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NEW VICTORIA ARDUINO E1 PRIMA – FIRST THOUGHTS

victoria arduino e1 prima

Victoria Arduino E1 Prima was officially unveiled by the company last week. It’s a machine I am particularly interested in as I’m in the market for a new single group espresso machine.

Rather than write about the launch immediately, I wanted to establish the questions I had myself about the machine to share in the blog.

Unfortunately, the company seems to be keeping tight-lipped on a number of fronts, and sometimes seems to be a bit confused or contradicting in their marketing, which leads me to believe the launch was rushed. I’m sure these issues will be cleared up soon, however, so let’s explore what this genuinely exciting machine has to offer.

Eagle One Prima Stats at a Glance

ItemData
Width411mm
Depth510mm
Height379mm
Cupwarmer330 x 280mm
Group Height153mm
Weight37KG
PowerMin 1600 / max 2600 W

Brew Control on Head

You can control almost everything you need on the head. Some settings require the app, but thought has gone into ensuring daily functions can be done without it. The display goes dark when not in use – thoughtful design.

Victoria Arduino prima one

Steam Rocker Switch

Not everyone likes this rocker switch for steam. I was first to be a hater. I had wooden levers for my steam wand on a Elektra machine, and loved the analogue interaction and look.

I’m coming around to the idea of the button though. I think us haters might change our midnds after using them a while.

eagle one prima steam button

Cool Touch Wand

The wand is cool touch, but no details yet on how dry the steam is. The specs indicate this will be a milk steamers dream with up to 2.5 bar pressure (or 3 depending on what you read).
There’s a slot in the drop tray which the

Generous Sized Cup Warmer

Being able to several coffees without stopping is pointless if your cup tray only warms 2 cappuccino-sized cups like some others. Good job here.

Innovation in Energy Management

James Hoffman does a great job in this video of explaining how they slightly stumbled on the energy saving idea. Hoffman clearly feels strongly about the need for taking a sustainable approach, which is admirable.

The real world cost savings are not huge, but they’re not to be ignored either, and in reality, it’s an accumulation of lots of small savings that makes a real difference, both to the environment, and to our pockets.

One App to Rule Them All

There’s an app apparently. I’ve not seen it and it doesn’t appear on my android store searches – the image below is reportedly from the iTunes store, so it may be available there. The app uses Bluetooth for connectivity, which makes sense from an ease of use, and security viewpoint.

The company is clearly aiming to build a social effect into the app where it facilitates sharing of recipe and outcomes. To further support this effort, the same app can connect with different models, including the Eagle One.

Eagle One Prima – The Unknown Details

The Price

Victoria Arduino is being very coy about the price. They have not published it, but if you go to their Instagram page and leave a comment, they send you a private message. I tried though and as at the time of writing have not received a reply, nor a reply to the email I sent their marketing team.

Really VA? With the time to develop the machine, nobody in marketing thought to develop the pricing strategy?

Boiler Insulation and Thermo-Properties

The boiler is made from Stainless steel, and interesting choice since large boilers made from steel have issues with thermo conductivity. The top of the boiler will be cooler than the bottom as the steam at the top will not pass heat into the metal like the water will.

This is why copper makes such a good material for boilers, but the engineers surely had some good reasons to make this choice, and indeed, they say that they a protected by an innovative material that guarantees high thermal insulation. But they don’t say what it is or how it works.

The company has also probably mitigated much of the issue by using a smaller boiler in part of the eco-efficient design to only heat the water that is required.

The Pump

There is no mention of whether the pump is vibration or rotary, but we would expect a product like this, which is marketed at offices, to be a quieter rotary option.

Brew Pressure

Will the Prima have the ability to change brew pressure? If it can, I would expect this to be a function included in the app.

Steam Pressure – Variable?

The brochure indicates the pressure can be set, but in one section it tells us the maximum is 3 bar, and in another section it says the maximum is 2.5 bar. A few small details like this, and the fact that the website seems to have been rapidly put together, with some security warnings, indicates they either rushed the launch out, or someone in marketing has been caught napping.

Changeable Colour Options

If you read our review of the Eagle One, you know I’m ambivalent about the design. I frankly can’t make up my mind if I like it or not, but it’s growing on me. The colour options certainly help.

I think they’re some great colours here and if they can be specified out of the factory, then it saves on the cost of refitting a design, which can add significantly to the cost.

Summary

We will see how it performs, and crucially, what the price point is, but this is a machine that seems to push a few boundaries in terms of performance to size. The colours are great, and there seem to be many areas where they have considered real-world usability, such as in the steam wand placement, and brew head controls.

If you want to read more information or download their brochure, it’s available from their micro site here: https://www.victoriaarduino.com/eagleoneprima/

Or, since I had problems downloading the brochure, it’s available in the link below.

Written by Nick Baskett

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