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Author Topic: Lever Espresso Machines  (Read 104458 times)

Koffee Kosmo

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« on: 13/05/2011, 09:16 PM »
                      As the thread topic says, this thread is all about
                                     Lever Espresso Machines

In the last month I was privileged to be invited to Barazi Bezzera to try for the first time in the world the Bezzera Strega HX Lever Machine & make a video of it  :o

I have been back a few times and tried my home roasts with the BNZ grinder

I am taken with the difference in the
1) The cup flavour is a little softer and a little more flavour definition than my BZ40
2) The smell is also different in the cup  from the 2 machines I tested it against
3) The overall extraction process is not forced & the spring just does its job smoothly

Now I have upgradeitis again
This is the first lever machine that I have used and I mastered it with a little practice in a short time

The question is for other owners of lever machines to explain to me if my newbie observations are correct ? and is there anything else that I have missed

I know that BF & lacehim are converts
Did I mention that I have upgradeitis  ::) sorry but should I convert

KK



Bezzera Strega Lever: Mazzer Robur conical grinder Pullman Barista Tamper Convex:  Designer of the KKTO Home Roaster:

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Koffee Kosmo

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« Reply #1 on: 13/05/2011, 09:55 PM »

KK you are right terrible fellow...  ;D ;D ;D

BF knows I am on the look out for a Project and I keep looking around for a good Lever..

This is WANT not Need  :o :o :o :o :o :o  BUT darling I NEED it; it is Exercise  ;D

New machine Vs Old and traditional Lever....

Man I got to sell  / move some of the other stuff I do not use / need / want..  I should have put some $$$ up and bought the Coffee Side of Troys place...  Play with coffee and have toys at the same time.

Well I would need to sell my beloved BZ40 and go back to a tank machine and that's a big hurdle to jump

PS. KK he was out fo an hr; the hr that we were there.  We are looking to a street party in a week or two. BBQ and Street Roasting and FUN....  Opps OT AGAIN :-* :-*

Anger on   "What you say Admin ? "
 

I am in no condition to party. Think like a colander trying to hold water
But I am willing to do a spot of roasting at a gathering of the believers

KK
 
Bezzera Strega Lever: Mazzer Robur conical grinder Pullman Barista Tamper Convex:  Designer of the KKTO Home Roaster:

Blog - http://koffeekosmo.blogspot.com

Bean Flying

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« Reply #2 on: 13/05/2011, 11:05 PM »
Mmm Levers over pumped machines or even certain levers over other levers over pressure profiling pumped machines for flavour and shot sytle. Potentially HUGE topic.

Generally your observations are about the same as my experiences too. Clarity is better and softer rounder if that makes sense. Some acidic beans don't do as well in a lever as they may do in a pumped machine but that is purely second hand as I haven't directly compared the same beans specifically.

As a few of you may know I have been doing some playing with GJ's and my grinder has been running their standard blend on my Fioranzato and on a Modern Diamond HX semi auto. The shots out of my Fioranzato are better to my palette (still not a fan of the blend) as above smoother and more rounded. I have done this with the same grinder and day and bean so it is about as close to a proper test method. This I suspect is due to the lbeans not being extracted (oiver extracted?) as hard toward the end of the shot. Blonding just doesn't happen for me.

Shot quality on a well set up lever dialled in properly will be close to if not better than most pumped machines including the big boys of pressure profiling depending on the profile they are set to. The thing you can't get easilly is a consistant profile change with pushing or pulling on the lever against the spring this is where the profiling machines are better. But for home pressure profiling is still quite a lot of years away I suspect.

Most of the above is more in relation to my experience with commercial levers as compared to higher end domestics or commercial pumped machines. The smaller domestic levers I will leave out on purpose so as not to muddy the topic.

A consideration also is basket diameter 55 or 58mm. Personally I like the 55mm of the Izzo better it is easier to get a great shot than with a 58mm I also think it is a better extraction but this could be down to different machines tasting different due to different cam/spring reasons. Given some more power available I hope to be able to do a little blind testing using my 2 DRM grinders and the different levers.

