Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Lever Espresso Machines
Lever... am I crazy!?
Donate to Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids works with farming communities around the world, improving lives. Donate today.
www.coffeekids.org
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Lever Espresso > Lever... am I...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
Author Messages
BonsaiDoug
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jun 2013
Posts: 50
Location: Canandaigua
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Roaster: FreshRoast SR500
Posted Thu Oct 31, 2013, 11:06am
Subject: Lever... am I crazy!?
 

I've been thinking about purchasing a Silvia, but I've also been watching many YouTube vids on lever machines. I have to say, I'm fascinated.

I'm the only espresso drinker in the house, I generally have only 2-3 double shots per day, and I roast my own beans for pour-over and espresso. I'd be moving up from a low-end Delonghi machine (un-pressurized basket).

Am I crazy to be considering moving from a semi-auto to a lever?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 386
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Thu Oct 31, 2013, 1:57pm
Subject: Re: Lever... am I crazy!?
 

No your not crazy!  Well, maybe a little crazy, but no more crazy than I am.

I have a 1984 La Pavoni Professional that I picked up cheap off of craigslist.  It needed new seals and a little work, but it's working great.  Great machine that will outlast me I'm sure.  My NS Oscar got shelved so I had room and reason to use the La Pavoni, and now I'm happy to use it as my main machine.  From power on to heat up it's about 10 minutes, another couple minutes of dosing out my coffee and prepping cups and ready for the pull.

I get lots of crema from my shots, good micro-foamed milk with a single holed tip, and real quality in the cup.

If I had more $ I'd probably go for a spring lever of some kind, or perhaps a Cremina.  Actually, right now I'd love to get my hands on a Sama/Ponte Vecchio Export.  (Wife would kill me for bringing in another machine!)

Levers take some time to learn, but if you have someone local that knows their way around the machine and can help you get started with good pulls you'll be far ahead.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
narc
Senior Member
narc
Joined: 20 Apr 2002
Posts: 532
Location: bayfield
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: MCal,PVL2
Grinder: MacapMX, vintage hand...
Roaster: GeneCafe
Posted Thu Oct 31, 2013, 6:34pm
Subject: Re: Lever... am I crazy!?
 

No!
Evolved or devolved (depending on one's opinion) to a lever only user. Espresso history started back in the early 80's with a Gaggia Coffee vibe pump.  Moved onwards to the HX/E61 unit.  Saw the light and have been a content lever user for the past few years.  

Plus are potentially significantly less time, effort & $s for maintenance of the machines.  With experience and a bit of understanding of your specific machine pulling quality consistent shots are possible.  Negs are for some people the time & effort commitment required to pull consistently acceptable drinks.  Grind quality, dosing, technique become more critical than with the HX/E61 machine.  Then there are the days when the moon phase, magnetic fields must be off resulting in more sink shots than drink shots.  Actually changes in RH, room temp, different SO or blend, age of the roast can some days drive you to drinking tea.  Just part of the lever experience.

 
Noel
Mano dell 'operatore> Macinadosatore> Miscela> Macchina espresso
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
z0mbie
Senior Member
z0mbie
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 374
Location: Online
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Nov 9, 2013, 8:08pm
Subject: Re: Lever... am I crazy!?
 

No, sir, you are not crazy.

Lever machines are awesome and have some pretty nice advantages.. They're far less complicated than a pump machine, so they have less chance of breaking down on you. Yet they are just as easy to use and even easier to maintain. They take up less space.   And they have an aesthetic appeal about them that is timeless.

While pump machines are the defacto standard these days, they are primarily because of commercial reasons.  For the home, a lever machine is every bit as capable of producing superb coffee.  Plus, there's just something charming about manual extraction you don't get from pressing buttons.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Prof
Senior Member
Prof
Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 713
Location: Seattle
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: PV Lusso
Grinder: Pharos 696
Drip: Aeropress
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Sun Nov 10, 2013, 9:04am
Subject: Re: Lever... am I crazy!?
 

BonsaiDoug Said:

I've been thinking about purchasing a Silvia, but I've also been watching many YouTube vids on lever machines. I have to say, I'm fascinated. ...  Am I crazy to be considering moving from a semi-auto to a lever?

