La Cimbali Junior DT1 Review: What You Need to Know
When you invest in an appliance of any kind, what are the top things you look for? You probably think about things such as the price and, perhaps more importantly, the longevity of the appliance.
Longevity is a vital consideration for espresso machines – especially if you’re going to be using it in a business. You’ll naturally put it under more strain than a user at home would.
Fortunately, there are tough espresso machines like the La Cimbali DT1 Junior. But just because it’s tough doesn’t mean it’s perfect for all businesses. Before you consider buying it, let’s take a close look at it to ensure it’s right for you.
Here is what we’ll examine:
- The most crucial features of the Junior DT1 and how they will affect you.
- Alternative machines to the Junior DT1 in case it isn’t perfect for you.
- A little information on the history of La Cimbali.
- Where the La Cimbali Junior DT1 would do best.
- Prices for the machines in this post.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into the review…
The tagline for the La Cimbali Junior DT1 might as well be, “made to last.” With its tough stainless steel shell, this compact espresso machine was built to withstand the test of time. It’s not just its exterior that’s durable, though – it’s also the interior, thanks to its long-lasting rotary pump. Because of all its durability, it’s a great pick for small businesses or homes who want to be totally sure they get the longest service from every single piece of equipment.
Important Features and Why They’re Important
Automatic Machine Type
The first question you should ask when looking at any espresso machine is whether it’s semiautomatic or automatic. Semiautomatic, automatic, and superautomatic are all basic machine types that have an absolutely massive impact on your daily use of the machine.
To answer that question, the Junior DT1 is an automatic machine. That means the machine will time the duration of the brew cycle for you. All you need to do is choose when to start brewing the espresso, and the machine will stop when the espresso is ready.
It’s a much more user-friendly design than a semiautomatic machine, which requires you to start and stop the brew cycle. Since employees don’t need to watch a timer while using the machine, they’re able to multitask much more effectively.
Read Also: Best 1 Group Commercial Espresso Machines
Even seemingly small mistakes can ruin the flavor of your espresso. With all the steps that go into making each drink, this means there’s a lot of opportunity for error.
Consider tamping, for example. If your barista tamps at an angle, tamps too hard, or tamps too lightly, the espresso will be improperly packed and the extraction imbalanced. The flavor may then be either watery or exceedingly bitter.
The La Cimbali DT1 Junior's pre-infusion prevents these issues from occurring. It essentially settles the grounds in the portafilter by running a stream of water through them before extraction.
You’ll have less opportunity for human error in this design. That translates to greater consistency in quality.
Your espresso machine’s output is influenced by many factors, but one of the foremost is the number of group heads it has. If it has more group heads, it can produce more shots of espresso at one time.
The Junior DT1, as you can see, is a single-group machine. Because of this, it can produce, at most, two shots of espresso at once.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Single-group machines are more compact than those with more groups, so you can fit them into smaller homes or businesses more easily. They also tend to be more affordable, making them a good match for those on a budget.
Related Article: Best Espresso Machines Under $3,000
Stainless Steel Case
We’ve said a few times in this review that the La Cimbali DT1 Junior is a reliable, tough machine. But what about it makes it so durable?
Part of the durability comes from its stainless steel casing. With an exterior shrouded in long-lasting stainless steel, more delicate components of the machine are safely shielded from strenuous environments.
The bonus to stainless steel casing is that it looks good. On dark countertops or paired with other stainless steel appliances, this La Cimbali model will have a chic, polished feel that works beautifully in professional environments.
Another thing that lends the Junior DT1 longevity is its pump. There are two main types of pumps used in espresso machines now: vibratory and rotary pumps.
Rotary pumps are well-known for their ability to last for years. Because of this, you’ll find that the Junior DT1 simply won’t need repairs anytime soon.
There’s another bonus here, too: many people feel that rotary pumps are quieter than vibratory pumps. Thanks to how surprisingly quiet it is, you’ll love how you can whip up espresso on the Junior DT1 without giving your customers a nasty, loud shock.
The Junior DT1 is a direct-connect espresso machine, so it has to be connected to a water line in order to function. This is entirely for your convenience.
Once the machine is connected to a water line, it will refill itself automatically as necessary. Your employees can focus on getting through rushes without having to drop everything and pour more water in periodically.
Furthermore, you don’t have to train new hires on how to add water to the tank. This can help reduce training time slightly and get baristas working at the counter even faster.
More Like This: Best Mini Commercial Espresso Machines
Heat Exchange Boiler
Not all espresso machines are capable of steaming milk and brewing espresso at the same time. Because these functions require different temperatures, some espresso machines need to heat up or cool down in between doing either one.
That wouldn’t do in a business setting. Imagine if every single customer who ordered a latte or cappuccino had to wait longer while the machine works to reach different temperatures.
