The Ascaso Steel Uno Professional is an extraordinary home-model espresso machine. Ascaso has incorporated many improvements in Version 2 over the initial version:
a) Increased cup height between portafilter and drip tray to 3.35 inches
b) Lateral removable (from right side) water reservoir allows easy access for refilling and cleaning without moving the machine away from overhead cabinets. The clear reservoir also allows you view the water level from the right side of the machine.
c) The cool touch and multi-directional steam wand allows brief handling for moving the wand after steaming milk.
d) The rubber protector over the wand allows holding the wand for longer periods of time
e) The steam wand is now made of stainless steel
f) The 325cL brass boiler with nickel plating incorporates a professional grade 3-way solenoid valve
g) The professional-grade 58mm portafilter handle designed with a 10 degree tilt for ergonomic handling
h) There is non-slip grip on portafilter handle
i) Ascaso includes a solid aluminum tamper
j) Highly polished filter baskets with microfine smooth holes provide superior extraction over the old baskets
Ascaso has even stated the following advantages of the Steel Uno Professional over competing models in similar price ranges, and these include
a) Large size cup warmer (~14.5" x 10.6")
b) Side rails (rear rail was removed from machines for the USA to provide greater area for cup warmer)
c) Exterior body completely made of stainless
d) Boiler over grouphead design allows water to evenly heat grouphead whereas some other models have the boiler offset from the grouphead
e) Steam wand is multi-directional, professional 10mm grade, made in stainless, and includes internal hard plastic lining for cool touch capability and a 1 hole steam tip
f) Ergonomic, no-slip grip, professional grade portafilter assembly
To enjoy the Ascaso Steel Uno Professional, it is important to run water through the steam wand after every steaming session, to descale the machine every 3-4 months, and to backflush once every 50 espresso extractions. In addition, if a timer is used to power up the machine, it is important to have the coffee, hot water and steam switches in the off position to avoid damage, and it important to place a surge suppressor rated 1080 joules or higher between the machine's electrical plug and the timer as timers can cause surge damage. The water reservoir should be manually cleaned with non-abrasive dish detergent once every two weeks, and the drip tray should be emptied and cleaned every 3 days or less.
During normal operation, there is approximately a 30-45 second wait time to go from coffee mode to steam mode (after depressing the steam switch). One should always purge the steam wand before steaming/frothing milk. After steaming milk, the user can close the steam valve and depress the steam switch off. After placing a cup under the steam wand, the user can rotate the steam valve/knob to the open position, and the hot water switch must be depressed for the the pump to activate so that the 'too hot steamed water' exits through the wand and the temperature of the boiler can be brought down to make additional espresso.
Also, the three way solenoid valve operates to relieve the pressure on the filter basket immediately when you depress the coffee switch to off. This prevents the 'explosion' of coffee grounds that is normally found on home espresso machines without three way solenoid valves. The solenoid valve on this machine also assists in creating a dry puck after the extraction (please note there are certain coffees, grinds, and amounts of coffee that will make a wet extracted puck which no three way valve will compensate for). The relieved pressure exits to the drip tray and you will see
Enjoy the Ascaso Steel Uno Professional preparing your favorite beverages! Espresso, cappuccino, latte, cafe americano, and hot chocolate to name a few!