A heavy and very well built machine for the serious Espresso Lover. Will last for many, many years
Positive Product Points
- big, solid, heavy machine - commercial quality and technology like boiler, grouphead, switches, - efficient cup heating - large water drip reservoir
Negative Product Points
- bit noisy when pumping - hardwired, non-removable tank - No hot-water outlet
For many users, Brugnetti might be quite exotic. I came across this interesting maker of commercial machines by searching for another machine for my 2nd home. In my primary home I use a Bezzera (Pasquini in the U.S.) Livia on a daily basis. Some of my initial observations are hence related to the Bezzera Livia. This machine is a benchmark for many serious Espresso Lovers anyway.
The Simona Top is the smallest machine of a range of big, heavy commercial machines from Brugnetti. They are manufactured near Milan in Italy. 90% of their portfolio is targetting commercial use. They only buildstraight, no-nonsense machine which are build to last for a long, long time. I like how the kept their Portfolio clean (unlike a La Pavoni for example now supplying also Mickey-Mouse Quality small machines). Don't expect super shiny, glitzy retro style Isomac stuff here. I always liked the approach of using the smallest unit in a range/portfolio, you can be quite sure that the expertise and technology is much better in a small unit. In the Simona Top, you will only find commercial quality technology inside. The same principle works with Yachts by the way.
So - what's the Simona experience?
Out of the box: Wow - this machine is far bigger than the photography suggests... Don't be misguied by the picture, this is a very big, heavy and chunky machine. The Livia is really small compared to this unit.
Preparing for the first shot: To fill water in, you remove a small cap on top of the machine. This allows you to poor the water into a 1.5 litres tank. You can not remove this tank, which I do not like. I think it is good to clean the water tank from time to time. I think the tank size is OK, you don't want the water in the tank to be older then a couple of days anyways. Once you switch the machine on, the boiler will be filled automatically. Wait for 5 mins and the unit is ready for the first go.
The first shot: My initial observations: - the pump is really strong - I had to grind the beans as fine as the grinder allows it to get the right consistency - the machine is quite loud when pump is in operation - the result is great! Very good Espresso with great taste and crema (after lot's of try-and-error) - the steam unit is also very powerful - the magnetic bypass valve pours the excess pressure and water in the reservoir - the water reservoir under the PF is huge and easy to take out and clean
As you can expect from this type of machine, you can leave the machine on all day and night without any changes in temperature. I like the cup heating, which is far better (hotter) than the Pasquini Machine.
What's the target group for this machine? I would say: - If you drink more than 5 Espresso / Capuccino a day - If you like a machine, which can / should leave switched on for the whole day - If you know the difference between all the plastic stuff and a heavy-duty machine - If you appreciate a heat-exchanger machine, which you will have for the next 10 - 20 years - If you like the idea of a non-nonsense machine, where you really get a lot for you money.