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Izzo Alex Duetto II vs. VBM DS2B first impressions

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  • Izzo Alex Duetto II vs. VBM DS2B first impressions

    Ok, so I got sick of drinking ordinary coffee. Bringing the Alex and M4D up from Perth wasn't an option so I am now officially a coffee chain  I couldn't get Macap or Izzo here in KL but I could get VBM and Mazzer... So here are my new toys, I'm happy again  (I'm probably a bit obsessed!)

    First impressions vs Alex: Steam power on the VBM is immense. Without the benefit of a back to back test, I'd say it's stronger than my Duetto; I like the two hole steam tip but not the lack of a cool touch steam wand. Finish: pretty even, perhaps slightly in favour of the VBM, although I believe the Alex v3 is an improvement over my v2.

    Mazzer mini E vs. Macap M4D.. I like the portafilter holder, which is pretty much set and forget. The Mazzer is pretty clean, probably less mess than the Macap. The Macap is prettier, but the Mazzer feels a touch more robust.

    Beyond that I will have to have a bit more time with the VBM / Mazzer combo before I comment further. Bottom line is that they are both making great coffee, which is what really matters in the end. Next on the agenda is to dial in the VST baskets but for now I am in coffee heaven 
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Nice kit Morgz and how good to be aboe to run a comparison!

    I agree that the VBM is a terrific machine. Loved it when I first used the 2B V1 at Aromafest and still like it. There is some very clever thing in the layout.

    Agreed on finish- the Duetto currently has it. Both have big, big steam and yes- the VBM probably has the edge. Ultimately, both have more than you'd need- but I'd like to see a redesign of the VBM wand and tip. This is really just nit picking though.

    Ultimately, the proof is in the cup and you have 2 lots of proof that both are fantastic combos which is exactly what you'd expect this high in the price range.




    • #3
      Yes, the VBM wand is a bit harder to position where I'd like it, but it steams like a demon. In fact, it's got me thinking that perhaps my Alex needs a bit of adjustment, as I get a lot of 'wet' steam from it in comparison to the VBM. I usually need to purge for a good five seconds or so before I start steaming milk, whereas the VBM is ready to go after a quick burst. Any suggestions Chris? Should I change something on the PID or is it possibly something else? I'd like to try a two hole tip on the Alex too, I'm finding it much easier to get the roll going with the steam coming out a little more horizontal. Either way, both machines have tons of steam and a true comparison wouldn't be fair until I am in a position to have them running side by side. The milk here in KL is a bit of a mystery to me at the moment so I need to experiment some more to find one which gives a result a bit closer to the lovely silky microfoam I get from the Bannister Downs milk I use in Perth.

      Water too is different, and I am sure that is affecting the result in the cup so I need to mess around with filters ... This journey never ends


      • #4
        Hi Morgz,
        Removing the teflon tube from the Alex wand eliminates the condensation/wetness
        but also removes the 'cool-touch' feature.
        Rubber insulators on my Alex wand (from CoffeeParts) took care of the problem, I now have excellent dry steam.
        For me; I place performance first and don't necessarily consider 'cool-touch' an advantage.



        • #5
          hi choki

          can you post a pic of the rubber insulators you fitted?


          • #6
            Hi bretteaby,

            No worries, I'm about to go out so I'll do it in the morning.


            • #7
              As you can see I have two; one is fine, two is good.
              Makes it easier; no burns!
              Attached Files


              • #8
                Another observation after a quick weekend at home in Perth and as near as a back to back test as I can get... the Alex is quieter than the VBM, noticeably so. The cup warmer tray rattles around a bit on my VBM, but the rotary pump seems quieter on the Alex too, perhaps because of the double skin on the case. I've also come to like the Mazzer Mini E a little more than my Macap M4D, mainly because it's not quite as messy and I don't need to hang around while the grind is happening since the Mazzer has a portafilter rest. The Macap is faster however. It will be a close call when I finally get to consolidate my two households!


                • #9
                  Chokkidog - did you just pull out the Teflon wand? Did you have to take the steam wand off?
                  Also, your steam tip looks a bit different to mine, is yours standard?