John_Yossarian As far as I know they are identical. If not mistaken VA is owned by Nuova Simonelli
Nuova Simonelli and VA are two sub brands uner the Simonelli group run by Nando Ottavi….one of the gran old men of coffee (and LH seemed to have no respect for old men in coffee if I remember rightly).
An interesting article about the guy. Coffee was founded by and largely run by old men. One of them Mr Chinaglia Snr was the founder and owner of Quickmill, who sadly died last year. I did know him. Michael at ECM is a relative youngster, but of course well over 40, many of these owners are over 50 and 60. When I met the Quamar owners I think they were well over 60 and I’m being polite. lelit was a relatively young company, although Mauro was the younger of the 3 brothers…I think he was still around 40 (sorry if you’re not Mauro). The age brings a wealth of experience to a company around not only the design, but they have also lived coffee.
Michael at ECM for example built the ECM brand from the ground up, no mean achievement, he knows how every job in the factory is done and makes it his businessto walk the floor. He is never more happy than when playing around in the Tech Lab, with new stuff and has a genuine enthusiasm for coffee and machines that go well beyond simply making money!
Rodney at Bella barista, even at his young age (joking) still works, still looks at new products still gets excited by the new tech. He has been instrumental in getting in some of the latest ranges…never has he just sat back and taken the money…always looking to drive things forward.
Me as well, I’m not young, so those uninformed comments about old men…well they did irritate a little.