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Thread: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

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    Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all - first post, so please excuse the noob...

    Ive been after a coffee machine for a while now, and have the opportunity to buy a very beautiful lever operated Microcasa Elektra from America. Totally seduced by the shiny, shiny stylings, but can anyone tell me if it will produce a good coffee?

    Also, its 110V - can it be converted?

    Thanks, Renee


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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Renee.

    My understanding is that 110v machines can be run on power converters but converting the machine itself would be more trouble than its worth.

    Is it new or 2nd hand?

    If new, youll have no warranty support.

    They do look stunning though.

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Renee;

    Elektra machines are available here in Australia, and are 243-240 volt. by the time you bring the machine and you make the convention could cost you more.

    If you want a demo in one I can organize this you, give us a call or pm us.

    http://www.dibartoli.com.au/products.asp?cid=44


    Best regards


    Renzo
    Di Bartoli Home Barista Centre

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Youve got good tastes Rens_Way ... a stunning machine, and from what Ive read, one that pulls a equally stunning shot.

    @DiBartoli : I note the link to the semi-auto, do you have the Lever as a demo? I too would be very interested on how the Spring Piston tastes.

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    A friend of mine owns one in Newcastle
    The semi automatica model
    He is not a coffee snob and sadly hardly uses it

    KK

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 02163C0751630 link=1243304918/3#3 date=1243307124
    from what Ive read, one that pulls a equally stunning shot.
    Hmm, where did you read that?


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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 527378787F65160 link=1243304918/5#5 date=1243309280
    Quote Originally Posted by 02163C0751630 link=1243304918/3#3 date=1243307124
    from what Ive read, one that pulls a equally stunning shot.
    Hmm, where did you read that?

    Not sure if I can post a direct link .. but do a GOOGLE search for:

    micro casa elektra review


    should be the first result >> review done in 2002 ;)

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?


    Ah, thanks for that. Honestly, Id be a bit hesitant to quote a review thats 7 years old, but note that in the conclusion it says:

    "It produces a superior cup of espresso, if you work hard enough at it."

    and,

    "yes, you get more repeatable results from espresso machines costing $400 less. And yes, some grunt work with this machine makes it less of a joy to operate (for some) than other machines."

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    other issues on the negative side:

    overheating issue .. a problem if your wanting to pull multiple shots.
    Elektra is at temperature after 11 minutes, and you have to pull your shots right away, because if you wait... (5 min. for example) she will get to hot and burn the coffee right away.

    non-commercial components: small filter baskets, lightweight portafilter.

    Sorta like the choice between a brand new Ferrari or a Triumph .. both cars drive you from A to B, and both offer thrilling rides. *I prefer the Triumph thanks *(but I wouldnt mind both *;D *;D *;D )


    Not everyone wants to put in the kind of time and effort a piston machine absolutely demands of its users. Why bother with this old style technology when state of the art automatics can produce an equally superior shot?


    You dont buy a lever machine, or this Micro Casa a Leva if you want life to be easy.

    You buy this machine if you have an intense love for espresso, appreciate complete hands-on experience, and are willing to put up with a very, very long learning curve that may require you to re-learn some things you thought you knew about espresso.

    And you buy this machine if you want a functional piece of art that is capable of greatness





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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?


    I had a laugh - oh how the tide turns. ;)

    They do look good. :)


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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Oooh! Thank you all for your replies - I was waiting for an email to let me know I had a response... Official Faux Pas Number 1.

    Mmm, more so than the shipping from America ($280USD), I was afraid of the voltage conversion. That thing is far too beautiful to let some electrician bumble around with it (no offence intended to any careful sparkies out there...)

    Perhaps Ill just wait for one to pop up closer to home. Ill probably appreciate it that much more after the wait....

    Renee

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    here are some Pics for those that dont know what were talking about






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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    They are a beautiful looking thing, but look curiously naked to me, as though they need a body to go around their bones!

    One of my work colleagues has been lusting after these for ages, although I think the one hes after is about $15,000 or so! :o

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2537252533212338560 link=1243304918/10#10 date=1243321220
    Perhaps Ill just wait for one to pop up closer to home. *
    Did you miss renzos reply?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1C31071A392A2C373431580 link=1243304918/2#2 date=1243306088
    Renee;

    Elektra machines are available here in Australia, and are 243-240 volt. *by the time you bring the machine and you make the convention could cost you more.