In your case KK would I buy a one of the new Bezzera's. Only if it can be run without the pump on a constant water supply. As I think I have mentioned on CS or maybe on HB it shouldn't be to hard to re engineer.

11pm ramblings but it is a start and I am sure the Slayer lovers will be along to kick me sometime  ;D

Lacehim

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« Reply #3 on: 14/05/2011, 12:34 PM »
Love it KK.  I was wondering how long you would resist that lever!

I bought mine without ever seeing or tasting coffee from a lever.  I bought mine because it was quiet, fun to use, small and compact.  I could see myself heading down the upgrade route and put the breaks on, looked around, had a think about what I really wanted?

It's easy to use, and he espresso is slightly different but still great in it's own way.

Personally I don't like the Strega so much becuase of the pump, KISS is best for me.  If you could ditch the pump it would be amazing.

What are the shot volumes?  Mine you are lucky to get 30ml from a 14gm basket.

Bean Flying

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« Reply #4 on: 14/05/2011, 12:56 PM »
What are the shot volumes?  Mine you are lucky to get 30ml from a 14gm basket.

These days it seems standard for the piston volumes on the spring levers for be 'nominal doubles' so 50-60ml. Traditionally the commercial machines were single shots per pull. Tom and shanny have an old Boema that runs that way and I am not sure but the some of the Astorias are that way too.

I have dropped Dr Dregs (ex member at CS and lever nut) a PM on HB to see if he wants to come play here as well.

Double Ristretto

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« Reply #5 on: 14/05/2011, 01:28 PM »
Had the closed to a 'god shot' ever on the Mirage Idrocompresso at Toby's Chippendale the other day - the best shot I've ever had

Koffee Kosmo

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« Reply #6 on: 14/05/2011, 01:31 PM »
Love it KK.  I was wondering how long you would resist that lever!

I bought mine without ever seeing or tasting coffee from a lever.  I bought mine because it was quiet, fun to use, small and compact.  I could see myself heading down the upgrade route and put the breaks on, looked around, had a think about what I really wanted?

It's easy to use, and he espresso is slightly different but still great in it's own way.

Personally I don't like the Strega so much because of the pump, KISS is best for me.  If you could ditch the pump it would be amazing.

What are the shot volumes?  Mine you are lucky to get 30ml from a 14gm basket.

Shot volume is for a double

Quote
In your case KK would I buy a one of the new Bezzera's. Only if it can be run without the pump on a constant water supply. As I think I have mentioned on CS or maybe on HB it shouldn't be to hard to re engineer.

I think Bezzera is designing a line pressure version

Still its hard to let go of the BZ40
I personally like industrial design features over bling
Or at least the 2 styles together

KK
Bezzera Strega Lever: Mazzer Robur conical grinder Pullman Barista Tamper Convex:  Designer of the KKTO Home Roaster:

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Fresh Coffee

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« Reply #7 on: 14/05/2011, 01:44 PM »
Lever machines are a very individual thing as not all lever machines are the same, and I think this is where some disagreements have occured in topics on lever machines round the traps over time.

Personally, I am not a fan of tiny, immorally overpriced kitch ornaments masquerading as quality coffee machines, but I have no objection to small commercial sized lever machines as long as on an individual model basis, they are a good coffee machine.

My 2 group 1960's Bo_Ema lever machine is not in my opinion a good coffee machine in terms of the quality of its brew, but is a great reflection of a bygone era and style. It may or may not have been a good coffee machine in its day, compared to other machines of the day?????????

Any discussion on lever machines therefore, needs to consider, that one lever machine is not the same as another lever machine of different internal design, brand and model.

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Bean Flying

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« Reply #8 on: 14/05/2011, 02:58 PM »
Best thing to do KK is a road trip to survey the levers in the land  ;)

The KVW one is interesting Tobys in Melbourne have one in the city and they had been having on going pump problems on one of the groups. Real lever machines don't have these problems as they are or at least should be simple. About the only electrical bit on my 3 group that gets used is the P/Stat as I currently manually fill the boiler.

As above they all vary in flavour profile like all pump machines are not equal.

