I’ve used both 2 and 3 group espresso machines in casual or training settings, but my only experiences in high-workload periods have been on 2-group machines (Lineas and Slayers). I was discussing yesterday with a co-worker whether, and if so, how, throwing in the additional group would affect (speed up) service.
In my current workflow, my wipe-grind-weigh-distribute-tamp process takes ~35 seconds on average, and it’s rare that I’m puling shots longer than 35-38 seconds – meaning I’m limited by the dosing portion, not the availability of a portafilter to dose into. I can have my two groups operating back to back with a <10 second gap between shots.
It seems to me that adding another group just means there would be a group sitting idle while two are active (even if all three are in use on a rotating basis). Am I wrong about this? Am I just too slow to benefit?
I suppose that with a Strada EE or similar, a third group could allow for an additional profile or such, or on a volumetric machine, it would mean another available setting. Is this the only advantage?
The only other thing I can think of is that a larger machine has larger water capacities, but temp stability has never been an issue on my machines eve when pulling and steaming constantly for 30-60 minute stretches.
What am I missing?
Any input appreciated.