La Spaziale Profesionale, Rancilio Silvia, Innova Dream...
Most probably the best buy for this price!
Positive Product Points
We are testing all espresso machines we are selling. This is a superb product and we felt it was unfair nobody made a review. We use this machine at our office for the last 2 weeks now. Here are the positive points after a hundred shots or so:
Nice classic look (thick bright stainless steel everywhere). Heavy machine! Pro 58 mm massive portafilter and group. Bigger boiler (brass) than a Rancilio Silvia (better temperature stability when making several shots in a row). Nice pressure gauge (brewing pressure). Nice old fashion switches (MINI influence : ). Huge 2 liters drip tray. Huge fresh water reservoir. 3-way solenoid valve. Overpressure valve. 3 thermostats. Manual reset. Nice integrated water filter. Well done cup warmer (residual heat) could remove the tray without removing the cups (to access fresh water reservoir) ...and most important, this machine is capable of divine shots and micro foaming (milk)!
Negative Product Points
Valve and the steam wand are on the same side of machine, a little contorsion is needed to manipulate the valve with one hand and the steaming pitcher in the other hand (right)! The thermostat is a little "wide" (a little more precision could help to give divide shots all the time). The thermostat could be adjustable for different coffee beans and weather conditions (i know, most machines in this price range are not equiped with this feature). There is no water level sensor in the fresh water reservoir (nor the Silvia or any espresso machines in this price range exception: La Spaziale Profesionale) so you have to be attentive to avoid run it dry. The steam light is "on" when the steam switch is "on" (to see if the boiler is running, you have to look at the brewing light ???) ..a little confusing. Too much room between portafilter spout and drip tray (better than the inverse : ). Not plated or insulated boiler (but water reservoir stays at a very decent temperature)
The Isomac Venus is a step foward compared to well known Rancilio Silvia (addition of a pressure gauge, a much bigger drip tray - fresh water reservoir - boiler, better pump - 52 W Ulka). This machine worth every $$ over the Rancilio Silvia!
I just hope a manufacturer will make another step foward in the next futur by offering an affordable (less than 700$) espresso machine with all the features of the Isomac Venus plus:
A better (electronic) and fully adjustable thermostat (no need to open the machine to access the thermostat). A plated boiler (in and out)...or stainless steel boiler...for our health (NSF approuval) Insulated boiler (energy efficient, better water temperature stability, fresh water reservoir will stay fresh) A water level sensor in the boiler (auto-refill) so the machine can be left " on " all day A water level sensor in the fresh water reservoir with 2 levels (first one blink a light telling you the reservoir is ALMOST empty...so you wont scrap your shot). The second level (reservoir is empty) is shutting down the machine to prevent damages.