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Thread: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

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    Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    My budget setup is doing what it was designed to do. Get me decent coffee at 2am and confirm that a largish investment on home espresso would be worthwhile for me in the longterm. Ill be 40 this year and have decided a special bday present is in order. Im now willing to go to $2k for a lovely machine (not including grinder).

    I have my heart set on a lever machine for many reasons and am willing to learn to use it properly. To be honest i love the simplicity of the europic, both aesthetically and functionally. But many moons ago the Micro Casa was a swoon moment for me, so I wont rule it out. Ive done a it of research and discovered that the main difference between the two is a spring lever and somewhat higher artistic merit in design and build on the Elektra. But does that mean Ill find it vastly superior to use and drink from than the europic which is half the price?

    Dont get me wrong price is not the driving force, the europic is just appealing to my sensibilities more at this stage but I dont want to be missing something obvious like vastly better coffee or ergonomics from the higher price point. It is a special purchase and I want to be enjoying it not feeling frustrated that I made the wrong choice.

    I know I can go along to a sponsor and see them etc. The thing is I wont be buying until June and hate wasting peoples time when I know my buying decision is so far off. :-/


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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    You raise an interesting question, claraflo.

    I have seen and felt both machines, but did not pull a shot on either.

    The Elektra Micro Casa Leva is a visually impressive machine, and in brass/chrome is quite stunning.
    The La Pavoni does not have the visual look at me of the Elektra, but its a great looking machine. Consider this, I looked* at the La Pavoni along side the Elektra, an Izzo Alex, a Giotto and a few other top quality machines, and the La Pavoni was only outdone by the Elektra. The La Pavoni is not a shrinking violet and will draw the eye (and the jealous glance) of most, but the Elektra is something else.

    Performance wise, I would expect that the Electra may have an edge over the La Pavoni, but some of these edges are pretty narrow. In saying that, the lever crowd tend to believe that a spring lever is the way to go.

    The AUD is high, its the end of summer, and there are more than a handful of sponsors who may be willing to sell you either machine, even if they dont generally keep the machines in stock. The 1k difference may be less than you think (or maybe more !!), but chat to a few sponsors and see how much you can twist their arms.

    My Elektra Micro Casa Semiautomatica is a wonderful piece of engineering, form, design and function. I have been told that buying an Elektra is a decission to consider carefully, as you may become hooked.* :P




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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Question:
    "...Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?..."

    Only you can really answer that wrt your own expectations, opinion and personal situation, however
    My opinion:
    No.

    Questions to consider (in my opinion):
    Do you want an ornament or a good coffee machine?
    Do you want a machine that produces good commercial quality brew or are you happy with something else?
    Are you prepared - over time - to pay quite a hefty premium for spare parts and service, or not?
    Do you want a machine that only has the capacity of its boiler (so when it runs down to minimum you shut it off, bleed out remaining steam, open the boiler and refill with water, and wait for it to get going again), or do you want a machine where you simply put cold water in the water reservoir and it will run indefinitely.

    There will be other questions but these are probably the main ones, and they dont just cover the two models in your question, but also lever machines like these VS more "std" machines especially in regard to price comparisons and what they are capable of producing VS amount of effort required etc.

    Hope that helps.

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    You both raise really good points and Im grateful for your insight. What Im hearing is that both those models produce a comparable cup, although the Elecktra perhaps a little more elegantly. Both models have good build quality for their respective prices. However is elegance something Im willing to pay a 100% premium for?

    Ive picked those two models mostly out of familiarity with them. I dont know, what I dont know and its possible theres a more suitable machine out there for me than either of them. My coffee needs in volumetric terms are pretty simple. I drink 3 cups a day, two in the early hours and one just after lunch. I am the sole coffee drinker in my house and hell will probably freeze over before my partner ever drinks it. No matter how beautiful the machine or how good it smells. So being limited by a boiler isnt going to be a huge issue for me.

    Ive started looking at other lever options. I took a look at the Cremina, supposedly the rolls royce of home lever machines. While its undoubtedly a wonderful machine capable of amazing coffees I just cant get excited about it due to its bog standard countertop design. For $3k+ Im expecting something a little more considered and if it looked the business I probably would not find it very difficult to stretch my budget that far. But as it is, thats probably something I might consider 2nd hand but I doubt I would purchase it new.

