We can’t help but hear Technotronic’s Pump up the Jam whenever our eye falls on the Ascaso Duo Tronic, but we’re pretty sure we’re the only one who tortures themselves that way. Those without a disturbing relationship to late 80’s/early 90’s dance music would likely have no issue seeing this machine on their countertop in the morning, however.
It’s a pretty cool machine, too — a brew boiler, separate steam thermoblock and dual pumps means you can brew and steam at the same time. The Tronic also features programmable buttons, so you can set the water volume for your double and single shots. If you are a shot or Americano drinker only, you can turn off the thermoblock steam system, too, so you’re not wasting energy on a feature you won’t be using. A sturdy steel construction and low water cut off are nice features, as well.
The only item on our wishlist for this machine? A PID! You’re still dealing with a thermostat with a 15 – 20 degree variance on the machine’s brew boiler, so you will need to temperature surf before you pull your shots. But that’s a small price to pay for the improved performance of simultaneous steam and brew — a feature generally reserved for machines that are significantly more expensive. Sure, the thermoblock isn’t going to give you the same kind of power as a traditional heat exchange or double boiler machine that has a big, beefy steam boiler, but the machine’s price reflects that.
If you’ve been coveting this machine for awhile or are new to the market and looking for a good deal, this machine’s price has been knocked down by a couple hundred bucks through August 31st. This is a great price for this kind of functionality.
So, as with all things, take a moment to assess your budget and your needs: Yes, the higher end machines will perform better shot/steam wise than this machine, but they are also twice the price. You can get great results with the Duo Tronic, it just takes a little more skill, participation and, perhaps, a little booty shakin’ on your part, that’s all.