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Thread: Vibiemme vs Rocket

  1. #1
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    Vibiemme vs Rocket

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

    I'm teetering on the edge of moving up to the big leagues (for me) here. I'm considering either a Rocket Espresso Appartmento or a Vibiemme Domobar Junior and I was wondering if anyone has a view on which would be the better buy. They both look like quality machines but I've no experience at this level so I'd appreciate your advice.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    I haven't had any experience with either, but when i was originally looking to move up to a better machine like you I went for a Expobar Minore. This said i feel that either the Rocket or the Vibiemme, you cant go wrong with. I feel it will come down to what you want to use it for (although i think both of these will serve the same purpose), also price. I haven't looked to see what cost more but as i mentioned i dont think you can go wrong.

    There is always the looks and appearance of the machine most of us consider, i was looking at the Vibiemme while looking at the Expobar as many including myself felt the Expobar is good in appearance but lacks behind some of the other machine, The Vibiemme being one. Mind you my Expobar never missed a beat for the 5-6 years i owned it and went for it as at the time it was a price consideration for me.

    Just my two cents.

    Chris

  3. #3
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    Thanks Chris, that's great advice. I'm tending towards the Vibiemme but just need some reassurance before shelling out over $2k!

    Cheers

    Warwick

  4. #4
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    No Probs, i can understand what you are saying. It took me a long to looking and researching and the bottom line for me was exactly that, handing over the $$$ wondering if it was justified. It turned out for me it was as it was a great machine and lasted longer than any machine i had previous.

    Good luck with finding the machine you want, I have to say ive always liked the look of the Vibiemme also.

    Cheers,

    Chris

  5. #5
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Hi Maarp


    Another consideration is the new Izzo Vivi. Its a direct competitor with the Appartmento

    https://www.casaespresso.com.au/izzo-vivi-pid.html

    I know Chris is an Izzo fan!

    cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
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  6. #6
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    I second this, although i have the larger new Izzo, this Vivi looks almost identical bar the size. I purchased from Antony also who is great to deal with and will lead you down the right path.

    Chris

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    Hmmmm, now I have more choices!
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  8. #8
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maarp View Post
    Hmmmm, now I have more choices!
    Plenty to like about the new Vivi.

    Shot timer, cool touch steam wands, removable cup tray, magnetic drip tray etc

    Feel free to call or PM if we can help

    Regards

    Antony
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    www.casaespresso.com.au

  9. #9
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    Maarp, I happen to own both (don't ask why!!) a VBM Jnr and a Rocket V3 PID which has a few more features then the Apartmento and the decision to buy one of them is difficult. So I'll give you a few pros and cons.

    1. The drip tray on the Rocket is too small. Have to empty it too often and there is some spillage/splashing over the front side when backflusing
    2. It is more difficult to fill the tank on the Jnr due to the hoses which can get in the way. The rocket doesn't have those hoses
    3. It easier to foam milk on the Rocket. It has a more forgiving steam output. I find the Jnr too fast
    4. The Jnr doesn't have an on light. I've sometimes left it on all night. The rocket has a bright green on light
    5. The rocket looks classier but that is subjective
    6. They both make great shots. No difference there
    7. Longevity is good for both
    8. Rocket had a great manual and DVD. Not the Vibiemme
    9. Rocket comes with a more usable tamper and is better packaged
    10. Rocket has a great reputation given the large number they sell.

    So basically there is little difference other than price and aesthetics. Those differences are not deal breaking.
    So what would I choose now if I had to buy one of them? The Rocket, because of its more controllable steaming and its better look.
    Is it worth the extra? Probably not. It really is a personal choice which is made more difficult by some excellent rival brands like ECM, Profitec
    Also don't skimp on the grinder. That's probably a more important decision.
    Last edited by barri; 13th March 2018 at 07:40 PM.
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  10. #10
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    That is really helpful Barri. I was just about to pull the trigger on the VBM but I'll go over your thoughts a few times first. It's not a huge price difference after all. Do you have any thoughts on the grinder?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maarp View Post
    Do you have any thoughts on the grinder?

