We get a fair few machines through our doors, but the PRO 300 is a pretty unique combination with its design, user features and style that we were keen to explore and share with the UK coffee market.
Question: Is this the first ever quality & affordable dual boiler?
Read on for our view...
For the uninitiated, as ever with our review blogs, we will go through the following criteria:
- Box opening
- Review of contents
- Build quality
- Set up
- Brewing espresso
- Steaming milk
The PRO 300 is a dual boiler espresso machine designed for home or office use. It’s pretty compact, easy to use and with a minimal, industrial styling aesthetic.
It has 2 dedicated boilers for:
1.) Brewing coffee
2.) Steam / hot water - So zero delay in use and it’s able to do what everyone asks - brew coffee and steam milk at the same time!
Alongside this it has a high grade PID for precision temp control of the boiler, a shot timer, plus superb build quality and a very sleek semi-automatic interface.
Moreover, it is the first dual boiler espresso machine that is premium quality and priced below £1500, which is quite remarkable, with the aim to make dual boiler technology available to a wider audience. Sure, it does not have a rotary pump, nor can you connect it to the main water supply (just like the PRO 600), but these are rarely used features, for the majority, with most simply wanting the luxury of having precision boilers for making amazing coffee.
It's also worth noting, that it's not an E61 group machine with a Leva activation for starting shots of espresso, like the vast majority of our prosumer range are (Rocket, Profitec etc). Instead the PRO 300 is a ring group, but with a mini brew boiler housed directly above it, making it a unique design and offering a very fast heat up time.
Out the box:
The PRO 300 is very very well packaged, with zero movement in the box, which is very reassuring. The machine is neatly packaged in a branded Profitec bag, sat in a foam base and cover, ensuring that there is no scope for damage in transit. Good packaging and layout is always vital for transit and Profitec appear to have this area well and truly mastered.
The machine weight is around 18 kg, so it’s not the heaviest machine out there and relatively easy to move out the box. Height wise it is 385mm, so it fits easily under a standard kitchen unit, a question that is often asked by many of our customers.
On the top of the box, there is a parts container holding a full set of accessories in line with what one would expect. This includes:
- 1 x 58mm single spout portafilter,
- 1 x 58mm double spout portafilter,
- Double and single baskets,
- A backflushing disk (for cleaning the group head),
- A cleaning brush,
- A heavy weight tamper,
- A manual and a piece of tubing to fit inside the reservoir if you opt to fit a filtration component to the machine.
All in all, the quality of the contents is pretty high, especially the tamper.
The PRO 300 is extremely well built, to the level of a high end Profitec, Rocket or ECM. From our perspective, it is clear that Profitec have not cut any corners with material and build quality, with the PRO 300 looking exceptionally well produced and attention to detail being right up there.
All the metal parts across the cover, outer body and drip tray are all produced from high grade 301 mirror stainless steel. The fittings are very trim and well crafted, showing zero compromise in production standards.
The PID, pressure gauge and switches are all very well fitted and add to the already premium grade feel of the machine.
The pressure dial sits to the right of the group head, showing the pressure in the steam boiler, so you know where this sits in terms of intensity of steam output. This should sit at around 1.3-1.5 bar.
The steam wand is of a pro dual-walled production, so you cannot burn your hand whilst in use. It’s easy to handle and swivels well for positioning.
The PRO 300 has a vibration pump inside, which proved to be pretty quiet when compared to other vibration pumps on other machines such as HX (Heat Exchangers) and other dual boilers. It’s not silent, but it’s far from loud when in use.
The reservoir cover is made of high quality stainless steel, and sits neatly and firmly on top of the reservoir area. Inside the reservoir is a 2.8L container, with a valve on its base connecting it to the piping linked to the boiler. The fittings are neat and clean.
The drip tray is made from the same quality mirror stainless steel, and has a very neat cut out of the ‘P” for Profitec designed into the front right corner, adding a nice touch to a very functional area of the machine.
The sides of the machine have 4 precision cut layers on each side to allow for heat release, but also add a slightly sleek industrial feel to the unit.
The machine has very little in need of setting up. All you need to do is plug it in, fit the drip tray, fill the reservoir with filtered water, remove the reservoir cover and either pour water directly into the container or remove the container and fill it, put the portafilter in place - turn to about 5.30pm on a clock face - and turn on the boiler switches.
On first use, you need to run the brew switch and power to both boilers for 30 seconds, so that water can fill all areas of the machine before starting to heat up. This process is protected via a countdown on the PID, which shows ‘FILL’ until the boilers have been filled up. Once completed, the PID reverts to showing the temperature for the brew boiler, or the shot timer when in use.
