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Buying advice: Lelit PL60T V2 vs Bezzerra BZ07 vs VMB Domobar Junior vs Isoma Tea Due

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  • Buying advice: Lelit PL60T V2 vs Bezzerra BZ07 vs VMB Domobar Junior vs Isoma Tea Due

    Hi,

    I am very close to upgrading. I have narrowed down my list to the following;
    - Lelit PL60T V2
    - Bezzerra BZ07
    - La Vibiemme Domobar Junior HX
    - Isomac Tea Due

    I was all set on the dual boiler, due to its features and price point; but then thought is it worth my time buying a quality hx machine.

    I am a little torn; I am leaning towards one of the hx machines .... but can be swayed.

    Anybody able to provide advice about the list?
    Are the key features that each machine brings to the table that I need to consider?
    How does the build quality compare?

    Really appreciate your help! I know the questions are high level and vague ... but I am pretty confused ....


    Thanks
    P

  • #2
    Hi PeterDErrico, I currently have an Orchestrale Nota and love it. They retail for $3200-$3400 range depending on bargain skills. It is a lever action machine HX with 3ltr boiler and commercial fittings and looks amazing. Also has a raised E61 group head which is awesome because it fits larger containers underneath, is fully stainless steel, also larger than usual machines of same price making it more like a commercial machine.

    I am telling you this because the thing I realise is that it is far too much for my relatively small habit of 2-3 cups of coffee a day habit, and using a lever and turning a steam handle just isn't as easy as flicking up a little switch. I am thinking seriously of selling it and trading down (or maybe that should be across) to a Lelit Pl60t v2. The quality of coffee is the same and though steaming takes a little longer (Orchestrale Nota steams in only 15-20secs with its 3 hole wand tip) it makes a beautiful microfoam.

    I have no regrets getting the Orchestrale, I just wanted to see how good coffee could be at home. It also taught me that for a small user like me there is a limit to how much money and how professional a machine has to be to achieve the dream coffee.

    The Lelit is great quality and will give you top quality coffee but at a price which doesn't have you feeling that little bit guilty everyday. You can grab one for $1599 here in Sydney if you do a quick search on web (or just type in jetblackespresso in search). Cheers

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    • #3
      Hi Peter,

      You have a wide range of very different machines there.

      I think that the critical thing is to consult with a professional and inform him/her of your budget and your requirements and assess some pros and cons of the offer within your price range. A well configured machine will inherently produce great coffee in the right hands and with quality beans and a great grinder. I wouldn't advise that you allocate too much weight to blatant sales pitches. The right mix of features for you is the correct choice.

      Best bet is to visit some quality establishments and view and sample some machines from your list and make your own informed decision.

      We are of course happy to assist if it helps, but what I won't do is flog you the machine I think you should have.

      I agree that the Lelit is terrific. We are currently using one at home while we wait for our new bench to be drilled for the GS/3. No way does the GS/3 produce coffee 4x (or 1.4x) as good as the Lelit.

      Cheers

      Chris

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Peter,

        You'll have a better chance of getting helpful feedback if you tell us what you will be using the machines for (predominantly milk-based drinks, predominantly straight espresso?), what usage pattern you expect (how many a day, how many in close succession), and your budget (which can sort of workout from the machines...but can't be sure). I assume you already have a good quality grinder?

        Cheers
        BOSW

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        • #5
          Thanks for all of your feedback guys, really appreciate it.

          I have been doing a lot of reading on this forum and have decided I do not want a dual boiler. Its a H/X for me!

          My list is as follows;
          Vibiemme Domobar Junior HX
          ECM Mechanika
          Diadema Splendor

          I like the Bezzerras but prefer the standard rotary handles for the steam/ hot water.

          These models are not set in concretebut currently that is what I am comparing.

          My usage - I have milk based coffees in the morning, occasional coffee when I get home and a short black in the morning. So about three on a normal work day. On weekends/ day offs I drink a few more throughout the day.

          When people are over I would be aiming to serve about 4-5 lattes/ capps in one go. On the very very rare occassion I may need to do more say 8-9 various coffees but I would work something out .... do half then wait a little then do the remaining coffees.

          I do not want to have the need to upgrade in a few years from now, something that does not cost an arm and a leg to maintain, reliable/ solid build and as quiet as possible (as realistically quiet as a vibration pump can be, i will not by a rotary). I do not see myself ever needing to plumb my machine in.

          My grinder is a mazzer mini.

          My budget is about $2000 but can stretch it if i have too, save up some more, wait a few extra months and get something like a Domobar Super Lever/ whatever else I find.


          Thoughts?

