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Thread: Izzo Alex Leva

  1. #651
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    I haven't played with the temp settings too much yet as initially I found it didn't make too much difference. Until these beans, PNG Peaberries, which were a little burnt and not great at 123 set point then dropped to 120 and it was a world of difference.

  2. #652
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhatEverBeansNecessary View Post
    They look a beauty!

    Have you tried playing around with the PID settings? I have the profitec pro 800 - same group head I believe. I have only recently started playing with the brew temp after finding it didn't make much difference with the taste in the cup, unitl the bean I am using now.
    Not quite - the Alex Leva and variants use the venerable La San Marco 55mm group, which many credit with being very forgiving due to the depth of the puck. Profitec use a standard E-61 58mm group, their own design as I understand.

    With a dipper boiler and leva group I'd expect temperature changes would take ages to cascade through and affect the cup - the boiler and the entire group has to change along with all the water in the boiler.

  3. #653
    Junior Member LEVERSFOREVER's Avatar
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    Last edited by LEVERSFOREVER; 13th April 2018 at 11:50 PM. Reason: insert link image
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  4. #654
    Junior Member LEVERSFOREVER's Avatar
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    I also bought the stainless steel circlips together with the alex.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/4vbplzyor3...94450.jpg?dl=0






    in doubt, I bought the one from 48 and the one from 50

  5. #655
    Junior Member LEVERSFOREVER's Avatar
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    Unfortunately it was not possible to load the boiler with a bottle placed 1 meter above, so I had to resort to a trick, waiting for the arrival of a small pump.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/7bfoaguy8ctea49/IMG_20180331_183814.jpg?dl=0



  6. #656
    Junior Member LEVERSFOREVER's Avatar
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    Using the izzo only in the morning, I proceeded to install a timer, so as to find it warm.


    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ykwr77wkq2l9m4/IMG_20180411_211023.jpg?dl=0

  7. #657
    Junior Member LEVERSFOREVER's Avatar
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    The thing that I did not expect, is the sound of water when the resistance is running. Probably the Izzo serves as a sound box.
    As soon as I can, I will do some measure of the temperature of the group.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/er9w1fqk4dgfxht/IMG_20180312_215139.jpg?dl=0

  8. #658
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    Looks great Levers,
    You will have years of joy from her
    I assume that you have good filtration organised too? I also have a Belkin surge protector that my timer is plugged in to after a power surge in this town destroyed $10K worth of his electrical appliances
    Cheers
    Dave

  9. #659
    Junior Member LEVERSFOREVER's Avatar
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    Using water for one coffee a day plus steam to heat the milk, use mineral water with low residues. Load about 800 grams a week, maybe not even install the pump ... Yesterday I discovered a cafeteria Izzo at the shopping center Da Vinci, the grandson of Mr. Izzo, he kindly gave me two cups, after I told him that I hadrecently purchased a Izzo lever.https://www.dropbox.com/s/l7dwhfozxx...60333.jpg?dl=0
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  10. #660
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    Finally got around to popping the shower screen off and after a bit of fiddling around and narrowly missed decapitating the cat with the wayward circlip I was met with....

    After a good scrub I ended up with

    Looked to be a whole lot of grease from when the machine was new. I know food grade so not bad but it was blocking a lot of holes.

    I still love this machine and the coffee just keeps getting better
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  11. #661
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    I am in the process of replacing my VBM Domobar and called in at TC over the weekend to have a look at the Alex iv and also the Alex dual pump Leva having read that these machines deliver a unique profile and better extraction of flavours.

    This was my first experience with the Lever process and the resultant brew.
    While I have previously not been a great fan of black coffee (acidity, unpleasant taste) the pour from the Alex Leva was an eye opener. The brew was rich, complex and well rounded. Having felt the lever action and being sternly warned about damage should the lever be inadvertently released I quickly concluded the Lever option is not wife friendly!

