Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
consumer product reviews
prosumer / professional espresso machine reviews
Vibiemme Machines - All - John Rustrick's Review
Posted: March 25, 2007, 9:44pm
review rating: 5.3
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Vibiemme Machines - All
Where to Buy
Arrow 1st-line Equipment
Arrow 1st in Coffee
Arrow Prima Coffee Equipment
 List your business site here.
About "Where to Buy"

More About This Product
Arrow The Vibiemme Machines - All has 20 Reviews
Arrow The Vibiemme Machines - All has been rated 8.94 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since February 3, 2003.
Arrow Vibiemme Machines - All reviews have been viewed 149,007 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Wilco Bos 9.23
Felix L 8.00
Jill S. 8.00
Ann Phillips 7.75
Mats Leidö 7.66

Previous Review Next Review
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.6
Product Reviewed: Domobar Super Lever
Manufacturer: Vibiemme Quality: 9
Average Price: Varies Usability: 9
Price Paid: $1,625.00 Cost vs. Value 6
Where Bought: Columbus Coffee, Auckland Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 6 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Rancilio Silvia
Bottom Line: The VBM Domobar Super has essentially ended any thoughts I have of upgrading any further. I've got the best money can buy - barring a full blown commercial machine that wouldn't make sense in the home.
Positive Product Points

This is a great machine, where do I start?

  • simultaneous steam and espresso.
  • large boiler - you cannot run out of steam, and strong strong steam pressue.
  • large tank, infrequent fill-ups.
  • heavy portafilter handle with 17g doubleshot basket.
Negative Product Points

Not many, but if you have to nit-pick:

  • Noisy... the pump really rattles the case!
  • E61 grouphead can get too hot, burning the first espresso shot after a long wait time. Best to do a cooling flush first.
  • steam is almost too strong for small amounts of milk - prefers to steam enough milk for 3-4cups instead of the odd solo cup.
Detailed Commentary

I got this machine from NZ - primarily because it was impossible to get in Singapore. And given 240V in Singapore, importing one from the states was a no-go. Decided on a chrome one for maximum kitchen presence. Everything about the machine feels solid - from it's 28kg weight, to the hefty single/double spout portafilters included.

Since it's a Super model, there a big boiler and heat exchanger allowing simultaneous steam and espresso brewing. There's also a handy separate hot water tap (for those long blacks, or the tea drinker in the party). There's also a low-water indicator that shut's down the boiler/pump to protect the machine from running dry - a great feature given that the tank is hidden (as most of these are). It's a manual lever too - more original looking.

Straight out of the box, this has demonstrated itself to be a great machine. I used to own a Silvia - and had grown used to the meticulous process to get a decent espresso. However, with the Domobar Super, I have become a little more slack as the machine is far more forgiving. Plus it's great not to have to wait for temps to move when having to make milk drinks.

I adjusted the espresso brewing approach with the Domobar Super. The machine seems to favour a slightly finer grind (~2 steps finer than for Silvia on the Rocky) with less tamping - just a firm press and polish (10-15lbs) as opposed to the 30lbs required to get something reasonable out of the Silvia. The pre-infusion feature of the E61 really does aid and simplify the process.

Steaming is now a breeze with the very powerful steam jet that you get. The twin hole tip makes things a lot easier than the single hole Silvia tip. Only danger is that there's so much steam, if you're working with small capacities of milk, you don't get a whole lot of time to work that foam.

My only real complaint about the machine is that the pump is noisy - both when filling the boiler (doesn't happen often), and brewing espresso. Part of this could be due to the fact that the pump is mounted close to the case - I've got a project to open her up and pad that down a bit to see whether things get better.

Buying Experience

Got this machine from Columbus Coffee, High Street, Auckland. The proprietor, Daryl, was a star and spent plenty of time educating me on the pro's and con's of the various options. Price was good for NZ/Aus rates and no more expensive than importing one from Italy. I'd recommend going to Daryl regardless of machine you intend to get - he'll make the buying experience much more enjoyable.

Three Month Followup

6 months of ownership and I am still loving this espresso machine. Summary points:

  • I've gotten over the need to do the occassional cooling flush if the machine has been sitting idle for too long.
  • It's so forgiving - grinds can be a little out, or tamp can be a little shoddy but you can still drink the result in the cup.
  • Spend too much time polishing the VBM with a soft cloth for that super-shiney look on the kitchen counter.
Previous Review Next Review
Write a Review for this Product
review rating: 5.3
Posted: March 25, 2007, 9:44pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Login Password
forgot pw | signup
Experience Qualia Coffee
Indescribably good coffee from DC's premier shop roaster with the widest selection & freshest beans.
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repair - Parts - Sales
Factory Authorized &
Trained Technician
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2015 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.192692995071)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+