Domestic lever Machines

Equipment, technique, or just drinking the stuff

Moderators: CakeBoy, GreenBean, Gouezeri, bruceb

Domestic lever Machines

Postby daveyb » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:25 am

Despite health warnings, my heart still desires one of the above. I owned a couple of Gaggia lever machines several years ago but could never pull a decent shot from them, but I suspect that was more down to me than the machine.
I now feel ready for the challenge again and wondered if anyone on here regularly used a la Pavoni or similar domestic lever machine, or knew of any for sale?
Regards
Daveyb
User avatar
daveyb
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:05 pm
Location: newcastle, uk

RE: Domestic lever Machines

Postby bruceb » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:54 am

On the contrary, it isn't your fault. A Pavoni domestic lever machine will destroy anyone's self esteem.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
User avatar
bruceb
 
Posts: 5364
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Northern Hesse, Germany

Postby daveyb » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:25 pm

Agreed Bruce but I like a challenge and it would not be my only machine. If one comes up at a sensible price I may be tempted. Those on Ebay seem to go for totally unrealistic prices as more and more people want kitchen accesories!
Regards
Daveyb
User avatar
daveyb
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:05 pm
Location: newcastle, uk

Postby lukas » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:49 pm

Oh and it is a beautiful kitchen accessory. Don't know if it produces good coffee, though ;)
Lukas

This week I like my coffee luke-warm.
--
Newest kit: Ghibli R-15
User avatar
lukas
 
Posts: 2798
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:41 pm
Location: Porta Westfalica, Germany

Postby bruceb » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:35 pm

Actually, I have a little Swiss Olympus machine that I use occasionally when I want to pull one shot for myself with now milk frothing or anything else. Like the other machines of this ilk the basket on the Olympus is too small, but the temperature of the water out of the brewhead is about 94°C (again, for a single shot pulled after the machine has been turned on for about 10 minutes). A second shot pulled immediately afterwards would have a temperature of about 97°C and after that the temperature is 100°C.

If you are determined to go this route you might look for a Microcimbali. They can be had for a relatively reasonable price used and they are probably the most likely to give you reasonable results.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
User avatar
bruceb
 
Posts: 5364
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Northern Hesse, Germany

Postby lsjms » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:59 pm

Got one of those I'd let go of. Had big plans, they are a perfect design for open and closed boiler espresso work(gravity or boiler pressure preinfesion built in!), With PID it would punch well above it's weight. Let down by aluminium boiler.

Like Bruce I cannot live with less than 58mm, so the only domestic lever worth owning is the Gaggia Achille, it's brilliant, stable, instant steam etc, sometimes cheap.

100% recommended if your brother is a plumber and you have a spare machine.
User avatar
lsjms
 
Posts: 350
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:53 pm
Location: London, UK

Postby daveyb » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:27 am

Thanks for your thoughts gents. I discounted an Achille because it needs plumbed in, but thats where all the trouble starts. Certainly the other Gaggia lever and La Pavoni models are not up to the standard a larger basket on a decent Espresso machine, but, if I can find one at a price worth a punt, I would probably have a go again.
Isjms, would you like to pm me any further details?
Regards
Daveyb
User avatar
daveyb
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:05 pm
Location: newcastle, uk

Postby lsjms » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:38 am

The Achille is a hand fill machine, this one.

http://www.redmonkeycoffee.co.uk/cart/i ... lever.html

The Microcimbali is a funny machine, you cannot steam with it and make good espresso or vice versa. It also has a 45mm group. If you did not like the Pavoni it is not to be recommended. It's also a spring lever unlike the Pav and the Achille. Like you I have a pump machine as well and find I have more fun(it contrasts the pump better) with a manual lever.

The other cool thing to do with the Micro(or any other gravity fed lever) is rip out the electrics and grind out the base to take a meths (trangia) burner, add battery probe and you have the ultimate coffee machine for camping.

Hold off and try to find an Achille, a Peppina or Caravel I reckon.
Did you have a Mini Gaggia? http://www.orphanespresso.com/Mini-Gagg ... c_207.html
User avatar
lsjms
 
Posts: 350
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:53 pm
Location: London, UK

Postby z3t4 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:50 pm

daveyb wrote:... La Pavoni..., if I can find one at a price worth a punt, I would probably have a go again.

I've got a Europiccola that's been sitting in the garage for a year since I repaired an old Bezzera. It's tired and old but has, I reckon, at least a year left in it.
Might be a cheap way to put yourself off levers forever.
PM me if you're interested.
Regards,

John
User avatar
z3t4
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:52 pm
Location: Manchester

Postby zix » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:00 pm

Have you thought about the old open boiler leva's? FE-AR La Peppina, Arrarex Caravel and so on? Italian eBay has those and some others more or less regularly for sale. Worth their price? I would rather pay for one of them than for a Pavoni. More people seem to get good results with them.

Personally, as things stand now, I would rather buy a Bacchi than any of them. You can put it on the stove and back into any kitchen cabinet after use, you get a new machine for about the same price, it "pulls the lever" itself but you still have to follow a tightly regulated procedure and give it love to get coffee from it at all - just the ticket for a lever lover :D
You could still use the Pav, too. I hear it is supposed to be a good milk steamer.
‹• Bezzera B3000AL • Strietman ES3 • Chemex • Cona C size • Aeropress • Vev moka • Bialetti Brikka • Espro • Cezve • Bacchi Espresso • Arrarex Caravel •
• HG-1 • Lido 1 & E-T • OE Pharos •
• oven • hot air gun • Behmor •›
User avatar
zix
 
Posts: 1326
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:40 pm
Location: Partille/Göteborg, Sweden

Postby zix » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:49 pm

("love" in the post above in this case = grease. Or molykote 111)
‹• Bezzera B3000AL • Strietman ES3 • Chemex • Cona C size • Aeropress • Vev moka • Bialetti Brikka • Espro • Cezve • Bacchi Espresso • Arrarex Caravel •
• HG-1 • Lido 1 & E-T • OE Pharos •
• oven • hot air gun • Behmor •›
User avatar
zix
 
Posts: 1326
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:40 pm
Location: Partille/Göteborg, Sweden

Postby zix » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:44 pm

In all fairness, I must admit that now that we have both the Caravel and the Bacchi at work, I prefer the Caravel. It makes just as good espresso (some would say slightly better I guess), is a lot faster to work with and is very easy to clean.
‹• Bezzera B3000AL • Strietman ES3 • Chemex • Cona C size • Aeropress • Vev moka • Bialetti Brikka • Espro • Cezve • Bacchi Espresso • Arrarex Caravel •
• HG-1 • Lido 1 & E-T • OE Pharos •
• oven • hot air gun • Behmor •›
User avatar
zix
 
Posts: 1326
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:40 pm
Location: Partille/Göteborg, Sweden

Postby Danomar » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:37 pm

A La Pavoni Europiccola was my first lever machine. It is a beautiful, temperamental beast. It took me a few years (yes, years) to figure out how to get a good shot from it, but that was before internet espresso forums existed.

The La Pavoni seems more sensitive to grind than most already-sensitive lever machines. Make sure you have a good, consistent grinder before trying anything with it.

Except for Millennium machines (which have an insulating spacer between the boiler and the group) and later, the La Pavoni group easily overheats. Wrapping a wet towel around the group is a simple, effective manner of cooling it off between shots or to get the temperature right.

A handy item to have is a temperature-sensitive strip that you can stick on the group directly.

Newer La Pavonis have (I am lead to believe) plastic pistons that are not as consistent as older brass pistons. Be sure your piston seals are in good shape, of course!

Ensure that your pop-off regulating valve is clean and letting pressure off the boiler at the right pressure. Pressure gauges on the sight glass are very, very useful!

I found that doing a shot to clear the group and then waiting right before the pop-off valve opened again worked reasonably well with mine. You have to figure out the routine for yours. The biggest liability to getting good shots from a Europiccola or Professional is consistency. The machines' behavior is always slightly variable, sometimes unpredictable.

To put it in perspective, when I finally got a new Olympia Cremina in 2005, I was pulling fantastic shots within a few tries. The Cremina is famous for its stability and consistency, things the La Pavoni lacks.

I have to admit that I would rather own a La Peppina than a La Pavoni. Sorry. At least the La Peppina is reasonably consistent.

My current collection includes a vintage Cremina, two Arrarex Caravels, a Conti Comocafé, and a Bruni Brunella. The Caravels are very impressive machines—especially the older versions—but their shots are ristretto-sized. Fine for me most of the time, but perhaps not for others. The shots are nearly as good as those from my first Olympia. I got rid of my La Pavoni several years ago. I stopped using it once I got the Cremina. The "Chrome Peacock" is a beautiful machine but you might go you crazy trying to get consistent results from it.

HTH
User avatar
Danomar
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2005 6:05 pm
Location: Côte d'Azur


Return to Espresso

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot] and 9 guests

cron