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La Cimbali Domus - Marco Anglesio's Review
Posted: December 13, 2010, 9:47am
review rating: 0.0
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La Cimbali Domus
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Arrow The La Cimbali Domus has 6 Reviews
Arrow The La Cimbali Domus has been rated 8.37 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since June 27, 2002.
Arrow La Cimbali Domus reviews have been viewed 55,203 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Richard Killoh 10.00
T Sted 8.66
Colin Maxwell 5.33
Michael Hauptman 0.00
Marco Anglesio 0.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.2
Manufacturer: La Cimbali Quality: 8
Average Price: n/a Usability: 9
Price Paid: $270.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: eBay Aesthetics 5
Owned for: 3 years Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Solis SL90, multiple Gaggias
Bottom Line: Low maintenance, quality espresso, a solid workhorse machine.
Positive Product Points

3-way solenoid
portafilter baskets are massive (the "double" basket is more like a triple)
Very easy to use
Gigantic drip tray
Very strong steam
Very large boiler
Very temperature-stable

Negative Product Points

Very plain look
Non-commercial aluminum portafilter (58mm, but non-standard)
Long heat-up time
Small tank (about 1.7 L)
Obsolete model/no support from distributor or corporate

Detailed Commentary

I bought the Domus Classic in 2007 off eBay - I'm not sure how much it had been used prior, but it came in very good to unused/barely used condition. I descaled it on arrival just to be sure, have occasionally since then, and it's been a great performer in frequent use since then.

This was a "step up" for me from the Solis SL90 or Gaggia (even 3-way solenoid models). The espresso coming from the Domus is more powerful/flavorful, and has more and more intensely colored crema.  

In contrast to some of the heats up quickly comments elsewhere, I add the caveat that it takes a while to fully heat up the tubing, grouphead, etc. You can tell quite easily whether the machine is fully warmed up by pouring a cup of hot water.

I have the Domus Classic, which uses basic electromechanical controls.  There are two other, more expensive/sophisticated models in the Domus line, the Tronic, which uses electronic rather than electromechanical controls, and Dosatron, which incorporates a flowmeter. Given that the Domus has fallen out of support and incorporates some non-standard parts, the Classic is probably the best choice at present.

Also, it is worth waiting for a good deal if the Domus is on your radar; I've heard of used Domuses selling at $100, at $400, and many points in between. At $400+, you can do better, but at $250 or less it's a category killer.

The lack of available support/documentation/specific parts will probably get me to upgrade sooner than later (I suspect that it didn't sell at the 800-900 price point, where the main competition is prosumer and HX machines, but cost too much to manufacture for La Cimbali to sell it at a cheaper price point), but I plan on using the Domus for the forseeable future.

Buying Experience

Smooth eBay transaction. The only current Domus vendors appear to be in the Aus/NZ market; it seems to have fallen out of north american distribution in the early 2000's if not earlier.

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Posted: December 13, 2010, 9:47am
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