The Expobar Office Control had us like “Control is right!” This unique heat-exchanger is an automatic espresso machine that has four programmable buttons and one manual button. We think the programmability aspect is a game changer, especially at the pricepoint. It allows any user, regardless of skill level, to brew a volume-specific shot at the press of a button, perfect for the entertainer or office kitchen. We also love that Expobar doesn’t give us something flashy and skimp on the other details. Just like on the Pulser, the Control boasts 360° rotating steam and hot water wands, a commercial chrome-plated brass portafilter, and their reimagined E61 group head. A traditional E61 syphons hot water through the brew circuit to ensure the brew water always retains its temperature, and Expobar’s adds to that by integrating a concave pre-infusion chamber to soak the grounds prior to brewing and aid in the extraction. The same applies internally, with the Control’s safety switches, electronic boiler control and commercial-grade components. All of which is to say, this machine is as high-quality as it is forward-thinking.
Using the Control is as easy as it gets. You can brew manually as you would on any other heat-exchanger, or press one of the four volumetric buttons programed to dispense a preset amount of water through your coffee with the push of a button. A passively-heated cup warmer keeps cups at the ready for the indicator light to signal it’s go time. With all its great features and compact footprint, the Control would serve any barista or espresso-layman well at home or in the office. Also part of Expobar’s Office Line are the Pulser, which is similar in looks and operation to the Control sans programmable buttons, and the Office Lever, which offers larger capacities and all over stainless construction, as well as an option to plumb the machine into a water line with the Office Lever Plus model.
Programmable Volumetric Brew Buttons
The Expobar Office Control has a 5-button touchpad that activates the pump to brew your favorite drinks. Four of the buttons are programmable to your particular preference, and automatically dispense the desired volume of water at the press of a button. It also has an automatic back flush cycle for cleaning the brew group.
3-Way Solenoid Valve
The 3-way solenoid valve is a commercial feature that relieves the water pressure off the coffee when the brew switch is turned off. This serves two functions; it dries out the coffee to prevent dripping and makes it easy to knock the coffee out of the portafilter with one knock. It deposits this water into the drip tray.
Redesigned E-61 Group Head
A standard E-61 group constantly syphons water from the boiler to the group and back, but Expobar raised the bar by adding a pre-infusion chamber above the shower screen. This innovative addition evenly distributes hot water over the grounds for a uniform saturation during pre-infusion and throughout the brewing process.
The Office Control’s 1.7 L heat-exchanger boiler has an internal chamber that houses the brew water, while the steam is cordoned to the surrounding chamber, preventing them from coming into contact. This design heats the brew water and allows for simultaneous brewing and steaming at all times.