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Thread: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

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    Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    After some deliberation on a Rancillio Silvia Upgrade this is where my thinking is currently at after a week of surveying the market & reading reviews. *And yes drinking some wonderful coffee!

    Having viewed some truly excellent machines, In my opinion, the VBM Domobar stands out for serious engineering count as well as being a vey attractive no nonsense design. It also makes excellent coffee!

    Id be interested if anyone has recently purchased this machine and your experience both positive and negative.

    Machines also under consideration are the Makin (Maver) Giotto ......... thoughts on these also welcome.*



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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Hey warmtone.

    I am in a similar position; currently getting the $$$ together to get the VBM. I was lucky enough to go see Chris at Talkcoffee (one of the site sponsors) to bench test this machine, as well as a few others.

    Chris is fantastic; apart from being able to use the machines, he gets your requirements and helps recommend the right machine for you.

    I would take the VBM over others for the build quality and the fact that very few appear to have issues (reading from this and other forums). It also suits my requirements, but once again what I am looking for in a machine may differ from what you want, so have a chat with Chris

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Im getting the best coffee I have ever had from a VBM Domobar Levetta, which is the single boiler, non HX version of the super.
    Go for it.
    Greg

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    ev
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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    warmtone, dont "consider" it, just do it! Ive had mine for almost 3.5 years & love it. Its a beautifully finished machine inside & out. Ive converted mine to plumb-in & leave it switched on permanently. So far, no major probs that I couldnt fix myself. I believe the current model uses a commercial pressurestat along with other refinements so should be even better than my 2004 model. My pressurestat hasnt failed me yet although the deadband is getting wider as time goes on.

    It still looks a million bucks in our kitchen: http://www.flickr.com/photos/evans-photos/1809576853/

    Evan.

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Yup...I would definitely recommend the VBM.

    Excellent machine when coupled with a good grinder.


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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    I have done what you are contemplating. Had a Silvia and used it daily for 6 years. Stepped up to the VBM DS lever and immediately noticed the improvement. I do not at all miss the hassle of going from brew to steam and back to brew.

    You might want to wait for the dual-boiler model as it removes the water-dance "hassle" of bleeding off the hot water in the HX before pulling shots after the machine has sat idle (which is true of just about any HX / E-61 machines).

    A stepless grinder is highly recommended. A Mazzer Super Jolly or equivalent is a good choice.

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    ev
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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Randys spot-on about the HX cooling flush but dont let that scare you off. Its not an issue if you follow a simple routine. I put the milk jug under the group during distribution/tamp stage & lift lever. By the time Im ready, so is the machine so theres never any waiting.

    Evan.

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    I dont think that a cooling flush should be such of a worry...

    Its easy to manage- you simply flush until the group stops breathing steam and then pull your shot...

    In a well designed machine- like the Domobar Super, the Makin or a thermostable Giotto to choose a few examples, its more a rinse flush than a cooling flush anyway.

    There are posts referring to 150-200ml cooling flushes in US forums for example. The Expobar eb-61 lever was one of the machines mentioned as requiring a large flush. In comparison, Australian Expobar eb-61 machines are a dramatically different beast- as Im sure that owners here will agree. The learning is as per usual, dont necessarily take what you read online to be gospel, especially when it comes to machines produced in different configurations for different markets.

    I think that there is a tendency for home users to assume that managing a cooling flush requires a high level of mysterious skill and therefore, dual boiler PID machines are the only way to go. These complex machines invariably contain way more plumbing, are much more complex and must in the long run have a higher cost of ownership if/when electronic bits exposed to heat and water fail.

    I think that the KISS principle can be applied. The outcome is a great ownership experience when you get good quality advice so that you can match yourself with the right machine.

    2mcm

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    :D

    My second post here. Can folks indicate where to source one of these magnificent machines, and approximate price? My lady and I live in Canberra. Re, HX cooling flush: only takes a second and is SOP on all machines I have used.

    Hello Evan, and thanks for pointing me here. TIA

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit_L link=1211439364/0#8 date=1211611144
    :D

    My second post here. Can folks indicate where to source one of these magnificent machines, and approximate price? My lady and I live in Canberra. Re, HX cooling flush: only takes a second and is SOP on all machines I have used.

    Hello Evan, and thanks for pointing me here. TIA
    Hi Kit_L,

    Wed be delighted to arrange a machine for you and freight to Canberra is no problem.

