the last machine that you'll ever need as a picky and demanding home barista
Positive Product Points
-reliable machine that performs at all times. -quiet rotary pump with direct hook-up -makes beautiful espresso of the highest quality. -has lots of steam power for the demanding home user. -uses real commercial parts yet remains reasonably sized for home use. -feels darn good when used by an experienced barista -is an attention getter for guests with its shiny metal
Negative Product Points
Hard to think of any. A minor gripe is that the drip tray whilst connected to the drain always retains a residual amount of water that needs to be picked up with a sponge. I've always thought that a slanted design with the drain plug at the bottom would improve this. However, in this regard the Vetrano drip tray is no different than any other drip tray on this type of machine that I have ever seen.
I ventured into the world of good espresso with an Ascaso Dream. Quickly though, I wanted to upgrade to a better machine. I found out about the Quickmill line through many positive remarks about chriscoffee.com here on coffeegeek. When I checked out the entire line, I became attracted by the Vetrano as it offered a lot of features for the price. Needless to say, ever since I laid my hands and eyes on this machine, I have been in love. It makes the most outstanding espresso with wonderful consistency. At first, I was concerned about the hook-up difficulties but then learned quickly from Chris Coffee that this is a no-brainer. Plus, Chris Coffee can add all the necessary tools that you need for hook-up. No trip to Home Depot is necessary. I got the John Guest fittings and the filter/softener set-up from Chris Coffee with my machine. This drove up the price a bit (not reflected in the regular purchase price stated above), but was a very good decision. You don't want to run your machine without these filters! They prevent calcification and eliminate bad taste from the tap water completely. I also got the drain kit to go with it. I cannot express how happy I am not to have to refill a water tank or to drain the drip tray. I can solely focus on the coffee making process.
I got the additional Sirai pressurestat upgrade at the time of purchase. The Sirai is much more reliable than the chintzy Mater pressurestat that the machine ships with. Plus, you can easily adjust the boiler pressure. In the winter I found that some more pressure (1.3 bar) would offset the cool environment in our house (we keep it in the low 60s). In the summer, 1.1 bar is enough. If I expect high volume (lots of guests), cranking up the pressure also helps reduce recovery time from shot to shot a bit.
Steam is ample. Pretty powerful for the medium-sized boiler (1.6l)! Unless you need to churn out 30+ milk-based drinks per hour, this boiler size is way sufficient. I like how energy-efficient the insulation is. When the machine idles, the insulation reduces the heating cycle to 10 seconds per every 120 seconds of idling. Leaving the machine on for several hours is thus not an expensive decision.
I love how substantial the entire machine feels. All steel and brass! Plastic only on the knobs and the end piece of the brew lever (for insulation purposes naturally as you don't want to burn yourself when steaming/brewing). The no-burn steam wand with the internal teflon tube is a blessing. After extensive steaming it will eventually get hot but still won't burn you like an uninsulated wand. For short-term steaming, it really remains cool on the outside. I also love the non-compression valves on the steam and hot water taps. They work beautifully and you don't have to force them when shutting them off. Due to the upright boiler design, hot water delivery is excellent! Since the boiler is only medium in size, you can get a maximum of 1 liter out of them. Then the machine needs 5 minutes to recover from excessive hot water drawing. However, I almost never need that much hot water. Recovery after drawing water for a tea or an Americano is a matter of a minute or less.
All in all, a great machine about which I feel still very good after a year of ownership.
Chris Coffee was easy to work with. They ship quickly and safely (excellent packaging). Plus, everything inside the box is clearly labeled, explained, and organized (accessories etc.). I also love how the owner himself is passionate about his products and how he quickly responds to emails and is interested in feedback from customers. I made one little call to their technicians to ask about a minor issue. They took their time on the phone and thanks to them I could fix it myself in under 10 minutes (boiler anti- vapor lock valve was leaky due to tiny mineral buildup which could be removed by slightly wiggling it). I can fully recommend Chris Coffee for their thorough and honest commitment and their professionalism!