Machine Spotlight: ECM Classika PID

Written by
Chris Caruso
(we're on a mission)
Top Pick 2024
Best E61 Single Boilers

March 6, 2024

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You should buy if: you are looking for a top specification E61 machine, without the need to make lots of shots back-to-back.

ECM Classika PID Review Spotlight (2024)


In a modern world where manufacturers constantly release new products trying to squeeze the most functionality into the cheapest package, the ECM Classika PID reminds us of a different time.

A beautifully elegant and reliable single boiler, the ECM Classika PID indexes on quality over a list of features. With a rock-solid E61 group, a tactile brew lever, and a top-spec build, the ECM Classika is an ode to the quality we’d hope for, built with everything you need and nothing you don’t.

In this machine spotlight, we’ll review the ECM Classika’s primary functionality, its stand-out features and flaws, and compare the ECM Classika PID to the Profitec Go.

Let’s get brewing!

Table of Contents

Machine Overview

ECM Classika PID Review Features (2024)

Single Boiler, Dual Purpose

The ECM Classika PID is a single-boiler espresso machine. One 0.8-liter brew boiler provides hot water for both brewing as well as for steaming. Fed by a 2-liter internal reservoir, the single boiler oscillates between brewing temperatures and steaming temperatures dependent on the current machine mode.

When the machine first starts up, it warms up in brew mode, heating the single boiler to brewing temperatures ranging between ~195° F and ~211° F. Steam mode can be activated via a tactile toggle switch and begins superheating the boiler to create steam that fills the volume of the boiler. Once up to temperature, the boiler can provide powerful and consistent steam that is not found on comparable thermoblock machines like the Ascaso Steel Uno.

Articulating Steam Wand

Once up to temperature, steam is released by a fully articulating no-burn steam wand that is opened via a high-quality joystick-style steam toggle just above and to the left of the brew group. This is a particularly unique design that is almost never found on single boilers and is usually reserved for premium heat exchangers or dual boilers.

Premium Accents

The ECM Classika PID is an homage to the classic E61 espresso machine (hence the name: Classika). The machine is full of premium accents, including an informational brew pressure gauge, a large yet elegant ECM badge, laser-engraved toggle switch labels, and much more. If you appreciate the small touches that elevate a machine beyond its overall build quality, the ECM Classika will put a smile on your face.

What Makes The ECM Classika Special?

E61 Group Head & Tactile Brew Lever

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the ECM Classika is also the most eye-catching: the classic style E61 group head and brew lever. Almost every single boiler in the current market uses a push button or toggle switch activation. The ECM rises above the rest with the super-premium and incredibly stable E61 brew group.

The E61 ECM Classika uses the famous E61 design (invented in 1961) that has proven itself time and time again to be a reliable and durable design. E61 groups constantly circulate hot water from the brew boiler through the group head. This heat is siphoned to the brew group, keeping the grouphead and portafilter hot and consistent. This design ensures temperature stability shot after shot, something that many other single boilers struggle to provide.

PID Control

The brain of the ECM Classika is a PID that regulates both the temperature for brewing as well as steaming. This PID control allows you to control the brew temperature and fine tune extraction for beans ranging across roast levels and origins. In addition, control over the steam temperature helps indirectly control steam power, giving you more powerful or more forgiving steam.

When the brew lever is activated, the ECM Classika’s PID turns into an integrated shot timer, allowing you to see your total extraction time without the need for an external scale. The PID controller has two buttons on either side of the LCD display that act as the input to control the machine temperature presets and all other machine settings.

Top-Spec Build

For all the features and functionality the ECM Classika provides, perhaps its biggest draw is in its design and build quality. ECM is synonymous with ‘Quality' and the Classika is no different. Built with high-quality stainless steel, elegant and functional activation toggle and levers, as well as a durable yet repairable internal design, the ECM Classika is built to last.

While many other single boilers are toted as ‘built for beginners’ or a stepping stone to your next machine,’ the ECM is meant to be your machine that lasts. If you value quality, workflow, and durability, the Classika PID can’t be beaten.

What Is The ECM Classika Missing?

ECM Classika PID Review Missing (2024)

Steam Warm-Up Time

Of course, the biggest downside of any single boiler is the transition time between brewing and steaming. With only one boiler, the Classika must heat the boiler to steam temperatures after brewing, a process that could take 30 seconds to 1 minute. Not the biggest problem if you mostly drink espresso, but If you’re looking to sling back to back cappuccinos all day, the Classika may not be up for the challenge.

