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Espresso: Lever Espresso Machines
A tale of two levers, an HX and a portable
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Buckley
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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 12:56pm
Subject: A tale of two levers, an HX and a portable
 

Today I had the opportunity to pull four shots, one shot each on a Londinium I, premillenium Euripiccola8, Olympia Maximatic and a Mypressi.  The same Daterra Blue roast was used for each shot and each dose was ground by the same grinder without changing the grind setting.  The grinder was dialed in to one of the machines but not to the three others.  This pastime is just another anecdote; it did not prove anything to me.  Still, one shot was much better than the other three.  If anyone would like to guess what the object-lesson was that I walked away with, that's fine, I will wait a day before posting the answer.  There are no wrong guesses, just our collective experiences.  Has anyone else pulling on a line of different machines?

Buckley
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SpaceTime
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Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 1:51pm
Subject: Re: A tale of two levers, an HX and a portable
 

Collective wisdom would say the Londinium pulled the best shot, by I am going on a limb and saying the Maximatic.

There are so many variable involved from machine to machine, and the from grind to grind, and cup to cup.... but I am just trying to guess what you had on this one particular event.  I figure I got a 25% chance - and I did hedge a bit!

Oh, I have not pulled a shot on any of the four in the past... well, I have pulled a few on a pre-millenium Pro, but not the Euricoppola... close enough.  Hope you will tolerate my vote!!!  I really want to try an L1 someday though.... looks like one heckuva machine.
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Buckley
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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Apr 12, 2014, 1:45pm
Subject: Re: A tale of two levers, an HX and a portable
 

Well, not a lot of bites to this one, so I will cut to the chase.  After my three month hate-hate relationship with the Europiccola, it pulled the best shot yesterday.  Of course it helped that I put thermocouples on the group head and boiler one month ago as a guide.
The reason why the better machines got left behind is simply because I had more experience with the Europiccola.  Not pleasant experience, but experience nonetheless.
Two morals to the story:
First, "Everyone" says that the Euro takes some patience to understand, but that it is capable of legendary shots.  In my skepticism, I thought, "sure, if one is a trained barista, perhaps..." But I am not.  So if I can stumble into the 'operational zone' of good shots with the Euro, anyone can.  The temperature readouts are just to get me to the boundary; I don't slavishly follow them.
Second, no matter how 'good' your machine is, you have to train yourself to operate it.  Pulling great shots right out of the box sounds like a honeymoon period.  With regard to the Maximatic, it was only the third shot I have ever pulled on a HX machine.  A great shot would have been pure luck.  The boiler was at 1.2 bar when I pulled a 3-4 second cooling shot then let it rebound for 30 seconds before pulling the shot.  I look forward to understanding this machine, given enough time.
The grind, by the way, had been dialed in to the Londinium.  I had been pulling some good shots on it at 1.25 bar but the housing was off for some maintenance.  The day before I had replaced the housing and that was enough to produce my first burned shot, just trapping the extra heat.   A friend wanted to come over and look at it, so I took the housing off again.  He suggested that the Sirai be turned down to .9 bar, and so we did.  There are only four variables to change with the spring lever: grind, dose, preinfusion and temperature.  (Sure, one can 'ride' the spring in order to 'profile' it, but I have no plans to do that or discuss that right now.) So with all the perturbations of the Londinium, I have not allowed it to settle into a stable performance zone.  It came in runner-up, which was a little surprising but not unbelievable, given the circumstances.

Buckley
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