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La Spaziale S1 - Jay Kurtz's Review
Posted: June 18, 2007, 8:23pm
review rating: 6.5
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
La Spaziale S1
Where to Buy
Arrow Clive Coffee
Arrow Chris' Coffee Service
Arrow 1st-line Equipment
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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 362,320 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

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.8
Manufacturer: La Spaziale Quality: 10
Average Price: $1,895.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $1,895.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Chris' Coffee Service Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 6 months Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: La Spaziale Vivaldi II: I love this machine and would buy it again in a heartbeat.
Positive Product Points

I have the La Spaziale Vivaldi II . Great espresso. Great steamer. Quieter than vibrator pump machines (I owned one before). MUCH more confidence in brew temp compared to an HX machine. Yes, I read all the HX machine how-toos, and I could pull darn good shots (IMHO).... FOR MYSELF.  But when company was over, or we held a party, it was MUCH more difficult with an HX machine to be sure of the proper brew temp.

Negative Product Points

La Spaziale Vivaldi II.  I will be honest, and list all the negatives I can think of, but these pale compared to the Positives. The timer should be built-in, even if it raised the base price by $100.  Unless you are somone that leaves it on 100% of the time, OR you are some freak of nature that doesn't want coffee first thing in the morning, you will NEED the timer. And it's a little klutzy, the way it is wired-in and being a smallish external box.  Speaking of the timer, mine loses about 5 minutes a month, and needs monthly or bi-monthly time setting.  The steam power is much better than my previous HX machine... but because it's a double boiler, and I have the 20A design with a 20A circuit.. I want "more"!  I guess you must need a 220V 30A machine to have "zero" decrease in steam pressure while steaming... Yes, I'm a nit-picker. Speaking of wanting more, being the type that is never satisfied, and being the type that reads other people's reviews... I'm lusting after a triple basket. So, as a negative, I wish one was available for purchase. Another slight nit is that the diameter of the portafilter is smaller than I had before, so be sure to order a proper-sized tamper with the machine.

Detailed Commentary

I put the meat of this review in the Positives and Negatives, I don't have much to add here... other than to say I've been pulling espresso shots at home for about 4 years.. 2-4 double shot lattes or caps, EVERY DAY I'm at home, which is close to 49 weeks a year.  I'm not saying I'm an expert, but I sure know when a latte or cap tastes GREAT or not great.  The coffee I use is home roasted in a San Fran SF-1LB... which I would also highly recommend to anyone.  I know what many perspective buyers are agonizing about, just what I was: should I spend over $2K (remember, you need the timer) when GREAT HX machines are 1/3rd less expensive? To that I would say: if you very rarely pull multiple shots for company/party/whatever, go ahead and stick with a good quality HX. If you want to have worry-free crema-coated entertaining, go for the Vivaldi II.  If you go with an HX, I would also highly recommend direct plumping the water line.  It was easy for me, because  we had our kitchen remodeled at the same time.  The ease-of-use of direct plumping, and NO (visible!) slim build-up in a tank, is worth some effort and cost.  I would like to comment on the rating of "cost vs value". One of my friends has an older single boiler machine, with a temp driven "proper brew temp light". He can and does make great espresso... so... I feel a little uncomfortable giving the Vivaldi II a 10... but when something is built very well, and performs "as advertised" and in an excellent fashion, I lean toward the higher numbers.

Buying Experience

My personal experience with Chris' Coffee Service, both from purchasing and service (previous HX machine had a slight problem and one "how to" question on the Vivadli II) has been nothing short of excellent.  I only wish they were within driving distance of my home.

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review rating: 6.5
Posted: June 18, 2007, 8:23pm
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