    RRP on the Domobar Super Lever is $2700 in stainless steel and $2400 in black but we can do better than that ;)

    Please feel free to give me a buzz or email to discuss.

    regards

    Chris

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Thanks for that, Chris, and I will email you directly. cheers, KL

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan link=1211439364/0#3 date=1211462398
    warmtone, dont "consider" it, just do it! Ive had mine for almost 3.5 years & love it. Its a beautifully finished machine inside & out. Ive converted mine to plumb-in & leave it switched on permanently. So far, no major probs that I couldnt fix myself. I believe the current model uses a commercial pressurestat along with other refinements so should be even better than my 2004 model. My pressurestat hasnt failed me yet although the deadband is getting wider as time goes on.

    It still looks a million bucks in our kitchen: http://www.flickr.com/photos/evans-photos/1809576853/

    Evan.
    Thanks to everyone for the "active encouragement" The VBM DOMOBAR *was purchased yesterday and is now taking pride of place in our kitchen! *It is BIG machine after the compact Rancillio Silvia and I can report that it did not receive immediate WAF taking up a fair amount of bench space and having a fairly imposing appearance to the un initiated!

    But things calmed down after the first coffee and my wife has now come to understand that a great coffee machine does require some investment! *

    The VBM DOMOBA is the *highest build quality in this class of machine Ive seen to date and fit and finish is exceptional. * I will post a few picures soon!

    The machine was purchased from Talk Coffee in Melbourne (highly recommended) and thanks to Chris for his patience and advice. *Nice to know that the machine is delivered after being Bench Tested and "Tweaked" by Chris for optimum pressure for both steaming and group.

    There is no doubt this is a serious machine and as I have already discovered demands a disciplined technique. *I suspect a top grinder is also required to achieve "nirvana". *

    On this score it appears *my Rancillio Rocky Dosereless Grinder is not producing a high enough *quality grind for this machine to deliver its full potential. *

    While the first few coffees have been the best Ive pulled at home, the density of extraction (and flavour) is not quite there - even with the Rancillio screwed up close to it finest grind. *Coarser settings result in poor extraction and a rapid flow rate.

    And yes I am careful with my tamping technique and using fresh *quality Beans from Veneziano.

    I pulled the5 month old Rocky *grinder apart this afternoon to check the burrs and they look quite OK but not particularly sharp either. *Is there a simple check to determine whether the burrs are fully effective? The simple thumb test reveals no edge to the bevelled cutters but Im not sure what is normal?

    I found *the zero setting was adjusted correctly so I am working with a very fine grind (about 3 divisions on the scale from zero). *The Rocky generally gets reasonably good reviews so I am a tad perplexed!

    Should I replace the burrs on the Rancillio or consider another grinder? like say a Mazzer Mini?


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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Hi Warm,

    Im glad that all is progressing fairly well.

    The Silvia should be up to the task, but I believe that you will get a better result form a Mazzer ir similar. We dont sell a heap of them for nothing ;).

    Id like you to try a different dosing technique and report back on how it goes. Fill the p/f to a mound and bench tap 3 times to settle off the dose and then bring avaerthing to perfectly full and level, then tamp. Adjust your grind to allow for the pour you require- as I suggest, "drips that want to be a pour"...

    Come back to us with your findings. It may just be that youre looking for a grind setting between a notch. If you dont have success, bring the grinder in and Ill pop it under the microscope with our demo machine.

    Good luck!

    Chris

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    ev
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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit_L link=1211439364/0#8 date=1211611144
    :D

    My second post here. Can folks indicate where to source one of these magnificent machines, and approximate price? My lady and I live in Canberra. Re, HX cooling flush: only takes a second and is SOP on all machines I have used.

    Hello Evan, and thanks for pointing me here. TIA
    Thanks Kit, glad to see youve found us OK. As I said in my email, Chris should be able to help you out.

    Warmtone, I started off with a Rocky & mine performed beautifully along side the VBM. Sounds like somethings not quite right with your technique. I have however upgraded to the Mazzer & have no regrets. The results are better again!

    Evan.

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee link=1211439364/0#12 date=1211616515
    Hi Warm,

    Im glad that all is progressing fairly well.

    The Silvia should be up to the task, but I believe that you will get a better result form a Mazzer ir similar. We dont sell a heap of them for nothing ;).

    Id like you to try a different dosing technique and report back on how it goes. Fill the p/f to a mound and bench tap 3 times to settle off the dose and then bring avaerthing to perfectly full and level, then tamp. Adjust your grind to allow for the pour you require- as I suggest, "drips that want to be a pour"...

    Come back to us with your findings. It may just be that youre looking for a grind setting between a notch. If you dont have success, bring the grinder in and Ill pop it under the microscope with our demo machine.

    Good luck!

