And a new grinder too.
The lever group looks familiar....
Another square box design unfortunately.
Ok some more info is:
3L internal tank
PID with display concealed behind drip tray
3.x L boiler
Interesting. Vibe or rotary pump? Plumb function? Dipper group or HX?
We now have the following square boxes with a lever mounted on the front of it:
They all look the same, so how will they compete??? on price???
LM can make the same product, stick their logo on it, and own the market, even with a higher price tag. Why? Because they know a thing or two about sales and marketing.
Jetblack is the importer - any idea when a first hands on review will be up?
I agree - I wouldn't mind seeing something different. Even the retro look (e.g. Faema Urania) The Izzo Pompeii was a step in that direction but the Ambient Ventus was a bit too "out there" for my tastes.
Function is a bit more important than form for me but I would be interested in colour panel options. I guess we will have to wait and see.
(The Bosco is a bigger square box, but does come with options of colours and finishes)
These machines are quite pricey, and aimed at a niche market.
Judging by how popular vintage machines are, there is a market that seeks something different from a SS box.
Yes.....ho hum....another square box with a lever bolted to the front. Niche market. Very small number of sales, no matter what (erroneous, in the real market place) impression readers may get from reading these pages. Their sales are miniscule in the total market. It will be a problem for manufacturers reading this stuff and getting onto the band wagon now (late), thinking they are going to make enough sales to warrant the trouble and cost of conceptualising, designing and building semi commercial models of this type, and if an importer wasn't already bringing other models in a line up into the country, it wouldn't be worth it except where a suitably large margin can be warranted/justified.
At the moment, the market needs another slow moving semi commercial lever machine like a hole in the head, and most of these discussions are participated in by people that just want to talk about them rather than put their money where their mouth is and actually buy one.
Yes....Anyone wanting to get into this niche should be thinking about offering something different than a rectangular SS box.
Last edited by TOK; 23rd June 2015 at 03:39 PM. Reason: spelling
That said, look at the Controvento - radical styling and no one buys it. The Pro700 is the same machine in a square box and it's very popular.
I guess the other way they can differentiate themselves is with the quality of the internal build - eg: Profitec are taking this angle with Stainless boilers, sprung valves etc.
This assertion is not really accurate - LM machines have major mechanical points of difference. ie: their machines take a different mechanical approach.LM can make the same product, stick their logo on it, and own the market, even with a higher price tag. Why? Because they know a thing or two about sales and marketing.
They don't use E61 setups, they instead use inhouse group heads. Even the Linea Mini does things quite differently to competing machines. They have gone with a tiny brew boiler sitting right on top of the (non E61) group, a massive steam boiler, and very analogue control.
SS box agreed but I see some non-styling differences that are appealing to me. First, I own a Profitec and I think the build quality is excellent, second my preference is for a 58 mm PF lever (differentiated from the Izzo products), third I prefer a PID to P-Stat (don't abuse me please... differentiated from Londinium) and fourth I appreciate that I would be able to get local dealer support (again differentiated from Londinium).
Having owned a lever for some time now, I am yet to be convinced of the merits of a PID.
I would be interested in non-biased, extensive blind espresso cupping of a lever with a PID, and the taste differences associated with the corresponding changes in temperature.. Given their design and mass (and path of water), it is difficult to accurately judge the actual temp effects.
If your preference is light roasted, thin bodied espresso, then a PID lever may not meet your expectations.
A good test would be to line up this machine and a non lever, side by side. With a kilo of coffee (that you are familiar with), your own grinder, and at least an hour, you would get a pretty good indication of what the machines deliver, and if the lever is what you want.
I am not bagging any brand of lever machine, just remember that each is designed differently, and will result in differences in the cup. Once you want to spend this amount of money, there are a lot of features to consider.
The consumer today has a lot more choice than they did five years ago.
My lever experience is limited to:
- Izzo Nuova Pompeii aka Izzo 1 group dipper PID (55 mm San Marco dipper group on Izzo gear). All Izzo gear needs to be plumbed
- Izzo Nuova Pompeii aka Izzo 2 group dipper PID
- Multiple Izzo Pompeii 1, 2 and 3 group dipper pressurestat
- Izzo Valchiria 2 group dipper PID
- Multiple Izzo Alex Leva 1 group dipper PID
- A couple of early tank vibe pump Stregas- both of which were way too hot. They needed a PID on the cartridge heaters in the proprietary group
- 2 x Quickmill Achille (hybrid) CMA 1 group. Both were tank rotary pump/plumbable. One without PID and the other pimped with PID and cartridge heaters to group.