    A comparison was made with the twin boiler Alex iv which was set up to give a similar slightly goopy pour - same pouring time and same coffee.

    While the twin boiler Alex was truly excellent, in my opinion it didn’t quite equal the Leva.

    I am starting to understand why the Lever option has such a devout following!
    I am wondering if the Profitec 800 in the same league as the Izzo?

    Looks like the VBM replacement is less straightforward than I expected!

    PS The Izzo standard of build and ease of maintenance was impressive on both machines and I really liked the quality of the stainless steel construction. These machines are built to last!
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  12. #662
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    Can hands down vouch for the lever... I agree that it gives you a nasty shock if you are forgetful with the handle but the ease and simplicity outweigh any negatives for me.

    The Valexia is my first coffee machine so I am very ill equipped to advise a to how it compares to other machines but I did find it very easy to get to grips with, the hardest aspect being dialling in the grinder.

    There is a nice feel of nostalgia using a lever machine and I can see why they have such a ‘cult’ following.

    i used a Profitec 800 when I did a course through Jet Black and whilst a very nice machine it did, to me at least, have the same character and looks as the Izzo - truly personal preference I know, but there is just something about the Izzo.

    Enjoy the search.

    Alastair

  13. #663
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    Another vote for the lever. My daughter has been user a lever machine regularly since the age of 14.

  14. #664
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    Not quite - the Alex Leva and variants use the venerable La San Marco 55mm group, which many credit with being very forgiving due to the depth of the puck. Profitec use a standard E-61 58mm group, their own design as I understand.

    With a dipper boiler and leva group I'd expect temperature changes would take ages to cascade through and affect the cup - the boiler and the entire group has to change along with all the water in the boiler.
    Matt, quick question: Why is there not a temperature gauge fitted to the group head on coffee machines to monitor the actual temperature of the water hitting the puck?

    Or is the PID generally calibrated to display the predicted group temp rather than the boiler?

  15. #665
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    Warmtone, I don't have the Izzo, but the profitec pro 800 which is a PID sprung lever similar to the Izzo. I think a measurement at the group head would be somewhat pointless. Yes you might be able to read the brew temp but you can't independantly change the brew head temp without lowering the boiler temp.

    The flavour extracted from the shot should be the ultimate refference to if it was good or not and changing of variables including boiler temp is just one of the ways to change the shot flavour.

    My personal opinion is that sprung levers were designed to bring back a certain old world feel of espresso and the PID is just a small tool to use fine tune a shot. If you want to change the pressure profile or brew temperature at will then a spring lever isn't the way to go.

  16. #666
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warmtone View Post
    Matt, quick question: Why is there not a temperature gauge fitted to the group head on coffee machines to monitor the actual temperature of the water hitting the puck?

    Or is the PID generally calibrated to display the predicted group temp rather than the boiler?
    I think @whateverbeansnecessary nailed it - the precise temperature at the group is unimportant, provided it's consistent (allowing time to warm/cool after changes at the boiler of course). What matters is repeatability and impact in the cup. So it's more sensible and convenient to take temperature from the boiler where you already have the element and PID. For the analysis-paralysis set, there's always the Decent machine

    Of course for E61 machines you can put a probe directly into the group, but this would normally be a diagnostic tool not something you'd use daily.

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    Hi Matt my understanding is that the brew temperature is critical and for best results needs to be in the range 90 - 94 deg C. If Lever PID single boiler machines are measuring/controlling just boiler temp how do you verify what the brew temp is?
    Or do we assume a predictable temp drop from the boiler temp to the group head?

  18. #668
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warmtone View Post
    Hi Matt my understanding is that the brew temperature is critical and for best results needs to be in the range 90 - 94 deg C. If Lever PID single boiler machines are measuring/controlling just boiler temp how do you verify what the brew temp is?
    Of course. But you can only control temp at the shower screen indirectly (by changing the boiler temperature).