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Peter

            I was in the same fortunate position you are now in looking to purchase a new machine. My shortlist was the VBM Junior HX and the ECM Barista.
            After visiting Jetblack to just 'have a look', I ended up with a ECM Mechanika IV.

            Here are my thoughts on both the machines and what made me lean towards the ECM.
            -The VBM is quite small which is great if you don't have space. But that wasn't a constraint for me. So to me, I felt that the VBM is a little bit more cramped and preferred the extra width of the ECM. That being said, there is enough room on both to rest a small milkjug to steam while you prep your next shot.
            -The boiler is 2.1L in the ECM and 1.5L in the VBM. I think both are insulated (the ECM is anyway). But the VBM has a higher wattage heating element. What does this mean in real life use? Im not sure. I just figured 2.1L would allow more continuous use. It does take a good 30-45min for the Mechanika to heat up properly. Maybe the VBM is quicker on heatup?
            -My perception of the finish is that the ECM is finished better. ie Portafilter handles have chrome finish. Lever to start brew also has a chrome finish. VBM brew lever is your regular type. Similarly as with the portafilter.
            -The double portafilter spout is open and faces you. I really like that for some reason.
            -Drip tray is larger and and has a handle to pull out on the VBM. I wish ECM had the same design.
            -Water and Steam knobs - My preference was for the ECM with its 5 knob design vs the triangular one on the VBM. Both knobs felt nice to turn though. Im not a fan of ECM labelling them though.
            -Both had to lift the cup tray up to refill the water tank. ECM will most likely have more cups (weight) ontop due to the extra size, so the VBM might be more suitable for some people.
            -OPV easily accessible on ECM. Only have to lift the cup tray (wasnt sure on the VBM, could be just as easy)
            -I liked the gauges on the ECM better. I think the colours on the VBM gauge makes it less elegant (although probably easier to read)
            -Inside the ECM it is really clean and simple. Cables seem to have been routed nicely. Basically your typical German engineering. I cant really comment on the VBM since ive never seen inside.
            -I liked the look of the ECM as soon as I saw it in person. The squarer shape just sat better with me. Cause it was bigger, I felt it also had more presence. More shiny polished SS to reflect things
            -VBM has the e61 group which has one of the original patent owners, the ECM has a SS mushroom. (I honestly dont even know what this means but Im sure some people will find it important)
            -I felt the ECM offered better 'value' for its price

            So anyway, that's why I decided to go with the ECM.
            The Barista didnt really get a chance because it wasnt on display, but once the Mechanika was shown to me it was easy to justify the extra cost

            Also, just wanted to make clear that these opinions are highly subjectivel and obviously have no bearing on the capability of each machine. Im sure both machines are up to the task at hand.
            Its just that when you are paying in excess of $2k for a coffee machine, its the small subjective things that make a difference.

            Hope this helps

            Thanks
            Sam

            Comment


            • #7
              I can only comment on the VBM. I purchased this machine about 4 months ago and couldn't be happier. This was my first real coffee machine and I think it is pretty forgiving or at least very easy to use.

              I only drink short blacks and get excellent pours from this machine. I'd pour about 4-6 shots a day as well as about about 2-3 milk coffees for my wife. If people are over often do 4 or more milk coffees in a session as well.

              The VBM has no problems keeping up and milk will froth very quickly, enough for 1 cup in 15-20 seconds, 2 cups in 30 seconds.

              I generally leave the machine 45 minutes to heat up before use although you can probably cut this time down a bit.

              I can't speak for maintenance as I've only had the machine for 4 months but a simple backflush every weekend is all that has been required so far.

              All in all I'm very happy with this machine, it is quite compact so fits in our small space and I have it paired with a MM grinder as well.

              Reeve.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by locosam View Post
                -Water and Steam knobs - My preference was for the ECM with its 5 knob design vs the triangular one on the VBM. Both knobs felt nice to turn though. Im not a fan of ECM labelling them though.
                I like the VAPORE and ACQUA the labels on the ECM knobs but it does amuse me ... I think ECM has an identity crisis. On a large metal plaque on the front of the machine it says "Espresso Coffee Machines Heidelberg Germany". Is it German or Italian? I guess DAMPF and WASSER doesn't have the same ring to it

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi all, I thought I would give you all an update. I was so so so close in buying a VBM Junior. Of the list I put together this in my humble opinion would be best. But after waiting a while longer I have decided to purchase an Alex Duetto iii from Chris @ talkcoffee.

                  My main reason for this machine was I did not want to upgrade anytime soon; so instead of me outgrowing my VBM I will grow into the Alex Duetto ......

                  Comment

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