Choice of cimbali m21 junior or la san marco practical 95s

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#1: Post by AlenG »

hi , new member and long time lurker on the forum
I need a few advices regarding my new espresso machine. I have a choice of La san marco Practical 95s or cimbali m21 junior , both semi automatics and 1 group .
They are both similar price and year ( cca 2000 ) but cimbali is from a service and comes with a year warranty and san marco is from a local sports club bar , also looks to be well maintained
So which one would be a better choice
Is there a way for them to make pre infusion
Plumbed in is not to big of a problem , but would they be able to draw water from a water softener bottle without a pump , if lets say water bottle is placed higher then machine
Any advice and help would be appreciated

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Mad Scientist

#2: Post by Mad Scientist »

I have a 2002 San Marco 85-16M Practical HX semi-automatic. It requires a flush before pulling a shot. Mine has an external pump. I've read it can draw water from a bucket from the ground. It is a 54 mm portafilter. Pre infusion is adjusting the grind and dose, from pump on to first drops is the pre- infusion time. I think it fits less than 14 grams, so consider that aspect too.

Mine is up for sale now, I see you are half way around the world from me.

I know nothing of the other machine you are asking about.
“You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.” Doris Day


#3: Post by rmartin77777 »

I have had a LaCimbali M21 Junior for 20 years. My unit is plumbed in and does not have a water tank. It is an older version than the current DT1 Casa. I purchased it from a New York coffee shop that was going out of business. When I received it I took it apart and cleaned everything really well and descaled the machine both in the boiler and the heat exchange tube. I connected it to a double water filter system and from then to an old-style water softener unit that requires salt to clean. Since then I have performed proper maintenance on it and the filters and softener and my unit has never failed and no parts have ever been replaced except the portafilter gasket. I now use the new silicone gaskets.

If you have not purchased yet I strongly recommend the LaCimbali M21 Jr. They are built like a tank and are basically a commercial espresso machine.

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#4: Post by civ »


I have had a ca. 2000 plumbed-in D/1 which I purchased used for more than 12 years now.

Little to add to what has been said in the previous post.

Save to point out that HB hosts a huge amount on information/documentation on the Cimbali Junior: manuals, maintenance, reburbished units, part sources, repairs and modifications which will be very useful to you.

And that a year's guarantee from a service is very good buyer's insurance.