Ascaso Steel Uno PID Spotlight

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

Ascaso Steel Uno PID Machine


The Ascaso Steel Uno PID is a near-perfect blend of quality, convenience, and design. Built by Spanish espresso company Ascaso, the Steel Uno uses a compact and rapidly heating thermoblock to have espresso ready when your feet hit the floor.

In this machine spotlight, we'll cover the primary features of the Steel Uno, highlight standout features and machine misses, and compare the Ascaso Steel Uno to the step-up Ascaso Steel Duo.

Let's get brewing!

Table of Contents

Ascaso Steel Uno PID Machine Overview

Ascaso Steel Uno PID Features 2024

Compact Thermoblock

At the core of the Ascaso Steel Uno PID’s design is its thermoblock heating system. Unlike traditional boiler systems, a thermoblock is a compact, fast-heating element that provides on-demand hot water. The result is a consistently hot espresso shot with minimal wait time, embodying the blend of speed and quality sought by espresso lovers.

Elegant Spanish Influence

The design of the Ascaso Steel Uno PID is deeply rooted in Barcelona's rich design ethos, characterized by a perfect balance of right angles and smooth curves. This distinctive shape not only makes the machine an attractive centerpiece but also facilitates intuitive interaction and easy maintenance.

Materials chosen for construction, notably stainless steel, echo the commitment to both aesthetics and durability. The machine's form and optional colors contribute to both its function and its appeal in any kitchen setup.

Toggle Switch Interface

One of the most user-centric features of the Ascaso Steel Uno PID is its metal toggle switch. This switch enables a tactile and durable solution for shifting between brewing and steaming functions.

Compared to a simple button interface, the toggle switch design brings another touch point to the Ascaso that sets it apart from many similarly priced options.

What Makes the Ascaso Steel Uno PID Special?

Rapid Heat-Up Time

The Ascaso Steel Uno PID sets the standard with its sub-5-minute heat-up time. Thanks to its clever dual thermoblock system, the machine is ready to pull the first shot of espresso in a fraction of the time traditional dual-boiler machines require.

This feature is particularly beneficial on busy mornings or when entertaining guests, ensuring a swift transition from bean to cup without compromising the quality of the espresso. Plus, it eliminates the need for a smart plug or other workaround.

Volumetric Shots

The Ascaso Steel Uno 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.

Multi-Function PID Controller

Central to the machine’s precise performance is the multi-function PID controller. This advanced feature not only precisely regulates the water temperature for espresso extraction but also allows users to adjust the temperature to suit their coffee’s profile or their taste preference.

Shot Timer

The integrated PID also functions as a shot timer that starts and stops when the shot begins and ends. This small but noticeable feature removes the need for external timing on a phone or scale.

What is Missing on the Ascaso Steel Uno PID?

Ascaso Steel Uno PID Missing Features 2024

Requires 20-Amp Outlet for Optimal Performance

A notable consideration for potential users of the Ascaso Steel Uno PID is its optimal operation, which is contingent on access to a 20-amp electrical outlet. Standard kitchen outlets, typically rated at 15 amps, might not suffice to harness the machine’s full steam power.

This could potentially limit the machine’s performance, particularly when it comes to producing steam for milk texturing, which could lose up to 30% steaming power on a lower amperage circuit. Prospective buyers should assess their home electrical setup to ensure compatibility or be prepared to make necessary adjustments.

Lacks Simultaneous Brewing and Steaming

Another aspect where the Ascaso Steel Uno PID finds itself at a disadvantage is its inability to brew espresso and steam milk concurrently. For those accustomed to or desiring the efficiency of preparing espresso shots and steamed milk simultaneously, this limitation might extend the overall preparation time for milk-based espresso beverages.

Comparison: Ascaso Steel Uno PID vs. Ascaso Steel Duo

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

Ascaso Steel Uno PID vs. Ascaso Steel Duo

Heating System

The Ascaso Steel Uno PID operates with a single thermoblock or boiler, focusing on either brewing espresso or steaming milk at one time. In contrast, the Ascaso Steel Duo PID features a dual thermoblock system. This allows the Steel Duo to brew espresso and steam milk simultaneously, a significant advantage for making milk-based drinks with more efficiency.


Besides the difference in heating elements, both Ascaso products are very similar. Both are built with quality components, use a toggle switch interface, and are characterized by a Spanish design. In addition, both use a 20-amp circuit, which may be less than ideal in a home system.

Price Point

Typically, machines with dual boilers or more advanced heating systems come at a higher price point compared to their single-boiler counterparts. The Ascaso Steel Duo PID, offering more complexity in its heating arrangements for the sake of convenience and speed, commands a higher price at $1725 compared to the lower $1425 price tag of the Steel Uno.

Target Audience

The Ascaso Steel Uno PID, with its simpler, more accessible form, might be better suited for espresso enthusiasts who primarily enjoy straight shots or have more time to dedicate to their brewing process. The Steel Duo PID caters to users looking for a more expedited brewing process, especially those who frequently enjoy milk-based espresso drinks.

Pricing and Availability


The Ascaso Steel Uno PID is a mid-tier premium espresso machine with a retail price point of approximately $1,435. This machine is available through a variety of reputable vendors, ensuring ease of purchase for potential buyers.

Espresso Setup Builder partners with Curated, Seattle Coffee Gear, and Amazon (fulfilled by SCG), ensuring that the Steel Uno is easily accessible no matter where you shop.

The Final Sip

The Ascaso Steel Uno PID encapsulates the essence of true craftsmanship and espresso-making excellence. With its rapid heat-up time, precise volumetric shots, and advanced temperature control, it promises a charming home brewing experience that brings professional-grade coffee into the comfort of your kitchen. This machine might require a specific power setup and prioritizes sequential over simultaneous brewing and steaming, but its features and performance stand unmatched, making it a worthy investment for those passionate about espresso.

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