The good news is they won’t need to wait longer with the La Cimabli DT1 Junior. It has a heat exchange boiler, which basically has two compartments inside.
One compartment is a tube that runs through the boiler, carrying water for brewing right to the group head. Water flowing through the tube is heated to the correct temperature while water outside the tube is kept at steaming temperatures.
In short, your baristas will be able to froth milk and brew a shot together, reducing each customer’s wait time.
Multidirectional Steam Arm
If you’ve ever watched a barista steaming milk, you’ve probably observed them holding the milk pitcher at a slight angle. The reason they do this is to generate the correct amount of foam by finding the proper angle for aeration.
This is an easy task on the DT1 Junior. Its articulating steam arm allows baristas to adjust the angle of the steam arm to optimally aerate each pitcher of milk.
Without a doubt, one of the most visually stunning single-group espresso machines out there is the Nuova Simonelli Musica. With its delicately curving front panel and optional LED edges, this is a machine with a futuristic look that customers will admire.
We wouldn’t stop at just looks, though. The Musica comes with a lot of impressive features for such a small machine, including its backlit buttons that make brewing top-notch espresso in dim lighting simple.
Its programmable hot water nozzle is intriguing, too. You’ll love it if you often make tea or Americanos, because you can program the proper amount of water into the nozzle and ensure you get exactly the correct amount each time.
These are a few additional Musica highlights:
- Insulated heat exchange boiler that’s energy-efficient and antimicrobial.
- Reflective backplate that baristas can use to visually inspect espresso from all angles.
- Pre-infusion that rounds out the flavor of each shot.
If you’re interested in this machine, you can learn more about it in our Nuova Simonelli Musica review.
If you’re a home barista searching for a high-end machine to use at home, the Rocket Appartamento is a classic choice. For one thing, take in its cool appearance. Its square shape and visually appealing cutouts bring together sturdiness and artistry in one machine.
Like the La Cimbali Junior DT1, it also has a high-quality stainless steel shell. It’s one of those machines that can endure the bumps and wear of daily use – even in the most espresso-dedicated households out there.
Plus, with its heat exchange boiler, you can fly through drinks in no time. You’ll love how short it takes you to prepare a café-style drink in the morning before work.
These are a few other amazing Appartamento features:
- Two different color options for the cutouts on the side panel.
- Cup-warming shelf on top of the machine.
- E-61 Commercial brew group that stabilizes the machine’s temperature and pre-infuses each shot automatically.
Looking for the latest and greatest in compact espresso machines? The Nuova Simonelli Appia Life is something you’ll likely be interested in.
If this machine could be summed up in one word, it would be efficiency. With boiler insulation, it was designed to lower its own energy consumption (and consequently, your utility bills).
It’s true that it will cost more than the La Cimbali Junior DT1 will, but it’s that’s because it comes with a range of luxury features:
- Optional one-, two-, or three-group configurations so it can support businesses from small to large.
- Multiple color options.
- Raised group heads to brew into larger cups.
About the Brand
The history of espresso machines is stamped with Italian heritage. Many of the earliest espresso manufacturers were born in Italy, where the art of creating a decadent shot was perfected.
That includes La Cimbali. If you hadn’t guessed from the name, La Cimbali originated in Milan in the early 20th century.
This is an extremely innovative company. From the beginning, they’ve constantly pushed what espresso machines can be, from using vertical boilers to levers to early electronic models.
What Customers Say
The La Cimabli Junior DT1 has been a successful machine in our store. Customers have loved it for its high-end features and modest price tag.
We’ve gotten reports that the machine is amazingly powerful, making it excellent for commercial settings. Given the feedback we’ve received, we’re proud to list it in the Majesty Coffee store.
Ideal Machine Applications
Thanks to its rotary pump, durable stainless steel exterior, and powerful heat exchange boiler, the Junior DT1 has the ability to fit into a variety of environments. It could be an extremely high-end home espresso machine for the right dedicated home baristas.
We think it would also be excellent in small businesses. Its quiet pump means you could use it as the office espresso machine in a small office. A decent 20-espressos-per-hour output capacity makes it suitable for restaurants with a low volume of espresso orders, as well.
If you’re looking at the Majesty Coffee store, you’re already looking at the best coffee and espresso gear for the greatest prices online. We’ve priced all machines mentioned in this guide carefully so that they’re each hot deals.
Our La Cimbali Junior DT1 is available for $2,995. We have the Nuova Simonelli Appia Life Volumetric for $4,900-10,150 depending on the number of groups you choose. The Rocket Appartamento is available for $1,690 and the Nuova Simonelli Musica is in the store in the low 2,000’s to low 3,000’s range depending on whether you get it with LED edges and the type of plumbing you choose.
Learn more about any of the machines by clicking their links below: