Why I still love my La Spaz Mini Vivaldi after 9 years

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#1: Post by katkat »

Alternative title: Curb Your Upgraditis.

Over the last 9 years I have been using my Mini Vivaldi. I make about 4 cappuccinos/cortados and 1-2 espressos every day. It's been a workhorse for the most part, however, as expected, quite a few parts have been replaced, including: a few fuses and the fuse holder, pressure gauge, vacuum breaker, heating element for the brew boiler and the entire steam boiler (leaked.) Not a super short list - but - 9 years! I am pretty handy and everything is accessible so it was not a big deal to fix it. I should add that the service from Chris Coffee has been exceptional.

Also over the last 9 years, I have been reading about every possible machine and seriously considered upgrading mine. I really like nice gear and new shiny objects. So why haven't I?

Reasons to upgrade: honestly, other than the upgraditis - not many. (1) Like some other La Spaz owners - the 53mm portafilter has always bothered me. Why? I am really not sure; (2) With the recent crop of machines I have started to get curious about playing with pre-infusion, pressure and flow. Since I make more milk-based drinks than espressos and since the espresso I like is traditional Italian (sweet/dark chocolate taste) and dislike anything acidic - I am not sure how much benefit I'd really get from these features. It would still be nice to experiment.

Reasons not to upgrade (or - why I really like this machine):
(1) I like the La Spaz temperature stability and consistency.
(2) I am not interested in a plumbed machine. The Mini Vivaldi has a big reservoir (and a big drip tray.)
(3) I have the in-tank BWT filter (now available from WLL.) The reservoir is super easy to access and I just fill it with tap water & go. Easy.
(4) I like the saturated group. E61 is not for me. (I am also not a big fan of the look.)
(5) I love the steam power and the fast warmup of the steam boiler. I turn it on only when I need it. (The machine is hooked to a DIY timer and stays on for most of the day.)
(6) I absolutely love the ergonomics of the steam lever (vs knob)
(7) Great cup warmer.
(8) It simply makes great coffee!

(Things is has and I do not care much for - volumetric dosing.)

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#2: Post by bean2friends »

Many times I have been tempted to write this very same post. Except, I love volumetric dosing.
And from to time to time I like a lighter roast, not as a straight shot, but as a shot drawn on top of hot water as an Americano. And I use Chris's under sink softener and filter system that's hooked into my cold water faucet. I just fill up a pitcher about every 3rd day.

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#3: Post by truemagellen »

53mm is a huge benefit. 58mm is very finicky on puck prep and unfortunately became codified into many manufacturers groups due to supply chain established by e61. My favorite is double 55mm


#4: Post by elbertfunkleberg »

The last time I saw a post like this on HB, the machine was posted for sale in the Buy/Sell forum soon after. In fishing parlance it would be called ground baiting. :lol:

Seroiusly though. the MV looks like a great machine.


#5: Post by katkat »

elbertfunkleberg wrote:The last time I saw a post like this on HB, the machine was posted for sale in the Buy/Sell forum soon after.
Busted! Yes, I am looking for excuses to upgrade! The post is a cry for help :D


#6: Post by objective1 »

I have a Vivaldi II about as long as you has had your mini. and i have to say, i thought it was the best value at the time, and i still think it's a good machine.


i also have an upgrade bug...

where upgrade is some desire for a MP machine, longer and simpler to execute pre-infusion (i have mine programmed to the max time), and i do have some curiosity about all the nifty slayer features.

The Decent machine also looks like a possible consideration.


#7: Post by michael » replying to objective1 »

I'm with you on this, great machine for so many years but:

1. Don't like the 53mm, too hard to get baskets, tampers, accessories

2. Would like a pid

3. Would like a little more control over the flow, preinfusion, and

4. Would prefer F over C

Thinking, GS3, slayer etc but no one seems to have exactly what I want that fits in my kitchen, always looking for a slightly smaller single group Strada or other la maz cafe machine 8)

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#8: Post by truemagellen » replying to michael »

Dalla Corte Mina


#9: Post by michael »

no standard size pf, no

no vst even with the conversion kit I thought 8)

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#10: Post by truemagellen » replying to michael »

You want standard or do you want maximum Crema? :mrgreen: