Full size commercial E61 manual group. Compact size fits well in normal sized kitchen. Makes excellent coffee!
Negative Product Points
Boiler and reservoir are on the small side, but this was the price to be paid for a compact package.
After a frustrating few years with an Estro Vapore, I focused on pour-over coffee for a decade. Wanting to get back to espresso and some milk-based drinks I had to decide between a Gaggia/Silvia single boiler kind of thing or go straight for a commercial group HX or dual-boiler.
I chose the Junior HX after much research and thought, with counter space being one of the drivers. It is a few inches narrower than most standard HX E61 machines and leaves a good 6-7 inches of counter space in front. I usually only make a couple coffees at a time so was not too concerned with the smaller boiler and reservoir. If I found it lacking or wanted to go all in, I could trade up later.
There is really not much to say about its performance, it just works and works really well. I have tweaked the boiler pressure (temperature) a few times to balance the availability of steam pressure with HX flush time. I settled on 1.3 bar at the top of the pressurestat cycle which seems to be a common point for others with Vibiemme machines. The group takes a good 1/2 hour to begin stabilizing at temperature which took a little getting used to. Other than that it just works and I can focus on making coffee and steaming milk.
I also learned, the hard expensive way, that it really is all about the grind and I now have a Mazzer Mini to complement this thing. I highly doubt I would ever upgrade to a better machine, this one works perfectly for my needs and should keep me in good coffee for a good long time.
1st-Line was very professional to deal with. The unit came extremely well packed with no damage. They should include a print out of their Vibiemme Domobar instructions that are available on their website. I had one issue with a bad weld on one edge of the drip tray. They sent me a replacement immediately and asked me to please recycle the old one rather than send it back.