Posted October 31, 2013 link

Not really.  I've been a lever fanboy for many years, having both manual and spring levers.  Currently I use a Ponte Vecchio Lusso, a spring lever, and am very happy with the espresso it produces.  It has stable temperature, so shot after shot is no problem.

There is more of a ritual to coffee making with a lever, especially a manual one.  Consistency from shot to shot is more challenging.  After the second or third shot the grouphead can be too hot for the next shot to be as good.

The lever machine was my gateway drug to start homeroasting beans.  :)

 
LMWDP # 010
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
sosha
Senior Member
sosha
Joined: 18 Sep 2010
Posts: 47
Location: Northern CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: PV Export
Grinder: Compak K3, Vario
Drip: Trifecta MB
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Thu Nov 14, 2013, 8:00am
Subject: Re: Lever... am I crazy!?
 

Now, you posted this on the lever forum........you knew you'd get these type of responses.

I recently moved from a Miss Silvia with a PID to a Ponte Vecchio Exxport.  The shot quality is SO much better, and I can really understand what's going on with the machine.  I can steam milk properly while I'm pulling my shot, so everything happens at once.  It's very simple, and very clean.  All that said, the Export is not for a multi-espresso drinking household; the boiler's too small IMHO.

Give it a shot.......(no pun intended)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
BonsaiDoug
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jun 2013
Posts: 50
Location: Canandaigua
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Roaster: FreshRoast SR500
Posted Thu Nov 14, 2013, 8:18am
Subject: Re: Lever... am I crazy!?
 

sosha Said:

Now, you posted this on the lever forum........you knew you'd get these type of responses.

Posted November 14, 2013 link

LOL! Yes, I knew there'd be the passion, but I also wanted a feel for how the shots compared to their auto/semi-auto cousins.  Never had a shot from a lever machine, nor have I had my hands on one to "give it a shot."
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
z0mbie
Senior Member
z0mbie
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 374
Location: Online
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Nov 16, 2013, 2:18pm
Subject: Re: Lever... am I crazy!?
 

Well there's only one way to find out!  

It's too bad not too many coffee shops have lever machines..   Maybe someone local to  you can give you a demo.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
BonsaiDoug
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jun 2013
Posts: 50
Location: Canandaigua
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Roaster: FreshRoast SR500
Posted Sun Nov 17, 2013, 5:26pm
Subject: Re: Lever... am I crazy!?
 

z0mbie Said:

Well there's only one way to find out!  

It's too bad not too many coffee shops have lever machines..   Maybe someone local to  you can give you a demo.

Posted November 16, 2013 link

Actually, I believe I live fairly close to Whole Latte Love. Time for a road trip!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
strfish7
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Aug 2009
Posts: 178
Location: San Antonio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cremina, Europiccola,...
Grinder: HGOne, Pharos, Vario
Vac Pot: none
Drip: none
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sat Nov 23, 2013, 11:56am
Subject: Re: Lever... am I crazy!?
 

DanoM Said:

No your not crazy!  Well, maybe a little crazy, but no more crazy than I am.

I have a 1984 La Pavoni Professional that I picked up cheap off of craigslist.  It needed new seals and a little work, but it's working great.  Great machine that will outlast me I'm sure.  My NS Oscar got shelved so I had room and reason to use the La Pavoni, and now I'm happy to use it as my main machine.  From power on to heat up it's about 10 minutes, another couple minutes of dosing out my coffee and prepping cups and ready for the pull.

Levers take some time to learn, but if you have someone local that knows their way around the machine and can help you get started with good pulls you'll be far ahead.

Posted October 31, 2013 link

What this guy said.  My first lever espresso machine was the cheap craigslist LP too.  My daily driver is now a Cremina, and my consumptions about the same as the OP.  I have zero desire to ever migrate away from levers. The best way to home espreso, in my book.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Lever Espresso > Lever... am I...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Green Unroasted Coffee
Free shipping. Save 15% on variety pack, use 'variety' at checkout
www.madbeanscoffee
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.296695947647)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+