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Lever Machine right for me?
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Discussions > Espresso > Lever Espresso > Lever Machine...  
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evancalkins
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evancalkins
Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Washington State
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 8:59am
Subject: Lever Machine right for me?
 

For the past several years I've been heavily into brewed coffee, but want to get into espresso now as well.

I have no interest in using the steamer to prepare milk and would only use an espresso machine for the shots to prepare americanos and espresso.

I like to fiddle and figure things out, so in my research, it seems like a lever machine would be great for me.

My question is, is there a certain type of machine that is best for people who have no interest in utilizing a steamer? Perhaps a machine that altogether leaves that off its feature list and just pulls shots?

Again, I'm very new to the world of espresso and equipement and would love some direction.
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tek
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Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 9:26am
Subject: Re: Lever Machine right for me?
 

Hi Evan,

Welcome to forums. First question which then leads to answers is what is your budget?

 
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evancalkins
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evancalkins
Joined: 22 May 2013
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Location: Washington State
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 10:49am
Subject: Re: Lever Machine right for me?
 

Thanks for the welcome! I suppose my budget for a machine would be around $500. I'm very open to purchasing used equipment, if that helps.
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sweaner
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sweaner
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Espresso: Vetrano, Arrarex Caravel, La...
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Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 12:45pm
Subject: Re: Lever Machine right for me?
 

Does the $500 include a capable grinder?

An excellent machine would be a Caravel. I got mine via eBay Italy.

 
-Scott
“Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.”
Thomas Jefferson
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evancalkins
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evancalkins
Joined: 22 May 2013
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Location: Washington State
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 4:06pm
Subject: Re: Lever Machine right for me?
 

Oh wow, that Caravel machine looks fabulous. I watched some youtube videos and it seems to be exactly what I'm looking for.

Can you speak to the quality of the shot? I imagine is similar to crafting a shot from a La Pavoni?
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evancalkins
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evancalkins
Joined: 22 May 2013
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Location: Washington State
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 4:19pm
Subject: Re: Lever Machine right for me?
 

Upon reading more about the Caravel, it seems quality is surely not a thing to worry about. I guess I'll keep my eyes peeled for one on eBay or Craigslist.

There does seem to be one listed right now on Ebay Italy, but after Euro conversion and shipping, it'll probably blow past my budget.
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RoyceRuiz
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Joined: 31 Mar 2012
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 4:24pm
Subject: Re: Lever Machine right for me?
 

What grinder are you planning on using?
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evancalkins
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evancalkins
Joined: 22 May 2013
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Location: Washington State
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 4:29pm
Subject: Re: Lever Machine right for me?
 

That's another thing I'll be hunting for. I have a Bodum Bistro burr grinder currently, but it's certainly not espresso worthy - fine for brewing though.
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crazy4espresso
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crazy4espresso
Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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Espresso: Silvia, La Pavoni...
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Posted Thu May 23, 2013, 5:57am
Subject: Re: Lever Machine right for me?
 

evancalkins Said:

Oh wow, that Caravel machine looks fabulous. I watched some youtube videos and it seems to be exactly what I'm looking for.

Can you speak to the quality of the shot? I imagine is similar to crafting a shot from a La Pavoni?

Posted May 22, 2013 link

The consensus is that the Caravel is by far the easiest of all the vintage home levers to use and that they produce some of the best ristrettos. You don't get very much volume at all.  However it will be pushing your budget for sure.  Does your $500 budget include purchasing a grinder as well?
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evancalkins
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evancalkins
Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Washington State
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 23, 2013, 10:36am
Subject: Re: Lever Machine right for me?
 

Very good to know - I've been enjoying researching the options out there.

My budget of $500 didn't include the purchase of a grinder. I'm well aware that will be another saving plan altogether :)

Seems like the two machines I'm really researching and looking out for are the La Pavoni and the Caravel, with my preference toward the Caravel. If I can get one from overseas right around $500, shipping included, I might snag one.
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