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Rancilio ST-1 Epoca Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine



One of my favorite brands is Rancilio for many different reasons. Mostly its because they make commercial espresso machines, and they use heavy duty parts from those commercial units in their home machines as well. That's the case with the Rancilio ST-1 Epoca Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine. It may cost a little more, but now you know why!


Rancilio's home models (including the Epoca) are really made for what we like to call the "Prosumer", that's professional consumer. If you like to drink espresso every now and then, or think it would be neato to be able to make starbucks-like drinks in your home, then the Epoca is NOT for you.


If, on the other hand, you love espresso more than life itself and want the absolute best shot you can make (maybe not just for you, but for the whole family and for parties and stuff) then Rancilio has you covered.


Let's Talk About The Machine Specs


Rancilio ST-1 Epoca Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine
I mentioned commercial quality components, let's look at those first. The Epoca has a three-way solenoid valve that really maximizes your heat retention. It's got an oversized brass boiler with a heat exchanger. Brass distributes heat more evenly and you don't see it used - ever - on cheaper machines. Oh, and it churns out 1,600 watts of power too! Nice...


I'll be honest with you, this is a pretty big machine. Don't let that little picture fool you. It measures around 19 x 15 x 22 inches but weighs about sixty pounds!


Even though this is a near commercial machine, it's still pretty easy to use. The controls are very straight forward, and there is no confusing digital readouts to worry about.


Of course, it has a steam milk frother wand so that you can make your favorite espresso and cappuccino drinks quickly and easily. It also has a hot water feature so that you can just get quick super hot water for tea or soup or whatnot. A lot of machines have that feature but I find that it doesn't always work all that well. It works well with this machine!


What People Are Saying


There aren't really all that many reviews floating around for this machine. I think it's because of the price tag. At the higher prices, there just aren't that many reviews. Plus, this is a semi-automatic machine and at these prices I think a lot of people just bump up to a fully automatic machine.


I was able to find one review that was 4.9 out of 5 stars. Nice. The reviewer did dismiss the 15-30 minute warm up time it takes to pull a first shot; but keep that in mind.


What's The Bottom Line?


At just under $2,000 this is a very expensive machine, and like I said, most people will want to buy a fully automatic machine for that price (or even much less).


But seriously consider against doing that. If you want a truly exceptional machine that's commercial grade and will last for years to come; all the while making superb espresso...then the Rancilio ST-1 Epoca Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine might just be exactly what you're looking for. Give it a try.