The water tap is a short swivel head fixed above the driptray. The steam arm works equally well straight ahead or to the left side, so very little side-clearance is required. Allocating 25” of counter space for the Cimbali Junior and a grinder allows for generous elbowroom.
Depth with portafilter in place: 23¼”
Height: 17” (including 1-¾” inch clearance underneath)
Cup clearances, all measurements from the drip tray surface:
To bottom of grouphead: 5¼”
To bottom of double-spout: 3¼”
To bottom of single-spout: 3¼”
To bottom of portafilter (spout removed): 4”
To bottom of water tap: 4¼”
The cup warming tray is rectangular with a high railing on three sides and raised lip in the front. Below are its dimensions:
The cup warmer accommodates 24 standard demitasse cups in six rows. I place four medium-sized cappuccino cups in the back two rows (5.5 ounces, six cups if Milano style) and twelve demitasse cups in the front row (2.5 ounces). The boiler is insulated and the cup tray has no vents, so cups are only modestly warm. If you prefer the cups hotter, try covering them with a towel to retain extra heat or using the hot water from the cooling flush to preheat them.
This guide is the culmination of a year’s worth of on-and-off research and the help of a growing circle of espresso enthusiasts. It is my pleasure to know and learn from the staff at Counter Culture Coffee, specifically Daryn Berlin, Cindy Chang, and Peter Giuliano, who enthusiastically share their knowledge and espresso lab every Friday at 7:30am. Cindy and Peter took weekend time away from their family to host the group taste comparison, demonstrating their professional dedication and passion; the CCC staff truly lives their company motto, “Coffee Driven People, People Driven Coffee.” By the way, Peter, thanks for your regular reminders over the past year that “it’s all about the coffee, man.”
I am grateful to my fellow baristas who double-check my results and offer valuable suggestions: Cliff Beringer, Richard Bone, John Conte, Geoffrey Corey (owner of my favorite local café, Pheasant Creek Coffee), Craig McNeal, David Morris, Steve Robinson, Lino Verna, and Mike Walsh. In addition to their helpful peer review comments, I wish to recognize Rex Blankinship, Ken Fox, and Jim Schulman for offering their practical experience with Junior. Gentlemen, you saved me precious time and coffee!
Finally, I would like to extend a big thanks to Intelligentsia Coffee for providing the coffee for this evaluation. I’m a long-time fan of their Black Cat blend, which they describe as “a result of our fanatical quest to build the perfect espresso blend. Exceedingly heavy in body, earthy, spicy, and bold, this blend is exotic and powerful with a sweet finish. Black Cat produces a sublime shot of espresso.”
Darn right it does!