Six years on: An updated guide to buying home espresso machines. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2021/03/six-years-on-an-updated-guide-to-buying-home-espresso-machines/
- Bryman, H. (2019, April 10). Whole Latte Love and Profitec/ECM Launch Flow Control Device for E61 Groupheads. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2019/04/10/whole-latte-love-and-profitec-ecm-launch-flow-control-device-for-e61-groupheads/
- Grant, T. (2020, July 29). How Flow Profiling Impacts Espresso Extraction. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/07/how-flow-profiling-impacts-espresso-coffee-extraction/
- Korhonen, J. (2020, June 15). Milk Steaming 101 – Basics of Creating Microfoam. Retrieved from https://www.baristainstitute.com/blog/jori-korhonen/june-2020/milk-steaming-101-basics-creating-microfoam
- Burton, G. (2011, January 11). The E61 Group Head: An Oldie but a Goodie. Retrieved from https://fivesenses.com.au/blogs/news/the-e61-group-head-an-oldie-but-a-goodie/
- Daily Coffee News Staff. (2019, October 29). Get the Lead Out: The Longstanding Challenge of Lead in Espresso Machines. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2019/10/29/get-the-lead-out-the-longstanding-challenge-of-lead-in-espresso-machines/