Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
consumer product reviews
consumer espresso machine reviews
Isomac Zaffiro - Robert Hein's Review
Posted: December 22, 2002, 9:37pm
review rating: 5.6
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Isomac Zaffiro
Where to Buy
Arrow 1st-line Equipment
 List your business site here.
About "Where to Buy"

More About This Product
Arrow The Isomac Zaffiro has 10 Reviews
Arrow The Isomac Zaffiro has been rated 9.04 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Isomac Zaffiro reviews have been viewed 78,928 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
David Blackman 9.50
Dan Kehn 7.86
Bob Dunsig 7.30
Marc Lewis 6.50
Mike Walsh 6.42

Previous Review  
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.2
Manufacturer: Isomac Quality: 10
Average Price: $895.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $795.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: chris coffee.com Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 2 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: Intermediate Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Excellent value for the bucks, top notch commercial-home quality.
Positive Product Points

Definitely worth the bucks, right out of the box (pulled 2 "prelim" shots) made the best shots I've had in a long time (especially at home!!). Plenty of H2O is needed to prime and get going, but once underway it hums like an Italian dream. Superbly constructed (42 lbs.) like a commercial machine, and easy to use in my opinion. Liked having the bar/steam gauge as well, helps to make the consistency of great shot creation more attainable. Once up to temp it cranks out shots as fast as you can knock,tamp, and twist. Wife loves the hot water dispense, she a big tea drinker. I dig the heavy duty toggle switches and "old toaster" looking indicator lights, truly has a unique flair.

Negative Product Points

Whoever translated the instructions was not from UK/USA, you're in for a good snicker on some of the lines. I was looking for a machine that wasn't so "machine" looking (I really love Elektra's machines, the a leva is one of my favorites owned by a roommate years ago), but the semi-retro appeal of the Zaff' is decent (see the review on this site that mentions an old 'Star Trek' slant to the asthetics). Nothing serious (or minor) to make negative yet about the machine. Takes a few minutes to really warm up for the good shots though. Can they simpy make a better tamper rather than the CHEAP plastic one that comes with it? I mean the back of my scooper works much better than the tiny one they sent...ah well, one for the Christmas list.

Detailed Commentary

Be prepared to laugh at the manual, but read it for sure! The best way to use the Zaff' (and the other Iosmacs I've read about) is to let is heat up for at least 20 to 30 minutes before pulling real quality shots from it. I think this may be typical for the single boiler machines. Once up to temp, be sure not to use the brew head for any leverage on the twist, it does get mighty hot (see the E61 head info on this site) as my wife can attest to! I love the lever activation for brewing, reminds me of an old coffee house I spent time in years ago, sitting across from the barista watching the machine steam away after each lever was pulled. I would definitely advise keeping the drip tray as clean as you can, it just keeps the mess down. Although it is wonderfully deep for those days when many shots are pulled, it lets me procrastinate in cleaning it so I tend to let it get pretty deep with run off. The screen/head is simple to maintain, it comes with a blank to fit on the brew heads. I just can't say enough with how much I am loving my Zaff'. I've used steam powered, heat exchangers, manual lever pullers, and other pump machines before. Isomac has really got their 'stuff' together, I am truly impressed and am looking forward to having the Zaff' for many years to come.

Buying Experience

No complaints, Chris Coffee has always had great reviews on this site and they are definitely based on reality. Customer service number one.

Three Month Followup

I have nothing to add in 3 months but excellent results from practically each shot pulled. One strange thing that I have not emailed Chris (Chris's Coffee) about yet is my temp light is out. The machine still works perfectly fine, just no "magic" temp light (the middle one). Not sure if this is a fix I can do myself, I thought maybe it could be a simple bulb replacement. The Zaff does like a medium-fine grind, too fine is too tight a pack after tamping to get a decent pull. The ideal time seems to be about 15 seconds once the first creamy streams begin to hit the bottom of the cup (single shot). Still makes it's best shots after being warmed up for at least 15 to 20 minutes, although I pulled one after it first warmed up (in about 4 to 5 minutes!) and I have to admit it wasn't all that bad. A little "clear" tasting, if that makes sense. Other than that I am one happy espresso/coffee geek!

Previous Review  
Write a Review for this Product
review rating: 5.6
Posted: December 22, 2002, 9:37pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Login Password
forgot pw | signup
Learn @seattlecoffeegear
Learn all about coffee, watch videos, read how-to articles.
Rancilio Silvia - How to
Step by step guide for easy brewing and steaming with the Rancilio Silvia
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. (0.195619821548)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+