qualin Senior Member Joined: 30 Jun 2012 Posts: 464 Location: Calgary, AB Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3 Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A Vac Pot: Looking to buy Drip: Manual Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 9:41pm Subject: Newbie - The best machine for my needs, Recommendations?
I'm afraid this is another one of those, "Newbie is looking for a new machine" kinds of posts, so I'm going to apologize in advance.
I'm doing some research on the best type of Espresso machine to purchase for my needs and it was suggested in the Espresso Machines forum that I consider looking at a Lever machine due to the volume of drinks I'd be making. (Mostly Capuccinos and Lattes, roughly around 15 drinks a week with some guests.)
Please keep in mind that I've never pulled my own shots before, I'm a complete newbie, moving away from my stove top capuccino maker to a "real" machine.
So, I went to a local Boutique Coffee Equipment place and fell in love with the looks of the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva machine. It's a wife-friendly machine since she likes the small footprint and its looks. However, when I heard what they're selling for brand new, not only did my jaw hit the floor, but I nearly fell over. $1800!
So, I've come to this forum asking if there are any less costly alternatives I could look at? I'm only interested in looking at spring-type lever machines because I'm afraid that my shots would be too inconsistent with a completely manual machine, not to mention my wife wouldn't be able to use it.
Is it possible to find a spring-type lever machine, either in new or used condition, for $1000 or less that is decently constructed with quality parts?
The only other machine I could find online that compares (At least in looks anyway) to the Elektra is a Gensaco Capucio, but it's still only $600 less than the Elektra.
As well, are spring-type machines too advanced for a newbie to use? Do they make for a good "Starter" machine?
As much as I hate to say it, if I'm going to spend $1800, I might as well just buy a HX or a used DB machine to get the best value for my money. If I can spend at least half that, then I think I would be getting better value for my money in that regard. I'm going to apologize now if I've offended anyone.
Posted Sun Jul 8, 2012, 7:03am Subject: Re: Newbie - The best machine for my needs, Recommendations?
In the end, it's what's in the cup that counts, and levers, for my tastebuds, at least, deliver a superior shot in the cup. A lot of what high-end pump machines seem to be chasing (pressure profiling, temp profiling, etc.) come naturally with a lever shot, or can.
That being said, if you're primarily going to be doing milk drinks, you're probably better off with a HX or DB machine, about which you've gotten plenty of good advice in your other post. However, you may find, as your skills improve, that a stratight shot becomes what you prefer. At least that's the way it worked out for me.
Generally, what you're paying for with lever machines is level of fit and finish and the skill of the craftsmen who are building the thing.
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