VBM Domobar Junior Espresso Machine with Heat Exchanger, Vibration Pump, Tank

4.8571428571429 out of 5 based on 7 customer ratings
(7 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Need to use single dose E.S.E. pods for decaf, then purchase with a pod portafilter.

Vibiemme Domobar Junior Espresso Machine - V3, manual, HX, tank, vibratory pump + 1st-line 3-Cup 58mm E61 Bottomless Portafilter + Ascaso 24 LT In Tank Water Softener / Particle Filter
Price for both:   $1,350.53 $1,337.02


VBM Domobar Junior Espresso Machine with Heat Exchanger, Vibration Pump, Tank


Enjoy a great latte or creamy cappuccino from a VBM Domobar 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 Domobar Junior HX in 2010 for those customers who need a smaller footprint. The VBM Domobar Junior HX offers the same

  1. ability to extract espresso and steam milk at the same time, and
  2. 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 you compare to the Super machines, the following features are different mostly due to the smaller space available inside the machine

  1. The VBM Domobar Junior’s footprint is smaller for those customers who have less space, but smaller size means less metal (lower cost).
  2. A smaller pressurestat controls the boiler. This part requires a manual descaling.
  3. The heat exchanger has a 1.0 liter boiler which is smaller when you compare to the larger 1.9 liter boilers found on the Super models.
  4. The drip tray is smaller on the Junior.
  5. The grouphead and water tank switches are smaller.

The VBM Domobar Junior HX machine still boasts the 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, insulation – The boiler is copper which retains heat better than stainless steel. Typically copper boilers are more susceptible to limescale when you compare to stainless steel boilers. Therefore, we highly recommend using a water softener. The manufacturer wraps the boiler with insulation for maximum heat retention.
  • Pull a shot & steam milk at the same time – Steam is always readily available. Hence, 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. As a result the grouphead temperature constant and stable when you compare 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 halfway 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. You only need 9 bar to extract perfect espresso, and wattage has no correlation to longevity.
  • Cost-effective – Pumps will degrade in performance over time. Replacing a vibration pump will cost less than a rotary vane pump.
Tank / reservoir system:
  • Particle filter – Protects the machine from any unseen particles from entering the boiler. You can remove this filter if you are installing an inline water softener.
  • Auto-shutoff – 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 connect to the valves on an angle to the side for even more flexibility. As a result, there is 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. You can find the overpressure valve inside left near the vibration pump.
Separate indicator lights:
  • Heating light – Located on the left side. It indicates when espresso machine is heating. Once fully heated, there is no need to pay attention to the heating light unless temperature surfing.
  • Low water level light – Located in the middle. It indicates when the water level in the water tank/reservoir is low.
  • Power indicator light – Located on the right side. This will indicate when the machine is 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 has the VBM brand imprint, similar to the one on the grouphead.
  • Filter baskets1-cup filter basket which holds approximately 7 grams. 2-cup filter basket which holds approximately 14 grams. Blind filter basket which you use for backflushing. 58 mm in diameter.
  • Tamper – A cheap plastic tamper. Manufacturers will normally include a tamper like this to keep the overall selling price of the machine low. We recommend upgrading to a better tamper.
  • Cleaning brush – A simple brush for cleaning the grouphead. Ergonomically designed with an angle for easier usage.
  • Coffee scoop – A simple plastic scoop if you are using preground coffee.
  • Instruction manual – 3 separate manuals: a quick start guide, a detailed instruction manual, and a description of the machine components.

Additional information


VBM (Vibiemme)

Height (inches)

16.5, approximate

Width (inches)

9, approximate

Depth (inches)

17, approximate

Weight (pounds)


Wattage (watts)


Voltage (volts)


Boiler capacity (liters)


Portafilter size (mm)


Tank capacity (liters)


Country of manufacture

Milan, Italy



Espresso Machine Warning:

  • ELECTRICAL WARNING: To avoid electrical damage to this espresso machine which is not considered a manufacturer's defect, please acquire and install a single-outlet surge suppressor rated at 1080 joules or higher. the lack of the recommended surge suppressor, the espresso machine can be damaged at the power switch, the electronics, the heating element, the pressurstat or the wiring inside.
  • WATER WARNING: To increase the useful life of and not damage your espresso machine, please use softened water. Softened water is water without calcium and without magnesium, but still has other minerals for espresso extraction. Do not use distilled water, purified water, nor reverse osmosis water as these types of water create oxidation with the metals and cause the same damaging effects as limescale.
  • DESCALING WARNING: We do not recommend descaling unless there is an issue with the espresso machine. The reason is that too much descaling can eat away at the metals and gaskets inside an espresso machine.

