In the heat exchanger espresso machine market, there has been a new team player added to the mix by the well know Profitec brand. As such, we felt it was only right to compare it to our best-selling heat exchanger, the Lelit Mara X. Both are compact E61 espresso machines with very similar specifications, and both are manufactured by companies with plenty of credit to their name.
There’s a lot of similarities with these two machines, and we have already had a few questions by our customers on what the differences between them are, we’ll be comparing them so you can see the what differentiates them.
Looking first at the boiler as this is a major factor in determining the steam capacity along with the machines ability to produce water of consistent brew water temperature.
Lelit Mara X: 1.8 l stainless steel boiler
Profitec 400: 1.6 l stainless steel boiler
The boilers are both made from stainless steel this means they are both more resistant to cleaning products made to reduce scale buildup than some of their other heat exchanger counterparts which contain copper boilers.
Theoretically, the steam power on the Mara X should have a slight advantage than the Pro 400 due to its slightly larger boiler. When testing, this was mildly apparent, however when changing the Pro 400 three hole to a four hole steam tip we were able to combat the lower steam power and achieve a perfect milk texture.
We talk in depth to our customers on build quality of espresso machines, and in truth they are all of a very similar high standard, otherwise we wouldn’t stock them. However, if you’re investing a lot of money into an espresso machine for the home, you want to make sure it lasts the test of time.
Lelit machines are manufactured in the coffee mecca, Italy. Italians were the first to commercialise coffee, and the first to hand build both commercial and domestic coffee machines. With years of experience on their side, it’s clear how Lelit manage to pack so many feature into such a small machine. Profitec are a German company and in my pervious post, we compared their machines to owning a German car. They use traditional Italian nuances as their design influence, and add true German craftsmanship to the internals.
Over the years, we’ve found both brands perform with the expected reliability. The Lelit range uses cost-effective materials, and components to keep the price competitive to ensure their range sits in the affordable end of this specific market. This means often parts need replacing or changing after a few years. In comparison, Profitec use higher quality stainless steel and components, while replacement parts are slightly more expensive, they are far less likely to need changing if the proper maintenance is applied.
Lelit Mara X: 22cmW x 41cmD x 35cmH
Profitec 400: 22.8cmW x 44.8cmD x 37.2 cmH
When choosing an espresso machine for your home, looks have to come into play, these machines are a big financial commitment so they need to be something you enjoy looking at. Both of these machines have the small footprint and a compact look that many of our customers are after. They don’t take up too much precious countertop space and sit nicely alongside any home coffee grinder.
The Profitec 400 has a few features that elevates this small compact heat exchanger above the Lelit Mara X. Not only does it use a higher quality stainless steel which makes more aesthetically pleasing at first glance, it also includes simple, round feet and a stylish cup surround which are two features the Mara X doesn’t include as a factory finish.
All in all, if you’re in the market for a heat exchanger espresso machine, both of these machines meet Bella Baristas approval if you are in the market for a small footprint heat exchanger for the home it all comes down to the details. If you’re still having trouble deciding between these two, reach out to our coffee experts for some help. We’ve all had plenty of hands-on time with both these machines. Already have a favourite? Let us know why in the comments.