The S1 Vivaldi II Mini by La Spaziale is the mini version of the super-popular La Spaziale Vivaldi II. The company has packed all the performance and power of the original with a more compact footprint.
And we are here to find out how much of this claim is true!
It’s a great mini espresso machine for the home users because they won’t need any allocated plumbing. Brewing home espresso will become a breeze with a small LED display showing all the details you need to know. Plus, being “mini,” it’s lighter than the original.
Providing your kitchen with a classic cafe look, it’s equally great for a novice and barista. But if you want to have complete control over your cup with manual temperature controls, then this machine is not for you.
All of the features look great on the paper, but does it worth your money; hang on tight because we’re going to find out!
Whether to go with a semi-automatic mini espresso machine or not!
A semi-automatic mini espresso coffee machine is fully automatic except its extraction pump. This machine puts you in control. You simply use a lever or button to begin the shot and decides when it is done.
Moving forward, a semi-automatic espresso is worth buying when you’re addicted to a customized grind. Although it’s time-consuming but worth a customized shot. Whereas, in a fully automated machine, the volumetric dosage is not possible.
One downside of these mini espresso machines is that they don’t come with an inbuilt grinder due to their reduced size.
Due to its small size, a mini espresso machine is not made for hosting coffee parties.
If you don’t want to get into any details associated with coffee making, then it’s better to go with the fully automatic ones. These automatic espresso machines come with an inbuilt grinder and automatic boiler.
|Features||La Spaziale Vivaldi II Mini||La Marzocco Linea Mini||Breville Nespresso Essenza Mini|
|Taste||Very well balanced taste featuring volumetric dosage, automatic pressure, and temperature controls.||Balanced taste with a temperature gauge that you can control manually (for experienced coffee makers).||More aromatic and sweet taste with less bitterness.|
|Brewing capacity||5.5 cups.||10.5 cups.||2.5 cups.|
|User-friendliness||Easily accessible knob, lever, buttons, as well as a steam wand.||Easily accessible knobs, gauges, levers, buttons, along with steam wand.||Only a couple of buttons that are very easily accessible.|
|Design and materials||Stainless steel body with plastic casings.||Stainless steel body featuring some minor plastic accents.||Plastic body with metal parts.|
|Cleaning and maintenance||Descaling is slightly cumbersome.||Easy to descale.||Easy to descale.|
|Frothing||Angled, swiveling stainless steel steam wand.||Angled, swiveling stainless steel steam wand.||No steam wand.|
|Grinding||No grinder||No grinder||No grinder|
|Additional features||Pre-infusion chamber, vibratory pump, preset temperatures, volumetric dosage.||Manually adjustable temperature and pressure, consistent heat flow, pre-infusion chamber.||Lungo coffee, along with espresso.|
|Value for money||Meets the value.||A bit expensive.||Cheap.|
The La Spaziale Vivaldi II Mini Espresso Machine Review
Espresso beverages shouldn’t be too bitter or too sweet. So, we gave a try to all three of these mini espresso machines and assessed the cups they produced for any deviations in taste.
As these machines are minis, none of them feature an automatic grinder. Therefore, you must use ground beans or have a good quality grinder.
The Vivaldi II Mini features automatic PID temperature control. You can use different preset settings to get the same taste every time. And you don’t have to be a professional barista to achieve it. Just set the digital temperature and forget about it. The spots in the portafilter of this machine make sure the flow remains consistent across different cups.
The tastes that Linea Mini and Essenza Mini produce are well balanced. Linea Mini is very close to producing the taste that matches the one produced by Vivaldi II Mini. However, we noticed that the cup produced by Essenza Mini was a lot more on the sweeter side with beautiful aromatic accents.
Vivaldi II Mini provides you with a convenience of automated temperature and pressure controls if you don’t want to make your coffee making process too complicated. But if you want full control over your cup, then Linea Mini should be your choice.
The Vivaldi II Mini comes with a 1.3L steam boiler, and it equates to approximately equal to 44 fluid ounces or more than 5 cups. It is a decent amount of brewing capacity for a family serving. However, you will still need to refill based on your coffee consumption.
