Homebrew Espresso Machine Has Closed-Loop Control

[Ben Katz] is in the process of building a compact, closed-loop espresso machine, and really seems to be pulling it off in the first shot. Though it may not be the final product, we’re in awe of the beautiful guts and would love to taste-test the early results.

This machine will hit a sweet spot between lever-type espresso machines that are like driving a manual without power steering, and those fully automated machines that squeeze all the fun out of playing barista but are easier on the joints.

Here’s how it works so far: a motor drives an electric gear pump that pumps the water through a heater. It’s a closed-loop system, so there’s a 3-way valve after the heater that keeps sending the water back until it’s deemed hot enough. Once that happens, the valve switches functions and begins to pump water through the group head and on to the coffee grounds.

[Ben] designed and milled a beautiful group head that’s designed to fit a La Pavoni portafilter and some other parts he already had on hand. Grab a coffee and watch it pull the first shot after the break, then stick around to see the milling and the drilling.

Ready to kick that Keurig to the curb and get an espresso machine? Don’t just throw it out or take it to a field and smash it with a baseball bat — turn that thing into an automatic drip for a small houseplant.

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