Post By jbrewster
Post By JetBlack_Espresso
Upgrading from Via Venezia
My wife and I are just finishing off our trip of Italy, just 2 days left in Milan, then back to Perth.
The great coffee here has helped motivate her to upgrade our machine.
We have a Via Venezia but overall we weren't overly happy with the coffee produced & time of milk.
So, after reading a few threads in the past couple of days.. (Visit very irregularly), I originally thought the Rancilio Silvia but the reviews seem to say it's too finicky...
I might be able to get the wife to fork out more money for something a bit better.
Up to ~$1200... We already have a Compak K3 push grinder.
Second hand could be a possibility.
As the Venezia had the single boiler, I think after watching the Rancilio videos, we should have been doing the milk first then the shot.. But I think possibly moving away from the single. What does HX stand for exactly ?
Brands I've looked at just over the price range;
Vibiemme Domobar Piccolo
Any suggestions, thoughts and/or advice ?
Last edited by Dead_Can_Dance; 7th January 2015 at 07:24 AM.
Reason: More info
Do you intend to buy in Italy while you are there? If so you will likely get far more for your money buying in Italy, but will have the associated issues of warranty, after sales support, etc. By way of example only (it's not a recommendation as I've not used one) the Lelit PL62 Mara (made near Milano I think) is in your price range if you buy it while you're in Italy. The same machine in Aus is about $2400 - $2500; however you need to consider the value to you of warranty and after sales support, as well as whether there are any service agents near where you live.
HX = heat exchanger. There's lots of info about the differences between single boiler, HX, double boiler on this site.
I'm not familiar with the machines you mentioned, but I'm sure others will chime in with advice.
I'm sure there are local sponsors who can respond and advise what your budget will get you if you intend to buy when back in Perth.
Last edited by Mouldy; 7th January 2015 at 07:53 PM.
You'd also need to be mindful that it will be configured to run hotter to best work with higher robusta content Italian coffee. It's a given as the machine would not be Australian spec.
I like the idea of bringing a coffee machine home but I'm not sure how it'd go; carry on or with luggage? Then plug conversion..
Bringing stuff home from overseas is probably a consideration if you possess the necessary technical qualifications to (at the very least) service and maintain your machine at home yourself, or are prepared to pay someone with the necessary qualifications to do it for you. You may also have to modify aspects of the machine to ensure it complies with Aussie Reg's and Rules to protect home and contents insurance policies, so that you and yours are not put at risk (should the worst happen). If the machine caught fire and then burnt your house down, insurance assessors are bound to check all appliances and electrical equipment to be satisfied that everything was "legal".
To some people, none of this matters and if you are of a similar mind, then go for it. Otherwise, careful thought and consideration needs to be applied so that all the implications are understood...
I'll stick with Australian stock.
Suggestions / ideas ?
The Domobar Piccolo is still a single boiler machine, it is, however equipped with an E61 group and I've found that these are much more forgiving than the groups on other "entry level" machines, so your coffee making experience will likely improve, also with a fairly sizable (800ml IIRC) boiler, steaming performance is liable to be better than what you've experienced so far.
Originally Posted by Dead_Can_Dance
Likewise the Perfetta, though the boiler may be slightly smaller.
I personally upgraded from a Silvia to an Isomac whose model name temporarily escapes me, but which was specced very similarly to the Domobar Piccolo, I consider it a worthwhile upgrade.
Last edited by jbrewster; 8th January 2015 at 08:38 AM.
You could have a look at the Lelit range - the PL41LEM and PL41TEMD are under budget. Your K3 will work nicely with either. The deep double filter basket creates a pretty big "sweet spot" - not as finicky as shallower filter baskets on other machines and the steam will be a big step up from the Via Venezia.
It's often said that for making lots of milky coffees a HX is the way to go (HX = Heat eXchanger - can make coffee and steam at the same time). But you can still do it with a single boiler machine like the 41LEM or 41TEMD. I've just come back from 2 weeks with the extended family (7 milk coffee drinkers). We used a 42EM (older version of the 42EMI so basically it is a 41LEM with an inbuilt 43MMI) to crank out 2 or 3 rounds of coffees per day. A HX would have been faster, but the single boiler did it - it just took a few minutes more.