Getting Started

Ascaso Steel DUO Programmable Espresso Machine Setup Guide

Congratulations on your new Ascaso Steel DUO! In this guide, you should find everything you need to set up and operate your heat exchange espresso machine.

Step 1: Unboxing and Inspection

  • Remove the machine from the box and place it on a stable, level surface.
  • Before turning on the machine, inspect for damage that may have occurred during shipping. If you notice any damage, contact us immediately.
  • Please note that it is normal for a small amount of water to be on the machine when it arrives. It is also normal for the portafilter to not fit perfectly at 90 degrees!
  • Save all packaging, as this is needed for returns and repairs.
  • You may now remove the laser film from the cup warming tray and the drip tray.

Step 2: Water quality

  • Before introducing water to your machine, it's essential to test it to ensure it's adequately soft, around 50 ppm (parts per million). Use the included water test strips from your home barista starter kit to verify the hardness of your water. To learn more about our recommendations for water quality, check out our blog post, The Importance of Water and Your Espresso Machine.
  • Once you've confirmed your water quality is adequate, fill the water reservoir located on the right side of the machine. Note: do not use Zero water or reverse osmosis, as the machine will not register that the reservoir has been filled.

Step 3: Turning on your machine and filling your thermoblock

  • Your machine is set for use on a 110v outlet and has a 20amp plug. If you have a 15amp outlet, attach the included 20 to 15amp converter cord. Prior to starting the machine, check if the hot water and steam switches are closed (in the up position). Check to ensure the machine is switched off (power switch in the up position) and the drip tray is inserted accurately. 
  • You can plug your machine directly into a grounded socket (please don't use an extension cord) and turn it on by using the ON/OFF switch (the first switch) on the upper right side of the front panel. The white light under the ON/OFF switch will remain illuminated as the machine is ON.
  • The heating light (second to the left) will blink until the temperature on the PID has reached the set temperature (94 C or 201 F) in about ten minutes from a cold start. Now, you're ready to pull your first shots! 

Step 4: Pulling a Shot:

  • The Ascaso Steel DUO is a thermoblock machine, so you will need to pull water through the grouphead by pushing the shot button down (second button from the left) for about 30 seconds before pulling your first shot. 

For help dialing in your equipment or pulling shots, check out the articles below or reach out to our team of coffee experts and technicians.