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Thread: Am I crazy ?

  1. #1
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    Am I crazy ?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight

    Having serious purchase thoughts about an Elektra Micro Casa Lever

    I have the please / problem of three locations (office, home, holiday house) to have machines. Office is sorted but I need equipment for the other two, and this really appeals to me for my coffee when Ive got time at home to just get lost in the process.

    Or am I completely delusional and better off spending the best part of $2k on a more modern device.............

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Read the following before making a decision....

    http://www.toomuchcoffee.com/index.php?module=Pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=3&pid =39


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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Well that article puts it straight down the line!, dont often see that! (other than CS) great find dennis [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

  4. #4
    Coffee+carbon=heaven Mono's Avatar
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 696D4B525257485F503E0 link=1266878906/2#2 date=1266882979
    Well that article puts it straight down the line!, dont often see that! (other than CS) great find dennis *
    Ditto..........machine certainly looks the part but would you bother :-/ Personally....no.

    Spend the money on a pump machine, my 2 bobs worth.

    Good luck with your decision.

    Steve.

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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Well thats plenty to think about........ I do also buy english sports cars that leak, stop, have electrical issues and no air conditioning... Im used to lots of pointless fiddling about for small moments of satisfaction, but sometimes coffee just has to be NOW, so all points are worthy of consideration.

    Will let you know what I decide, thanks heaps for the input (and the article !)

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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Hi Peter

    Not all Lever machines are like this !

    If you do want a Lever machine, look for a commercial spring Lever machine, designed to operate all day with minimal effort and without overheating.

    If you want a new one youll be up for $3.5K+ though (eg Bezzera B2000AL 1GR)

    Good luck !

    Cheers
    Simon



  7. #7
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 362C282A2B28202927450 link=1266878906/5#5 date=1266886056
    Not all Lever machines are like this !

    If you do want a Lever machine, look for a commercial spring Lever machine,
    Agree! :)



  8. #8
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Sorrentina Coffee have the Ponte Vecchio LUSSO
    I dont know if this machine pushes your buttons but its worth a look * :o

    http://sorrentinacoffee.myshopify.com/products/ponte-vecchio-lusso-2-dual-group-lever-espresso-machine-classic-design

    KK

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    I am totally biased of course...but you should go for a lever!!!

    Just maybe not the Elektra?

    As per KK above, check out the Lusso. Or if you have the money, a commercial lever - just make sure you invite me around for a coffee!

    Nothing immerses you in the sheer pleasure like a lever.

  10. #10
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    We did this a while back about the Elektra and lever machines are NOT for everyone. They are touchy in some ways and finicky but are capable of some great shots and milk steaming without waiting like with non HX machines.

    If you wanted easy then I guess you may as well go for a fully auto. If you like the bling and can live with the quirks then do it. :)

    My little Pav is a delight to use flick it on in the mornings and make a coffee after 15-20 minutes. Different if you want to punch out more than 3 at a stretch due to the heat build up issues. But for one or two quick easy and a nice bit of bling to have on the bench with no noisy vibe pumps to contend with ::) So one of the questions is do you need more coffees than that at a stretch or not?

    Also as above commercial levers are a whole different ball game as mentioned above.

    LEVERS LOVERS RULE :D

  11. #11
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Yeah and thats the rub I think. As I say I have a pump dual boiler thing in the office and its great, pumps out coffees all day. At home (city home) I can see the bling working. Theres only me, and I only make coffee at night or on weekends when I have time and the need. two coffees would mean company and more than three would be a huge party at my place I had a laugh.

    I also like the look of that semi commercial jobbie Kosmo posted. It probably suits my holiday place quite well. More drinkers, more entertaining and more users. I might do that first I ythink and see how I get into the whole lever thing, and if I get hooked then the blingster might get a run at home, if not, back to the semi auto style.

    Again, thanks for the encouragement, discouragement and general comments. It helps.

    Cheers.


