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Thread: Cimbali Junior s/Rancilio Epoca/VBM Super Domobar

  1. #1
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    Cimbali Junior s/Rancilio Epoca/VBM Super Domobar

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi
    I want to upgrade my cheap Delonghi 330S which I have had for the few years to a serious machine that I will not have to upgrade again.
    I have narrowed my choices down to the Cimbali Junior S $3,300, VBM Super Domobar Manual $2499 and the Rancilio Epoca $2400.
    Im tempted with the Cimbali but does it justify the extra $800.
    I have not heard much about the Epoca in terms of quality, performance and reliability.
    The VBM seems to be highly regarded, but can it make expresso as well as the Cimbali, although I understand that the Cimbali needs a consistent process to achieve the best shot.

    I would be interested in your thoughts.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: Cimbali Junior s/Rancilio Epoca/VBM Super Domo

    Quote Originally Posted by GCM58 link=1215990437/0#0 date=1215990437
    The VBM seems to be highly regarded, but can it make expresso as well as the Cimbali, although I understand that the Cimbali needs a consistent process to achieve the best shot. *

    I would be interested in your thoughts.
    Thanks
    Hi GCM58,

    That is a MASSIVE overstatement if ever I have seen one and whoever told you that is speaking absolute rubbish- and probably hunting for a larger margin- or doesnt sell VBM *:-?

    Id go as far as to say that the process will be easier with a VBM as it doesnt require anything near the cooling flush of the others. All require consistency...

    My advice is to go and see a VBM expertly used and then get prepared to chow down on your hat! There are many VBM machines in CSer residences and the people who use them every day love them and produce brilliant results.

    Beware of snake oil salesmen.... ::)

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    Re: Cimbali Junior s/Rancilio Epoca/VBM Super Domo

    Hi 2muchcoffeeman

    I have seen the VBM Super Domobar Lever demonstrated twice at different places and unfortunately it only made a fairly average expresso. I believe that this is probably more operator error than the machine. Both places only used the plastic tampers on the grinder which were not a good fit for the portafila. Unfortunately when I checked out the Cimbali it also made a fairly average expresso which was similar to the VBM and was most likley operator error. It appears that many places that sell these machines employ a saleperson who is not a good barista to demonstrate the machine which is very frustrating. Thats why I posted this topic to get some owner/expert perspectives on these 3 machines.
    Thanks

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    Re: Cimbali Junior s/Rancilio Epoca/VBM Super Domo

    Ive gotta back 2muchcoffeeman here on the VBMs, and ironically I do so with complete confidence because Im a newbie...

    Ive only owned a home espresso machine for 2 weeks, and its a VBM Domobar Super. Youd expect, with little knowledge and an even smaller amount of practical experience that if anyone was going to pull a bad shot itd be me. The ones Im not happy with have ALL been because Ive switched to a new bean and the grind is out. Even then they havent ALL gone down the sink because some still tasted pretty good. Why chuck it if it tastes fine? The ones Ive been happy with (which is about 75%) have been wonderful.

    I think it says a lot that a newb like me can understand a cooling flush, can still be learning consistent technique, but can pull repeatable good shots. I think it says a lot for the machine.

    OK, its subjective because I lack experience. But Ive had a CSr who roasts bring coffee around for my machine(s) to work with and was beyond impressed with the results. Ive had a visitor who formerly lived in Italy and drank short blacks exclusively complain that since returning to Oz hes still looking for a place that will serve him a good shorty - and he declared my place as the first! I can certainly state with a clear conscience that what Im drinking out of my VBM is in a different and far higher category than what I can get around my local cafes. I even went out on the weekend and tried a few again just to make sure.


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    Re: Cimbali Junior s/Rancilio Epoca/VBM Super Domo

    Thanks Wrecker for your feedback. Its reassuring to know that its relatively easy to pull good shots very quickly from the VBM. I feel confident that the VBM is a truly great machine, but the Cimbali seems to have the status as being one of the best in terms of machine build, performance and expresso shots (after a lot of practice). I understand however that the Cimbali is more difficult to master than the traditional E61 group heads that machines like the VBM have. The E61 is renowed for its forgiving nature. The Cimbali doesnt use a E61 group head and its group head is attached directly to the boiler which means that it can run hot if left idle for a while and needs a longer cooling flush. I suppose the question Im trying to find the answer to is whether the Cimbali Junior produces a shot that is better than a shot produced by an E61 group head machine such as a VBM.
    Thanks again and all the best!!

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    Re: Cimbali Junior s/Rancilio Epoca/VBM Super Domo

    Quote Originally Posted by GCM58 link=1215990437/0#4 date=1216000656
    Thanks Wrecker for your feedback. *Its reassuring to know that its relatively easy to pull good shots very quickly from the VBM. *I feel confident that the VBM is a truly great machine, but the Cimbali seems to have the status as being one of the best in terms of machine build, performance and expresso shots (after a lot of practice). *I understand however that the Cimbali is more difficult to master than the traditional E61 group heads that machines like the VBM have. *The E61 is renowed for its forgiving nature. *The Cimbali doesnt use a E61 group head and its group head is attached directly to the boiler which means that it can run hot if left idle for a while and needs a longer cooling flush. *I suppose the question Im trying to find the answer to is whether the Cimbali Junior produces a shot that is better than a shot produced by an E61 group head machine such as a VBM. *
    Thanks again and all the best!!
    Having trained a few clients on this machine, Id say no- the Cimbali is not going to produce a better shot....The keys are the freshness and quality of the coffee, quality of grinder and and most importantly, the quality of the nut on the group handle ;)

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    Re: Cimbali Junior s/Rancilio Epoca/VBM Super Domo

    I may have to add "quality handle nut" to my bio. ;)

    GCM58, it is a safe bet to trust 2muchcoffeemans take on machine comparisons.

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    Re: Cimbali Junior s/Rancilio Epoca/VBM Super Domo

    Thanks 2muchcoffeeman and Wrecker
    I agree that the person on the end of the group handle has a great influence on the quality of the output. Over the last few years I have certainly improved in that department but feel limited by the ability of my existing machine. I live in Brisbane and so far havent found anyone who can show me the full potential of the VBM or the Cimbali Junior. I know that the Cimbali Junior has a reputation of lasting a lifetime with regular maintenance as its truly a commercial machine. Is the VBM going to last as long? Someone who sells Isomacs mentioned to me that VBMs are good but havnt been tested in Australian conditions for very long. I want to buy a machine this time that is top notch and wont limit my ability to improve my shot quality in the long term. I drink a lot of flat whites or capos by the way. Any thoughts welcome?



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