    If you want a demo in one I can organize this you, give us a call or pm us.

    http://www.dibartoli.com.au/products.asp?cid=44


    Best regards


    Renzo
    Di Bartoli Home Barista Centre *

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Quote: *"Totally seduced by the shiny, shiny stylings, but can anyone tell me if it will produce a good coffee?"

    Sorry, but my answer is - no.


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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 14353E39231A1D500 link=1243304918/14#14 date=1243421681
    Quote: *"Totally seduced by the shiny, shiny stylings, but can anyone tell me if it will produce a good coffee?"

    Sorry, but my answer is - no.
    Hi WhoisDenisJC?, Clearly, you are a person with many years experience in the coffee industry. ;)

    So I was wondering what is your assessment of the Isomac Tea?

    Sorry for the OT.

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 56777C7B61585F120 link=1243304918/14#14 date=1243421681
    Sorry, but my answer is - no.
    And you base your opinion on what exactly have you used one for a period of time? Or just because it is not an FB80 or a Synesso it must be rubbish ::)

    Just to get this a little more on topic if the wiring is anything like the Pavoni range then you will need to swap out the element and make sure the other components are suitable for 240V operation.

    As it is a European machine in origin (220-240V) it will be unlikely that pressurestats or thermostats are specially changed to suit 110V (but check anyway). These are a very simple machine electrically.

    Better yet take up Renzos offer if you are in Sydney or Di Bella are selling them if you are in Brisbane or Melbourne.

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Cheers beanflying, thats great advice. I actually passed on the offer to buy the Elektra yesterday, as the Cons list started to outweigh the Pros.

    I am in Brisbane, so I will drop into DiBella at Bowen Hills on the weekend and check it out.

    I was trying mightily not to drop $3K on my first coffee machine... well see how my iron will stands up....

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    If you like the look and manual process of the lever there is an Eagle version of the Pavoni that will set you back less than the Elektra. Not sure but you could try Jack at Sorrentina to see if he can get you a price on one of them.




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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    so after reading this the issues i see are:
    -the heat, mainly to do with the use of brass, is there a way to bring this down like flushing group head or something similar?
    -and the fact that a good extraction (set aside the heat) is hard work... um in my opinion if your not working hard for the best part of a coffee then how good can it be!
    but my beef aside, does this sum up its issues? and if not what else? cos id love one too! theyre a seriously sexy machine!
    joe

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    and what of the la pavoni range? they comparable/better/worse? i imagine they would carry similar issues, being the brass boiler? and the human element of leva control
    joe

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Hi Joe

    without trying to hijack the thread if this style of machine is left on then the group gets to hot. Effectively the group gets to boiler temp as a control method. Some of the larger lever machines do however run E61 type of heads with thermo syphoned water past the head.

    The older Pavonis were actually worse than the new ones as there is now a teflon insulating gasket between the boiler and group. Not sure on the Elektra. Due to the quick heat up time mine gets flicked on like a kettle come back 10 minutes later bleed the steam wand, grind tamp pour, drink 8-) There is plenty of reading on other forums about running PFs under cold taps etc. but easiest is on when you need it and off when you dont

    Lever control is pressure profiling in its elemental form companies are spending thousands to replicate it with electronics to try to dumb down the user, the satisfaction when you get a good shot with a lever is so much nicer 8-)

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    excellent! clarification mate! thanks for posting too
    agreed id much rather the feeling of literally "PULLING" a good shot! and the effort, if you make sure you get everything right, should be worth while!
    and as for heat, if that the only issue, save the environment and yourself some money by turning it off!
    the only other thing i would like clarification on is if the Savinelli, LA PAVONI, Elektra all take comercial grind and whether the boiler on them is suficient to mean i dont have to wait between steam and pull!
    cheers again beanflying
    many good espresso
    joe

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Best bit for a single boiler non Hx machine is NO waiting between shot to steam and back :) Steam is nice and dry on the Pav and any amount to steam for a 600ml jug.

    They are still not a machine for everyone but for bling and the hands on feeling worth it. 8-)

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    yeah aint that the truth! bring on the bling!

