Our cranberry-red Breville espresso machine served us well in San Francisco. Sadly, we had to sell it because it wouldn’t work with the 230V power in Portugal.

I’ve had the Wacaco Nanopresso for a few years, and have taken it on a few trips away. It proved to be invaluable when we returned to Australia in October last year for the 2 weeks in quarantine and the following 2.5 months we spent travelling around NSW.

Upon arrival in Portugal, I shopped around and found a new espresso machine. The one I eventually picked was the latest revision of the VBM (Vibiemme) Domobar Junior, but it had been out of stock everywhere. So in the meantime, we got our daily caffeine fix from the Delta Q pod coffee machine (like a Portuguese Nespresso) that came with our furnished rental apartment, and continued to use the Nanopresso when I ordered some locally roasted coffee beans. Until it finally broke.

I checked the online retailer I have been keeping my eye on, and the timing couldn’t be more impeccable that the VBM was back in stock. Not the exact model I was looking to get, but a slightly more expensive one, but I had already decided that this would be a long-term investment.

This is first time I’ve had an espresso machine with a E61 group head (the type you’d find on commercial espresso machines in caf├ęs). There’s a bit of a learning curve to using it compared to the push-button Breville.

And it’s SO shiny.