With old world style craftsmanship, Grimac Royal Falcon’s La Valentina is guaranteed to please the most skeptical critic. Grimac hand makes all of the steel components for each machine in the "Stainless Steel Valley" of Italy, similar to the Silicon Valley of California, creating a product that is becoming synonymous with quality. Categorized as a prosumer heat exchanger machine, the La Valentina is creating a stir in the industry that is well deserved.
Simplicity, in both design and functionality, is the strongest asset of this machine. The brushed stainless steel rear housing contrasts with the polished face and drip tray, adding a touch that gives this machine great character. With a minimum height of 16.75", its compact size allows the La Valentina to fit under most cabinets, but its adjustable feet can bring the machine up to 17.75". These raised feet are necessary for compliance with some commercial health codes. Even the drip tray was designed for heavy-duty commercial use; the polished handle and large side rails allow for quick and easy removal without spilling. The machine carries both UL and ETL approvals for use in commercial environments and given its quality outside and inside, it will easily handle the challenge.
The internal components of the La Valentina are top notch. To provide protection against oxidation, the copper tubing and brass boiler are nickel-plated. This plating ensures that these parts will stand the test of time. The Sirai pressure stat, a well-known component for its durability and accuracy, and three-way solenoid valve add to La Valentina’s reputation for stability and longevity in both home and commercial environments. In addition, the on/off switch, pressure stat, and 2.8-liter reservoir are protected from condensation and heat with independent heat shields. The attention to these small details is a testament to the fact that each element of this machine was thoroughly considered in the design process and that every effort was made to create a machine that will truly stand the test of time.
As with most prosumer machines, the La Valentina contains an E-61 brew group that features a thermal siphon hot water circulation that is second to none. This process constantly circulates water through the brew group to ensure that the temperature of each component is stable, promoting accurate brewing temperature every time. The E-61 brew group also relieves excess pressure and water from the brew group when brewing is complete and delivers them neatly into the drip tray through the use of a three-way solenoid valve. The La Valentina comes with a pod adaptor that attaches directly to the E-61 group head. The adaptor has a very small shower screen and a large dispersion plate that facilitates great espresso production from ESE pods. It can be removed and replaced with the standard shower screen for use with ground coffee.
The La Valentina is available in two styles, giving you the option of automatic or manual volume control. With an easy to use control panel, the automatic version enables the volume of espresso to be programmed at the touch of a button. The stationery hot water wand can also be programmed to distribute just the right amount of water for your Americanos or hot tea. To program these buttons, you simply press the * button, which is also the manual water control button, until the control panel begins to flash. After releasing the * button, press and release the button you would like to program. This will begin the water flow. When the desired amount is in your cup, press and release the * button again and that volume of liquid will be programmed to the button you chose. This is a great feature for those who make the same drink, or drinks, repeatedly, but you should keep in mind that any change in the grounds you use, be it the grind setting or the type of bean, will alter the water flow. This may require that you reprogram the button. Instead of the control panel, the semi-automatic features commercial quality rocker switches to allow full control over the volume of espresso that is dispensed. On both models, the steam wand is attached with a ball joint, so you’ll always have plenty of room for frothing and steaming, no matter what size pitcher you use.
Grimac Royal Falcon has designed and produced the La Valentina with the barista in mind. The high quality commercial parts and simplicity in design are exactly what you should be looking for in a semi-automatic machine. An NSF rating makes this machine ideal for commercial settings, but the La Valentina is compact and stylish enough to satisfy the home barista as well. The La Valentina comes with 2 portafilters (1 single spout and 1 double spout), as well as single and double shot filter baskets, a stainless steel coffee scoop, plastic tamper, group brush, and stainless steel backflush disc. A replacement water nozzle, shower screen, and diffuser plate are also included.
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