  1. Two stage power switch (on/off): Requires particular attention upon initial machine startup - when powering on for the first time, please make sure the intake reservoir hose (has large particle filter) draws in water. Once the pump activates for a several seconds and release, squeeze this hose for 3 seconds. If you hear a different pump noise, the pump is working. If the pump sounds the same, power down machine and contact us. If you hear no pump noise for the first 30 seconds of powering on, power down the machine and call us as a wire may have come off the pump.
  2. 220 volt version: This machine is available in 110 volt configuration only. 220-240 volt units are NOT available for ordering.
  3. Some assembly required: Feet are not attached to the machine.
  4. Warranty: Effective February 8, 2017, shipping to / from our facility is not included under warranty.



Common Parts

Technical Support

Warranty Information

Who handles the warranty

Eligible warranty for Vibiemme home equipment is handled by 1st-line Equipment or representative thereof. If you have purchased your Vibiemme equipment from another retailer (not 1st-line Equipment), you must contact them first in order to get your equipment serviced under warranty.

What does the warranty cover

The warranty is limited to manufacturer’s defects only.

Regarding espresso machines: Limescale buildup can lead to problems with your machine. The warranty will not cover any repairs if our technicians find limescale in your machine. Although descaling can be a good alternative to remove limescale causing minerals (calcium and magnesium), we strongly suggest that prevention is the best form of maintenance. The reason is that descalers can cause wear and tear on components inside an espresso machine. This includes gaskets, o-rings, and other metal components. However, where there is a clog somewhere, descaling will be a necessity on the specified part, area, or entire machine.

Regarding coffee grinders: As with all coffee grinders, it is very important to only change grind settings when the unit is powered on and the burrs are in motion. If you do not do this, the burrs will ‘gunk’ up and require cleaning by you every time this occurs. Changing the grind settings when the burrs are not in motion will render the grinder to only produce very coarse grinds or no grinds at all. If this result occurs, this will be considered operator error for lack of following directions, and not be classified as a defective grinder.

When does the warranty expire

The manufacturer’s warranty on new equipment is good for a period of 1 year from date of receipt which covers parts. Labor warranties may vary depending on the company you purchase from. Vibiemme products may have an extended warranty limited to manufacturer’s defect and will specifically state the extended period of time on your receipt.

Where will my equipment be serviced

In most cases, your Vibiemme equipment must be sent to a repair facility. If 1st-line Equipment will be servicing your equipment, you must either ship it or drop off at our facility in New Jersey.

How do I send in my equipment in for repair

If you are inside the warranty period and have purchased it from us, please contact us. Please be ready to provide the following information: invoice# of purchase, model of equipment, and a detailed description of the issue.

If you are outside the warranty period, whether you have purchased the equipment from us or not, please order a diagnosis. Please note that wait times can be up to 8 weeks. Our technical support staff can have a back log of repairs. As an alternative we have a listing of 3rd party repair companies across the USA that can assist you.

Customer reviews

Rated 4.8571428571429 out of 5 stars
7 reviews
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7 reviews for VBM Domobar Junior Espresso Machine with Heat Exchanger, Vibration Pump, Tank

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      1. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Test the pump pressure with the blind.

        If it stays consistent, then it is your espresso preparation or grind.

        If it is not consistent, then it could be a clogged water softener filter (if you have one), a bad pump, or an OPV that is malfunctioning.

        If it is not consistent, check to see if the pump pressure drops when the heating light turns on. If this is the case, then you do not have enough voltage or amperage to the unit, and this becomes an outlet electrical issue.

      2. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Please review.

        A I tried it again today to see how it starts from cold. The alarm started within 5 minutes. The water temp didn't move at all. Then I raised the water tank and the beeping stopped, the switch clicked, and the low water light came on. I set the tank down and after a couple minutes, it started beeping again. So if the low water light works, could it still be the pressure switch? Also is there a possibility it could be boiler water level probe.
        Answered by the admin

        We are pretty certain it is not the pressurstat. It could be the water level probe, but then the machine would try to fill the boiler. The beeping is for the reservoir.  We would suggest by replacement replacing the switch first, then the brain unit second.