    Next I started looking at the Lusso. While its not exciting to look at, at least the price doesnt make me baulk. It comes with some very nice features that enable me to overlook its rather drab exterior. Please dont get outraged if you love its look, thats a personal thing I know, Im only talking about my preferences here. While I love beauty, I also love value for money and the Lusso has that in spades.

    So all of this is forcing me to prioritise what it is Im really looking for. Here it is in order of preference....

    1. Good coffee (given decent beans and grinder). Some of those syrupy espresso pours I keep seeing pictured here. The ability to pull a shot that isnt bitter and is full flavoured with buckets of crema.

    2. Ease of use. I dont want to end up with a machine so difficult to use that I never get around to drinking from it. Im prepared for a learning curve but I also need to be able to get drinkables out of it fairly soon, if only for encouragement. It must after-all provide me with my morning cup not long after its bought.

    3. Lifespan. It must have a decent build quality. I dont want to be replacing major components every year. I am a sucker for quality, even if quality costs a lot more. I also need to be able to grow into my machine, become a better barista and not reach the limits of the machine inside of a year. Id like some longevity and the ability to keep learning without needing an upgrade. I dont consider myself much of a barista so I dont think this is a tall order really.

    4. Looks. All other things being equal I would like a machine with a bit of personality. If it came down to two of a similar quality and similar production capabilities Im going to pick the one with the nicest bod, yes I would even pay a bit extra for it.

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    claraflo, have you looked at the Bezzera Strega.
    The budget may suffer, and its not 100% quiet (the pump will buzz away for a few seconds), but it may be worth a second look.

    Again, dont be too worried about the retail price .. twist an arm and bargain hard, and most prices become somewhat flexible.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1319882086/100

    Looks pretty funky, too (of course, its no Elektra but it will still draw a wolf whistle or two).

    BeanBay

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Ill admit I ruled that one out off hand because I really cant see the point in having a lever and a pump. Is this just a pump machine with a lever design element? In other words not a lever machine at all? Although I suppose a pump isnt the worst thing in the world, I will admit that at 2am even the not very loud pump on my Gaggia sounds intrusive and kind of inconsiderate at that hour. No-ones complained yet but I dont really want someone to have to complain either.

    I will admit its getting hard because once you start talking $2k+ you are in the territory of a lot of reasonable pump machines that make the Elektra look not very good value for money. :-X

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    the bezzera is definitely a true lever- the pump just adds water to the boiler and pressure for pre-infusion I think- and after that the lever takes over- and I believe there is an option to get it without the pump- though I am not sure if that is yet available.

    Concerning the Elekta and the Pavoni- both will produce great shots. I have not used the Elekta but have used very similar Sama group levers. From my experience the spring will tend to be easier to use and more forgiving. The Pavoni is great if you are already good at making espresso: understand tamping and grinding etc. It takes a little dialing in. Both machine are good for small volume sessions- neither is very good if you need to make more than 2 or maybe 3 drinks in a session as they overheat and need to cool down. But if you are generally only making one or two- they are fantastic- take up little space, are well built and simple to maintain.

    The Elekta is easier to service than the Pavoni as you can remove the piston to change seals by removing to nuts at the top of the group. The Pavoni requires a little more effort but is not too hard either.


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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Ok, thats good to know. The strega is a weird one to me at least although I can see it is beautifully made and I couldnt really put a foot wrong there.

    And would you be interested in talking to me about the Lusso, since you sell it? Ill admit it didnt really float my boat much until I started to google some reviews and watch the YouTube videos. It does have a simple kind of charm and its a relief to know its not actually as large as it appears in photos.

    I am attracted to its features although a little worried about build quality. Do you have any in a showroom I could see in person. I could fly to ADL quite easily for such an expedition. ;)


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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Quote Originally Posted by 465A4747505B415C5B54565A53535050350 link=1330506644/6#6 date=1330582775
    Both machine are good for small volume sessions- neither is very good if you need to make more than 2 or maybe 3 drinks in a session as they overheat and need to cool down. But if you are generally only making one or two- they are fantastic- take up little space, are well built and simple to maintain.
    Agreed .. not everybody wants or requires a machine to turn out shot after shot, nor something that includes an abundance of electronics.

    The Lusso gets some very good feedback from other forum members, and some creative powder coating of the exterior may produce a machine that looks outstanding.
    BeanBay

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    claraflo I dont know where youre based but the other day I saw a PV Lusso at Cosmorex in Canberra.

    The Lusso is a great little machine - massive steaming power and very dense syrupy shots. The only reason I dont have mine any more is because of upgradeitis.