    I'd expect the boiler temperature to be set to something sensible at the factory, fine-tuned on the vendor's bench and verified by your tastebuds.

    Quote Originally Posted by warmtone View Post
    Or do we assume a predictable temp drop from the boiler temp to the group head?
    We have to, I guess. The relationship mightn't be linear, but increasing the temperature in the boiler by 1į will always increase the temperature at the puck by <=1į. That's fairly meaningless information by itself though.
    Last edited by Magic_Matt; 5th June 2018 at 06:24 PM.
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  19. #669
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    Do all sprung levers have the kick-back issue when thereís no resistance in the portafilter?

    My venerable Cremina being non sprung doesnít display this behaviour.

    Iíve been looking to upgrade but canít see the boss approving something that could knock the teeth out of an unsuspecting user!

    Izzo - tick
    Strega - tick
    Profitec 800 - ?
    Londinium - ?
    ???

  20. #670
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    Quote Originally Posted by warmtone View Post
    Hi Matt my understanding is that the brew temperature is critical and for best results needs to be in the range 90 - 94 deg C. If Lever PID single boiler machines are measuring/controlling just boiler temp how do you verify what the brew temp is?
    Or do we assume a predictable temp drop from the boiler temp to the group head?
    Hi warmtone,

    I have been following the latest comments with interest but have been preoccupied with our move the last week.

    There is a relationship between boiler pressure/ temperature and group head temperature. PIDs will control the boiler temp and then this of course is reflected in the group head temperature.

    Every machine will have a slightly different boiler temp to group head temp relationship. It may be for example 122 d = 92 at the group head. You can scace test this or your supplier should be able to give the the figures.

    We have developed a PID fitted Strega and provided a graph showing the correlation. You will find it on this forum under "Strega - taming the Wittch"


    Plenty to think about but as we often say, don't get overly lost in the technicalities, all the machines you are considering are excellent with their own pluses and minus's.

    We have a bit of experience with levers so feel free to call me directly if we can help

    Cheers
    Antony
    (03) 9530 8992


    PS the ECM Synkro is still a great option
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  21. #671
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanderP View Post
    Do all sprung levers have the kick-back issue when there’s no resistance in the portafilter?

    My venerable Cremina being non sprung doesn’t display this behaviour.

    I’ve been looking to upgrade but can’t see the boss approving something that could knock the teeth out of an unsuspecting user!

    Izzo - tick
    Strega - tick
    Profitec 800 - ?
    Londinium - ?
    ???
    Hi Sander

    Yes all spring levers will knock your teeth out it you release them with no resistance.

    It is their design that requires the resistance from the coffee to control the flow/extraction.

    If we can help with the Strega PID, Izzo or Pro 800 let me know.

    Londinium is a direct purchase from the UK

    Cheers

    Antony
    (03) 9530 8992
    www.casaespresso.com.au
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  22. #672
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanderP View Post
    Do all sprung levers have the kick-back issue when there’s no resistance in the portafilter?

    My venerable Cremina being non sprung doesn’t display this behaviour.

    I’ve been looking to upgrade but can’t see the boss approving something that could knock the teeth out of an unsuspecting user!

    Izzo - tick
    Strega - tick
    Profitec 800 - ?
    Londinium - ?
    ???
    You do need to be careful, but my other half has no problem using our Quickmill Achille (which has the same spring lever group as the Profitec and Londinium....and perhaps a stronger spring), and we've had it for few years now.
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  23. #673
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    Hi warmtone,

    I have been following the latest comments with interest but have been preoccupied with our move the last week.

    There is a relationship between boiler pressure/ temperature and group head temperature. PIDs will control the boiler temp and then this of course is reflected in the group head temperature.

    Every machine will have a slightly different boiler temp to group head temp relationship. It may be for example 122 d = 92 at the group head. You can scace test this or your supplier should be able to give the the figures.

