Exobar Barista, ECM Giotto Premium, La Valentina Levetta ?

Black gold

New member
Nov 30, 2006
1
0
Falun, Sweden
Looking for some good advice.

I have looked all over the internet for espresso machines that have the look and the functions I am looking for in a upgraded consumer machine and now I am down to these machines.

Exobar Barista Minor (advertised as the Brewtus II in the USA)
La Valentina Lavetta
ECM Giotto Premium
Vibiemme Domobar Super
Electra Sixties

These machines have a great look in my opinion and seem to give the barista good control over pressure, an even temperature, and dependable usage over time but since I've never owned any of them I can't really know how they are. Perhaps there is even a better machine I haven't even seen yet. I have also read great things about La Spaziale Vivali II and La Marzocco GS3 but will these machines give me greater espresso and cappuccino? They certainly don't have the same estetic appeal as the machines which I have listed below but perhaps these machines give the barista much more control and as such consistently better espresso.

Since one doesn't go and buy an espresso machine of this class so often I certainly would appreciate any insight people can give me before I buy a new espresso machine.
 

mrgnomer

New member
Jan 22, 2006
149
0
Canada
Re: Exobar Barista, ECM Giotto Premium, La Valentina Levetta

Black gold said:
Looking for some good advice.

I have looked all over the internet for espresso machines that have the look and the functions I am looking for in a upgraded consumer machine and now I am down to these machines.

Exobar Barista Minor (advertised as the Brewtus II in the USA)
La Valentina Lavetta
ECM Giotto Premium
Vibiemme Domobar Super
Electra Sixties

These machines have a great look in my opinion and seem to give the barista good control over pressure, an even temperature, and dependable usage over time but since I've never owned any of them I can't really know how they are. Perhaps there is even a better machine I haven't even seen yet. I have also read great things about La Spaziale Vivali II and La Marzocco GS3 but will these machines give me greater espresso and cappuccino? They certainly don't have the same estetic appeal as the machines which I have listed below but perhaps these machines give the barista much more control and as such consistently better espresso.

Since one doesn't go and buy an espresso machine of this class so often I certainly would appreciate any insight people can give me before I buy a new espresso machine.

With the exception of the Elektra Sixities none of the machines you listed are techniqually good for commercial use. They're commercial grade but due to boiler size, element power they're designed mostly for home use and not to keep up to continual demand in a commercial setting. I guess you're looking for a commercial grade home machine.

The GS3 is the top of the list but at $4500US it's a bit pricey. It's a double boiler with a saturated group head and it's the best of the lot with respect to thermal stability and excellent espresso capability. It's also designed by Marzocco for home use (115 V, 15 amp-plug it in with no special power requirements). The Elektra Sixties is also a proprietary group design and from the reviews it edges out the e61 group machines for espresso potential. With a great big boiler and good quality (I tried one out) the machine will keep up with high demand, steam like a beast and crank out good espress. As far as I know I'd rate it number two in your list. It's a heat exchaning machine and at about $2500 US it's also a bit pricey.

The best home double boiler right now seems to be the Vivali II. I believe it's been developed in collaboration with Chris' coffee to be adjustable and reliable in the brewing temp range to 1C. Very good machine and easier to use if you don't like the idea of flushing for temp with an HX. I'd put it 3rd. It's pricier than good HX's in it's capability range but an easier machine to use if you're looking to set the temp and not worry about flushing.

The rest of the machines on your list I think are you high end home use e61 group heat exchanging (HX) machines. You'll need to flush for temp after idling and the true e61 group some love and other think that it's preinfusion helps make the extraction easier but blurs the shot. Still, e61 groups are generic and easy to find and replace if you need to and since it's patent in 1961 nothing really monumental has come along with heat exchannging group heads to improve on it. I've got a good HX, the Quickmill Vetrano, which is a plumb in rotary pump Andreja Premium and with a fresh roast, good grind and good hand the pulls are very good.

For bang for your buck I'd recommend any of the e61 group HX's if you're going to just be using the machine at home for a couple espresso's an hour. The Elektra would be a great machine for a large family or entertaining large groups of people who like lattes, cappaccino's and such. The GS3 is a dream machine for home use along with the Synesso Cyncra or Mirage. Those are the machines espresso enthusiasts pine for and I'd get one if I won a lottery or had a big wad of cash to drop down.


All the machines you listed give the operator control of pump pressure, boiler temp/pressure and can extract and steam simultaneously. The boiler sizes, heating element wattage, machine design and grouphead design distinguish one from the other. For home use a great big boiler isn't really needed. The Elektra might need a dedicated circuit since it runs at 20amps. Really your beans, grinder and skills are more important to great espresso than your machine.
 

Davec

New member
Oct 18, 2006
314
0
Old England (UK)
Check the Reviews on the Bella Barista Web site

I wrote all of the reviews for them as an Independent reviewer. It may give an insight into the wide range of machines and probelems benefits of each type. Of course not all are available in the USA, but I think Chris Coffee now sells the Alex.... and could probably order you a Vivi (both models are in the MKII revision now, the reviews were for the MK1s, but are still useful and mostly relevant). The Mk IIs have some small additions like ball joins steam and water wands a brew pressure guage on the Alex (plus rubber mounted rotary pump, so much quieter) , plumb in or pourover, via a switch underneath and some minor changes to the drip tray.

There is a review of the Brewtus II.... they are all coming fitted with an improved OPV valve in the UK that allows pressure to be adjusted down to 9-10 bar. It's easy to tell if it's got the improved OPV, it has a brass rather than a white nylon adjustment screw. It looks pretty much the same (although the excess pressure outflow hole is larger) and the internal design is better...which means you can reduce the pressure more.

http://www.bellabarista.co.uk/

Look in the downloads section...if nothing else, it gives you some food for thought and other types of machines to thik about.

Look in the downloads section

hope it helps m8
 

Davec

New member
Oct 18, 2006
314
0
Old England (UK)
Re: Check the Reviews on the Bella Barista Web site

Davec said:
I wrote all of the reviews for them as an Independent reviewer. It may give an insight into the wide range of machines and probelems benefits of each type. Of course not all are available in the USA, but I think Chris Coffee now sells the Alex.... and could probably order you a Vivi (both models are in the MKII revision now, the reviews were for the MK1s, but are still useful and mostly relevant). The Mk IIs have some small additions like ball joins steam and water wands a brew pressure guage on the Alex (plus rubber mounted rotary pump, so much quieter) , plumb in or pourover, via a switch underneath and some minor changes to the drip tray.

There is a review of the Brewtus II.... they are all coming fitted with an improved OPV valve in the UK that allows pressure to be adjusted down to 9-10 bar. It's easy to tell if it's got the improved OPV, it has a brass rather than a white nylon adjustment screw. It looks pretty much the same (although the excess pressure outflow hole is larger) and the internal design is better...which means you can reduce the pressure more. Nothing wrong with the original factory fitment, except it wasn't that adjustable, expobar were informed and have reacted quickly.

http://www.bellabarista.co.uk/

Look in the downloads section...if nothing else, it gives you some food for thought and other types of machines to thik about.

Look in the downloads section

hope it helps m8
 
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