Have a question or just want to
talk espresso? Check out the forum and its FAQs and Favorites!
Buyer's Guide to the
La Spaziale Vivaldi II
By Ian Stewart and Dan Kehn
The La Spaziale Vivaldi II
Dan Kehn reviewed the La Spaziale S1 when it was first released back in April
2005. By all accounts the La Spaziale Vivaldi was a very successful machine
with Chris' Coffee Service selling over 500 machines before introducing the Vivaldi II.
With the recent additions of programmable preinfusion and programmable temperature
offset differential, Dan and I thought it was time to update the buyer's guide
with a fresh look at the La Spaziale Vivaldi II.
This guide makes only one assumption about its readers—a love
for espresso! Whether this is the first time you've considered
making espresso in your home or you've been doing it for years,
you will find tidbits of information in this guide to help your
The New La Spaziale Vivaldi II
The new La Spaziale Vivaldi II much in common with its older sibling. Both are double boiler espresso machines
with a 2.5 liter steam boiler and a 450 ml group boiler. Double boiler home espresso
machines have become more popular over the years with a handful of machines
on the market today. Both machines are rotary plumbed for direct connect. There
is a version of the La Spaziale called the Mini Vivaldi that sports a vibratory pump and
tank rather than the rotary plumbing.
La Spaziale VII and La Valentina
The VII has now achieved ETL Sanitation and Electrical Certification for both
the US and Canada. Chris Coffee has done a good job of keeping the upgrade path
open for the VII. If you have an earlier version of the machine you can add
programmable preinfusion or progressive preinfusion and programmable temperature
offset differential features.
We've picked a solid performer as a comparison espresso machine. La Valentine
- one of Dan's favorite workhorses. La Valentina is a traditional heat exchanger
with an E61 group. Its angled sides contribute to its sleek, compact profile
is one of the narrower E61 heat exchanger espresso machines available. The progressive
preinfusion inherent in the E61 design should make a good comparison to the
programmable version on the VII. The model we used as calibration was converted
to direct plumb-in. You can read Dan's review of this machine here.
Commercial machines have been built with double boilers for decades, perhaps mostly
notably by La Marzocco. Consumer product manufacturers have scaled these designs
down for the home market. The VII was conceived for light commercial and home
use. It has one 2.5-liter boiler dedicated to steaming and second 450-milliliter
boiler dedicated to brewing. It also has other electronic convenience features
that I'll cover in detail. The most obvious difference between the La Valentina
and the VII is the double boiler. Inside we'll see a few more differences as it
relates to the group design and temperature management. For a more detailed look
at the differences between double boiler and HX machines check out the article
on How I Stopped Worrying and
Learned to Love HXs by Dan Kehn.