    That's a budget and features question. Do you need electronic dosing? Conical burs? Number of cups per day? Doser or doserless? If you can stretch it closer to a $1000 then you have great choices like the Macap M4d, Mazzer mini, Quamar 50E etc etc. Have a good read of the grinders posts.

  12. #12
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    Thanks again Barri. On reflection I need to consider the initial cost of the machine now as well as weighing up the Rocket vs the Vivi. You have been incredibly helpful and I really appreciate it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    When you start talking about a pointy end espresso machine and grinder, you need to think about package deals to possibly save a few $s. If someone makes a coffee from each of the machines mentioned so far using the same coffee beans and grinder then you blind taste each coffee, you won't probably notice any difference ie all these machines can make brilliant coffee. It then comes down to looks, size and functionality.

    Are you in the position to check out these machines in person at a shop which sells a good range of equipment (eg one of our site sponsors)? If so do it as you will be able to get a better look including a demo. The vendor should be able to recommend a good package deal based on your needs and preferences. Take your time and don't rush into buying something you might regret later. As barri said, don't scrimp on the grinder as this is a very important part of the coffee making process.
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  14. #14
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maarp View Post
    That is really helpful Barri. I was just about to pull the trigger on the VBM but I'll go over your thoughts a few times first. It's not a huge price difference after all. Do you have any thoughts on the grinder?
    When looking at a grinder doserless models are the preference . Mazzer, Quamar, Macap and Eureka all have good models to consider.
    A basic guide is to allow a third of your budget on the grinder.

    Cheers

    Antony
    Www.casaespresso.com.au
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    I've owned VBM junior for some time now and have been pretty happy with it. The reasons I'd choose it over Giotto are;

    1. Compact size. Giotto is tad too big for my kitchen.
    2. Deeper drip tray.
    3. Sirai pressure stat vs mater on Giotto.
    4. The hoses in the tank are actually a plus for me, as it allows me to plug in the water softener.
    5. Cheaper.

  16. #16
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sacsnob View Post
    I've owned VBM junior for some time now and have been pretty happy with it. The reasons I'd choose it over Giotto are;
    3. Sirai pressure stat vs mater on Giotto.
    I would be interested to hear why you think Sirai is better than Mater. There was a dodgy bunch of Mater pstats many years ago but I'm pretty sure that is no longer the case or manufacturers like Rocket would not be using them.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    I would be interested to hear why you think Sirai is better than Mater. There was a dodgy bunch of Mater pstats many years ago but I'm pretty sure that is no longer the case or manufacturers like Rocket would not be using them.
    Agreed Flynn,

    There is no particular advantage of either brand of pressure stats when you are comparing like for like.

    There is a difference between domestic and commercial versions in each, and sometimes i think that's where the "Mater is better then Sirai " or vice a versa comes in.

    From an industry perspective both Matter and Sirai have both had their "dodgy" batches over the last 7 years effecting multiple brands of machines.

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
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  18. #18
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    The VBM Domobar Jr has a Stainless Steel frame and body with a reputation for durability due to commercial quality parts being used. It has both a Brew and a Boiler pressure gauge mounted high for good visibility. A 1.45L insulated boiler with a 1600W heating element for relatively quick heating/recovery.

    This machine was recommended as the go to in the 2k odd price range by a couple of site sponsors in the past. Spares are readily available too.

    Having said that, if by chance the heating element ever needed to be changed apparently there's a fair bit of dismantling to do along with the associated cost. Not sure about the other brands.

    Comes down to your final budget, what you like the look of and who you have near by for support and servicing. The other machines mentioned will no doubt do an equal job of brewing your espresso.

    Another grinder to consider is the no frills Compak K3 push. They pop up at a good price from time to time.