TIP: Remember to refill your reservoir once this is done, as you will use around 40% of your water to complete this first task.
The PRO 300 has a neat set of controls that are pretty easy to get your head around.
1.) The PID is the exact same product Profitec use on all their premium models, so no scrimping on quality there. It’s well installed, sitting neatly in the bottom right of the front facing panel under the group head. It has a few different functions:
- Brew boiler temp.
- Shot timer (when brewing).
- Cleaning mode (set a reminder to clean your machine based on cycles).
- ECO mode (set your machine to power off after a set amount of time).
To adjust the temp of the boiler, press both the '+' and '-' buttons on the PID at once and hold for 3-4 secs, once in temp mode the display will show 'T1', then quickly press '+' once and the brew boiler temp is displayed. You can then use '+/-' to adjust as required. Once you reach your desired temp, it automatically stores it and defaults to the mode ready for brewing.
2.) The boilers can be turned on / off independently, allowing you to brew just espresso if you do not require steamed milk or access to hot water. This reduces the heat up from 12 to 5 minutes which is very fast for those in a rush for espresso in the morning. Both switches for power to the boilers are on the left front face of the machine, just below the PID.
TIP: Want to drink espresso super fast and not wait long? Put your machine on a timer switch and set it to go on 15 mins before you start using the machine. When you start using it, flush a small volume of water through your group and it's perfect to use straight away!
3.) There is then a single brew switch at the top / front face of the machine which activates water through the brew group. To the left of this switch, there are icons and lights showing whether the power and steam and are active or not.
Once the PRO 300 is filled with water, turned on and the boilers are filled up, it will then start heating up. It takes the BREW boiler around 5 mins to get to 95ºc. The PID is set to 92ºc which is arguably a little low. For lighter roasts you should be at around the 96ºc mark and for darker roasts around the 92-94ºc mark, but this will vary from roast to roast. For the service boiler (Steam & Hot Water), it takes around 12-15 mins to get the whole machine fully up to temperature.
Once the above is all set up, you can begin your coffee preparation:
After you have ground your shot of coffee, dosed and tamped as required, insert your portafilter into the brew group. Your temperature setting on the PID should be sitting at your required setting, so you are ready to do your first shot.
Place a cup under the group and flick the BREW switch up to ON. Once pressed, your PID doubles as a shot timer and your shot begins. If your tamp and dose is about right, you should see your shot start at around 6-8 secs. To end your shot, simply press the top BREW button again. As a standard, aim for about 35g OUT in around 28-34 secs.
We found the espresso to perform really well, as you would expect from a dual boiler. The shot time was on point and the extraction was balanced at a stable temperature. We were using a medium roast of our Clockwork Blend, which is a fairly balanced blend of Brazil and Colombian beans, with milk chocolate, caramel and citrus profile.
As the PRO 300 is a dual boiler, it has a dedicated service boiler (Steam & Hot Water). It’s permanently sitting at between 1.3-1.5 bar, displayed on the gauge for reference.
TIP: Before you start steaming milk, you are best to purge the steam wand of any build up of water.
The steam pressure is strong and consistent, delivered through a two hole steam tip. We found it similar in speed and quality to other machines at this level. We tested it on both dairy and oat milk options and results for both were of great quality.
So, in summary, our view is that the PRO 300 is a seriously impressive prosumer machine for the home or office and is extremely easy to use. Moreover, it's a good looking piece of kit, with minimalist features, that is beautifully well-presented and coupled with a range of impressive features. We're still impressed with its amazingly fast brew boiler heat up time (5 mins) which is the fastest we have ever seen and will be sure to prove a hit in the cycling community!
It also bucks the trend of the standard dual boiler price and ease of use challenge and represents staggering good value for money (Ref: the Rocket R58 is £2450 and the Profitec PRO600 is £1695).
Therefore, if you’re looking to buy a dual boiler machine, but have been scared off by the price tag in the past, then this is a chance to achieve those amazing features at a price that more people can justify and afford. Furthermore, if you are buying a machine for the first time, the PRO 300 retails for around the same price as a Rocket HX machine, which allows you to jump up a level in features and quality at very little extra.
The PRO 300 - compact and feature rich, it might be a cliche, but it's German design and engineering at its best.
We hold stock of the full PRO300 in both stainless steel and a black powder coated version, plus a full range of parts supporting warranties in full.
If you would like to know more about the Profitec PRO300, please contact the office on 0131 656 9565 or email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org