Enjoy a great latte or creamy cappuccino from a VBM Junior espresso machine. VBM calls it ‘Junior’ because of its smaller footprint for those customers who do not have the room nor space for their larger Super espresso machines.
A little history… based on the great success of the VBM Domobar Super Heat Exchanger (a.k.a. HX) espresso machines in the USA since 2006, VBM has designed the VBM Junior HX in 2010 for those customers who need a smaller footprint. The VBM Junior HX offers the same
- ability to extract espresso and steam milk at the same time, and
- ability to change the pressure in the boiler which is a direct proportional relationship to the temperature.
Please note that for VBM to offer a lower price when compared to the Super machines, the following features are different mostly due to the smaller space available inside the machine
- this machine’s footprint is smaller for those customers who have less space, but smaller size means less metal (lower cost),
- the boiler is controlled by a smaller pressurestat which needs to be manually descaled,
- the heat exchanger has a 1.0 liter boiler which is smaller compared to the larger 2.45 liter boilers found on the Super models,
- smaller drip tray on the Junior, and
- The grouphead and water tank switches are smaller.
The Junior HX machine still boasts VBM’s exclusive and original E-61 grouphead found on the larger machines, the same ULKA 41 watt pump, gorgeous styling, large adjustable overpressure valve (OPV), commercial grade steam and hot water valves, multi-directional steam and hot water wands, brew and steam pressure gauges, heavy vacuum breaker valve, and one-way valve to eliminate back pressure from the boiler.
- Heat exchange system:
- Copper, insulated – Boiler is made copper which retains heat better than stainless steel. Typically copper boilers are more susceptible to limescale compared to stainless steel boilers. We highly recommend using a water softener. The boiler is also wrapped with insulation for maximum heat retention.
- Pull a shot & steam milk at the same time – Steam is always readily available. There is no wait time going from coffee to steam mode. Works well if entertaining a small group of people.
- E-61 grouphead:
- True Faema E-61 – The original E-61 by Carlo Ernesto Valente who brought the design from Faema to VBM. More heavy duty than other E-61 groupheads on the market.
- Constantly heated – Hot water circulates from the heat exchanger through the grouphead and back to keep the grouphead and your portafilter nice and hot. This keeps the grouphead at a constant, stable temperature compared to other groupheads that have a built-in heating element.
- Pre-infusion – Lever next to the grouphead activates a microswitch which turns on the pump to pump water through the coffee grinds. Pulling the lever half way up will open the valve to allow water into the grouphead without activating the pump. Please note that true pre-infusion requires the direct water connection whereby the water pressure from the water line creates the true pre-infusion.
- Vibratory pump:
- Efficient – 41 watts, rated up to 15 bar with air valve bypass. Only 9 bar is needed to extract espresso, and wattage has no correlation to longevity.
- Cost effective – Pumps will degrade in performance over time. Replacing a vibration pump will be lest costly than a rotary vane pump.
- Tank / reservoir system:
- Particle filter – Protects the machine from any unseen particles from entering the boiler. Can be removed if you are installing an inline water softener.
- Auto-shut off – Prevents burning out the heating element. The water tank sits on a spring activated plate. Once the water is low, the plate depresses the tank microswitch which turns off the heating element.
- Separate wands for steam and hot water:
- Multi-directional – Allows for more movement and flexibility. The wands are also connected to the valves on an angle to the side for even more flexibility and less risk of burning oneself from the exposed grouphead.
- 2-hole steam tip – Allows for a slow gradual build-up of microfoam.
- Rotational knobs – Allows for easier control of the intensity.
- Separate pressure gauges:
- Steam (boiler) pressure gauge – Located on the left. Measures from 0 to 4 bar. Optimal pressure is between 0.8 and 1.1. Regulated by a Mater pressurstat.
- Brew (pump) pressure gauge – Located on the right. Measures from 0 to 16 bar. Optimal pressure is between 8 and 10. If you wish to adjust, the OPV (over pressure valve) is located on the inside left near the vibration pump.
- Separate indicator lights:
- Heating light – Located on the left side. Indicates when espresso machine is heating. Once fully heated, no need to pay attention to this light unless temperature surfing.
- Low water level light – Located in the middle. Indicates when water level in water tank / reservoir in rear is low.
- Power indicator light – Located on the right side indicates when the machine is powered on.
- Body panel:
- Stainless steel – Polished to a mirror finish.
- Easily removable – First remove the top cover. Then remove the 6 screws (3 on each side) and the wrap-around body slides off.
- Accessories included:
- Portafilters – Single spout portafilter and a dual spout portafilter. The neck is imprinted with the VBM brand similar to the one on the grouphead.
- Filter baskets – 1-cup filter basket which holds approximately 7 grams. 2-cup filter basket which holds approximately 14 grams. Blind filter basket which is used for backflushing. 58 mm in diameter.
- Tamper – A cheap plastic tamper, common for most espresso machines to keep overall selling price of machine low. We recommend upgrading to a better tamper.
- Cleaning brush – Used for cleaning the grouphead. Ergonomically designed with an angle for easier usage.
- Coffee scoop – Simple plastic scoop if using preground coffee.
- Instruction manual – 3 separate manuals: a quick start guide, a detailed instruction manual, and a description of the machine components.