    Chris
    HI Chris, *what you have outlined above is one of the techniques that have been tried. *Also the alternative collapse method but to no avail. *The resistance in the group seems to be too low for the "syrupy" drips to appear ........ Given my observations above re the slightly dull burr condition of the Rocky - is this likely to be a factor?

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    hmm....I think unlikely warmtone... :-/

    You should get a good 200kg out of a set of burrs- damage notwithstanding....

    Chris

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Warmtones
    For what it is worth - the beans!
    Some beans really come out of the PF like honey other just as fresh come out as a liquid quite quickly. *Even though both are recently roasted. *

    I use a rocky but I have tightened the adjustable grinder collar with plumbers tape. *I grind at about 8 on my scale. 7 starts to get bitter. *

    David




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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    As this is a good discussion on the Domobar and a rocky, I will step in here as I use both (but have only had the VBM a few days).
    I like the grinder - seems to be capable of doing it for me. I am still in a deep learning curve but from what I have seen already, I can see the rocky appears to be able to grind the beans I use quite fine enough for a shot glass full of syrupy honey-like crema. I havent yet gone finer than 12, but do not know where true zero is so the number is a bit irrelevant.

    I must say it is somewhat disturbing *;) to read the following...
    Quote Originally Posted by Evan link=1211439364/0#13 date=1211618170
    Warmtone, I started off with a Rocky & mine performed beautifully along side the VBM. Sounds like somethings not quite right with your technique. I have however upgraded to the Mazzer & have no regrets. The results are better again!
    Evan.
    Better again?? I cant afford upgraditis already... * ;D

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Quote Originally Posted by tasadam link=1211439364/15#17 date=1211664793
    As this is a good discussion on the Domobar and a rocky, I will step in here as I use both (but have only had the VBM a few days).
    I like the grinder - seems to be capable of doing it for me. I am still in a deep learning curve but from what I have seen already, I can see the rocky appears to be able to grind the beans I use quite fine enough for a shot glass full of syrupy honey-like crema. I havent yet gone finer than 12, but do not know where true zero is so the number is a bit irrelevant.

    I must say it is somewhat disturbing *;) to read the following...
    Quote Originally Posted by Evan link=1211439364/0#13 date=1211618170
    Warmtone, I started off with a Rocky & mine performed beautifully along side the VBM. Sounds like somethings not quite right with your technique. I have however upgraded to the Mazzer & have no regrets. The results are better again!
    Evan.
    Better again?? I cant afford upgraditis already... * ;D
    Hah ha......welcome to the world of upgrading!!
    For what its worth, Im pretty sure that my upgraditis has been fully cured. "Its a Miracle!!!"

    Evan.

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    I have to say that it does sound as if something is amiss. My Rocky is set between 5 and 7 (0 is a real zero) and Im getting great coffee from my VBM. Some beans on grind 5 will choke the machine resulting in 20 ml of coffee in 45-60 seconds--way too slow.

    I have done the teflon tape mod, and this made a considerable difference.

    Greg

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald link=1211439364/15#19 date=1211684999
    I have to say that it does sound as if something is amiss. My Rocky is set between 5 and 7 (0 is a real zero) and Im getting great coffee from my VBM. Some beans on grind 5 will choke the machine resulting in 20 ml of coffee in 45-60 seconds--way too slow.

    I have done the teflon tape mod, and this made a considerable difference.

    Greg
    All seems good now. I had a look at the offending grinder this morning. We pulled it down, removed the burr set and found a fair bit of gunk had lodged itself between the burrs and the burr carriers- leading to poor precision.

    I reassembled the grinder and then we pulled a few shots on the showroom VBM...

    All is now well and the wallet monster has been kept at bay....at least for a few weeks!

    Chris

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee link=1211439364/15#20 date=1211685953
    All seems good now. I had a look at the offending grinder this morning. We pulled it down, removed the burr set and found a fair bit of gunk had lodged itself between the burrs and the burr carriers- leading to poor precision.

    I reassembled the grinder and then we pulled a few shots on the showroom VBM...
    Hey Chris, is this something you think technically minded Rocky owners should do now & then?
    Or just when it has "issues"?

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Certainly wont to any harm Adam ;)

    Chris

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    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    Hi Warm,

    Enjoy the VBM heck of a machine !

    Randy G, has some comments on his web site with his own impressions re: difference between Rocky and his new Mazzer, might be worth a read. http://www.espressomyespresso.com/

    I dont know much about it but brought a Macap M4 based on reading forums etc and its been great so far. ;)

    Enjoy the ride,

    CB.



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