    We have developed a PID fitted Strega and provided a graph showing the correlation. You will find it on this forum under "Strega - taming the Wittch"


    Plenty to think about but as we often say, don't get overly lost in the technicalities, all the machines you are considering are excellent with their own pluses and minus's.

    We have a bit of experience with levers so feel free to call me directly if we can help

    Cheers
    Antony
    (03) 9530 8992


    PS the ECM Synkro is still a great option
    Thanks I will give you a call

  24. #674
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    While the Alex Leva is a very fine machine by all accounts I am surmised that nobody seems to stock this model any more including TC. The limited dealers who list this machine indicate a 2 month delivery timeframe (!)

    This is a tad disappointing given the initial excitement when the machine was released.
    I note quite a few happy owners on this forum reporting near biblical experiences with the magical brew quality!

    Is there an Alex Leva owner in Melbourne who would be prepared to allow me drop over with a few beans to experience the delights of Leva bliss? At the price point I need to see/hear a working model before ommiing to parting with 4.5K.

    Plan B is likely to be the Profitec Pro 800 which also has very strong following on this forum and available at some dealers.

  25. #675
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    While the Alex Leva is a very fine machine by all accounts I am surmised that nobody seems to stock this model any more including TC. The limited dealers who list this machine indicate a 2 month delivery timeframe (!)

    This is a tad disappointing given the initial excitement when the machine was released.
    I note quite a few happy owners on this forum reporting near biblical experiences with the magical brew quality!

    Is there an Alex Leva owner in Melbourne who would be prepared to allow me drop over with a few beans to experience the delights of Leva bliss? At the price point I need to see/hear a working model before ommiing to parting with 4.5K.

    Plan B is likely to be the Profitec Pro 800 which also has very strong following on this forum and available at some dealers.

  26. #676
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    I think the problem with the Izzo in a domestic setting is the need to plumb. The Pro 800 has a resivoir which swayed me from the izzo to the pro 800. Essentially very similar machines for similar sort of money.
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  27. #677
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhatEverBeansNecessary View Post
    I think the problem with the Izzo in a domestic setting is the need to plumb. The Pro 800 has a resivoir which swayed me from the izzo to the pro 800. Essentially very similar machines for similar sort of money.
    Doesnít the Izzo req a 15amp feed versus std 10amp for the Pro800?

    For me thatís an additional cost to consider.

    Cheers.

  28. #678
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    Nope.. standard 10amp is perfect
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  29. #679
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    Should also mention you can get a flojet and a water resivoir to solve the non-plumb solution. But it's not quite as contained or elegant as the pro 800 resivoir.
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  30. #680
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanderP View Post
    Doesnít the Izzo req a 15amp feed versus std 10amp for the Pro800?

    For me thatís an additional cost to consider.

    Cheers.
    No 10 amp is fine
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  31. #681
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    Quote Originally Posted by warmtone View Post
    While the Alex Leva is a very fine machine by all accounts I am surmised that nobody seems to stock this model any more including TC. The limited dealers who list this machine indicate a 2 month delivery timeframe (!)

    This is a tad disappointing given the initial excitement when the machine was released.
    I note quite a few happy owners on this forum reporting near biblical experiences with the magical brew quality!

    Is there an Alex Leva owner in Melbourne who would be prepared to allow me drop over with a few beans to experience the delights of Leva bliss? At the price point I need to see/hear a working model before ommiing to parting with 4.5K.

    Plan B is likely to be the Profitec Pro 800 which also has very strong following on this forum and available at some dealers.
    Hi Warmtone,

    We co import the Izzo leva with the "man from the North"

    Stocking $5000 machines is something we both work with. They tend to sit in stock for a long time. Yes they are excellent machines but the market is very small.

    For the moment we have both decided on order only. This may change if we see enquiry increasing again (and maybe this is it!)

    I think the last one we sold was to a customer in Bendigo

    Feel free to call

    Cheers

    Antony
    (03) 9530 8992
    www.casaespresso.com.au

  32. #682
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Warmtone,

    I can point you in the direction of a Melbourne Izzo Valexia. Essentially the same machine as the Alex but with different side panels.

