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Manual Lever VS Spring Lever
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Discussions > Espresso > Lever Espresso > Manual Lever VS...  
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joatmon
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Joined: 18 Sep 2004
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Location: Greer, SC
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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 7:11am
Subject: Re: Manual Lever VS Spring Lever
 

Removed
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donnydregs
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donnydregs
Joined: 6 Dec 2009
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Location: Australia
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Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 3:39am
Subject: Re: Manual Lever VS Spring Lever
 

joatmon Said:

I believe there is a place for all kinds of lever machines.  I've owned a LaPeppina, Caravel, MCaL, and Cremina.  I now own a Faema Lambro.

I am a fan of the commercial spring lever.  It's simple:  Walk up and pull a shot without any ritual.  Big steamer and always makes a great shot.  In two plus years, I can count my sink shots on one hand.   I don't like to play with coffee.  I just want to make a good espresso and drink it.  It's not my hobby or life.  A commercial spring lever simply means you normally get great results with a minimum of fuss.  In my opinion , it's the ultimate in leveraging your time for the benefit of getting a good espresso drink.

Now, this is certainly not for everyone.  Don't go down this path because I've been there before you.  But, if the journey you seek lines up with mine, then do investigate a commercial spring lever.

Posted February 15, 2013 link

Just perfect and I could not agree more^^. From turning on in the morning the big plumbed-in Aurora was always just there for an outstanding coffee whenever I felt like it especially with the Teflon group gaskets fitted.  No fuss, no overheating, no voodoo with the grinder, just grind, load, lock and pull. And when you looked under the hood all you saw was a humongous boiler, a few pipes and a couple of power accoutrements. The ultimate in coffee benevolence. I really do miss the Aurora.

If you are even remotely serious about your coffee, have the space and an agreeable partner then go commercial lever.
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 10:49am
Subject: Re: Manual Lever VS Spring Lever
 

russel Said:

I think this is a positive response?  I feel that the truth of the matter is that most prosumer machines (and up) are massive overkill for the home.  There are certain joys to being a home espresso maker that can't be translated into a cafe context.  Small domestic lever espresso machines are one of those joys.

Posted February 12, 2013 link

+1

 
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 10:57am
Subject: Re: Manual Lever VS Spring Lever
 

donnydregs Said:

Just perfect and I could not agree more^^. From turning on in the morning the big plumbed-in Aurora was always just there for an outstanding coffee whenever I felt like it especially with the Teflon group gaskets fitted.  No fuss, no overheating, no voodoo with the grinder, just grind, load, lock and pull. And when you looked under the hood all you saw was a humongous boiler, a few pipes and a couple of power accoutrements. The ultimate in coffee benevolence. I really do miss the Aurora.

If you are even remotely serious about your coffee, have the space and an agreeable partner then go commercial lever.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

Ha...another +1.
As has been said, it's whatever fits your lifestyle, wants, needs.
I admit to enjoying the longer ritual of preparing a Cremina shot...well, not that much ritual. Pulling a manual shot has a certain ego boost included when the results justify the self back-pat.
However, the new influx of "Home" Commercial spring levers like the Londinium L1, QM Achille, Bezzara Strega, Izzo, etc make this choice more affordable for these looking for a walk up and pull a great shot, like a true Italian cafe.
And, with the copious # of awesome HX/DB's out there, it's truly a Wonderland for espresso Geeks!

 
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donnydregs
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donnydregs
Joined: 6 Dec 2009
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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013, 2:40am
Subject: Re: Manual Lever VS Spring Lever
 

What happened to removed (joatmon)?

Perfectly reasonable I thought.
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CoffeeLoversMag
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Posted Sat Mar 9, 2013, 6:52am
Subject: Re: Manual Lever VS Spring Lever
 

At home we have spring lever; of course, it was a gift considering how costly it was. But it's really great how it would save you some time to do other tasks.

But with the comments you provided, I'm fired up to try manual lever machines. I don't think it's so bad to try it the manual way...it'll add to my coffee experience. Thanks!

 
Did you know...? Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the fact that the process of roasting burns off caffeine.
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Prof
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Prof
Joined: 10 Sep 2004
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Posted Sat Mar 9, 2013, 9:37am
Subject: Re: Manual Lever VS Spring Lever
 

donnydregs Said:

What happened to removed (joatmon)?