- Ambient&spresso Ventus CMA dipper group without and then pimped with PID- plumbed
- In San Marco and in CMA dipper configuration, a PID adjustment delivers a measurable and consistent change of temperature at the group. This has been verified by Scace logging of all configurations. A pressurestat adjustment delivers exactly the same result, but a PID adjustment is far simpler. We can and do get fantastic results from our machines with what I term lighter filter (read fruity, but not grassy, astringent, underdeveloped nor sour) roasts.
- Stregas- cooked the coffee and nothing could be done about it die to the active group heating/no PID. How they evolved from the early ones I don't know as I haven't used one since
- The Quickmills? Only a PID and cartridge heater helped them as they suffered from the same thermosyphon stall as the Londinium does. Plumbing them helped dramatically
- Londinum- Rick fixed Andy's and made it actually work as it was marketed to work by adding a 2nd boiler and a PID. I guess a cartridge heater could also have been employed.
I'm sold on the San Marco group and choose it over the CMA group regardless of configuration. My opinion is that the deeper baskets are less prone to channeling under the higher extraction pressures. Nevertheless, the dipper CMA is great as well. As for the PID- I'll have one every time as it's far more convenient than opening up to adjust a pressurestat. Without any doubt whatsoever, a PID makes a dipper far more versatile.
Last edited by TC; 24th June 2015 at 11:47 AM. Reason: more info- forgot a couple...
sculptural masterpiece of coffee machinery design but only found......
another box! ;-)
But seriously, I agree with you and TOK re espresso machine design generally, not just levers.
I know there are prohibitive costs with design input and factory tooling for
the very low sales volume which will only make costly machines more expensive but it's sad
that not many have stuck their necks out with some serious design work.
Using the 55mm SM lever group has been an absolute joy for me over the last couple of months.
Cheers, Kwant. Not just forgiving tho' ...
The 55mm filter, being deeper, requires a coarser grind than the Precision 58mm I was using on the Duetto.
Shots of the same coffee ( different roasts but same blend/profiles), are sweeter, creamier and with a more lineal balance.
Slightly different flavours or the same flavours but more nuanced and clear are also evident. Crema is smooth, sweet, fluffy and well...more creamy!
I'm pretty sure that the new grind setting is a major contributor to the changes. Dose weight is approx the same as before.
Last edited by chokkidog; 23rd June 2015 at 09:51 PM.
When I moved from a heat exchanger to dual boiler I actually did go through the process that Bosco described earlier. I visited Jetblack's workshop with HG one grinder, almost a kilo of beans I had roasted and knew well (half Ethiopian Sidamo and half Kenyan) and went through the process of identifying how different flavours were at different brew boiler temp settings. To be honest I'll never know if I was just being delusional (it's not practical to set this up as a double blind controlled study) but I felt at the time that I could clearly taste the difference between a 92*C and 95*C extraction. Perhaps I need to go through this again with Izzo and Profitec levers...
I am a bit confused though as it looks identical to the Bosco group on a Londinium and I have read (perhaps misinformation) that the post-2012 Arduino Leva uses a Bosco group. How does the CMA group differ from the Bosco group on say the Londinium?
Also I have had many shots at a local cafe on a pre-2012 Arduino Leva that has the old style group with the cap. Is the newer CMA group an improvement in shot quality over the older version?
I honestly don't believe these questions can be answered in a way that would be meaningful to the average punter, because any differences that may occur will realistically only be picked up in professionally / scientifically run "side by side" comparisons, and then if any differences are picked up, they will need to be explained in the context of specific parameters, and then they may only be meaningful to certain individuals in certain situations. And as has been stated often, what does it mean when a difference is found? Does that mean one behaviour or character is "better than" the other, or just *different*? And what of individual preferences?
It may help to understand that lever group machines in the main, are only still being manufactured for commercial use in the southern Italian market from around Naples down, where the coffee differs markedly from "ours" by virtue of the fact they favour very darkly roasted blends made up almost entirely of what we call...."low grade" robustas (and where they believe that is the height of good quality, and our coffee is insipid rubbish).. If for small production purposes these machines (in toto...it's not just the lever group by itself) are now being adapted for our particular markets where we use medium roasts made up almost entirely of arabica based blends, then there will be some internal changes designed into the machines in toto, for suitability.
