Best PID Espresso Machines For Exact Temperature

 Last Updated January 28, 2024

One the most important factors in making great tasting espresso is the brew temperature. This is because different coffee beans need to be extracted at different temperatures to get the best flavor. 

How do you control brew tempreature accurately? Well, you need an espresso machine with a PID system. That's why in this post we'll be taking a look at the best PID espresso machine for home baristas.

I'll be using my 10 years of barista knowledge and personal experience with PID coffee makers to recommend good PID coffee machines for different budgets. 

Breville with grinder on side

The PID espresso machine I use, the Breville Dual Boiler.

Top 3 Picks

Below I've outlined my top three picks for different budgets before getting into the nitty gritty of what to look out for when buying a PID espresso machine.

Best For Most

The Breville Dual Boiler is the best PID espresso machine for most people as it's great value for its feature set. Most dual boiler PID espresso machines cost $3000+, but you can get the Breville for half the price.

Rancilio is known for making robust espresso machines. This single boiler comes with a PID system that allows you to extract at the perfect temperature. It also comes in at around $1,000.00, making it a great entry level machine.

Enthusiast's Choice

This is the end game machine for many home baristas. The Bianca is a E61 dual boiler machine that allows you to brew at exact temperatures. It also comes pre-equipped with a flow control system to pull the perfect shot.

Keep reading for a more detailed look at these machines (including other good options) and some tips on what to look out for when buying a PID coffee machine.


Best PID Espresso Machine


PID Espresso Machine Reviews

What I like

Program everything
Quick start up time for dual boiler
Specifications
Boiler type: Dual
Pre-infusion: Yes
Programmable: Yes
Volumetrics: Yes
Heating element: Saturated / thermocoil
Size: 14.8 w x 14.7 d x 14.7 h inches

The Breville Dual Boiler is our top pick for most people. This is due to its price to feature list ratio. Typically a dual boiler machine with this amount of features will cost in the $3,000.00 + range, however it comes in at about half the price.

PID control on Dual Boiler

The PID is controlled with this display and buttons.

The Breville dual boiler allows you to control the temperature of both the brew and steam boiler,  volumetric shot settings, wake and stand-by times, as well as the pre-infusion settings. If you want you can even have a 99 second pre-infusion! 

With this machine you dial in your settings to get the best tasting espresso based on the type of beans you are using. 

Breville with grinder on side

The classic Breville looks suits any kitchen. 

The other feature you may not know about this machine is that it has a 5 minute start up time! This is unheard of in dual boiler machines!

This is thanks to its group head being actively heated with a thermo-coil system. However, even though the water will be perfect temp, I recommend waiting 10-15 minutes to make sure your portafilter is hot, or running some water through your portafilter first to make sure it's up to temp.

The only down side of this machine is that the steam boiler is on the smaller end, so it doesn't produce super powerful steam compared to more expensive machines on this list. However, slower steam can be a benefit if you don’t have experience using commercial machines. It gives you more time to get the perfect milk texture for microfoam.

Overall, this machine is a really good balance between feature set and price, making it a great option for most people looking for a PID coffee machine.

What I like

Great value
Program pre-infusion
Specifications
Boiler type: Single
Pre-infusion: Yes
Programmable: Yes
Volumetrics: Yes

Heating element: Saturated
Size: 9.5 w x 11 d x 13.5 h inches

If you're an espresso drinker looking for a machine that won't break the bank (in the world of espresso), then the Rancillio Siliva PID is a machine you must consider.

You can pick up this machine around the $1,000.00 mark and it comes with everything you need to make sure your water is the perfect temp. It's also built like a tank and has a cult following - so lots of discussions about it can be found online.

The PID on this system is mounted on the front of the machine. The really cool thing about this system is that it also allows you to program in pre-infusion and it also acts as a shot timer.

The downside of this machine is that it is a single boiler system. Meaning, if you're a latte drinker, you'll need to wait for the boiler temperature to come down before extracting espresso. You can't extract espresso and steam milk at the same time. However, the wait for the temp to change is not too long, and if you’re espresso or americano drinker, then this won’t concern you at all.

Overall, this is a great option for any home espresso set up.

Enthusiast's choice

What I like

Flow control
Powerful steam

Great build quality
Specifications
Boiler type: Dual
Pre-infusion: Yes
Programmable: Yes
Volumetrics: No
Heating element: E61
Size: 11.5 w x 15.7 h x17 d inches

The Lelit Bianca V3 is the end game coffee machine for many home baristas. It has everything you need to play around with to get the perfect shot.