My 2 group 1960's Bo_Ema lever machine is not in my opinion a good coffee machine in terms of the quality of its brew, but is a great reflection of a bygone era and style. It may or may not have been a good coffee machine in its day, compared to other machines of the day?????????


Interesting I have had some really good shots out of a similar one too, is yours single shot per pull?

I reckon some of the lure of a vintage lever is as much the look and love for it as an object as the shots, but getting great shots has to be a bonus  :)

Lou

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« Reply #9 on: 15/05/2011, 09:11 PM »
I love this thread. Every coffee nut ultimately wants a lever one day, don't they??? I do.

Lou

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« Reply #10 on: 16/05/2011, 09:47 AM »
I love this thread. Every coffee nut ultimately wants a lever one day, don't they??? I do.

Is a man thing ???

Not for me.

Lou

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« Reply #11 on: 16/05/2011, 10:15 AM »
But you are a man. It's not a man thing for me because I'm not male - I'm female.  Keep going with your rels!

Koffee Kosmo

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« Reply #12 on: 16/05/2011, 11:56 AM »
But you are a man. It's not a man thing for me because I'm not male - I'm female.  Keep going with your rels!

Thanks Lou, I keep using Google translate to try and get better wording for the rels; but it is not always exact.

Can't ask my wife to do it; as she would then be aware of what I am up to....   And she just bought me a compound saw for my Birthday... err I bought and gave her the recite  ;D

As to am I a man.. I think so: but my daughter thinks i am a Wimp  ;D

Anger on who am I  ;D



Photos say more than words
So send photos and then say

Look for something like this
Gracia porfavore



KK
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Blog - http://koffeekosmo.blogspot.com

Lacehim

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« Reply #13 on: 16/05/2011, 12:49 PM »
KK, That's a Ponte Vecchio Lusso 1 group (and it's know by other names, SAMA, DAMPA and Ponte Vecchio).

Probably Attilio's idea of "tiny, immorally overpriced kitchen ornaments masquerading as quality coffee machines" ;)

My personal opinion is that it's what ever floats your boat.  What I like, another won't like.  I personally can't justify having a 60kg machine sitting in my kitchen.  My vote KK is that if you wait for the plumbable model with no pump.  KISS. Less to go wrong, and it's plumbed too.  Lovely.

AM, Plenty of machines on the Italian ebay, just pull a few photos off to give them an example.  Oh and get me one too ;)  Your wife should be happy!  You could take her to Sicily for a holiday then you can find them yourself and fill a container send it home and refurb them back here and make a killing.  AM's lever paradise. :)

Bean Flying

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« Reply #14 on: 16/05/2011, 12:53 PM »
Probably Attilio's idea of "tiny, immorally overpriced kitchen ornaments masquerading as quality coffee machines" ;)

My personal opinion is that it's what ever floats your boat.  What I like, another won't like.  I personally can't justify having a 60kg machine sitting in my kitchen.  My vote KK is that if you wait for the plumbable model with no pump.  KISS. Less to go wrong, and it's plumbed too.  Lovely.


I suspect the Elektra at $2.5k+ may be more the immoral sort of thing rather than the Lusso.

At to 60kg on the bench easy really total cost to me of about $3.5k with the grinder  ;D


AndreasM

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« Reply #15 on: 17/05/2011, 06:23 PM »
Those of you that have used various lever machines, how do they compare taste wise?
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Koffee Kosmo

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« Reply #16 on: 17/05/2011, 06:31 PM »
Those of you that have used various lever machines, how do they compare taste wise?

My direct comparison from a newbie user against the Bezzera BZ40

1) A little softer flavour in cup and a little more flavour definition
2) It smells & aromas are a lot different in the cup 

KK
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Blog - http://koffeekosmo.blogspot.com

Bean Flying

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« Reply #17 on: 17/05/2011, 06:36 PM »
Those of you that have used various lever machines, how do they compare taste wise?

Different to be a bit vague, softer but with better clarity when compared to standard 9 bar pumped machines. It would be really interesting to compare my 2 commercial ones to a pressure profile machine or even one of them in standard mode.