When you compare it with the Linea Mini, it will surely fall below your expectations. The Linea Mini comes with a capacity of 2.5L, which is equivalent to 84.5 fluid ounces or more than 10 cups. Therefore, it won’t require as many refills in a day, and it can cater to more people.
Essenza Mini’s brewing capacity is humbler than both, which is just over half a liter. It can hold approximately 20.3 fluid ounces or just about 2.5 cups. It is a lot more underwhelming than the other two, but if you are the only coffee drinker in your home and you don’t consume much either, then it will suffice.
The Vivaldi II Mini boasts PID temperature control with a volumetric dosage. It means that you can digitally control the temperature, pressure, and water content in your shots. With these features, you conveniently change the taste of your shots and their intensity according to your wish.
Now it’s all good if you don’t know how to get into the technical details behind your coffee cup. Choose the correct volumetric dosage and get ready for a delicious tasting cup of coffee. There is no experience required here. This set-it-and-forget-it approach of Vivaldi II Mini makes it one of the popular choices on the market.
However, the real coffee aficionados want to prepare a cup with some intricate details. It is where the Linea Mini comes in. This machine allows you to control the temperature manually, and you can alter it according to your requirements.
And then there are times when you just need a good cup of coffee to get you going in the day. The complications in the taste don’t matter much, and you just need a cup to wake you up. For such people, the Essenza Mini is the right choice. Just choose the cup size that you want to have for your espresso, take it in, and hit your schedule.
Design and materials
Vivaldi II Mini gives your counter with a classic cafe look. The steam wand, the knobs, a hint of the modern era with the LED display, and of course, that vintage drip tray. The stainless steel body encased in plastic makes the machine more durable. This machine has commercial-grade construction, and it is built to take a toll.
On the contrary, Linea Mini features commercial-grade stainless steel. It is one of the reasons why the machine is one of the best in terms of durability. But due to a lot of steel involvement, this machine is heavier than Vivaldi II Mini. Its overall footprint is a bit bigger than Vivaldi’s.
Whereas Essenza Mini’s entire body features a lot of plastic. It means that it is a lot lighter than Linea Mini and Vivaldi II Mini; thus, it is a lot easier to move. It has a very compact design as well, and you can easily fit it anywhere on your counter or inside your cabinet.
Cleaning and maintenance
When it comes to backflushing your Vivaldi II Mini, there are not many complications involved. Just take 6 grams of detergent for one-liter water. Soak the portafilter along with the basket into this solution for about half an hour.
After the soaking wash, both the components with warm water! It’ll make them look mint and new again.
The next step is to fill the machine’s blind basket with 3 grams of detergent and fit it back into your machine. Now, turn it on for approximately 10 seconds for five to seven times.
Rinse this basket and turn the machine on again for 10 seconds about five to seven times. Now, rinse the basket properly and pour hot water into it. Allow the machine’s steam wand to soak the hot water for approximately five minutes. Your Vivaldi II Mini espresso machine is clean and ready to make a cup for you.
Cleaning Linea Mini also requires the same steps, whether you use detergent or not. But cleaning on the inside is a bit more complicated in the case of Vivaldi II Mini because you need to do plenty of disassembling and reassembling. Cleaning the inside of the Linea Mini is less problematic.
In the case of the Essenza Mini, just enter a separate cleaning mode of this machine by pressing both the buttons present on the top of it. Clean the components manually by taking them out of the machine.
An angled steam wand that can swivel is the best choice because it has more joints. You can easily direct the steam in your cup, and from one side, this shaft has a slight tilt to keep the froth on one side of your cup.
The Vivaldi II Mini allows you to keep the foam at a medium level allowing you to control it in a better way. It is a good option to bring out your creative side for latte art.
Stainless steel is a better option because it is not going to corrode or rust while being exposed to different elements. And using a damp cloth, you can easily whip it down for cleaning.
The steam wand with a swiveling feature made of steel is also there in Linea Mini, and frothing is so good with this machine too.
