Spectacular looking - pictures don't do it justice. Very heavy duty and solid and a joy to use. Makes fantastic espresso. Temperatures very managable. Quite pump & no need to keep refilling is wonderful. Polished stainless is mirror-like. I didn't realize just how good it was until it arrived.
Negative Product Points
Drain pan fitting should be included. Everything should get a final wipe-down prior to shipping. Couple of issues inside (see below)
I ordered my Vitrano from Chris Coffee and they were willing to throw in a naked portafilter with a triple basket, some additional John Guest fittings and tube, cleaner, cleaning brush, and a pound of Black Pearl espresso beans. Thanks! I opted for the sirai pressure stat upgrade ($59 installed).
The unit is extremely well packed with one well padded box inside another. There are handles on the outside box that make hauling the beast much easier. I was concerned about some big, black footprints on the side of the outer box, but it didn't even dent the outer, double-walled container. I think the unit was dropped during shipment, though, because the pressure stat looked like it had been shoved over and down from its original installation spot. I re-adjusted it and tightened the fittings and it seems to be working fine. Everything else was perfect. If the unit actually was dropped, it's a testament to it's durability.
The unit really gleams. I don't think QuickMill does enough to impress potential customers about the quality of the stainless steel that they use, along with whatever manufacturing considerations go into building these things without scuffing or scratching the huge amounts of shiney metal that go into a Vetrano.
There are a few hand and finger prints, presumably from the technicians who installed the pressure stat upgrade. Whoever is responsible for the final packaging should really go over the machine and wipe everything off. At this level, little things mean a lot.
The label on the rotary pump was torn. It appeared as though the pump was scraped against an edge of sheet metal, and it scraped off about half of the label. Not a big deal, but again, it makes the buyer wonder.
I placed the unit on the counter and it took me about 20 minutes to install the plumbing line. I turned it on and the pump started. The unit operated exactly as described. I was impressed by the solid sound of the pressure stat. It really clunks on and off. Not loud - just really solid. You know that it's going to last a long time.
This is my first E61 machine and I'm going to be tripping on it for a while. I can't stop cleaning the machine! I noticed some gunk on the cup holder screen. I think that it starts as a sheet of metal, covered by a black, protective film. They must run it through a machine that cuts the screen pattern in and that must leave some of the film behind. It doesn't come off easily because the film is adhered to the metal and after it is stamped, the film gets twisted to the side. I had a brainstorm and put the cup holder screen in the dishwasher. It came out completely clean! Tip for other vetrano owners. Stainless steel absolutely LOVES the dishwasher. I use Cascade.
I let the machine warm up for about 2 hours. It even smells new. Brewing my first espresso with a naked portafilter on my first E61 deserves a moment of silence from all coffee lovers. In the week leading up to the arrival of the machine, I was glued to every discussion forum, support site, and user manual I could get my hands on. The "water dance" tutorials on Home Barista are indespensible. I've had to re-learn my entire routine.
I've brewed a number of shots and am still tweaking the settings. It's getting better and better, but so far, everything I've brewed has been better than anything I was ever able to get from the Silvia. Lots of crema!
Steaming and frothing are a dream. The frothing arm is cool touch and really long. It generates enough steam pressure that just purging the line can put spatter on the upper cupboards if I'm not careful. I can froth 10 ounces of milk in well under one minute. Not having to wait for the machine to reach steam temp is another treat and the frothing arm cleans off easily because the milk can't bake on.
Interestingly, I thought that the hot water arm wouldn't see much use because I dring mostly Lattes and expressos. I tried it out by making an Americano and now I've gotten hooked on them. They really give me a different perspective on the quality of my shots and the taste is better than any cup of ordinary coffe I've ever had.
The only complaint I have is that the drain kit for the pan uses a special, stainless fitting. I can only find that fitting as part of a $38 drain kit. I have all the other tube and fittings I need to drain the pan, but I just need the pan fitting. Having just blown my entire inheritence on the Vetrano, I'm finding it hard to spend even the $38 on the kit. I wish they would just throw the fitting in as part of the unit. Avoiding the problem would be worth more than profit on the part.
If you considering the Vetrano, take my work for it - buy it. It is a profoundly substantial appliance and a worthwhile investment. If you're considering a vibe pump unit or a resevoir unit in this general price range - even hundreds less, you will regret stopping just short. I was close to buying an Andreja Premium for about $150 less. Then I asked for the fill kit. Mary ad Chris Coffee was quick to point out that I was going to end up spending almost as much as the Vetrano and would also be taking on lots of additional installation steps.
I've never seen the Andreja in person but I have read that the stainless steel is a much lighter gauge so that they can impart the curves that the Andreja case has. I'm really grateful that I went with the Vetrano. Although I probably would have really liked the Andreja, I always would have wondered about the Vetrano.
The unit has a really timeless look. Nothing trendy about it. It will look just as great 100 years from now.
Like an expectant father, I pestered the hell out of Mary at Chris Coffee. Any mortal would have been driven to insanity and/or have obtained a restraining order.
Mary never stopped providing great advice and suggestions and in spite of handling dozens of other orders on any given day, treated me like I was her only customer. Thanks!
Three Month Followup
I use it every day. I'd buy it again today. I'm thrilled with the purchase and can tell you that the Vetrano is built like a tank. If you drink lattes as often as I do, it makes sense to get a machine that never struggles. Doesn't move on the counter, looks great, and cranks out fantastic coffee. I've been burned every time I've tried to save money on appliances that I use this often. Get a great product once. No regrets whatsoever.