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La Cimbali - Other - Justin Knotzke's Review
Posted: May 16, 2003, 8:38am
review rating: 6.4
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
La Cimbali Machines - Other
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Arrow The La Cimbali - Other has 8 Reviews
Arrow The La Cimbali - Other has been rated 8.73 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow La Cimbali - Other reviews have been viewed 63,031 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Barry Nielsen 9.50
Java Man (Espressopithecus) 8.29
Espresso Lover 8.00
Ken Fox 6.42
Justin Knotzke 6.42

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.2
Product Reviewed: La Cimbali Jr
Manufacturer: Cimbali Quality: 10
Average Price: Varies Usability: 9
Price Paid: $0.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Auction Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 1 month Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: Intermediate Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Saeco Nero
Bottom Line: Unless I was loaded with dough, I don't think I'd buy this machine new. I would though get it second hand in a hearbeat. I would look at the Rancilio S series if I had to buy new.
Positive Product Points

She's a tank. Extremely well built. All the parts are easily serviceable. Makes incredible tasting Espresso and steams milk in seconds.

Negative Product Points

It's a commercial machine so you have to treat it like a baby. It requires lots of cleaning, backflushing, descaling etc. Ok, maybe not EXACTLY like a baby, but you know what I mean.

Detailed Commentary

Thanks to a local altie (alt.coffee) I picked up this Cimbali Junior (3 years old, only used as a demo) at an Auction for a song and a dance.

 The machine weighs 80lbs, has a 2.5liter boiler a commercial sized group head, 4 liter resevoir, takes up most of my kitchen and sounds like the Space Shuttle taking off when it brews a shot. Is your girlfriend sleeping too long? Do you need for her to get out of bed so you can head out? Just hit the brew switch. ;)

  But, it makes incredible tasting espresso with little to no work. I only have to run a little bit of water out the group if I have left it sitting for a while. No temp surfing required.

  The only variables I need to worry about are tamp and grind and I must say, one needn't worry too much about those variables either because even shots that are too long or too short still taste quite good.

  Getting a God Shot comes fairly often too. I find with this machine I don't really need to time my shots, I just need to look at them. If it flows fairly well out the spout I only need to wait for it to change colour and then I'm done. That almost always gets me a great shot.

  The machine though does require lots of work. Mine was second hand and I needed to descale, clean, replace group gasket, soak everything in Puly, fix leaky vacuum breaker, fix leaky solenoid etc. But given that this machine is $2500USD new, and parts cost me a total of $70USD, and the machine cost me but a song and a dance, I think I did quite well.

Buying Experience

We got it at an auction. It required hauling it out of some bankrupt Cimbali dealer and taking it home. Fairly painless.

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review rating: 6.4
Posted: May 16, 2003, 8:38am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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