However, the Essenza Mini is not equipped with such a wand, so frothing is not an option here. You might not find this feature very important up against a great tasting coffee. Still, it sure will make you famous among your friends and colleagues when you present them with a cup featuring latte art.
The espresso machines that come with grinders are very facilitating. You just feed the machine with coffee beans, and it will make a classic cup in no time. Most machines do feature grinders, but minis don’t have them due to their reduced footprint. Therefore, you need to buy a good quality grinder to back your mini espresso machine.
The Vivaldi II Mini comes with a pre-infusion chamber where you get a short amount of gap (from 0 to 8 seconds) where the machine will pre-wet the coffee inside the group head.
The function works properly in the original version of the machine (Vivaldi II). In the Mini version, it mimics the process using its pre-infused chamber. The automatic pressure and temperature controls are there along with the volumetric dosage that you can use via its touchpad.
The Linea Mini also comes with its pre-infused chamber. You will also find an automatic control for pressure, but the temperature control is manual. Apart from that, this machine also comes with a very high-quality hearing system that remains stable, and it can preheat the coil consistently.
In comparison, the Essenza Mini has its entire focus on compactness and practicality. And besides espresso, it can also make lungo beverages.
Value for money
So the question is whether you should invest in Vivaldi II Mini or not? To answer this, we should emphasize on the overall quality, durability, and user-friendliness of this mini espresso machine.
Considering the overall quality, the Vivaldi II Mini has a stainless steel body encased in plastic. It might not add to the overall looks and aesthetics, but it sure does make the machine durable. Plastic will wear out a lot quicker than metal but not before serving you for a long time.
There is an LED display that indicates everything associated with the current status of the machine, and it just makes your life a lot easier. The steam wand is made of steel, and it also comes with swiveling for easy direction.
If you compare it with Linea Mini and Essenza Mini, you will find that it is slightly inferior to Linea Mini but way superior to Essenza Mini. Plus, Linea Mini is a lot more expensive than this machine. Vivaldi II Mini is certainly a friend of your bank balance.
Who should buy the La Spaziale Vivaldi II Mini?
Vivaldi II Mini is the right option for you, whether you have any experience in coffee making or not. Just use the controls to get a great-tasting cup at will.
In comparison, Linea Mini is designed for more experienced coffee makers that understand different temperatures and pressure levels and contribute to a different flavoring coffee.
If you believe in set-it-and-forget-it style, then nothing is better than Vivaldi II Mini. Furthermore, it is effortless to clean and maintain, and it won’t take much space either.
Who shouldn’t buy the La Spaziale Vivaldi II Mini?
If you are more interested in having full control over your cup of coffee with manual temperature controls, then you shouldn’t buy Vivaldi II Mini.
With a 1.3L brewing capacity, your machine won’t meet the higher coffee consumption of your family. It is not the choice of true baristas who want to tell a tale about each of their cups.
Last but not least –
Don’t go for it if you don’t know how to grind the coffee beans separately.
FAQs for La Spaziale Vivaldi II Mini
How accurate is the temperature control of this machine?
The temperature control on this machine is very accurate relative to the temperature you set on it with a difference of 1C to 2C. Within five seconds of pulling the double shot knob, its group boiler turns on for 40 seconds. Therefore, the shots that are pulled with a 45 seconds gap are way more consistent in temperatures.
Is it normal that my machine is dripping into its drain pan when sitting idle?
You can perform adjustment procedures as instructed in the instructions manual of your Vivaldi II Mini. But even after the adjustment procedures, sometimes it drips while other times it doesn’t. And according to La Spaziale, it is quite normal.
In summary, the La Spaziale Vivaldi II Mini espresso machine won’t break your wallet. It provides you with performance and durability. It has that traditional look with some contemporary hints. If you love variety in your cups but don’t want to get into the details of it, then there is nothing better you can find on the market.
Just relax and enjoy a great tasting coffee, and bring your creative side to the table with some artistic frothing too. You won’t have full control over the aroma and taste of your coffee, but you will get the cup that you crave for.