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La Spaziale S1 - Mike Evans's Review
Posted: February 19, 2004, 11:13pm
review rating: 6.5
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
La Spaziale S1
Where to Buy
Arrow Chris' Coffee Service
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About "Where to Buy"

More About This Product
Arrow The La Spaziale S1 has 68 Reviews
Arrow The La Spaziale S1 has been rated 9.31 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since February 18, 2004.
Arrow La Spaziale S1 reviews have been viewed 346,124 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Chas Rimpo 9.36
Michael Wolfson 8.76
Derek Sherman 8.46
Wolfgang Gaggl 8.30
Martin Lipton 8.22

Previous Review  
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.8
Manufacturer: La Spaziale Quality: 10
Average Price: $1,895.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $1,595.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Chris Coffee Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 1 month Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Starbucks Barista
Bottom Line: Best Dual Boiler, commercial grade, home espresso machine on the market...so far.
Positive Product Points

Dual Boilers
1 degree temperature control of the Group head
VERY massive portafilter
Direct Plumb
Incredible steaming capability

Negative Product Points

Unable to use timer to turn on...digital on/off
Noisy at first, solved with a screwdriver to tighten loose screws after shipping

Detailed Commentary

After doing endless research on all the machines between $1000 to $2000, this was the only dual boiler home machine that seem to offer more than an Hx machine.  Not thats there is anything wrong with the Hx machines, it was that for a few dollars more you can get a rotary pump, direct plumb, dual boiler, digital control to 1 degree of the group head, programmable functions, commercial grade components, and the ability to steam and pull shots at the same time(which I never do by the way).  

In all the research of the Hx machines( La Valentina, Giotto, Isomac, Expobar, Salvatore, etc), to me they all seem to offer the same capability dressed in different forms of stainless steel.  Which, by the way made the decision very difficult.  SO many machines at almost the same price, with the same capability.  How to pick one and feels good about excluding the other excelllent machines!  Before deciding to get the S1, I  had narrowed it down to the La Valentina and the Isomac Millenium.  In an attempt to determine if the LA Val was worth the extra premium over the Millenium, I call Chris Coffee.  We talked about the S1.  I was brainwashed into think that an upgraded espresso machine HAD to have the E61 group, which the S1 does not.  After I was convinced that the S1, was infact the best machine for the money, I ordered one, and have not regretted it at all.  Here is a list of all the features:

Dual Boiler
Steam Boiler 2.5 liter         Steam Boiler Element 1250 Watts
Group Boiler .45 liter          Group Boiler Element 800 Watts
Swivel Steam Arm
Two Complete Portafilters One Single and One Double
Direct Plumbed                  
Rotary Pump
Volumetric Dosing
Volumetric Dosing Adjustable Through Touch Pad
Group Temperature Indicated by LED Display
Group Temperature Adjustable Through Touch Pad
Electronic Boiler Refill
Built in Safety Thermostat
Semi Automatic Hot Water Delivery
Manual Steam Valve
Fault Diagnosis Alarms
Boiler Pressure Gauge

As with any new machine it takes a while to "get it down".  I am still learning on how to use this machine.  One thing that I do not have to worry about is the temp stability of the group head.  I usually let it warm up for 20-30 minutes before use, run a few blank shots in the portafilter, and pull some very good shots.  I always did cold lattes, because the Starbucks Barista, just wasnt up to the task.  Not the case with the S1.  I think I could steam all day and not have an issue.  Only issue I still work on is how much coffee to put in the portafilter, to strive for the 25-28 sec pull, without grinding to fine or tamping to hard.  Lately having much better success with beans from the local roaster here in Vegas (The Whole Bean) on Sahara/Valley View.  

All in all, I am very happy with the S1 and would not trade it for anything, although I would love to have the La Valentina for a day, just to play.  Hard to beat having a dual boiler, plumb, rotary machine for a couple hundred over a Hx machine.

Buying Experience

Nothing but positive from Chris COffee from day one. Very helpfull and knowledgable on everything espresso.  Even offered a new steam arm at NO CHARGE.

Three Month Followup

Great machine

One Year Followup

Well, I can't believe it has been a year since the S1 arrived FedEx.  No regrets.  It has has made a few moves, when we sold our house last summer.   First to the Hotel, which was easily plumbed in for the 60 day stay, and no issues.  Ran it in the 15  amp mode and did not trip the breaker once.  Then to a friends house for about 45 day.  Hooked up to her plumbing, chanded out the 15 amp plug, and worked flawlessly.  And finally to the new house.  WIfe said no to the install next to the sink.  Oh NO.  Installed on the other side of the kitchen, next to the frig, and ran a water line through the wall from the cold water line from the bathroom sink on the other side of the wall.  Since this is a soft water line and the water at the sink is hard water, I was able to eliminate the soft water filer and only use the water filer for espresso water.  Works flawlessly.  This year, I did the motor mount mod, and wow, what a difference.  Almost like I had a new machine, so if you have an older model, with the older motor mounts, DO THE UPGRADE!  Still have the older electronics and the older steamer wand, both which I did not see as a big deal.  Still pulls incredible espresso with ease and steams incredible.  Best espresso machine I  have ever owned, although the one prior to this was a Starbucks Barista, which was a good machine to learn on.  Would I buy a different machine today?  Sure, a $7000 La Marzocca F70, but it requires 220, is way to big for my kitched, a little excessive in price for a home unit, and the WIFE said NO. http://www.lamarzocco.com/fb70.html   Take  a peek.  All in all I would buy the exact same one today, no reservations.  Thanks Chris of Chris' Coffee  http://www.chriscoffee.com   for an excellent machine and purchasing experience.

Previous Review  
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review rating: 6.5
Posted: February 19, 2004, 11:13pm
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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