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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Love the title of this topic and the quote

    Quote Originally Posted by 04312031260B170B063B2727540 link=1266878906/0#0 date=1266878906
    Having serious purchase thoughts about an Elektra Micro Casa Lever
    .................................Or am I completely delusional and better off spending the best part of $2k on a more modern device............. *
    Havent read the other replies, but here is my honest opinion:

    Sorry but yes (am I crazy)

    Dont do it.

    You will do much better paying the same money on farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr better espresso machines not relying on bling to try and look like they can brew up a good coffee, that will be far easier to operate, entertain more people at your dinner parties, will be heaps more reliable and cost less money in service over time.

    .....actually I did see some of the above posts after a quick scan, and hope this reply will meet the same expectation of being "straight down the line" * ;)



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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6C5948594E637F636E534F4F3C0 link=1266878906/0#0 date=1266878906
    Having serious purchase thoughts about an Elektra Micro Casa Lever

    I have the please / problem of three locations (office, home, holiday house) to have machines. Office is sorted but I need equipment for the other two, and this really appeals to me for my coffee when Ive got time at home to just get lost in the process.

    Or am I completely delusional and better off spending the best part of $2k on a more modern device...........
    My opinion, youre best off trying to find anotther $800 or so and springing for the Elektra Semiautomatica.

    Its a proper HX machine, and pulls shots that compete with any machine available at any budget.

    The Levas can pull great shots, bit not consistently.

    The Semi has the beauty of the Leva with the convenience of an E61

  14. #14
    levercrema
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 373A2D2530385F0 link=1266878906/12#12 date=1267006543


    My opinion, youre best off trying to find anotther $800 or so and springing for the Elektra Semiautomatica.

    Its a proper HX machine, and pulls shots that compete with any machine available at any budget.
    The Levas can pull great shots, bit not consistently.

    The Semi has the beauty of the Leva with the convenience of an E61
    All of the above - almost.

    Peter - *Unlike other opinions here the Microcasaalever can and will give you consistant shots, its just that it can be a steep learning curve getting there. I think the trick is not to have it as your primary machine although I do know people who just have a lever. *

    Dont let others tell you its not worth it because after you get over the initial frustration of using this Italian beauty it can be a personal and rewarding experience. And there is bling and there is bling. E61 stainless blingy boxes everywhere you look gets a bit hows ya father after a while. I know they pull great shots and they look nice and all that but there are other machines that will as well.

    Have a look on HomeBarista and CoffeeGeek. It will take you a lifetime to read all the stuff on these Elektras. My next purchase will be a Microcasa semi-auto...just as a friend for my lever you understand. I just love these machines and the semi is very easy to use.

    Frankly, I believe you can never have too many coffee machines in the house but Im a bit loopy so my wife tells me. Whatever you get just enjoy the journey. And if you do ever get a Lektra lever or semi youll find yourself smiling every time you look at it. I love my Faema but its just not quite the same.

    lungo vivo la leva fabbrica!

    *

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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Must apologise, you raise some good points and I could have been clearer.

    On the consistency thing, a user who is in tune with the machine can definitely get fantastic shots out of the Leva day after day.

    I was more referring to managing the heat in the grouphead after 3 or 4 shots in a row. (Say the scenario where you need to belt out a few at a party or something).

    This is where the HX model is more suited.

  16. #16
    levercrema
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 404D5A52474F280 link=1266878906/14#14 date=1267048242
    Must apologise, you raise some good points and I could have been clearer.

    On the consistency thing, a user who is in tune with the machine can definitely get fantastic shots out of the Leva day after day.

    I was more referring to managing the heat in the grouphead after 3 or 4 shots in a row. (Say the scenario where you need to belt out a few at a party or something).
    This is where the HX model is more suited.
    No apology necessary. And what better excuse to have more than one machine I say. Bit like having the classic Alfa in the garage for that special drive.



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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    You are all correct. Decision 1 is n favour of the LUSSO. Will be ordering that later today. So thats one house that no longer relies solely on stove tops (although theyve served me well I must say).

