I bought a $1600 coffee machine, and I think it was a bargain considering how great it is. That says it all.
Positive Product Points
Very reproducible performance for shots. Powerful steamer. Rotary pump is *silent*!! Direct plumb is convenient. 15 amp and normal plug were great design feature. Overall build quality and finish is outstanding. High quality knobs and those insulated steam & water arms are great... never thought I would care, but I love them now. And of course, great customer service & technical support from Chris Coffee.
Negative Product Points
The 'feet' are not polished like the rest of the machine, and it is noticeable. Finish on large bolt head on top of grouphead assembly was not finished as well as rest of machine, and was bluer than the rest. Drip tray screen causes splatter when water comes out of bottom when backflushing or stopping shots.
I had owned my Tea (also bought from Chris) for about 4 years. I moved, and while my old house did not have hard water, my new new one sure did, and I never realized it until it was too late. Tea died from scale build up. Time to upgrade!! Chris' staff spent about 2 hours on the phone with me during my various phone calls, answering all my questions an getting back to me with info they did not have right away. I was looking at the Vivaldi, but I really loved the beautiful stainless steel and exposed grouphead of the Tea. Wound up going with the Vetrano. After I had my water softening system installed, of course!
I had the Sirai upgrade and a few other accessories, and my order arrived promptly and well-packed. I installed Chris' John Guest adapter (with some help from his service department) and was in business. The Vetrano performed flawlessly, and continues to do so 6 months later. Not sure what this means, but with my usual Black Cat blend I am grinding 1 notch finer with the Mazzer Mini (same grinder I had with the Tea).
I had to adjust the grouphead pressure, and I followed the instructions on Chris' website, so it was a snap. While I had the cover off I took a good look around, and it was clearly a well thought-out and well put together piece of machinery. The Tea was a great machine, but functionally and aesthetically the Vetrano really stands out. You can really see what the extra money buys you. In about 2 weeks I had my routine down. Using the naked portafilter it was clear to see how consistent the shots were.
So, here is the big one... how does my coffee taste?!?! Well, it tastes awesome!!
I am guessing it is rare that someone would have the same location, beans, grinder, etc and just change out a machine... but that is what happened to me. With all those variables removed, I can make a pretty strong conclusion that the Vetrano allows me to make a better shot. Crema is outstanding, times are consistent, taste is fabulous, and I can do it just about every day. I can't say too much about the steaming, as I don't have milk drinks that often, but when I do they are great and make silky microfoam that my wife says is great. After some practice I found I really liked the steam tip that came with th Vetrano.
I am completely happy with the Vetrano and my ownership experience. It was very important for me to have a more mechanical machine. I love the ritual of making coffee, and I think the Vetrano and that shiny steel grouphead is a piece of art. Maybe I could pull a better shot on a Vivaldi, but for the total experience (and my personal preferences) I am thrilled with the Vetrano and glad I did business with Chris Coffee.
Dealing with Chris Coffee is a pleasure. All of his staff took the time to answer all of my questions before the sale and provide technical support afterwards. Minor issues were handled immediately. Shipping was immediate, and the packaging was to notch. Can't ask for more than that.