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Era Cuadra or Vibemme Domobar Junior as a first Espresso Machine
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Senior Member

Joined: 9 Jan 2011
Posts: 28
Location: Manlius
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti
Grinder: Vario
Vac Pot: Aeropress
Drip: Zojirushi/Hario
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu May 30, 2013, 11:11am
Subject: Era Cuadra or Vibemme Domobar Junior as a first Espresso Machine

Hey Folks,

For the last few years I have gone through the usual paces - nice grinder, whole beans, nicer grinder, fresh roasts, small roaster, nicer drip machine, bigger roaster, few pourover setups/french press/aeropress/Bialetti.

I am all set to take the next step and get the Espresso machine. Have come close before but backed out due to the feared involvement, work and learning curve. I think I have braced and convinced myself enough to make the purchase.

After reading the current options the Cuadra and Vibemme appear good candidates based on my preference for:
- simple, clean looks
- Small footprint
Milky/foamy drinks I plan to make
- HX/Dual Boiler setup
- Local/close serviceability
- Not made in China (if I can help it)
- Under 2K.

However since my experience is 0, should I consider a different machine or regardless consider a different machine. Or am I overthinking this decision?
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,265
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu May 30, 2013, 11:33am
Subject: Re: Era Cuadra or Vibemme Domobar Junior as a first Espresso Machine

Either machine should do fine.

Have you been through the how to buy an espresso machine FAQ and the standard questions thread?

Either HX or DB will make great shots and allow you to make all the drinks you want, drink after drink.

DB machines have a slightly shorter learning curve but either is not bad, you will be pulling great shots in no time. If you like to use the same coffee, time after time then a PID DB will serve you well.

If you like to play with your shots, to tweak out the last N'th of the shot or have several coffees on the bench at the same time then a HX may work better for you.

I can understand the hesitation when spending a lot of money, fair enough. A quality machine will last a long time though and if you look at it as buying a machine that will last for 10 years, that puts it in a little better light. There is no reason that when taken care of properly, either machine should not last that long.

If you are like most here, this is only the start of things! next may come an upgraded grinder etc though there is nothing wrong with the Vario, the upgrade bug can bite hard and then all bets may be off LOL!

Take a deep look at where you want to go with this hobby, if it is only to serve great drinks to yourself, family and friends a DB might by your path. If you want to geek out with different coffees then a HX may be what you want.

Things to think about but which are out of reach now but are great to have are plumb in and volumetric dosing, at least give a passing thought to both of those topics.

Price creep can happen quickly so beware of that. You may find yourself saying several times, ..... for only $200 more, I can have..... a few of these and you are to $2K and up!

In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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