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La Spaziale S1 - James McNab's Review
Posted: December 17, 2004, 10:07am
review rating: 8.1
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
La Spaziale S1
Where to Buy
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Arrow Chris' Coffee Service
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About "Where to Buy"

More About This Product
Arrow The La Spaziale S1 has 68 Reviews
Arrow The La Spaziale S1 has been rated 9.31 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since February 18, 2004.
Arrow La Spaziale S1 reviews have been viewed 361,129 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Chas Rimpo 9.36
Michael Wolfson 8.76
Derek Sherman 8.46
Wolfgang Gaggl 8.30
Martin Lipton 8.22

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.6
Manufacturer: La Spaziale Quality: 10
Average Price: $1,895.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $1,748.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Vaneli's Espresso Machines Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 2 weeks Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: This is one incredible piece of machinery!  The rotary pump produces consistently excellent espresso and plenty of steam for frothing.
Positive Product Points
  • Direct plumb connection - you never need to bother with filling a water resevoir again.
  • Dual boiler.
  • Extremely accurate temperature control and stability.
  • TONS of steam readily available for frothing.
  • Very solid and well built piece of artistic machinery.
  • Superb height for average consumer's kitchen.  Plenty of space to allow for machine and cups and still several of inches of clearance left.
  • Makes a superb shot.
  • More than ample drip tray.
Negative Product Points
  • Might require some extra parts for direct plumbing.
  • No sink connection for drip tray.
Detailed Commentary

I've waited a few weeks before writing this product review so I could more accurately describe my experience.  Granted, I'm very happy with this machine, but one would expect to be after making such an investment.  I wanted to let some of that "honeymoon" infatuation fade so that I might be able to give a more factual assesment.  That being said, I highly recommend this machine to any level of espresso afficiando.  I am by no means a pro-barista, but I sure feel like one when I use this machine.  Just this morning I made a cappuccino that is far and away better than any I've ever bought at Starbucks.  Really!
    As I mentioned, I am a novice in the prosumer espresso arena.  I knew nothing about grinding and tamping save for what I read on this website.  I did my homework and research on machines and had pretty much narrowed it down to the Andreja Premium and the La Spaziale S1.  I liked the idea that both were able to be plumbed in  - actually, the S1 has to be plumbed in.  I just felt that if I never had to bother with filling the resevoir, that I would love that.  As it turns out, I do.  
    Both seemed to be excellent machines and I honestly feel that I would be happy with either machine.  However, I did like the idea of the double boiler, the precise temperature control, the rapidity with which shots could be pulled, and the rotary pump of the S1.   The price was a few hundred more, but I feel it was well worth it.
   It took me a few times to dial in the proper grind on the Mazzer before I felt I was pulling decent shots.  However, the S1 has been a very forgiving machine for my novice endeavors!  It really has been quite simple to use.  The ability to adjust the temperature is quite convenient and easy to accomplish.  The dose of water is equally easy to adjust.  Recovery time with both boilers is very fast.  
  If you are reading this review, then I will spare you the details that you have undoubtedly read in more lenghty and professional reviews.  From a novice viewpoint, this machine is not too complicated to learn.  The S1 has been extremely forgiving while I am still perfecting the grind and tamp.  It allows me to pull very good shots of espresso with plenty of rich crema.  I am very glad that I didn't go with one of my earlier considerations that was a manual lever machine.  Although the spring lever machine I was looking at got an excellent review, it also required a more experienced operator.  I can think of nothing more frustrating that needing to learn on a machine that is exacting.  The S1, although intimidating at first to the beginner, will quickly become familiar and comfortable after a few hours of use.  I am much more confident today and, I feel that is due, in part, to the S1 allowing me to experience success almost immediately.  
   One thing to mention in case the plumbing is turning anybody off.  I am not a plumber, but it took me about an hour and a half to get the machine installed.  It really wasn't that difficult.  I bought the water filtration and softener kit from Chris' Coffee and that came with a great deal of parts needed, however Gene provided some parts that also proved necessary.   The toughest part was drilling the countertop, however seveal members have found ways around this (i.e. the soap dispenser, etc.).  The only tools required were a sharp knife and some wrenches.  That's it!  Oh yeah, don't forget the teflon tape!  Other than that, the installation is fairly simple.
   I certainly do not regret my decision to purchase this machine.  I have found it to be an excellent fit under my kitchen cabinet.  I can actually stack espresso cups two high and still manage several inches of clearance.  There are just too many pluses about this machine to not give it a serious look if you are in the $1500.00 and up market for a machine.   Indeed, I consider it to be rather a very good bargain at the close to $1800.00 price tag.  You certainly get a whole lot of machine for your money.  In fact, I would not be surprised to see the price shoot up on these machines, especially considering the current state of affairs with US currency exchange rates.   I would recommend this machine to anybody who is considering a top-notch prosumer model.

Buying Experience

I highly recommend Vaneli's Espresso Machines for any purchase!  Gene at Vaneli's was excellent to do business with.  As I told him over the phone, I can't remember when spending over $2000.00 was such a pleasant experience!  He took care of me every step of the way and has offered a level of personal attention that I've not experienced with any retailer before.  He certainly has set the bar for excellence that others must match.  Gene went so far as to give me his personal cell number in order to walk me through the installation of the machine.  Not only did Gene offer great customer service, but he offered the best price I found anywhere on a package deal of the S1 and a Mazzer Mini.  He also threw in a lot of extra, high-quality goodies to go with it.  If I had to buy another machine, I'd definitely go back to Vaneli's!

Three Month Followup

There is no substitute for a direct plumbed machine.  None.  This is the height of convenience.  No more worries about whether the reservoir will run dry.  It just takes a lot of the hassel out of making espresso, latte, etc.  I really like having the dual boilers as well.  The La Spaziale is a dream to own!  The large double boiler has ensured that I have never run out of hot water for espresso and for steaming!

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review rating: 8.1
Posted: December 17, 2004, 10:07am
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