    And the Lusso has character in spades. It can also be tweaked, modded (Lacehim managed to put an anti-vac valve on his).

    And as you say, the Lusso is a bargain in comparison to most other levers. The main qualification about it is that the build quality can be a little dodgy.

    But Jack at Sorrentina provides excellent after sales service.

    Sniff


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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Yeah Ill agree to that. While the body of the Lusso is not in the same "league" in terms of old style aesthetics as the europiccola and the microhasa, it could be made to look great with a bit of creative art on the body. It has a better capacity than the other two and in my opinion it works better and is easier to manage. Its a more functional machine overall and in my opinion is not just an ornament that makes coffee....

    It therefore offers in my opinion, much better "value for money" than either of the other two, neither of which I would have except on the mantlepiece (in fact I do have a couple of non functioning europiccolas in my collection) but I could live for a short while with the Lusso which for me represents a bit of fun in coffee making. Essentially, if I was going to have 2 machines at home, I would place a Lusso just for fun, next to one of my Diadema Junior HX machines for when I just want a "no fuss" cup of "real" coffee* ;)

    Must admit we had been toying with the idea of doing an individual paint job on the Lusso in our showroom!

    Jack has been a gentleman and not blown his own tune here, but Im happy to give it a push along.

    Over to you Jack. ;)

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    we lusso owners are a friendly lot too - im sure if you post in the owners thread (http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1265525881) you could find someone in your general area happy to show off their machine to you.

    and yes, i cant ever see my lusso ever being replaced, i just need a bigger kitchen so i can also fit a big HX in (choice being such a wonderful thing and all)

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Thanks for the input on the Lusso. Im still put off by owners describing the build as a bit dodgy. As a birthday present it sounds less than ideal but then the only other choices are over the $3k mark.

    *Sigh*, this is why avoid shopping at all costs. Just about every choice is a disappointment of some kind. Maybe I should stick with the europic and its frustations. At least its relatively cheap which is
    some consolation* ::)

    I went back and looked at the Strega and cant help feeling they ruined a perfectly good concept by sticking a pump in it. ::) half the reason for choosing a lever is the lack of a pump. Why this machine requires a pump when other levers find no need for one is just maddening. Apparently the pumpless model needs to be plumbed. Fine if you own your own home.* :-/ so its ruled out definately. My
    net price point is the Izzo Pompeii at 5.5k.. :o beautiful machine not sure I want to sink the price of a car on it, and....its huge. :-[

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Id also love a lever and the izzo Pompeii is my cure for upgraditis (galumay and a snob from Adelaide have on)...But If you dont want a ponte vecchio lusso 2 grp (is it about the look or the coffee it produces) why not go the Olympia cremina.. beautiful build and from what Ive heard amazing coffee.. Ask sniffcoffee what he thinks :)

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Quote Originally Posted by 637B7A707166140 link=1330506644/13#13 date=1330669772
    Id also love a lever and the izzo Pompeii is my cure for upgraditis (galumay and a snob from Adelaide have on)...But If you dont want a ponte vecchio lusso 2 grp (is it about the look or the coffee it produces)* why not go the Olympia cremina.. beautiful build and from what Ive heard amazing coffee.. Ask sniffcoffee what he thinks :)
    Its the form and quality of the build. The most off-putting part is that its only available in Australia in the wide body form. I know its not very big but its still wide enough to be a pain in my kitchen. That 38cm width means it will hog over a third of all my kitchen
    benchspace and be a PITA right up flush against my sink. I have only one powerpoint in my kitchrn so no choice at all on where to situate the machine. The irony is that if I could get the export model which is tall and skinny we wouldnt even be having this conversation as I would have bought it already. Its got the perfect footprint and I like its appearance enough that it being a lower-end
    machine with certain limitations wouldnt fuss me at all. But since I hate the form and have no use for two groups at all it would need to be exceptional in function and build to win me over. Word that its not the best build is just another reason not to go there. Id rather pay more and get higher quality.

    I do understamd the reasons why Jack only wants to import the 2 group model. I agree in terms of value for money its the best of this line and he will probably sell lots of those and hardly only of the export. My situation, is my problem.

    Budget is not the limiting factor for me. Its quite arbitrary and if I found a machine that knocked my soxs off Id find the money for it. My budget is a function of the perceived trade-offs of each machine choice. Im willing to go lower-end if the compromises arent too bad or there is something that particularly recommends that machine. Although my overall preference with most purchases is to buy once, buy quality.