    My guess is that the other place might go convenience over form and romance, but well see how I get on with Lusso. I will probably have it in Sydney (Crows Nest) for a week or so after it arrives, so if any one wants to come for a play just let me know (I dont know when delivery will be but Im guessing end of next week)

  18. #18
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Great stuff Peter, I love the look of the Lusso. Look forward to your initial impressions, ease of use and photos!

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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Shame I am 14 hours drive away I would be around for a play ;) Should be a lot of fun for you and any guests. By all accounts on the US forums a good performer.

    We await further reports and pics 8-)

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Thanks for the generous offer of visiting, however I am also too busy to make the trip. If I was closer Id be taking you up on it.

    Please let us know your impressions in as much detail as possible...will be much appreciated.

    DenisJ
    Quote Originally Posted by 0F2E25223801064B0 link=1266878906/11#11 date=1267001175
    (non levers)...will be heaps more reliable and cost less money in service over time.
    I have never owned the Elektra, but coming from the experience of a Pavoni lever - youd have to be crazy to believe this (provided I am correct in thinking the Elektra must have the same sort of simplicity?). Levers are incredibly reliable with almost no servicing needed - they are very simple mechanics with almost no wiring (switch to element only), and no electronic components. I can do all my own servicing with two tools and about 15 mins tops for the cost of a few rubber seals. Dont need to even open the compartment where the wires are - so no need to worry about making a mistake with 240V.

    Having serviced my previous pump machines before...they took a lot longer, needed many more tools, more expensive to service even doing all the labour myself and then needed to get an electrician mate check it over before plugging it back in...and needed to do it far more often. Then there are all those extra components and electronics waiting to go wrong.

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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    ::) http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1243304918/28#28 the last Elektra thread I remember

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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 46776079787F74796F160 link=1266878906/19#19 date=1267086792
    ..............
    DenisJ
    Quote Originally Posted by 0F2E25223801064B0 link=1266878906/11#11 date=1267001175
    (non levers)...will be heaps more reliable and cost less money in service over time.
    .............

    I have never owned the Elektra, but coming from the experience of a Pavoni lever - youd have to be crazy to believe this (provided I am correct in thinking the Elektra must have the same sort of simplicity?)................
    Kindly note, youve taken one phrase out of the full context of the sentence where the phrase was lifted from. Guess I should have mentioned I used to work in the service section of an elektra agency, and even network with other agents*;)

  23. #23
    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5C7D76716B5255180 link=1266878906/21#21 date=1267095485
    Kindly note, youve taken one phrase out of the full context of the sentence where the phrase was lifted from.
    Yes, because I didnt want to get into futile arguments. "Farrrrrrrrrr better" etc depends on your criteria which you dont mention and so on and so on...and I dont want to go there.

    I was careful to point out maybe the elektra is different - i.e. could be somehow complicated with lots of electronic components?...I highly doubt it but was careful to point that out...which you then highlight one part - i.e. youve taken one phrase out of the full context of the sentence where the phrase was lifted from ::)

    Your answer of claim to authority whilst not at all addressing how it could be so would say to an academic nerd like me that your argument is hollow. Claim to authority is a logical flaw used in an attempt to persuade in the absence of logical argument is it not? Now, actually expressing your statistics of your experience would be different - i.e. how did your experience show you that servicing a simple mechanical device is more expensive and frequent than a complicated device with lots of electronic components?

    I know you have some good knowledge, shame you seem to often only give logical errors and subjective opinions not qualified...let us in on the knowledge and leave the rest aside (this thread only...I like subjective opinions as well).

    For the time being I still believe levers are WAY easier and cheaper to service with longer time spans between services. Convince me otherwise :)

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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    It arrived. I have been playing with it for almost 24 hours.

    I love it, and I have HEAPS to learn yet.

    Initial results were horrible. It needed SIGNIFICANTLY finer grinds than we had the grinder set on for the dual boiler machine in the office. Once I got into the grind window some magic started happening.

