Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    25

    VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi guys,

    Initially I was looking at buying a Rancilio Silvia and Rocky grinder but have just had a nice cash injection thanks to the tax man so am toying with the idea of something more expensive. I have done a huge amount of research on the Silvia and nothing else so realise i need to start the process all over again for the VBM Piccolo vs the Isomac Zaffiro. Does anyone have any advice on either of these machines? Theyre pretty close in price (about $100 in it) so Id wonder which is better bang for buck. As for grinder, Im looking at either the rocky or the K3t.

    Also, as this purchase will be my first serious machine, am i better off going for the cheaper Silvia and using it as a learning stepping stone to something more expensive?

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    929

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    Hi Simon80;

    Both machine are nearly the same,the different are cosmetic only:

    Both are:

    Single boilers
    E16
    700ml boiler
    safety water level by weight
    Adjustable temperature

    the main differences are:

    VBM:
    black panel
    1 handle 2 baskets
    On/Off switch

    Zaffiro:
    S/S panel
    2 handles 2 baskets
    On/Off rocket switch

    If you are in Sydney you are welcome to try it both in here, I have both one next to another, so you can get the feel of each to help your decision.

    Regards

    Renzo
    Di Bartoli Home Barista Centre


  3. #3
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    Hi Simon,

    You may like to add the Diadema Perfetta to your short list. The build quality is phenomenal and it has a full stainless chassis and cool to touch, ball-jointed steam wand. The boiler is a little larger as well.

    Regardless of what you buy, ask for it to be Scace calibrated for shot temperature. Without this, they can vary significantly.

    Happy shopping ;)

    Chris

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    25

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    Thanks for the info guys. Im planning on heading out this weekend to have a look at some machines. Im about an hour from Sydney so Ill probably stop by and take a look.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    6

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    Hi Simon,

    i only bought a zaffiro a few weeks ago through Espresso Italia. *I was planning on a sylvia and k3t combo but was able to get the zaffiro and eureka mignon combo for only a little bit more and free delivery. *

    ive not owned a coffee machine before but with a bit of help from a fellow coffee snob i was able to start pulling pretty decent coffee within a couple of shots. *there is also a great guide on coffee geeks for the zaffiro. *

    i have just finished a cup of my first corretto (guetemala huehue...)roast from the weekend. *i think im well and truly hooked.

    brett

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    107

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    After much thorough research and gnashing of teeth, I went for the stainless steel sides of the Zaffiro over the black sides of the VBM. Petty of me, but I have to look at this thing everyday. Im happy I went with the Zaffiro.

    As far as espresso making goes, I have a long climb in front of me....but I cant blame the machine anymore. :-[

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    107

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    Quote Originally Posted by 64497F624152544F4C49200 link=1283130329/1#1 date=1283134535

    Both are:

    Single boilers
    E16
    700ml boiler
    safety water level by weight
    Adjustable temperature

    the main differences are:

    VBM:
    black panel
    1 handle 2 baskets
    On/Off switch

    Zaffiro:
    S/S panel
    2 handles 2 baskets
    On/Off rocket switch
    And the Rocket switch. I loves me a good rocket switch. ;)

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    25

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    So I went with the Isomac Zaffiro and so far so good. It looks awesome and feels really sturdy. I had an hours one-on-one instruction with a barista (who was unreal!!) and learned heaps.

    As far as I can see the main negative is centred around steam. The time it takes to build up enough pressure to texture milk is rediculous. This normally isnt an issue for me as I drink double ristrettos, but my wife likes flat whites...

    I read the review on coffeegeek and it talks about pulling the shot first and letting it sit while you texture your milk. I have been doing this but found the results were not as good as I expected ie the shot seemed to deteriorate and crema dissipate by the time the milk was ready. So while in training, the barista asked why not do the milk first and keep it moving while bleeding some pressure, then pull the shot. So we did, and he was able to produce much better results.

    So my theory is this. if you build up enough pressure to do your milk, the water temp is higher in the boiler in order to produce steam. If you pull your shot too soon after, youll burn the coffee. If, however, you bleed the pressure through the grouphead and steam wand while you fill your basket and tamp, you will be introducing some cooler water into the boiler which will bring the temperature down enough to pull your shot. You must keep your milk moving while doing this though.

    Its a bit of a juggling act but I think it works better than pulling a shot and waiting 2-3+ minutes for steam.

    Any other Zaffiro owners (or anyone) have any thoughts on this?

  9. #9
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    Hi Simon,

    The delay between shot and steam is inherent in any single boiler machine. Some vendors will state that its nothing (aka 30 seconds), but I reckon thats misleading and then some.

    Hopefully the bloke you purchased from explained this and you made an informed decision when you handed over your hard-earned.

    These machines are terrific if youre into shots. If milk is a priority, you will always chase your tail and if you forget to prime the boiler, one day you will be shopping for a new element as well...

    Look after your machine ;)

    Chris

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    25

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    Yes I was well informed prior to purchase. As i said, Im not into milk based coffee so it isnt a major issue. Just an observation.

  11. #11
    htb
    htb is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    163

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    Congrats on the purchase. The zaffiro is a fine machine.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    52

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    Wow, two or three minutes..?? I am in the throws of making a decision on whether to go for a single boiler machine or top up the budget to squeeze into the Domo Jr. This thread has given me an important insight to the reality of a single boiler. I was thinking 20-30 sec sounds manageable! But two or three mins might become tiresome? :-/


  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    25

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    Ross,

    If youre planning on making mostly milk based coffees, I would save the extra cash and go with the Domo Jr. The Zaffiro is flawless when pulling shots and can texture milk like a champ but the time between steaming/shot extraction is lengthy. If I were making flat whites regularly then I would be looking to the Isomac Tea or Domo Jr.

  14. #14
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: VBM Piccolo vs Isomac Zaffiro

    Quote Originally Posted by 372D292B2A7C74440 link=1283130329/12#12 date=1285224548
    Ross,

    If youre planning on making mostly milk based coffees, I would save the extra cash and go with the Domo Jr. The Zaffiro is flawless when pulling shots and can texture milk like a champ but the time between steaming/shot extraction is lengthy. If I were making flat whites regularly then I would be looking to the Isomac Tea or Domo Jr.
    Agreed,

    Keep an eye out for an October offer 8-)

    Chris



Similar Threads

  1. Vibiemme Domobar Piccolo ... Isomac Zaffiro (dark horse Lelit)
    By 2shot in forum Brewing Equipment - Pointy End ($1500-$3000)
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 6th June 2010, 07:32 PM
  2. under use an S26 or push VBM piccolo/Zaffiro/Exobar Office to limits??
    By prloring in forum Brewing Equipment - Pointy End ($1500-$3000)
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 24th May 2010, 09:38 AM
  3. isomac Zaffiro
    By Sullo in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 1st August 2007, 03:37 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •