Posted Sat Jun 2, 2012, 8:22pm Subject: Re: Bezzera Strega
Not only does it exist... It's an awesome machine, and I have to say, that in combination with the Pharos grinder, I have been able to consistently produce exceptional shots. As you are aware there is quite a bit of information out on this machine, and user's experiences with it, personally, I am extremely happy with it, and the possibility to vary the brew pressure (pressure profiling) during the shot has created very interesting opportunities of the variety possible with any given coffee.
Lately, I've been brewing beans from Panther Coffee (that I just found out is only about 2 minutes from where I work), and I've been amazed at the quality of coffee that they produce, which translates into a lot of fun once I get it home to brew with the Strega. If you haven't tried their coffees I really like what they have (their espresso, and Brazil Peaberry are great)!
(BTW... have you been able to use the steam tip yet? :)
bezzieman Senior Member Joined: 10 Sep 2011 Posts: 8 Location: europ Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Fri Jun 15, 2012, 10:02pm Subject: Re: Bezzera Strega
Sadly enough I don't have any real writing skills so a substantial review is a little hard for me to do.Especially as English is not my native language.
Also I think Jim S. wrote an good elaborated review on H-B.
But I can give some pros and cons that I experienced with the machine during the 15 month period.
So here we go. Pros: It's fast! In the morning I pull my first double cappus within 11 minutes!I think that's outstanding .No need to put a timer on the machine to let it pre-heat while still lying in bed. Routine is to let it come to pressure and then pull some water through the group with the single basket in.
It's consistent. Pulling great shots one after another is easy.The machine doesn't require any special barista skills.If you can pull shots on a E61 you can pull shots on a Strega.A Ponte Vecchio lever for instance isn't as forgiving as this machine is.
It's pretty temperatur stable.Although I must admit the only 'instrument" I used to check this was a temperature strip.My routine is to flush one or two seconds for each pull anyway just to clean the group .Any overheated water gets flushed out in that flush as well.
It pulls great shots of espresso.I love them.They are silky,sweet and lacking of nasty bitters that I dislike .Of course taste is as with everyrthing a personal matter.People looking for a harsher espresso with more bitter tones might be better off with another type of machine. In espresso I look for chocolate and caramel.I totally dislike any sour or what people call fruittones.The Strega delivers.But others have written that the Strega delivers here also.
After three months I took off the pump and plumbed the machine in.I hated the pump sound and also the filling of the reservoir every day or so.I've never looked back.I didn't notice any taste difference in the coffee it produced so I've left it like this.Although I pre-infuse with 3 bar now I don't taste it in the cup.
It's a good steamer.
Finally it pulls great singles.To be honest I like the shots with the single basket better.They're thicker and intenser.
Cons. Not as many as the pros.
It has a plastic bearing cover at the top.I hate plastic.Be it on motorcycles or on espresso machines.To make matters worse at some areas the chrome is coming off.
I have to lubricate the group every once in a while.After some time the group starts to make noises and the lever action goes less smooth.Luckily this " lube-job" takes only 5 or 6 minutes so that's a peace of cake.
So that's my little review on the Strega.I still love it and it has cured my upgraditis .
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