By Eric Yang
on 4.3.07

Ascaso Dream Espresso Machine Mandarin OrangeJust looking at this machine will warm the heart. It surely warmed ours with it’s madarin orange sheen, but beyond that the Spanish design and manufacturing can be seen throughout it’s detailing and machining.

This machine offers so many features it’s difficult to list them all here. Full features listed after the jump.

Cost: $749.99 @ Zacardi’s Simple to Use ControlsFlip on the center power switch to begin heating up the boiler. Two more professional grade rocker switches now let you control the steam function (far left) and the coffee brew control (far right). A series of indicator lights inform you when the machine is powered up, and when it is at the proper temperature for either brewing espresso or steaming milk.

Pressure Gauge

The front mounted pressure gauge monitors the brewing pressure while making espresso to help insure a proper “espresso extraction.”

Frothing Tip for Perfect Foam

Like magic, the wand will make perfect foam. In an instant, the steam wand converts the milk in your 12 or 20 oz. frothing pitcher to lovely foam for lattes and cappuccinos. Mounted on a swivel joint, the stainless steel steam wand conveniently swings aside and clean up is a snap.

Quality Brewing Group

The grouphead (the component that accepts the coffee holder) is made of chrome plated brass. Designed after Ascaso’s commercial espresso machines, the Dream group head evenly distributes heat and reduces “hotspots” for more temperature consistent espresso. It has also been designed to evenly distribute water across the coffee grounds for a better extraction.

Heavy Duty Coffee Holders and Filter Baskets

Keeping with the tradition of using only commercial grade components, the Dream uses heavy-duty chrome plated brass coffee holders, which feature a rugged plastic handle. There is a coffee holder for ground coffee and one for espresso pods. Single shot and double shot 57 mm diameter stainless steel filter baskets are also included. The larger size baskets allow you to use more ground coffee per serving for stronger espresso or cups of coffee.

48 oz. Water Tank

The removable water reservoir, equipped with a water level indicator, can be filled while operating or taken out and filled at the faucet.

16 BAR Water Pump

The secret to a great espresso is a water pump that has the power to force water through the coffee grounds to extract the full flavor from the coffee. No worries here, you have more than enough pressure to extract the best of what your coffee has to offer.

Drip and Cup Tray, Plus Cup Heater

The Dream has a polished stainless steel drip pan and chrome plated steel cup try, both easy to remove and clean. A unique scratch resistant cup-warming surface on the top of the machine lets you keep your espresso cups warm so your freshly brewed espresso does not cool too quickly once it hits the cup.

Brass Boiler

Made of heat distributing brass, this boiler can get up to temperature quickly and stay there, with a fast recycling time. Two thermostats control the temperature for espresso and for steam, and a third that specifically monitors the boiler to protect it from overheating if the machine is left unattended for long periods.

Construction with Longevity In Mind

The Dream is constructed of corrosion resistant aluminum for extra long life. The aluminum is then finished in a chip resistant enamel paint. Unlike most espresso machines in this class that are made of steel, the Dream will not rust thanks to the aluminum body. All of components that make up the construction are designed for long life and low maintenance.

Cleaning & Maintenance of Components – Additional Information

In order to keep the inside of your machine healthy; it must be periodically cleaned. Scale buildup from naturally occurring minerals in your water can build up on sensitive components like the inside of the boiler, which left unchecked can cause considerable damage to the machine. By descaling your machine every two-three months, your machine will be trouble-free for years. Espresso machine cleaner can be purchased from us or by calling the support number in your user guide.

Descaling and general cleaning is important even if you have a sophisticated water filter system, and especially if you use well water. Wastewater left over from routine dripping or brewing is stored in a removable drip tray that simply pulls out from the machine and it reinserts in seconds. The drip tray and water tank need periodic cleansing with dish soap and warm water.

Installation and Accessories

The Dream requires no special plumbing or electrical outlets. Just plug it in and it’s ready to operate. With purchase, the Dream comes with two 57 mm diameter filter baskets, one for single shot and the other for a double shot, espresso pod holder, coffee tamper, measuring spoon, quick start guide, instruction manual, and sample espresso pods.

[from Zacardi's product page]

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