Compact Drip Tray

The ECM Classika has a pleasantly small, compact design. That also means, however, that the drip tray also sports a narrow footprint. As a result, the force of the E61 3-way valve can lead to over-splash as water hits the bottom of the drip tray and splashes back out the top. This is nothing that can't be solved with a quick wipe of the towel, but something to note.

Affordable Price

Perhaps the most significant downside of the Classika is its price tag. Compared to all other single boilers on the market, the ECM Classika has a hefty premium. $500 more than the popular Profitec Go and nearly $1000 more than the Gaggia Classic Pro, the Classika demands a barista who values quality and is willing to pay for it.

Comparison: ECM Classika vs Profitec Go

When looking for a top-spec single boiler, only two options truly come to mind. The ECM Classika, and the much newer Profitec Go. ECM and Profitec are actually sibling companies based out of Germany, and the Go and Classika share many of the same features and functionalities.

ECM Classika PID vs. Profitec Go

Heating Element

Both the Classika PID and Profitec Go are heated by a shared single boiler and powered with a compact vibratory pump. The Classika sports an overall bigger footprint and a larger 0.8-liter brew boiler compared to the much smaller 0.4-liter boiler of the Profitec Go.

Both machines are fed from internal reservoirs, although the newer Go has a larger 2.8-liter reservoir compared to the slightly smaller 2.0-liter reservoir of the older Classika PID. Both machines take approximately 5 to 15 minutes to heat up, but the Go is much closer to the lower end with a new rapid heat-up mode, something lacking in the Classika.

In addition, the integrated ring-style group of the Go does not take as long to come to temperature as the hefty E61 group of the Classika PID.


The overall interface and interaction is where the ECM Classika really starts to shine. The Profitec Go uses a simple yet admittedly boring push-button interface. The Go has 3 front-face push-buttons that turn on the machine, activate brewing, and toggle the machine into steam mode. The Go does have a rotary valve for its very short steam wand, but it is a far cry from the quick joystick toggle of the Classika.

The Classika wins big here with the toggle switch activation for power and steam, as well as the full-sized brew lever for starting and stopping the shot. Having used both styles of activation, I can say that there is a meaningful difference in workflow and enjoyment with a tactile E61 group!


The machines continue to share similarities and contrasts when it comes to features. Both machines share the same ECM/Profitec LCD PID controller. With a simple interface and two buttons, both machines’ settings are activated in a similar fashion.

The Go takes a step forward with some more brains behind it. With a rapid heat-up mode and cooling flush status, the Go has a host of small but meaningful software-driven updates over the Classika PID.

On the other hand, the ECM Classika’s E61 group means that it can accept an aftermarket flow control device, giving it true control over every step in the brewing process. Pre-infusion is something the Profitec Go sorely lacks, and is an optional E61 flow control kit for the Classika is a huge step forward for those who want to experiment with pressure profiling down the line.

Which To Buy

Both the ECM Classika PID and Profitec Go are highly respected machines with their place in the market. But each is a tribute to a different generation of espresso machines. The $1000 Profitec Go steps into the modern age with a colorful and clean design with a host of pleasant touches and functionality. The more expensive Classika PID aligns more with a classic era that prioritizes pure tactile experience and ultimate quality.

If you’re looking for a modern single boiler that gets the job done, the Profitec Go is a highly recommended option (actually one of my favorites!). But if you are open to paying a premium for total control, and build quality bar none, then the ECM Classika will deliver delicious espresso and an incredible workflow for years to come.

Pricing and Availability


In 2024, the ECM Classika PID retails for $1,499 under the name ‘ECM Special Edition Classika PID.` The Classika is also available with Walnut or Bubinga trim for a $300+ premium totaling~$1800.


ECM / Profitec only imports to a few vendors in the United States and is available at vendors, including Clive Coffee, Whole Latte Love, and My Espresso Shop.

The Final Sip

The ECM Classika is arguably the highest-quality single boiler on the market. With a top-spec build quality, rock-solid E61 group and brew lever, and a host of accent features to round it out, the ECM Classika is what every other single boiler tries to be. If you are looking for the best of the best when it comes to build, and don’t need the output of a dual boiler, the ECM Classika is the machine for you.

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