Perfectly reasonable I thought.

Posted March 8, 2013 link

Removed probably got tossed for having some commercial/professional conflicts of interest regarding lever machines.

Either that or he/she flamed out on a different thread.

 
LMWDP # 010
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frankward
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frankward
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Posted Sat Mar 9, 2013, 10:20am
Subject: Re: Manual Lever VS Spring Lever
 

My La Pavoni Professional has challenged me on a daily basis over the year I've owned it. It certainly has cured me of the desire to control every facet of the espresso process. Although I would certainly like to be successful enough to actually manage every stage of the process.

First, I've stopped roasting with my popcorn popper until I can get a Behmor or a Gene (I'm still making the buying decision on roasters). I did learn that a 5 minute popper roast does not make good espresso. A 200 foot extension cord could not slow down the roast time.

Second, I bought a Mazzer Mini. After a month of rotating the adjustment wheel, I figured out that the factory setting was giving me the best grind for my beans. Now I simply rock it a notch or two in either direction for fine tuning.

Third, the bottomless portafilter and how to tamp it. This step is killing me and there is no machine, automatic or manual, that can replace the pure barista skills necessary for transitioning coffee from grinder to espresso machine. For weeks my crotchless portafilter dribbled coffee off its wooden handle as often as it dribbled into the cup.  Channeling is my current weakest link. Lately, I've been minimizing the clumping of the fresh 14 gram grind by stirring a turkey pin in the double basket. A NSEW move, medium pressure tamp and final spin with a convex Reg Barber finishes this step. 50% of the time, this procedure forms a small cone during extraction, otherwise it is all about the channeling.

Those are 3 important steps before one even gets to the espresso machine. This is probably why most people choose a semi automatic, or at least a spring lever (if they have any brains:-). By now, I am so close to a great shot of espresso.  I wonder what chant to utter in the name of the god La Pavoni to convince the all powerful one to make me a "god shot." I decide on a straight count.

I lift the lever and let some hot water pour out to heat the brew group. I also did this prior to removing the portafilter. I have a temperature strip on the head so I can monitor if a second release of water is needed.  With the lever in the up position, but not so high that it squirts water, I attach the portafilter. I give the lever a couple of small (one inch) Fellini moves to fill the head (5 seconds) and then a 20 second full pull that feels like "a knife through frozen butter." (That's an expression I got from some other Coffeegeek.) Next is where I get a nice cone (if it is red striped I know the temperature is right) or I see several blonde droplets that signify the dreaded channeling.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a several thousand dollar spring loaded machine with an E61 brew group? It's not going to happen. My wife doesn't drink coffee. I'm in this alone with the hope of getting a line-item to cover the cost of a home roasting machine. Well, I could say that the joy of coffee is in successfully working with the equipment we already have. And I have got great gear for the job.
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russel
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russel
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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013, 12:01am
Subject: Re: Manual Lever VS Spring Lever
 

frankward Said:

Wouldn't it be nice to have a several thousand dollar spring loaded machine with an E61 brew group

Posted March 9, 2013 link

That isn't going to solve you channeling issue (and they aren't e61s, that's a specific HX group model unrelated to piston based espresso machines).  You should try increasing you dose, easing up on the grind, and dropping the Fellini move for a bit. You shouldn't have to resort to the Fellini move to get a full shot (a little less than 2x dose weight), if your dose/grind/tamp are on the puck will saturate and the group will fill while you hold the lever up.  With a clean LP it should be abundantly clear when water is filling the group and when it has finished.
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frankward
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frankward
Joined: 9 Feb 2013
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Location: Massachusetts
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Espresso: La Pavoni Professional Gold,...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, OE Pharos
Drip: Hario, Chemex
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013, 7:20pm
Subject: Re: Manual Lever VS Spring Lever
 

Thanks for your tips. I had just figured out that the Fellini moves weren't helping. They probably were just agitating the puck and contributing to channeling.
I thought those $4K lever machines used some version of E61s. Just a dream I had.
I'll do some more tweaking per your suggestions (more dose, less grind) for tomorrow's morning shots.
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