Victoria Arduino Eagle One Prima. Our thoughts

“Would we buy one over a LM Linea mini? Absolutely. Without a second thought.”

Ok, So you have read all of the reviews- and there are plenty of them out there. What do we think? Here it is, quick and dirty.

There’s been plenty of hype leading up to the launch of the Eagle One Prima and we were excited too! So many questions:

  1. How long from switch on to ready to shoot?
  2. Does it pressure profile?
  3. It’s app driven. Is that a good thing?
  4. What’s the build quality like?
  5. Should I buy one?

Firstly, if you’re considering a LaMarzocco Linea Mini, our advice is that you should take a really long, hard look at the Prima. In our opinion it’s a far better machine. We’ll explain why a little later…

Some impressions:

The good:

  • It ships well and is essentially in a crate. It’s a really strong carton on a skid. We feel it will travel well and ship pretty safely.
  • Build quality and finish are really nice- but with a couple of little niggles…
  • It comes up to temp pretty quickly and it’s quiet in operation
  • Shots are far better than a Linea Mini out of the box and that’s all about preinfusion- nothing else. The Linea mini fails dismally on preinfusion. On the other hand, with a Prima, you can set preinfusion delay and duration using the app. and that blows the Linea mini into the weeds. Period. The Linea mini just cant match the Prima on shot consistency or quality. The Prima is in a different league
  • Without the app, all you can do is set shot time and temperature. In that sense, it’s the geek machine. You really do need the app to get anywhere near the best from it.
  • The app is a positive and a negative: On a positive note, a roaster could publish a recommended recipe to the cloud for a particular bean: Temp, Shot length, Duration, Mass in and out, How much preinfusion and when. A client could then grab a recipe and if they can get grind right, should get a pretty good approximation of the shot you pulled for them. We feel that the value of this function is probably lower for advanced users who will just do their own thing
  • Autoflush after the shot when you remove the portafilter is a nice touch
  • Does some really clever power management stuff and it will save energy in the home
  • The tank is a part of that power management stuff and it’s tiny! One single, solitary litre. It’s a positive and a negative; the positive being that you will have to fill it often. As a result, your water will be far fresher if the machine is not plumbed.

The less good:

  • The drip tray is pretty small and autoflush fills it quickly
  • It doesn’t pressure profile
  • No native drainage provision from drip tray or machine- unless we missed something underneath (which we well may have!)
  • So far, it seems you have to switch it on and then press the middle switch on the group to wake it up. (Possibly just a too brief read of the manual). As a result, no auto on that we could see…
  • Plasticy looking plating on the group shroud and even moreso on the valve toggles/handles (We hear the toggles are plated alloy but geez, they sure look and feel like plastic). They jiggle around too. This aspect could have been better executed.
  • Our has had one instance of a random bug. Switched on after a few days rest, it refused to run the previously stored recipe- instead running 8 sec preinfusion and that was it. To this point, the issue appears to have been a one-off, but we’re monitoring. We have heard of another one doing some weird stuff too.

Conclusions:

  • Would we buy one over a linea mini? Absolutely. Without a second thought.
  • Would we buy one? That’s a harder one. Being tied to the app might be an irritation if you’re just not that keen on an app driven espresso machine.

In conclusion, James Hoffman loves it and we’re sure his fans will love it too. It’s a really good and pretty clever piece of kit. If it offered pressure or flow profiling for the $7.5k spend, it would be groundbreaking. Maybe that will come in the Prima #2….(and no, there is absolutely no talk whatsoever of a Prima 2!).

Our thanks to Antony of Casa Espresso for the gorgeous snap of the Prima with the Hey Cafe H1

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