    So yes the cremina ( even with its very high price tag is back in the running).

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3C333E2D3E3933305F0 link=1330506644/14#14 date=1330673419
    So yes the cremina ( even with its very high price tag is back in the running).
    Shame that the Strega is out of the running. Its beautifully finished, a real spring lever and a heap less expensive.

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Cremina, yes expensive +++ but looks beautiful, and sounds like it will tick all your boxes... Enjoy your birthday* :)

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Quote Originally Posted by 67525F586C705C55555656330 link=1330506644/15#15 date=1330674468
    Quote Originally Posted by 3C333E2D3E3933305F0 link=1330506644/14#14 date=1330673419
    So yes the cremina ( even with its very high price tag is back in the running).
    Shame that the Strega is out of the running. Its beautifully finished, a real spring lever and a heap less expensive.
    I know what youre saying Chris and actually I am quite surprised by my own preferences here. But, there is something about a machine powered by steam and simple mechanics that appeals to me enormously. Putting an electric buzzy pump in a machine of that calibre makes me feel like I wouldnt be getting the pure,
    simple, piece of engineering Id expect for that price. Even if the pump improves the shot, Id still prefer to have the older technology with all its faults and beauty.

    I guess Im a hard customer...

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Its a shame Bezzera have chosen to use their generic stainless box as a base for the Strega.
    Ive contemplated a lever, heard about the Strega and was gobsmacked when I found a Domus Galatea with a lever bolted on in place of the E61 group head, no aesthetic appeal whatsoever. :-?

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Another +1 for the Cremina.

    If a
    pure, simple, piece of engineering
    is what youre after, you owe it to yourself to at least see one in the flesh - the attention to detail and quality of workmanship in these machines is in a whole other league, sadly Swiss labour comes at a cost.

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    I may just be visiting a cremina, or two soon. For scientific purposes and to answer the question, is a Cremina as good as a Frederique Constant? Its the same price as the double heart beat chocolate atomatique I lust over periodically.

    You know. Im probably going to end up buying another freakin handbag, which seems my default when I cant make a decision. ::)

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    I highly recommend a lever--both for taste (coffee) and style (looks)--but I already have a Rolex. ;D

    As long as you are prepared to live with the differences (may not be disadvantages) between the direct pressure and the spring lever, then by all means save the money.

    If the spring and and the style are important, remember that *you* will be looking at, and using this machine daily for years, and the extra $$ spread out over years is likely to be per day.

    I just keep researching until I know what I want--cause I dont like handbags.

    Greg

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Thanks Greg,

    ;D Ive now narrowed it down to two machines. The Micro Casa or the Cremina. Ive ruled the europic out as a bit too below budget... ::) You are right, 3 days after youve enjoyed your new machine the cost of it is long forgotten.

    Ive spent $2k on a handbag, $600 on shoes...really the price of the machines I am looking at isnt much in that context. Especially when you consider a pair of shoes will not last you the rest of your natural life. And I dont even get daily use out of my handbags. ::)

    Ive never had a moment where I regretted buying quality but plenty where Ive thought...geez I wish Id just bought what I wanted in the first place. Its a very timely reminder and the Cremina owners are being very generous with their advice as well. ;)

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    I feel like maybe I should play the devils advocate here for a second.

    The machines that youve narrowed down on are superb, and unique in their own respects. The Cremina has a well-deserved reputation as the rolls royce of domestic lever machines, and the MCAL is visually stunning and has the performance to match.

    Im just saying I wouldnt be so quick to discount the lowly Europiccola - Im going to go out on a limb, and say that in the hands of a skilled operator it will produce just as good a result in the cup in the context of your intended usage habits.

    Of course the Cremina is a superior machine in every respect except price and maybe footprint, but it is most certainly not $3K better in terms of the quality of beverage.

    Why not take a punt on a second hand Europiccola, and see if the whole lever lark is really for you? If you do decide the upgrade is worth it, youll be able to recoup the outlay easily.

    I think the ones to have are the 70s machines with the two-position switch and brass sleeve in the group, as you get a bit of extra control over temperature via manually switching the high element.

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Thanks Rick,

    You are the 2nd person to suggest the europic, the other person is one of the cremina owners. Ill keep an eye out and see if anything comes up. But its a how long is a piece of string situation. I might not find one for a long time or one could turn up next week.