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Ciao,

    I would chip in that a major difference between the Elektra and the La Pavoni is that the user provides the motive force on the Pav, while on the Elektra you preload the spring and it subsequently does the work (ie, loads less potential for yet another variable).

    Bling factor is definitely with the Elektra, for mine (but Im biased, I got two).

    Both are beautiful machines (those Italians cant do lots of things, but they can make a beautiful machine), but will be less user friendly than a semiautomatic.

    Cheers

    s

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1F3E353532285B0 link=1243304918/15#15 date=1243458430
    you are a person with many years experience in the coffee industry.

    So I was wondering what is your assessment of the Isomac Tea?
    watch it boyo, you casting aspersions on my age or something hehehe ;D, & I only comment on machines I know.

    Quote Originally Posted by 393E3A353D372232353C5B0 link=1243304918/16#16 date=1243467513
    And you base your opinion on what exactly have you used one for a period of time? Or just because it is not an FB80 or a Synesso it must be rubbish *
    Nah, Im not a coffee machine or coffee-"snob" *;), and my opinion is based on knowledge.

    My view, is that if someone has the bill fold to pay for one of these, they have to decide whether they want an ornament that wont or cant make as good a brew as any of the better prosumer machines in the same or lower price bracket, or pone of those good regular prosumer machines. They may not look as nice (insert individual opinion on looks here) but - in my view - make far superior coffee.

    When allsaidndone you like tomartoes and I like toe-may-toes and if after considering this the buyer has his eyes wide open & understands the difference between this and other coffee machines, & still wants to go for it, then so be it!

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 76575C5B41787F320 link=1243304918/26#26 date=1243636211
    Nah, Im not a coffee machine or coffee-"snob"Wink, and my opinion is based on knowledge.
    So you have no knowledge of this machine! Surely then your still missing the point you pass dispersions on brand X without ever having used one. The statment you made was a definitive NO to making a good coffee so you perhaps may want to temper this statement with some FACTUAL information or EVIDENCE next time.

    You also keep trundling out the line you have worked in the industry then hide behind a cloak so no one can know your real identity?

    Quote Originally Posted by 76575C5B41787F320 link=1243304918/26#26 date=1243636211
    e Grin, & I only comment on machines I know.
    And then you make a Statement like this in the same post *;D ;D ;D

    Smells like Troll season around here at the moment *::)

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Dear o dear.......

    firstly, you seem to have misunderstood both of the quotes from my post.

    I think Rens Way solicited all our opinions when he started this topic.

    Its a bit rich to get opinions confused with "facts and evidence". What facts and evidence can you present to prove that any of my posts in this topic are wrong or deserve such a hostile reply from you?

    I dont know what a "dispersion" is. Did I pass one?

    Who said I havent used one? *You, not me.

    Who said said anything about me having worked (or not) in "the industry"? *Not me.

    You are worried about my identity......but you are using an anonymous pseudonym, taking a swipe, and calling me names?

    ************

    Apologies to Rens Way for unwittingly contributing to some unpleasantess here while trying to help. It was never my intention and I hope you choose a machine that you like and will derive pleasure from.






  30. #30
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Play nicely.

    WhoisDenisJC? maybe beanflying misunderstood your answer.
    Just expand on it a bit or reword it if you would.
    That should sort it out.

    beanflying I think I understood what he meant so maybe have another read of his post.

    BTW WhoisDenisJC? I thought I had the monopoly on short vague answers. :P

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 76575C5B41787F320 link=1243304918/14#14 date=1243421681
    Quote:"Totally seduced by the shiny, shiny stylings, but can anyone tell me if it will produce a good coffee?"

    Sorry, but my answer is - no.
    Hi TG

    I dont see how you can misunderstand this at all. The answer is niether vague or misleading but it is definitive, I asked for clarification and got vague waffle with still no reference to usage or experience on this machine or a similar one, just an imformed assummption that it cant be as good as XY or Z because of modern bells and whistles.

    Last time I looked if you have water at the right temp, pressure in the correct range grind and tamp correct you get a good espresso. If you can get there with one of these is the challenge, it is so much more up to the user than simply pressing a button.