    Distributor links -

    https://espressocompany.com.au/produ...obar-junior-hx

    https://espressocompany.com.au/produ...machine-test-1
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 16th March 2018 at 10:23 AM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    I would be interested to hear why you think Sirai is better than Mater. There was a dodgy bunch of Mater pstats many years ago but I'm pretty sure that is no longer the case or manufacturers like Rocket would not be using them.
    I am not saying Mater is bad, however given the choice between Sirai and Mater I'd always choose Sirai, price wise its twice as much as Mater and I find it a lot easier to adjust the pressure. Consensus here seems to be it lasts longer however costs more to replace.

  20. #20
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Have got some feedback about the Domobar Junior that may be helpful in making the final decision.
    This is a quote from a very prominent and respected Australian professional...

    We dropped the Domobar Junior from range in 2017 after too many major $800+ boiler out services. Potentials should be mindful. I have told ECA I will not range it again until it improves massively.

    When people ask me why we won’t sell it anymore they get this: We dropped it from range: Impossible to change the anti-vac and safety valve. That ground wire on the steam boiler exposed to ~123C goes crisp and results in overfills due to massive resistance. Live wires around potential water vapour. Excess heat cooks control boards. Boiler out services inevitably result in $$$$ repairs at 5 years. Refused to sell them unless VBM does something.
    As always, helps to know a bit more about a product from someone who has had to deal with returns over the years...

    Mal.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Have got some feedback about the Domobar Junior that may be helpful in making the final decision.
    This is a quote from a very prominent and respected Australian professional...



    As always, helps to know a bit more about a product from someone who has had to deal with returns over the years...

    Mal.
    And yet, I purchased a second hand Domobar Junior from a CSer five years ago and it is still going strong. It was a couple of years old already. It fits the space in my kitchen and it works perfectly for me.
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  22. #22
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    Maarp,

    I don't mean to muddy the water or make your decision more difficult but the one thing I can tell you is that the quality of your espresso depends mainly on you, although a good quality grinder does make it a little easier to get to where you want to be. I have a Rancilio Silvia and a ECM Giotto which is the predecessor to the Rocket Giotto. I have a Rancilio Rocky doserless grinder and a Macap M4 doser grinder. I can make great coffee on both machines using either grinder. All it takes is time to figure out what grind works best for each machine. What I have learned is that the Macap grinder works better with the Silvia because you can make micro adjustments to the grind thanks to the stepless worm drive adjustment mechanism. I am able to use the Rocky grinder with the Giotto because it is a bit more forgiving on the grind. I know it is a difficult decision to make because of the money but in the end you can shell out $1000.00 on a grinder and $3000.00 on a machine and still make terrible espresso. Then again if you are patient and are willing to experiment you can buy a good quality grinder and an average machine and turn out awesome espresso. Just 2 cents worth from someone who has been there.

  23. #23
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    As always, helps to know a bit more about a product from someone who has had to deal with returns over the years...
    Fair point Mal as long as there are no commercial issues at play. Over time there have been many different brand/model machines that have had issues peculiar to their individual build & design. Some have evolved with updated versions over time, some haven't.

    I suppose searching forums like CS adds a bit more to the discussion with end users never being shy to point out the problems they've had with certain machines.

    If its the same guy I'm thinking of, I remember him always recommending a particular machine as the go to in a certain price range until he sold out and then another one that was in stock took its place. Just an observation from past times. The VBM Domobar Jr in its price range was also his go to for quite a long time on his store website. I noticed he no longer stocks VBM in general. I think the change of ownership with the distributor may have played a part too.

    Correction - Previous post comment re: heating element replacement complexity and cost incorrect. Was thinking of a different model. My mistake!
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 17th March 2018 at 11:05 AM.

  24. #24
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yes mate...
    I think you have this comment confused with someone else.

    Mal.

  25. #25
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Yes mate...I think you have this comment confused with someone else. Mal.
    Yep, verified this is not the same person. Sorry for the confusion.
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  26. #26
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    For what it is worth we have had similar service issues with the VBM listed above.

    We don't sell them (never have) but do get them in for servicing.

    IMO they haven't moved with the times and kept up with improvements from other and newer models

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
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