I very much appreciate the kind words Ben.
This review is after a month of use, and what a machine it is!
But firstly, to the story. I have had a Gaggia Classic for a long period of time, and I do love her dearly, but lately either performance has gone down or my palate has caught up, but I found myself wanting a lot more out of a coffee machine. So last year I purchased a second-hand Expobar Minore II which was a step-up without a doubt, but having sampled coffees from other e-61s (big thanks to coffeehorse), I knew there was significant room for improvement. I also managed to borrow a Minore III from a friend for a while and while the espresso was good, the build quality left a lot to be desired and I knew the machine wasnt for me.
So, I got the point that many many people on CS get to - so many e61s and such an impossible task to make a decision. Now I would class myself as a fairly annoying customer - I want to know absolutely everything about every machine - diameter of restrictors, steam porting, cooling flushes, build quality, pressurestats, control boards - the list goes on and on.
My most heartfelt thanks goes out to Roger from Supreme Roasters - I honestly cannot thank this guy enough. I think I must have spoken to him ~5 times a week for months - he was always willing to give me the time of day and put up with my rantings and ravings. Not only this, but on the rare occasion he didnt have the information I required, within 24 hours tests would be conducted or he would have sourced the information. He takes customer service to a whole new level and I cannot recommend him highly enough.
Secondly, Attilio from Cosmorex Coffee is not only a true gentleman, but incredibly willing to assist with any enquiries. A small email turned into a 5 page incredibly detailed response accompanied by photos of the internals of the machine highlighting exactly what I wanted to know. I also cannot recommend Attilio highly enough.
But to the machine - wow, just wow. I dont really know where to start with how good it is. When you open the box, you are greeted by a wealth of information - how to descale, how to backflush, how to change/restore the resin filter, how to steam milk, warranty information, and importantly, a water hardness test strip and explanation about the importance of scale inhibiting. Another excellent facet of Attilio and his attention to detail.
The machine comes smartly packaged with a nifty box of all the usuals - blind basket, plastic tamper, scoop spoon and with excellent extras of a group head brush and a single group handle! Something small to add here is the addition of really nice spouts on both single and double group handles.
I could go on all day but Ill try and summarise positives and negatives.
- The biggest positive is easily the temperature stability of the machine. This thing is amazing - honestly barely needs a cooling flush (only if idle for a long time). Attilio must have worked so well with the manufacturer because this thing runs like a charm straight out of the box. It sits between about 1.0 - 1.1 bar, has more than ample steam power, and doesnt need a cooling flush! What more can you ask for!
- Taste. As a result of the design of this machine, the machine runs at a great temp and as such, my espresso is consistently fantastic. I honestly have not tasted a better espresso out of any of the e61s I have used. (Please note all these comments are my personal view and are no way scientific). Im finding complexities out of coffees that I never would have dreamed of. It really is that good.
- Build quality. This was one of the important factors in the decision (especially after the Expobars). The Diademas are built like tanks - I have not seen this kind of build quality on any other domestic machine. Even down to all the beautiful hand welding, the design off all components to ensure exquisitely finished edges, the way everything fits together - it feels like a tank could roll over it and it would survive!
- Big drip tray. Slides in and out like a dream, rarely have to empty it, solid as a rock.
- Steam and hot water wands. I was a little bit wary of the horizontally mounted wands and thought it might impact upon the movement of the wands, but I was very wrong. They are lovely cool-touch wands, with the inclusion of rubber grips for delicate hands. Porting is incredible and I believe much like the highly-rated Giotto.
- Steam and hot water knobs. Clearly commercial valves - they feel so robust and the knobs feel great in the hand.
- Solid brew lever. Feels really robust and kind of manly brewing an espresso every morning - love it.
- Panel layout. Crystal clear BFC gauges, solid power rocker switch, clear to see power/element lights. Smartly designed panel.
- Low water alarm. Not only does it just disable the electronics - it lets you know that you are low on water - nice little feature!
Ok, onto the small (and minor) negatives:
- Cup tray. Sometimes a little difficult to remove and its about average in terms of cup space - I can fit 3 190ml cappuccino cups and 2 espresso cups. Thats ample for what I need, but others may differ.
- Water tank. Im not a fan of the water tank - its kind of hard to remove, doesnt sit perfectly on the water-level switch (for low water alarm) and could break if dropped. However, this is so minor that Im used to it and fill the tank from a jug so it doesnt affect me in the slightest.
So, there you have it! Sorry about the length of this review, but I just had to share every bit of excitement I have got out of this fantastic machine. Attilio has obviously spent hours working with the manufacturers to ensure it is perfect for the Australian market - there is just so much to love about the Diadema Junior Extra.
And to Roger from Supreme Roasters, thank you once again for all of your time, patience and endless support.
To my better half, I think upgraditis is cured (for the time being *;) )
I very much appreciate the kind words Ben.
Great review bjeck14. I also have a DJE and couldnt be happier with it. I agree totally with your review (+ves and -ves)...spot on.
Enjoy it mate :)
Pretty well reflects my views of the "Extra" too bjeck14 and the level of service and support offered by Attilio and his crew.... 8-)
Its a superb machine, in all respects and now 15 months on, I still look forward to using her every chance I get. I notice youve got her paired up with a pretty decent grinder too mate - that should put the brakes on upgradeitis for a good while.... ;D
Originally Posted by 7D757A7C742E2B1F0 link=1278034456/0#0 date=1278034456
It makes the heart warm and a smile form to know that you are so happy with the Diadema Junior Plus Extra. I appreciate the kind words and have enjoyed getting to know you and help you through your espresso journey. I dare say this is only the start as we start the R & D for a coffee forklift.. soon to be on snobs. ;)
I imagine seeing the Extra when you came back from Fiji was a nice welcome home?
Look forward to chatting again soon!
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Thanks for your review. I am also thinking out upgrading from a single boiler to a HX. This post definitely open up more options for me.
Thanks for the comments everyone!
Mal,Originally Posted by 24090D010C600 link=1278034456/3#3 date=1278075877
Im glad (but not at all surprised) to hear she is going so well 15 months down the track! Upgrading the grinder a while back (as is always commented here) was a very good decision!
Roger,Originally Posted by 221209070814051233090405600 link=1278034456/4#4 date=1278237720
Coming back from Fiji was tough, but being 10 days without coffee, seeing the DJE shining on the bench was the best welcome home ever!