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Rancilio Lucy - John Gill's Review
Posted: May 12, 2002, 3:56pm
review rating: 8.6
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
Rancilio Lucy
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More About This Product
Arrow The Rancilio Lucy has 1 Reviews
Arrow The Rancilio Lucy has been rated 7.40 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since December 2, 2001.
Arrow Rancilio Lucy reviews have been viewed 24,898 times (updated hourly).

Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.4
Manufacturer: Rancilio Quality: 9
Average Price: $800.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $400.00 Cost vs. Value 5
Where Bought: Ebay Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 1 year Overall 7
Writer's Expertise: Just starting Would Buy Again: Maybe
Similar Items Owned: Gaggia Classic, Krupps Novo 3000
Bottom Line: If the Lucy was priced at $600, it would be a viable contender to the Rocky/Silvia combo for the crown of “Best sub $750 home espresso machine.”  But since this is not the case, the Lucy will forever be relegated as an also ran, beaten by her little broth
Positive Product Points

This is a wonderful machine that has been left to eat the dust of the Silvia/Rocky combination, due to its high price.

Negative Product Points

The Lucy does have a few drawbacks.  The first is the small capacity water tank, for a unit of this size.  Rancilio could have easily provided a water tank that stores easily double the current volume, without compromising the overall size of the machine.

The second is the portafilter holder.  It is the “standard” home portafilter, and it should be changed for Rancilio’s commercial portafilter holder.  The supplied portafilter holder should be relegated to duty as a back-flush insert holder.

The third and most important drawback is its price.  At $900 US at the best net retailers, it does not provide comparable value for money.

Detailed Commentary

It is a solid and substantial machine (over 52 lbs fully filled) that will not wander all over the counter and can withstand determined efforts to "lock and load".    The Lucy measures 13 inches wide, 16 inches deep and 17¼ inches tall.  This measurement excludes the portafilter that extends 3 to 3½ inches from the front of the machine.   Rubber soles are provided on the bottom of the four feet, that help prevent and sliding on slick surface counters.  Because of its size and weight, the Lucy should not be located below standard kitchen cabinets since this would block access to the water tank and the coffee grinder bin.

Two models of Lucy are available, older models have a white enamel body; new models have a stainless steel body.  There are other minor differences between the old and the newer models, which will be detailed later in this review.   A little know fact is that the Lucy’s can be easily converted into “plumbed in” units (a.k.a. the almost never seen Kathy’s) with the addition of a hose and solenoid valve to the pump input and a drain hose connected to the drill out fitting provided on the drip tray (hackers note this change could also be performed to a Silvia).

The substantial black polyethylene drip tray extends the width of the unit and is fitted with a stainless steel cover.  The cover is solid under the grinder chute and slotted under the espresso grouphead.  The slots are oriented so any excess grounds can be easily swept into the drip tray minimizing mess.  There is no adjustment for cup height under the portafilter.  The top of the Lucy is a stainless steel plate providing a passive warming surface for espresso cups.  Ventilation holes are provided over the boiler to assist in cooling the unit.  The removable 2-liter water tank is fitted at the rear of the machine.  The water tank is equipped with a water softener and a low level sensor.  The low level sensor is air pressure operated and shuts off electrical power to the boiler and the pump, if the machine is switched on when the water level drops.  

The espresso side of the machine shares almost all it components with the Silvia.  An exception to this is the steam wand, which is equipped with a three-hole nozzle, which enhances it abilities to steam milk compared to the standard single-hole nozzle (newer machines are equipped with a single hole steam nozzle).  A water level shut off is included as is a water softener, which are both nice features.   Early Lucy's were equipped with the same switches and wiring as the Rialto so there is no hot water function.  Newer model Lucy’s share the same switch and electrical arrangements as the Silvia.

The grinder is basically a Rocky, but without the doser.  A plastic delivery chute emerges from the left side of the machine, dispensing grounds as the grinder operates.  This means much less coffee to go stale in the grinder after use.  The coffee delivery chute terminates above 2 steel pegs installed to allow a standard Rancilio portafilter to be positioned. This greatly improves the ability to deliver ground coffee and makes clean up/maintenance much easier.  Newer models Lucy’s have an adjustable timer for the grinder that allows the user to setup easily repeatable timed grinds.

Buying Experience

To quote "Your Milage may vary".  I bought my machine on Ebay, so others may have a better or worse experience.

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review rating: 8.6
Posted: May 12, 2002, 3:56pm
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
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