Ascaso Dream PID Spotlight

Written by
Chris Caruso
(we're on a mission)

Ascaso Dream PID Espresso Machine


The Ascaso Dream PID is a semi-automatic espresso machine that brings together style and functionality for intermediate-skill-level baristas. Featuring a fast-heating thermoblock, this machine stands out for its unique retro design and suite of features. Alongside its core features, it includes a 58mm commercial standard portafilter and has the capability for pre-infusion and shot timing, enhancing the espresso extraction process.

In this machine spotlight, we will highlight the Ascaso Dream PID, including its standout features and wish-it-hads, as well as compare the Ascaso Dream PID to the Ascaso Steel Duo PID and highlight where the Dream PID is available for purchase.

Let's get brewing!

Table of Contents

Ascaso Dream PID Machine Overview

Ascaso Dream PID Features 2024

Compact Thermoblock

The Ascaso Dream PID utilizes a single thermoblock heating element, ensuring rapid heat-up times of less than 5 minutes. This design is beneficial for those who need their coffee fix without the wait, making it perfect for busy mornings or quick coffee breaks.

The machine operates with a vibration pump, which is compact and cost-effective, though it may not be as quiet as rotary pumps found in higher-end models. Although thermoblocks are traditionally found on lower end espresso machines, Ascaso has been one of the first to pioneer high end thermoblocks in prosumer machines.

Toggle Activation

Featuring toggle switch activation, the Dream PID offers an interactive yet straightforward interface for brewing espresso, steaming milk, or dispensing hot water. This type of control adds a tactile element to the coffee-making process, appealing to users who appreciate a hands-on approach. The machine also includes a steam wand and a dedicated hot water tap, enhancing its versatility for making a variety of coffee drinks.

PID Controller

A key feature of the Ascaso Dream PID is its PID controller with degree-level precision, allowing users to dial in the exact brewing temperature they desire. This level of control ensures temperature stability from shot to shot, a critical factor in achieving consistent espresso quality. The PID's ability to adjust the temperature by individual degrees caters to coffee enthusiasts who like to experiment with different beans and roasting profiles.

What makes the Ascaso Dream PID Special?

Pre-infusion and Shot Timer

The Ascaso Dream PID incorporates pre-infusion, gently wetting the coffee grounds before full extraction begins. This feature is particularly beneficial for lighter roast coffees, ensuring even saturation and optimal flavor extraction. Additionally, the built-in shot timer provides real-time feedback, allowing users to perfect their shot timing for consistent results.

Volumetric Shots

The Ascaso Dream PID allows for the programming of the volume output per shot, ensuring consistent espressos without manual start and stop. This means once you find your ideal espresso volume, the machine replicates the exact amount of water every time, removing guesswork and variability from the brewing process.

Volumetric Control

With proper volumetric control, the Dream PID lets users program and save specific shot volumes, streamlining the brewing process for repeatable, consistent espresso shots. This feature is ideal for those who value precision and convenience, enabling the machine to replicate favorite recipes with ease.

Ascaso has also pioneered volumetric shots on higher-end machines. While Breville is known for its entry-level machines with volumetric control, Ascaso's Dream and other models offer convenient features that make espresso less intimidating to new baristas and curious family members.

Unique Retro Design

The Ascaso Dream's design is a bow to a different time. With a retro-yet-futuristic design, the Dream is functionally similar to the larger Ascaso Steel Uno. With a compact drip tray and organic cup warmer, the Dream is something found out of the Jetsons.

What is missing on the Ascaso Dream PID?

Ascaso Dream PID Missing Features 2024

Lack of Concurrent Brew and Steam

Unlike its counterpart, the Ascaso Dream PID does not support concurrent brewing and steaming, which may slow down the coffee-making process, especially when preparing multiple beverages for guests.

Standard Design

The Ascaso Dream may also be unsightly to more traditional espresso machine lovers. Compared to the standard square and rectangle boxes of many E61 machines, the Dream stands on its own. If you are a fan of the 'E61 Box', the Dream is probably not for you.

Comparison: Ascaso Dream PID vs. Ascaso Steel Duo

The Ascaso Dream has a more traditional and more expensive big brother, the Ascaso Steel Duo. When looking for a beautiful and functional espresso machine, these two are often stacked head-to-head.

Ascaso Dream PID vs. Ascaso Steel Duo

Heating Element and Pump

Both the Ascaso Dream PID and the Ascaso Steel Duo PID feature thermoblock heating elements, ensuring quick heat-up times. The main difference lies in the Steel Duo's dual pair of thermoblocks, giving it the ability to brew and steam concurrently, a feature absent in the Dream PID.

Both machines utilize vibration pumps that contribute to the overall compact footprint. Neither machine can be pumped in and is reservoir fed for brew and steam water.

Design and Build

The Dream PID is slightly more compact than the Steel Duo PID, with dimensions favoring smaller kitchen spaces. However, the Steel Duo PID, with its higher weight and combination of carbon and stainless steel materials, might offer a more robust build and aesthetic appeal.

Given that both are designed and built by Ascaso, they feature similar quality components, including tactile toggle switches, PID interfaces, and brew groups.


Both machines offer a similar suite of functionality, including dual PID control, an integrated shot timer, and volumetric shots. The most significant difference, of course, is the concurrent brew steam capabilities of the Steel Duo.


With a lower MSRP, the Ascaso Dream PID presents a more accessible option compared to the higher-priced $1725 Ascaso Steel Duo PID, making it an attractive choice for those seeking quality espresso making without the higher investment.

Pricing and Availability


The Ascaso Dream PID, priced at $1335 MSRP, is available for purchase in the US through retailers such as Curated, Seattle Coffee Gear, and Amazon. This availability ensures that customers have multiple options to acquire this stylish and functional espresso machine.

The Final Sip

The Ascaso Dream is a compact, rapid-heating thermoblock that reminds us of a different time. With its unique retro design, host of barista-friendly features, and standout finish, this small and mighty espresso machine is quite the Dream.

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