Vibiemme Domobar Piccolo or Junior
My trusty Sunbeam EM6910 is on it's last legs and it's provided a good excuse for the wife to let me invest in a Big Boy's Machine.
I've narrowed my list down to two machines. The Rocket Giotto Premium V2 or V3 and the Vibiemme Domobar Junior. I'm aware comparing these machines is like comparing apples with apples so I'm planning on taking an up close look at the two to possibly make a decision.
However, I've noticed a few Vibiemme Domobar Piccolo's floating around for not a lot of money, which makes me wonder, is it a machine worth considering?
As my Forum name suggests, I make a few double ristretto's in the morning and the wife has a latte, which the faithful EM6910 has done a good job of catering for.
My concern with the VBM Piccolo is the steam function. I'm after a machine that gives a nice strong supply of dry steam, on demand.
I'm getting over the 3 seconds of water that pours out of the arm of my 6910 and aren't impressed with the time it takes for the steam to stop, once the valve is turned off.
I'm aware the Piccolo only has a 0.75L boiler, but the machine would only be catering for my wife and I.
The video's I've watched of the Domobar Junior and the Rocket show an impressive instant hit of dry steam, as soon as the user opens the valve.
Is this what I should expect from the Vibiemme Domobar Piccolo, once fully warmed up?
Any advise or input from Piccolo owner's would be fantastic!
The Piccolo would have much more and dryer steam power than you're used to off the EM6910. Only draw back is that it's not instant, the Piccolo is a single-boiler machine, so it has 2 temp settings - 1 for brewing and the other for steaming. After doing your shots, you flick a switch and wait for a minute or so for the boiler to get to steam temperature, then you do you milk.
Junior and Giotto are HX machines so you can brew and steam at the same time (or have steam on demand) like the 6910 - obviously with far greater steam capacity.
All 3 are e61s, so shots would be comparable.
All comes down to how much you want to spend vs. how valuable that minute of wait time is between brew and steam.
I currently have a Vibiemme Domobar Super and it has been my main work horse for the past 2 years and I absolutely love it to bits. (Although I just upgraded to an Alex Duetto last week)
I got my hands on a VBM Piccolo which was in storage for a while and I pulled it apart and gave it a complete rebuild with seals and descale etc. Basically it was brand new internally post service.
I had the two machines side by side Domobar + Piccolo for about a month. The espresso shots are absolutely identical, once you nail the cooling flush required for the Piccolo which is basically to purge water from the group until it stops spluttering which was my personal sweet spot. It is an incredible machine for the price range to make extremely top quality shots on. I would rate it 95% identical to my Domobar Super (Which is for sale now in the sale section)
In regards to the steam... After owning the Domobar for 2 years and only ever having HX machines, I found it to be quite annoying. If you are easily frustrated with the wet steam at the start and the wait for it to click over and heat up then I wouldn't advise it. If the latte was only a once or twice a week occasion you may be able to say I can deal with it if I'm going to save $1000 odd.
The Domobar is a ridiculously amazing machine if you're going to be upgrading from a Sunbeam. It will be like going from a Datsun 200B to an Aston Martin. I haven't had a lot of use of Rocket's only repaired a couple but internally the machines are very similar. It comes down to looks and what is going to make you feel proud on your benchtop.
You should buy my Domobar it's great! (Cheeky bit of promotion there) but seriously.... Buy it
To correct this statement, not necessary if the Domobar Piccolo has been calibrated correctly with a Scace device during bench test. It's clear that your machine requires one brendogs.
Originally Posted by brendogs
Unfortunately when I completed the rebuild on that machine my "Personally built Scace" was awaiting a T-Type thermocouple so there was no proper temp calibration done on that machine which was a shame. I did manage to tune it to only have a 3-4 second purge which was close enough by eye without any flow restrictors. Chris is right though, any e61 machine calibrated correctly will require minimal to no cooling flush.
In all seriousness though buy my machine
Cheers for the responses! Thanks for the heads up about the wait between pulling shots and texturing milk on the Piccolo. Dual Boiler / HX seems to be the way to go. Going to have a look at your machine, brendogs. Is it in the "For Sale" forum category?
Another consideration if it's similar in operation to a single boiler eg lelit/silvia is that post steaming it's important to turn the steam off and refill the boiler otherwise you risk burning out the element.
It's nothing major to do and can become second nature, but does mean the machine is not "newbie proof" compared to an auto boiler fill machine with low tank water level cutout.