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Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

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  • Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

    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. 



  • #2
    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

    Comment


    • #3
      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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      • #4
        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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        • #5
          Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

          Yup...I would definitely recommend the VBM.

          Excellent machine when coupled with a good grinder.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

            I have done what you are contemplating. Had a Silvia and used it daily for 6½ 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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            • #7
              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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              • #8
                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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                • #9
                  Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER



                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

                    Originally posted by Kit_L link=1211439364/0#8 date=1211611144


                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

                        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?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

                            Originally posted by Kit_L link=1211439364/0#8 date=1211611144


                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Considering purchasing a VBM DOMOBAR SUPER

                              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?

                              Comment

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