    Today I brought the Vech and grinder to my holiday place and I have been busy in the paddocks etc so only spent a few minutes pulling coffees when I or someone else wanted one. EVERY SHOT today has been stunning. Crema is a little light, as weve heard before with levers, but OH SO LUCIOUS.

    Having some issues with the steamer (its a bit wild and hot compared to what Im used to) but its getting the job done. A little fine tuning on my part there I suspect.

    Its not at all complicated to live with, its simple. The process feels really good and the results so far have been far better than I imagined on day 1.

    As I say, plenty to learn and many more hours of tinkering to be done, but so far this rates as a very good purchase.

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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Nice one Peter *:)

    Just finished 2 commercial days on my Izzo lever (somewhere over 10 toward 15kgs of beans I think *::) ) Crema is dark and rich when the grind is correct but I have been playing throughout the day to keep it correct with the crazy weather 30-90% humidity 15-28 degreesC. So maybe play with grind and tamp some more yet but just change one at a time and time the shots while you watch the pour.

    Surprising how fine the Pav needs to be compared to the Izzo too but when you get it right *8-)

  26. #26
    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Have fun Peter. Another lever convert, I suspect. *:)

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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    An update.....

    Still loving the lever. Have the steamer under control now and definitely producing the best microfoam I ever have (not a big claim I might add, Ive usually been crap).

    Interestingly taught my elder sister last weekend (whos never pulled shots on anything) and she was pulling pretty good ones after 3 attempts.

    Im still chasing dark rich Crema, but I have some ideas. I really need a new Tamper though, the ill fitting plastic thingy is driving me nuts.

    Whats also interesting is Im doing better on our office machine now as I think the lever is teaching me some techniques in grind and tamp (and milk) that can be transferred.

    Happy camper..

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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Much as it will hurt at home for a few days post your baskets to Pullman for a custom one. Also did you get the gold one ? If so email greg and see ifg he has some more of the Aluminium Bronze in stock, much nicer colour match for non chrome or stainless steel machines 8-)

    I have been having a few goes at a different grind & tamp with the Pav, basically a finer very fluffy grind and a very light tamp. There is some reading on it over at Home Barista and most likely some stuff on Orphan Espressos site.

    Mods I know this is a link to a commercial site but its a relevent How to text page http://www.orphanespresso.com/OE-SLA..._ep_566-1.html Video on Utube here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro7lf...e=channel_page Results more playing needed yet *::)

  29. #29
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    That Lusso looks good. Wish I had a bigger kitchen

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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Its a LOT smaller than you think from the piccies. I have mine on top of my dishwasher with plenty of room for the knock bin and a medium sized Grinder

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    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Peter

    Hows life with the Lusso going?


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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Hi guys, yeah its a great thing. It sure took some fiddling and Im sure Ill keep learning new tricks. Its very grind sensitive and likes pretty fresh beans, but its a magic piece of kit for the money.

    Doesnt overheat (imho) and you can pull very good coffees one after the other until its out of water and then its a little tricky to fill when hot (its do-able though).

    As is often the case (apparently) with levers, the overall shot volume is down a little, but with two levers and two group handles and baskets supplied, there are plenty of options. I repeat that I dont use it everyday, its at my house in the country so only gets used when Im there (or my greater family, as is the case this week). During the week Im on a FAEMA E98 Compact S1 in the office (Nice machine with a few traits) and a KitchenAid thingy at home (not really recommended)

    The Pullman Tamper for the Lusso makes a HUGE difference as the supplied plastic crap is just that.

    In March my sister got married at my place, and I had most of the (hungover) wedding guests over for coffee the next day. Once we got a system going to order pull and refill, it churned out a large number of coffees in one morning with no dramas.

    Id buy again tomorrow, I love it.

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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    I think I want one... :D

  34. #34
    Senior Member shapeshifter's Avatar
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    Me too ;D

  35. #35
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    Re: Am I crazy ?

    I own a Lusso too, its awesome. ;D



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