Lelit Bianca vs VBM Domobar Super Electronic

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
4go

#1: Post by 4go »

Dear All,

Im planning to upgrade from a gaggia classic.
I want to have a good espresso and also milky drinks in the future, so im looking for dual boiler machines which are available in my country at a given price.
My first idea was a lelit bianca. Unfortunately, the local topics(i mean the forums in my country), not like/recommend the lelit machines at all.
In a shop there is a vbm domobar super electronic for almost the same price as a bianca.
Im trying to find reviews, recommendations, comparisons but not find them.
What is your opinion in the question: which is better? Lelit bianca or vbm domobar super electronic?

P.s. i know that there is good machines like ecm, but they are not available in my country and a foreign shopping will result in a much higher price then these two machines above, because the tax :(.

aapowers

#2: Post by aapowers »

Hi I took a quick look at the Domo I have a lelit Bianca.

First thing first, there's coffee as a hobby and coffee to start the day and I think you already know this. Some days we just want the machine to get the coffee out as quickly as possible and in this regard I think the work flow of the machines are fairly similar.

Both machines are dual boilers. The domo has a smaller brew boiler and a larger steam boiler than the Bianca but the wattage the domo uses is lower than the Bianca. This likely means that youll have a longer heat up time. I don't know how much pressure the domo can generate in its steam boiler but it has a smaller heating element.

The domo doesn't seem to have a flow paddle and pressure gauge. Although it might be easier to set it electronically on most days, I do enjoy playing with the paddle to control the flow. With a manual paddle the options are infinite but with the electronic option, things are more repeatable and easier I presume.

I also like the pressure gauge on the group head as it allows me the determine the pressure in real time and see if there are any fluctuations in pressure indicating channeling.

I also want to add that on the Bianca with a flow profiler, you can do a manual preinfusion as compared to an electronic pre infusion. This is useful especially if you don't have a good grinder and it reduces channeling.

The Bianca does have a lot of exposed steel which might be an issue cleaning if you're a clean freak. If you use an exposed portafilter and have channeling itll.explode all over the stainless steel. The next issue I have with the Bianca is that the gauge of the metal seems to be thinner than some other prosumer machines. These do not matter if you're not moving the machine constantly though.

I do like the wooden accents on the Bianca. The Bianca also has an external water tank which can be removed if plumbed. The external water tank also has an attachment for a inbuilt water softener if you do not filter your water.

The next thing which could be improved is that the steam wand should be on the right, I am right handed and turn the knobs with my right hand. When I am steaming, I hold the jug with my left hand, this means that I am.constsntly moving my right hand around the E61 group head and have burned myself.

Entreri

#3: Post by Entreri »

Just want to add that my experiences with the Bianca have been positive only, regarding everything from build quality to features and looks. Once you start mastering the flow-control paddle, you are setting yourself up for a much higher espresso success rate. It also steams really, really well.

I have yet to see a dissatisfied Bianca owner here.

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#4: Post by another_jim »

It's an oddity that in this price range, you either get machines with manual or auto control, but not both. (The new Decent versions have manual controls, but the report is that they are not a frequently used feature). Machines where the manual control sequence can be stored and played back, like the Mina, are a lot mor expensive. So, IMO, that is the key question for prospective buyers; and it's less about the machine and more about you.

If you are coming from a lever machine; or enjoyed watching the flow of the shot to end it, you should probably consider the Bianca. If you used a scale to end your shots, or a machine with built in volume control, you should probably go with the VBM or other auto-profilers.
Jim Schulman

4go (original poster)

#5: Post by 4go (original poster) »

Thank you for all of your replies!

I was mezmerized by the bianca in price/value ratio.
Then i received this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKxysp3jj7E
(Profitec is not an option because it is not sold in my country)
This video made me unsettle :(

In one hand, i like to play with settings. On the other hand: if an automated setting can give me a very good espresso, then i can trust it on a machine.
My biggest problem that i can not find too much information about the vbm domobar i mentioned nor a comparsion
:/

Capuchin Monk

#6: Post by Capuchin Monk »

4go wrote:My biggest problem that i can not find too much information about the vbm domobar i mentioned nor a comparsion :/
These may help.
(in German but subtitle can be turned on)

jpetrow

#7: Post by jpetrow »

4go wrote: This video made me unsettle :(
That video is outright ridiculous in the way the retailer tries to promote a machine they carry over a competitor. It says it all when they had to choose screw holes (!) and front panel reflection as the factors to compare in order to make their machine "win". Just look at the likes/dislikes ratio and the fact they've had to turn off comments.

Unfortunately, I can't aid you between those machines, but base your decision on anything else than that video.

Pressino

#8: Post by Pressino »

I own neither a Bianca nor VBM super digital, but it seems that though both allow for flow/pressure profiling they do so in very different ways. The VBM changes the extraction profile by varying the out put from the rotary pump, whereas the Bianca varies the flow delivered to the brew chamber from the pump using an adjustable gicleur (needle valve) which you adjust manually. In that sense the VBM works more like a Decent and other such machines. The VBM's touch screen interface looks nice and allows you to perform a lot of functions, including brew temp offset from the boiler to the grouphead, which along with a running bar graph of pressure versus time during extraction, is also nice.

Which one you prefer will likely depend on whether or not you want the ability to adjust your profile on the fly while you draw a shot. You can do this on the Bianca, or any other e61 equipped with a similar flow control device. As far as I know with the VBM you are stuck and have to ride out the profile you programmed for the shot until you flip the brew lever down.

Capuchin Monk

#9: Post by Capuchin Monk »

Pressino wrote:The VBM changes the extraction profile by varying the out put from the rotary pump,
Gear pump from what I've heard. Little different.
As far as I know with the VBM you are stuck and have to ride out the profile you programmed for the shot until you flip the brew lever down.
Yes, but it has a better repeatability.

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#10: Post by Jeff »

I can't find a manual for the VBM Domobar Super Electronic, but I'd want to understand how configurable the extraction parameters are. If there's a lot of flexibility and "next step" on conditions in the basket and it can be quickly programmed* then it would be interesting to me. If it is relatively simple, such as three phases, each only time for duration, I'd prefer the Bianca. While perhaps not as repeatable, the manual control could be much more flexible, allowing for adapting to differing coffees and grinds more easily. For example, ending the basket-fill and the soak phases based on one or more of appearance, pressure in the basket, weight in the cup, ...


* A different machine apparently needs you to program on a computer, then copy to the machine using a USB stick.