    We can also airfreight a machine in that would give you a three week or so delivery time.

    Certainly speed sup the process.

    Let me know if this is an option

    Cheers

    Antony

  33. #683
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    Just bought a new Izzo Alex Leva. I'll be teaming it with a Niche Zero grinder (when it finally comes) and I'm roasting with a Bermor 1600. Currently using a Breville 980.

    Wanted ads/requests belong in the For Sale forum - Don't forget to include a price willing to pay.
    Last edited by Javaphile; 29th July 2018 at 04:48 AM. Reason: Removed Wanted ad

  34. #684
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    Sorry, just thought this a logical place to ask given that there might be owners of this machine who'd plumbed in - anyway decided not to buy that particular Leva. Ta.

  35. #685
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    Hello all,

    A quick question... I have noticed that when pulling a shot the lever is making a stuttering sound when releasing the handle.

    The sound sounds like it is gripping and slipping and stops once the pressure on the lever reduces. It has no impact on the pour and other than the sound everything else works a treat.

    I was wondering if anyone else has had this happen? Prior to this the lever was silent. Machine has been in use less than a year and it may just be the the silicon or similar is a bit worn.

    Cheers,

    Alastair

  36. #686
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    Hi Alistair,
    I haven't had this, as I lubricate mine every so often, however a quick and easy way to check if it needs lubrication is (with machine cold) - drop lever and clean inside of bore with a soft cloth. Re-lubricate with a small amount of Dow or molycote etc. It will take 10 mins and should determine if this was the issue
    I gave mine a full service after 2 years and (as others have found), it didn't really need it at that point
    Good luck
    Dave
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  37. #687
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    Cheers Dave...

    When you say 'drop lever' I assume you are meaning that I need to pull it down as if I was going to fill the chamber with water. Guessing screen also needs to be removed

    Will give it a go over the weekend.

  38. #688
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    Hi Alistair,
    Sorry for not being clear I was rushing out the door!

    Yes - remove screen/circlip and then pull the lever down as though pulling a shot. (Obviously machine needs to be cold or you will get hot water)
    This will raise the piston up into the cylinder. Clean the inside of cylinder and base of the piston gently - obviously you do not want to score them. If its very dirty I use some espresso cleaner on a soft brush. Wipe them clean and dry and put a small amount of lube on the inside of the cylinder and lift lever up and down a few times to spread it
    That should do the trick
    Let me know how you get on
    Cheers
    Dave
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  39. #689
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    Hey Dave... tried that an no luck.

    Give the cylinder a good wipe out and then a bit of lube, piston moves freely and no noise but under pressure it is still making the 'slipping'sound. It also create a bit of vibration on the group which in turn occasionally works the portafilter loose.

    Might ping Chris to see if he has any ideas. As I say it is not stopping anything from working but something is up.

    Chat soon.

    Alastair

  40. #690
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    Darn!
    Sounds like it needs a service, Im sure it will be something minor that removing the piston and replacing the teflon rings will fix
    Definitely give Chris a call to sort it. Perhaps ask him if he is happy to receive the piston and parts to service rather than transporting the whole machine - just an idea
    Good luck, let us know how you get on
    Cheers
    Dave

  41. #691
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    Hey Dave..

    I spoke to Chris this afternoon and he suggested the same thing. Have removed the group head (which was amazingly easy - 4 nuts on front panel) and will be wrapped and packed better than a baby and entrusted to Aust Post tomorrow.

    Will let you know how it goes and in the meantime am back to filer or ,as I am enjoying at the moment, cold brew.

    Thanks for all your help and advice Dave, enjoy the weekend and chat soon.

    Alastair
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  42. #692
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    Pleasure mate,
    I am sure Chris will have it sorted soon
    Cheers
    Dave
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