It has a PID system, programable pre-infusion, a rotary pump so it's super quite, big dual boilers for fast and instant steam power, it's built super solid, and to top it off it comes with a flow control system.

Flow control allows you to control the flow of water through the E61 group which affects the pressure of the extraction, allowing you to play with flow profiles.

You can start with a 2-bar pre-infusion, ramp up to 9 bars, then tail off with 5 bars. This allows you to play with your coffee beans to bring out flavors you may not be able to with a normal 9 bar linear extraction.

This machine really has it all. The only down side is the price. But hey, if you're a coffee geek it's worth it. And besides, there are even more expensive machines that this one.

What I like

Commercial grade
Love the padel 
Specifications
Boiler type: Dual
Pre-infusion: Yes
Programmable: Yes
Volumetrics: Yes
Heating element: Saturated
Size: 15.75 w x 21.0 x 15.5 h

Speaking of expensive espresso machines, the La Marzocco GS3 may be overkill if all you're looking for is an espresso machine with a PID system. You can buy a car for the price of this machine!

But when it comes to build quality, heritage, and design. the GS3 is one of those machines that a lot of people aspire to. It's a commercial coffee machine that can be use at home.

If you're looking to get this machine, then I strongly recommend getting the one with the flow profile paddle. It is one of the most satisfying systems to use as it has a nice tactile feel that allows you to control the flow and brew pressure of your extraction to get the most out of your coffee.

Built in grinder

What I like

Ready in 3 seconds
Program everything
Specifications
Boiler type: Single
Pre-infusion: Yes
Programmable: Yes
Volumetrics: Yes
Heating element: ThermoJet
Size: 13 w x 12 d x 13 h

The final option on this list is another Breville. But this one comes with an in-built grinder. I'm typically not a fan of machines with in built grinders, as you're better off getting a separate grinder as it will help future proof you if you want to upgrade your machine later on.

However, when it comes to inbuilt grinders, this is one of the best. This machine was made by Breville after it acquired Baratza - yes, the Baratza that makes great grinders.

So some of the technology that came be found in those grinders was put into this system. Mainly it has a lot more burr steps and the burrs are of higher quality. Other than that, this machine can program all the same settings as the Dual Boiler.

Which is pretty crazy when you think about it.

This is a sub $1,000.00 machine that has a PID system, programable shots and pre-infusion, with a 3 second turn on time! So if you’re in the market for a coffee machine with a built in grinder with a PID system, this is the best valued one, and one of the best Breville coffee machines.


FAQ: Let's Talk About PIDs

Now that we've reached the end of my reviews, let's a have brief talk about PID systems, their benefits, and when you get the most use out of them. Below is my PID FAQ. 

What Does PID Stand For In Espresso Machines?

PID stands for "Proportional Integral Derivative". 

What Does A PID Do In Espresso Machines?

A PID system regulates the temperature of the brew or steam boiler within an espresso machine. PIDs offer superior temperature stability with very small temp swings. Older espresso machines use a pressurestat, which is not as accurate. 

Benefits of PID Coffee Machines

There are two main benefits PID espresso machines have over pressure stat machines, being:

  • Temperature stability: a PID allows for a stable temperature throughout the entire espresso extraction process. Temp swings impact the taste of espresso. A PID allows you to make repeatable espresso by keeping your extraction the same temp throughout the whole extraction.
  • Match your beans: different types of coffee beans taste better when extracted at certain temperatures. Generally, lighter roasted coffees taste better when extracted at higher temps (95C degrees), while darker roasted coffees taste better at lower temperatures (90C degrees). By being able to control your brew temp with a PID you can make your coffee taste better.

Conclusion

Now that we've reached the end of this guide, I hope I've helped narrow down your search for a good PID espresso machine. In summary, the Breville Dual Boiler is my pick for most people. But if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below.

Best For Most

The Breville Dual Boiler is the best PID espresso machine for most people as it's great value for its feature set. Most dual boiler PID espresso machines cost $3000+, but you can get the Breville for half the price.


About The Author 

Ivan Bez

Ivan is the founder of Latte Art Guide and a barista with 10 years of experience. He loves coffee and aims to help people improve their coffee making skills.


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