You will also find that internal design of fiull size machines and the groups fitted to them, may not be set up in the same way as for much smaller semi-commercial (some call this "prosumer") sized machines.
And therefore we need to reflect on the old adage, that the total performance of a machine or model is not just the sum of the individual tech specs of the individual components it is made up from. A "well set up group" is not going to perform very well if the machine it is bolted to is a dud.
The market leader in lever machines is La San Marco, because it is by far the leading supplier of full (commercial) size lever machines in the south of Italy. Does that mean that the group used by La San Marco is better than anyone else's, in the context of a side by side comparison of a cup of coffee made from two different brand machines?
After that, a different shot quality produced by a machine having groups set up differently to another, means what?....you say to-may-toe and I say to-mar-toe! Which is better ?
Further googling revealed a 2012 blog post by Londinium which elaborates on these similar CMA/Bosco-style groups, the relevant excerpt is quoted below. Hopefully Profitec will release detailed specs.
"We understand that there is only one significant manufacturer of lever groups remaining in Europe, which by implication means the world. The way it works is the bottom half of the group is common to a number of different models offered by this manufacturer, then you get to increase the performance of the group by choosing which 'top half' you want to bolt on
The 'top half' of the group on Londinium I is the same as both Bosco and Kees van der Westen's Idrocompresso have now upgraded to, and the Quickmill Achille. It costs a full 50% more than the 'standard' top half with the external bearings.
Why the additional cost? It has internal bearings so no unsightly group cap is required to stop users getting their hands caught under the bearings. To 'internalise' the bearings the top of the group needs to get a lot bigger, so you need a lot more brass. It also runs on a different cam profile which does clever things to the pressure profile.
After that you get to play around with different springs, including the addition of a second spring if you wish, which also has a big impact on the taste."
And with regard to quote "...Hopefully Profitec will release detailed specs..."
Consumers don't generally buy a group by itself, they buy a whole machine, and its performance is governed by the total package.
I understand the total package concept, but I like to know what I am buying. I know exactly what I would be getting with an Alex Leva, for instance, and I want to know exactly what I would be getting with the Profitec (as with any other consumer product for that matter).
Removed. Thank you.
Last edited by Bosco_Lever; 24th June 2015 at 10:55 PM.
I really didn't need to read that part about levers producing the thickest espresso
It looks well thought out. I am impressed and would like to see a shot of the internal components. I like the PID location. I am wondering at this stage about warmup time and whether this machine suffers from thermosiphon stall. I also wonder if the under-frame is powdercoated steel or stainless.
Agree with everything Paolo wrote. Are Bosco lever groups only designed to be thermosiphons? I wasn't sure if it might be a dipper.
I have no problem with the thermosiphon stall on my Quickmill Achille. The same flush that clears old dregs from the portafilter screen also brings the group back up to temperature. Ingenious actually. But you need a thermo strip on the group to be able to ascertain if you need to do a moderate flush or a small one...it's a flush that you need to do anyway.
The big advantage of the thermosiphon version of the group is that it comes up to temperature in just over 20 minutes. From what I have read, the dipper version takes maybe 45 minutes...can anyone confirm this?
So Jetblack Espresso has the T64 grinder on their website... but not the Pro 800 Lever! What's the go Charlie?
Haha. A To-Do list longer than hours in the day!!
And also we have the T64 in stock whereas the Pro 800 sample machine hasn't landed at Jetblack HQ yet. As soon as we put one through it's paces I'll be able to say something more about it. But I do know it's a dipper and switchable from using its internal tank to mains water.
And I'll write some more about the T64 soon too. But one highlight for you - it grinds an 18g double in around 6 seconds. I've had a sample grinder at home for a couple of months and it is fast, quiet and clean. The espresso's not bad either :-)
Looking forward to taking the Pro 800 for a test drive. Interesting to hear confirmation that it is a dipper.
In reply to my query on Profitec's Facebook page, Profitec have said:
"The Pro800 PID-display is located behind the drip tray to adjust the boiler temperature. It is a 15 amp machine with vibrations pump and the group lever group set up as a dipper."
It is a bit like hiding the speedometer in the glove compartment. Definitely a bit bizarre so I am assuming the decision to do so was aesthetically driven