      3. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Please use the need help /contact us link on our web site with the information above, and let us know if you want us to ship you a new heating element or if you want to send the machine in for repair.

        We strongly suggest putting a surge suppressor on the outlet to lessen the chance of this happening again.

      4. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Please search our web site for F15 and F277.

      5. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Some customers have purchased our 2 hole tip, not a perfect fit, but it does slow down the steam flow.

      6. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Yes, turn it off when not using within 2 hours.

        Rubbing alcohol on a terry cloth works best to clean the stainless.

        Backflushing with detergent should be performed once every 50 espresso shots.

        Soften the water with a V725 and try to never descale.

      7. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Sorry, we have been unable to test this Lelit Flow Control kit on the VBM as the grouphead design does not allow the paddle to have range of motion. We already stated this issue on the Lelit Flow Control Device page.

        However, we are working on a solution for it to work. But, we have no timeline.

      8. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Unplug the machine from the wall outlet and allow the machine to cool fully. Remove the wrap around body panel and check the pump to make sure it is not rubbing any metal. Rotate the pump on its axis if needed to adjust.

        The noise can be a loose top cover. When putting on the body, push and hold it forward, and insert the screws. This will make a tight fit for the top cover.

        The refill of the boiler at the power up the unit is normal and normal when it does not do it. It is based on how much evaporation occurs when the units cools down. When the boiler refills, a vibration pump does make more noise then when under pressure extracting espresso.

      9. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        You can reverse it. However, replacing a part does not always solve the cause. Check to see there is no limescale inside the valve. Check the condition of the old and new end gasket to see if there are any indentations. If there are, then the knob is being turned way to tight.

      10. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        There are many reasons for a heating element to burn out. Sometimes limescale is an issue. But, there are other reasons.

        There are literally thousands of VBM Junior customers since 2008 who have not had a heating element burn once, and very, very few burn twice. To have 2 in one year surely indicates a cause.

        First, the boiler refill valve could be blocked, damaged, or defective, preventing water from refilling the boiler and keeping the heating element submerged in water.

        Second, if there is a water softener in the reservoir, it may be weighing down the reservoir switch. When this happens, the machine thinks the reservoir is full when in fact, it is not. Then the machine calls for water to refill the reservoir and there is no water. Sometimes, the pump and the heating element will burn out. Also, the switch under the reservoir platform may have been reset too high and again, it runs out of water before the switch indicates it. Please note that VBM sets up the switch to turn off the machine's heating element about 1/4 full.

        Third, if there is more than 4 ounces of water pulled out of the water wand, the water level can drop faster than the machine can refill it. This would cause the heating element to damage. This can happen on numerous different brands of heat exchanger machines like the VBM.

        Lastly, if the VBM espresso was sitting idle, it is possible that another appliance created a small surge to the machine. The first places to damage are the heating element, the heating element wires, the safety thermostat and/or its wires, and/or the power switch. We have seen this before on many brands.

        The bottom line is figuring out the cause.

        A I find your way of answering inquiries on this website not very helpful. I have one of your products, it stopped working, and I all hear is a list of the reasons why it is my fault, and I don't hear any 'how can we help you and how can we make this right?' There is no water softener, the pump still works, the refill switch is correctly set (there was plenty of water in the reservoir), the unit is on a surge protector. I could go on. Is your company willing to do anything to help warranty repair this product? You are the importer of these products for the USA.
        Answered by the admin

        We sincerely apologize as we misunderstood. This is not the avenue for warranty. For any warranty, please use the contact us form on our web site - please include full purchaser's name and address, date of purchase, and serial number. We can either send the parts for you to self repair or you can request a repair authorization to  ship the machine in for repair. Just state this.

        For the future, this Q&A is to provide information for pre-sales questions, limited technical support, maintenance questions etc. It is not for warranty requests. Have a great day!

      11. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        We have this procedure to check some things.

      12. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Please go through these steps.

      13. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        The body will need to be removed (3 screws on each side OR 2 on each of the three sides) after unplugging the unit from the electrical outlet. Check the switch under the reservoir for damage. Check all wiring. Check the wires behind the power switch. Some versions had a safety thermostat, so please look inside. Otherwise, the VBM Junior espresso machine may need to be evaluated by a professional.

