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E-61 is a class of espresso machine, defining a standard size and fitting for the portafilter which holds the ground coffee. E-61 is a common standard for commercial espresso machines. The name E-61 comes from the Faema E-61 espresso machine, which was named for the solar eclipse in its year of introduction, 1961.

The Faema E-61 revolutionized the espresso industry in several ways. Prior to the invention of the E-61, espresso machines used the piston-lever design of the 1950s. This was groundbreaking for several reasons:

The E-61 was the first machine to deliver pressurized water through a mechanical pump at 9 bar pressure, which is the industry standard today.

With the E-61, Faema also upgraded the espresso making process by running cold water through the pump and flash heating it using a heat-exchanger as opposed to running hot water through the pump in the first place. This led to a much more even coffee extraction.

Finally, the E-61 boasted a new group-head design which is the main group-head design used today. This group-head is kept warm by cycling water from the boiler through the group-head using a thermosyphon unit. This keeps the group-head at brew temperature. Thus, when extraction starts, the coffee bed is soaked immediately with brew temperature water which doesn’t need to heat up. This also allows for a smoother extraction and a more delicious cup of espresso coffee.

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About the author

My name is Dorian and I am a former barista. I consume coffee in any form, as a beverage, in savory recipes and desserts. My favorite caffeinated beverage is the espresso.

I love to share my coffee brewing knowledge and my geeky coffee research. This blog is one of the places I write about coffee. More about Dorian... If you want to learn more about this site and how I started it, check our About Me page, where I explain all about it.