    Going for a coffee now this thread is way off where it needs to be :)

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 51707B7C665F58150 link=1243304918/28#28 date=1243642675
    Who said said anything about me having worked (or not) in "the industry"?Not me.
    Forgotten your other posts on this forum, some have which have been well worth reading. ;)

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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4344404F474D58484F46210 link=1243304918/30#30 date=1243660045
    Hi TG

    I dont see how you can misunderstand this at all. The answer is niether vague or misleading but it is definitive,
    I agree there was a definitive answer of "No", but the reference to shiny things was my understanding of what he thought of the machine in question.

    I agree with you that he should have supported his "no" with an explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by 65444F48526B6C210 link=1243304918/28#28 date=1243642675
    Who said said anything about me having worked (or not) in "the industry"?Not me.
    Youre entitled to your anonymity but once the cats out of the bag dont deny the cat exists.

    For examples of where you say you work in the industry, see your following posts.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1236865499/11#11
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1237286990/17#17
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1238377218/46#46
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1238377218/52#52

  34. #34
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?


    Whoa! It seems to have warmed up in this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5D5A5E515953465651583F0 link=1243304918/21#21 date=1243580283
    the satisfaction when you get a good shot with a lever is so much nicer
    So, the way I read this is that it doesnt happen often. It also suggests that what satisfies you will or should satisfy everyone else, and that obviously will never be the case.

    Pulling a lever on a poker machine was also probably more satisfying than pressing a button. But, if you thought you were able to have some sort of magical control that created a better payout from the lever compared to the button, youd be kidding yourself.

    WhoisDenisJC? gave an honest, simple answer. Surely we dont need to supply a resume with every response. Anyway, it was a whole lot better than the following, which is pretty much, just garbage...

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E4A605B0D3F0 link=1243304918/3#3 date=1243307124
    from what Ive read, one that pulls a equally stunning shot.
    Oh, and....

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B5A51564C75723F0 link=1243304918/26#26 date=1243636211
    watch it boyo, you casting aspersions on my age or something hehehe
    I would never do that. After all, it wont be all that long before Im your age! ;)




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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Righto Group Hug time.

    I asked and still would like answered as did Rens Way "will this make a good shot" and not what will make the best god shot or what machine is better than this one for the money. It was never asked to compare Prosumer with this machine by Rens Way or any one else here because the usual Giotto, Minore,.... are well discussed elsewhere.

    I am yet to see an answer from anyone above as to the Elektra making a Bad shot or being unworkable or being of poor quality. So to ask why a simple no is evidence to making a good shot would seem a fair question.

    I think last time I played the pokies they were still using some levers too both the push button and the levers are expensive wastes of money. Money on Coffee is much better value ;)

  36. #36
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    Re: Retro Elektra from America - should I buy it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 133239393E24570 link=1243304918/33#33 date=1243672360
    Whoa!It seems to have warmed up in this thread.
    So hot, I am wondering why I am jumping in.

    Quote Originally Posted by 133239393E24570 link=1243304918/33#33 date=1243672360
    So, the way I read this is that it doesnt happen often.
    I will declare from the outset I have no experience on the Elektra and thus no idea regarding the Elektra. Regarding a Pavoni, I get consistently great shots on mine now (except maybe when starting off on a new bean), so it can happen often. However I openly admit I am a bit autistic and obsessive compulsive - paying WAY more attention to weird little things than the average bear.

    I would always warn someone that the learning curve is way steeper than average. You must be okay with a lot of failure to begin with. You must enjoy paying a hell of a lot of attention to minute detail. You must not want more than a couple of shots at once. You really should have a play on someone elses before you buy one just to make sure you fit the above. If all of this fits...then a lever is a good choice. If one part of this does not fit...then it is not a good choice.

    I can confidently say it is possible to get great shots often, but a lot of people would get too frustrated along the way. Again...this is only about a Pavoni lever, not the Elektra.

    A question for Rens Way: are you seduced only by the bling? Or are you seduced by the idea of a lever machine? If only bling, there are some great bling machines that will have you pulling great shots much earlier and with less frustrating moments than levers. I would think you need to be seduced by the lever concept to buy a lever...and remember (cannot stress it enough, and repitition works), I have no idea about Elektras, only Pavonis and they are very different...so big bag of salt with my suggestions.

    Travis.



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