      14. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        All electrical parts, starting with the heating element,  will need to be checked with a multi-meter for voltage and continuity. You can also try our support section.


        A I had a similar issue occur less than a year after I purchased my Domobar Junior. I cannot specifically recall how I solved the issue, but I do recall inspecting different switches/breakers connected to the boiler. If I recall correctly, I believe I reset one that was in an awkward location to squeeze my hands, but I managed to reset something and have not had a problem since then.
      15. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        All electrical parts, starting with the heating element,  will need to be checked with a multi-meter for voltage and continuity.

      16. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        The only time the brew pressure should be read is when extracting. The brew pressure gauge does NOT measure the pressure of the vibration pump. It measures the resistance of the fineness of the grind, the amount of coffee in the basket AND the tamping pressure.

        At all other times it can be anywhere from zero bar to 12 bar.

        Q. Without a portafilter installed, after the initial flush.
        A. Can be zero to 12

        Q. When portafilter with tamped ground installed.
        A. Can be 1-14 depending upon the resistance created by the grind fineness, the amount of ground coffee in the basket, and the tamping pressure.

        Q. During the first 6-7 seconds and before the first drop.
        A. The pressure will usually drop to zero bar and then take up to 9 seconds to get to 8 or more bar. However, if the resistance is not enough in the basket, the gauge may not even go over 1 bar.

        Q. And the next 20 seconds. 
        A. If the resistance is enough in the basket, the gauge should be in the range of 8-12 bar.

      17. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Backflushing requires backflush detergent, not descaling products. These are two different cleaning protocols.

        For backflushing or backwashing of the grouphead, please review our short backflushing procedures.

        For descaling without the water softener in the machine's water reservoir, please review our heat exchanger descaling procedures.

        Since you are using the water softener, which should be recharged twice per month minimum, descaling becomes less necessary which can increase the life of the machine. Think of limescale like cholesterol. The number of timer per year to descale becomes a guess because everyone's water hardness is different. This is why we recommend preventative procedures for all espresso machines, like the in tank water softeners.

        A I've been using the BILT osmosis packet rather than the inline water softener and wanted to see if that is ok by you for softening the water
        Answered by the admin

        The inline water softener is a better method for the Vibiemme espresso machines as the BILT takes 15 hours of soaking in the pitcher of water.

      18. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Sometimes, the switch behind the grouphead needs to be inserted further into the machine. With the machine unplugged from the electrical outlet, loosen the nut holding the switch on the outside by 2 rotations. Remove the body panel by removing the three screws on both sides. Tighten the nut on the inside of the switch. This part can be difficult as the crescent wrench needs to be angled. Test and see if it improves.

        If not, the following switch should be a replacement.

      19. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin The ppm range seems a little high. Yes, please use the Ascaso water softener as too softened water will not hurt the machine. Distilled or RO water will oxidize the machine and possibly make the boiler overfill. Most machines have a break in period. Just use it daily. As for grinding, this really depends upon the espresso blend. Every blend is different in water content, oil content, bean hardness, etc and this impacts the grinder settings as well as other factors such as tamping and dosing. It really comes down to experimenting or trial and error.
      20. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        The blind filter test shows if the pump can achieve 8-9 bar pressure in 7-8 seconds which is the norm for a vibration pump. The OPV usually will allow water out at 10-11 bar depending upon the setting of the OPV.

        Since your pressure does not go up with coffee, this can be a grinder or grind fineness issue as the blind filter shows the pump in the normal range.

        We would suggest you descale the pump and the grouphead without opening the steam or hot water wand as you do not want descaler in the boiler.

        The other area to look for is a blocked gicleur in the grouphead mushroom. It is part number 3 on page 6 of the grouphead diagram.

      21. 1 vote
        Answered by the admin

        Temperature is usually not related to pump pressure. Not having a portafilter in the grouphead with coffee can make the temperature decrease faster or a blocked up vacuum breaker valve on the boiler.

      22. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Please review our tech support white paper.

        Or check out our video!

      23. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Yes, but shipping via UPS is extra-expensive, and the package is too big for USPS. In addition, there is risk of damage on any machine going to Guam.

      24. 0 votes
        Answered by the admin

        Thank you for your order. Any ULKA pump on our web site with a wattage rating of 41 watts to 52 watts will work on your machine.

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