To obscure the answer even more both of mine on the same beans have a different taste and I prefer the Izzo by a touch generally over the Fioranzato. There is some stuff written by Gwilym Davies on Levers that will be worth a search.

Best bet is shout yourself a holiday pack some beans and come for a play.

AndreasM

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« Reply #18 on: 18/05/2011, 07:50 AM »
I've only had a few shots from a 50's Faema Urania that I helped source for The Maling Room but that was years go.

Wondering how much of a difference there is between say an old Faema and Boema and also between a modern lever.
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RichardM

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« Reply #19 on: 18/05/2011, 08:07 PM »
I know this is a long shot, but considering the number of new coffee machines bought, and the number of old people dying (my tact is out the window tonight, sorry), that a fair few of these kinds of machines would be thrown out when their kids come to "clean out" the house, not realising what they are. Would there be many of these go to scrap metal places, the tip, salvo's etc?
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Bean Flying

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« Reply #20 on: 18/05/2011, 10:15 PM »
Small domestics are a bit different to commercials for throwoutability.

Over time I have seen them come up on evilbay for sale with don't know how it works, went back to instunt, found in shed etc In most cases the people who finish up with them just don't know and won't have a grinder so whatever they make will be worse than international roast.

The numbers of quality old italian commercial machine in Oz seems to be fairly low and a lot of them change hands by word of mouth or extended word of mouth more than evilbay.

kualitycoffee

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« Reply #21 on: 04/07/2011, 10:47 PM »
KK, That's a Ponte Vecchio Lusso 1 group (and it's know by other names, SAMA, DAMPA and Ponte Vecchio).

Probably Attilio's idea of "tiny, immorally overpriced kitchen ornaments masquerading as quality coffee machines" ;)

My personal opinion is that it's what ever floats your boat.  What I like, another won't like.  I personally can't justify having a 60kg machine sitting in my kitchen.  My vote KK is that if you wait for the plumbable model with no pump.  KISS. Less to go wrong, and it's plumbed too.  Lovely.

AM, Plenty of machines on the Italian ebay, just pull a few photos off to give them an example.  Oh and get me one too ;)  Your wife should be happy!  You could take her to Sicily for a holiday then you can find them yourself and fill a container send it home and refurb them back here and make a killing.  AM's lever paradise. :)

Amen Amen Amen to that! he will then need to convince the good women, maybe more than one, to build a new workshop (garage)!!!  

But hey AM this idea does have some merrite just think of the attention you will receive from the good women?  Does she make better coffee than you?  

You see she justs wants a machine that works. I'm lucky my lady does not like coffee in any form. This is good for me of course.

Dennis

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« Reply #22 on: 20/07/2011, 12:50 PM »
There was a 3 group Bo-ema lever for sale on an auction site that was just passed in without a bid.   Like me, I'm guessing a number of members here saw it.

It looks to be in good condition and just wondering why you feel it wasn't snapped up?

askthe coffeeguy

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« Reply #23 on: 20/07/2011, 01:28 PM »
I know this is a long shot, but considering the number of new coffee machines bought, and the number of old people dying (my tact is out the window tonight, sorry), that a fair few of these kinds of machines would be thrown out when their kids come to "clean out" the house, not realising what they are. Would there be many of these go to scrap metal places, the tip, salvo's etc?

I'm in regular contact with a gentlemen from Italy who specialises in buying and restoring lever machines and he regularly has a few at his disposal -so feel free to pm me folks if you're genuinely interested in the goods - although if it was parting with that kind of hard earned, I'd wanna fly over and inspect first hand!

Also there seems to be a few available in NZ from time to time, on a local auction site...
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« Reply #24 on: 20/07/2011, 01:37 PM »
There was a 3 group Bo-ema lever for sale on an auction site that was just passed in without a bid.   Like me, I'm guessing a number of members here saw it.

It looks to be in good condition and just wondering why you feel it wasn't snapped up?

In my limited experience, 3 group machines of any type get passed in far more often than 1 and 2 groups. Perhaps that is why and iirc beanflying got his 3 group Izzo for a good price after it was passed in at least once.
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