Articles From Whole Latte Love

Rio Vania Two Group Automatic:
You Can’t Have Too Much of a Good Thing

Posted: 08/15/07
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Rio Vania Two Group AutomaticFrom the heart of Italy, where espresso was born, comes a machine designed to brew a steady supply of coffee as it was intended. The Rio Vania is crafted by hand near Venice, with a focus on quality café brewing at an affordable price. The creators of the Rio Vania had one dominating goal when they engineered it—brew as much as humanly possible, with no compromise in quality. The result is a machine that’s completely tailored for high volume espresso production with unmatched temperature stability. The keys to the Vania’s heat retention are the nickel-plated brass brew groups and boiler to keep the coffee hot all the way to the cup.

The Two Group Vania is perfect for the busy barista, with virtually unlimited steam from two quick-open, rotating steam wands located on either end of the machine. With a wide cup tray separating the two brew groups and steam wands, there’s plenty of room to let a Skilled baristas using commercial machines few artists work. And, to improve shot consistency and save time, the Vania has automatic brewing controls for each group, eliminating the guesswork that comes with a typical semi-automatic. With preset brew volumes to stop coffee flow automatically, the Vania will free up some extra time to froth, tend the register, or serve some biscotti. Precise espresso temperature and steady steam are the defining factors for any café, and very few machines out there can beat Rio in either department. Put the Vania in the hands of a talented barista, and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Getting Started: Easy big fella’

Weighing in at a hefty 200 lbs and measuring 28” wide, the Vania Two Group is the centerpiece of any countertop. It connects to its own water line and generates nearly 4000 watts, which requires a 220-volt electrical connection. An integrated water supply is essential, because the last thing you want to do is stop to refill the tank during peak hours. When connected to a water line, the Vania’s built-in pump motor will automatically fill the 10.5-liter heat exchanger boiler as needed, which not only eliminates having to monitor water levels yourself, it also means stable temperature at all times.

Like any heavy duty machine, the Vania should be installed by a professional, and with the approval of a code enforcement officer. If you’re already in the café or restaurant business, this will come as no surprise, but even newbies have nothing to fear here. We have an Espresso Machine Installation Program to take care of this, and you can consult the Rio Installation Guidelines with the code enforcement officer to make sure everything is to code. When preparing for installation, don’t forget the water filtration system—a must-have for any commercial espresso machine! An in-line water filter will protect the machine from scale and mineral deposits, and will ultimately improve the quality of the espresso.

Once the Vania is installed, startup is almost entirely automatic. With the water supply turned on, the machine will automatically fill. When it’s filled, turn the main power switch on by turning it to “1,” and the boiler will begin to heat. The Rio Vania has a sight glass on the right side of the brewing area to monitor the water level in the boiler. After you’ve turned the machine on for the first time, you’ll want to test out the brew pressure by pressing a coffee dispensing switch on one of the two keypads. Make sure that the pump pressure, indicated on the left side of the gauge in the center of the machine, reads 9 bar while dispensing. After this, just give the machine 20-25 minutes of heat-up time. When the boiler pressure indicator on the right side of the gauge reads 1.2 bar, you’re ready to brew.

The Vania’s 10.5-liter boiler has a large capacity for simultaneous brewing, steaming and hot water dispensing. Rio Vania control panelBecause it’s a heat exchanger, you can use both of the steam wands liberally while brewing, with no noticeable temperature decrease in your espresso. The Vania also features an anti-siphon valve to prevent milk from being sucked back into the boiler. For customers that want an Americano, tea or hot chocolate, the front control panel has a hot water dispensing button next to the steam knob on the left side of the machine.

Making drinks: Set it and forget it

The Vania automatic offers programmable drink dispensing for more convenient brewing, and it also ensures that each shot is consistent. Each of the two brew groups can be programmed for four different drink sizes, and you can also use the manual dispensing switches next to the keypads.

To protect the machine from being tampered with, the Vania has an internal toggle switch that must be turned on before the machine can be programmed. It is located behind the top front cover, and can be accessed by removing the two screws near the sides of the panel. While it may seem inconvenient, the internal toggle switch is a useful safety feature for businesses with large staffs or inexperienced users that could inadvertently change the drink settings.

When the toggle switch is turned on, you can program the Vania using the keypads on the front of the machine. To program a drink button, press and hold the “PROG/STOP” button on the right side of the keypad you’re using to enter programming mode. The lights above each button illuminate to signify programming mode. Then, lock a portafilter into the brew group, press the drink button you want to program, and coffee will be dispensed. When your desired liquid volume is reached, just push the “PROG/STOP” button to stop the flow. Press the “PROG/STOP” button a third time to exit programming. To lock the programming mode and save you’re your settings, flip the toggle switch inside the machine off.

Keeping it Clean: Modus operandi

Cleaning a commercial machine is easier than you might think, because unlike a home machine, it doesn’t need to be descaled. Commercial machines require an in-line water filtration system, which removes excess minerals and can help soften hard water. Follow the replacement instructions for your water filter cartridge, and you’ll never have to worry about scale build-up.

Rio Vania One Group AutomaticKeeping the Vania clean on a daily basis is easy too—standard procedure for any commercial machine. Rinse portafilters and wipe down steam wands after use to get rid of coffee and milk build-up, and backflush at the end of the day. The Vania has a drain hose included, so the drip tray will drain automatically, but it should be rinsed out at the end of the day as well.

Built for the Best Espresso

The Rio Vania Two Group Automatic captures the taste of traditional espresso in a durable and high-powered design. The Vania can compete with commercial machines of any size, with three group and four group models that can accommodate even more baristas and bigger locations. The Rio Vania also comes in a quaint single group model for small cafés or even for the serious home barista. With a wide range of hand-crafted machines to choose from, you can trust Rio to brew authentic Italian espresso that your customers and guests will never forget.