    My immediate priority is to replace my grinder with a Rosco. Although Ross announcing the mini has now put that on hold until the new version is released. ::) In the meantime I can keep window shopping. Id only be willing to go the europic route with a 2nd hand machine, as losing $600 on a new one if I upgrade is not a smart idea. Im to understand they only really get about $500 on the used market?

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Yeah I think second hand is a good way to go, but as you say its the waiting thing. A vintage unit came up just the other week, kicking myself that I didnt grab it for a friend.

    I honestly think the early Europiccoli are better anyway - no silly plastic sleeve in the group, manual control over the heating elements, and no chance of rust in the base - its a painted aluminium casting.

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Its a bit late but I will add to what I have written.... The Lusso is a great home machine- I collect levers and have many machines, Pavonis, Caravels, Gaggias, Microcimbalis, etc. I also have commercial levers. Over the years I have tested and owned even more. I have not had a chance to play with a Cremina though... rare 2nd hand and expensive new or old.

    Of all I have tried the Lusso is the best for everyday home use IMHO. Once you have enjoyed the luxury of two levers one lever starts to seem intolerable... especially if you routinely make two coffees in a session. Also having hot water on hand- thermally stable groups- unlimited steam power- and a large boiler capacity- in a small (ish) footprint- at a low (ish) cost- seals the deal for me. In three years I have seen no reason to change machines. I am happy where I am. I could have a Faema Lambro in my kitchen but it would be over-kill- I feel the same about the Strega which is virtually ready for a commercial environment. I dont see the point of such large machines for a setting where only a few drinks will be made at a time...

    I also prefer spring levers to manual- except in the case of the Caravel which is the small espresso master of all levers... and of all the home spring levers I have tested the Lusso is by far and away the most consistent and forgiving. No sink shots: ever.

    As to the build quality of the Lusso- I dont want to say the issues are over-rated- but they are certainly manageable- many times there is nothing at all of concern. My own machine has been pretty much perfect- and I have not had an issue with a customer machine that has not been dealt with relatively easily. Beyond some issues with assembly the key components are very durable- and there are not many- I have only had to replace seals in my machine after maybe 18 months of use.

    Sometimes the PV company has been slow to deal with but they do come through eventually.

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Thanks Jack,

    Its really nice to get your input on the Lussos. I agree that they do represent great value for money. The wide body though is what causes the biggest issue for me. Even as small as it is, its a tad wide for the tiny space Ive got. Unfortunately my available bench space is squashed between a fridge and my sink and its also the site of the only powerpoint in the kitchen. If I were to put a machine there that took the entire space, Id not be able to access the one free powerpoint without performing acrobatics and the location adjacent to a sink means using a powerboard is just too dangerous there.

    My Gaggia is exactly 20cm wide and thats about the limit for any machine to be there. Short of moving house (not about to, it will increase my rent substantially) I have limited options. :-/


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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    20 cm??

    Well, forget the MCAL then, its base is 26cm wide. I think the Cremina is bang on 20 cm.

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    20cm for a straight sided box machine because of its ability to block the powerpoint. The Mcal is slightly different as the base would not block access and the boiler is significantly smaller. The actual width of the bench is just over 40cm but you need elbow room at the sink also.* I find the Gaggia quite managable because it doesnt get in my way when Im not using it.* ;) And the rest of the bench is handy for tamping and setting up the milk jug.

    To be honest I didnt even consider the bench space in the beginning, deep thinker that I am... :D Its easy to look at the rest of the kitchen and go oh yeah I could fit a decent sized machine here. Pity my landlord tiled over the other powerpoint location in a bid to save money. ::)

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    well- for a cheaper option I have a few of the single group Ponte Vecchio Export models in stock. More like a spring driven Pavoni. Easily fit in your limited space. I can post a few pictures in a day or two but you could google them easy enough. I have not used them extensively myself- but have heard they are great despite not having the thermosyphon group connection that the Lusso has. The have an identical spring group except it only has one connection to the boiler. No pressure gauge and no hot water outlet. Shots are superb by all accounts- I suspect they would be prone to overheat after the second shot but have read not as bad as a Pavoni for instance. They would be ideal for the one/two cup session user. Faster heat up time as well than Lusso or larger machines.

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Well I would be interested in taking a look at the export model. Looks like a daytrip to Adelaide is on the cards. ;)

  33. #33
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    If you make the trip to Adelaide ;), you are welcome to come up (Im up off the flat plains) and try the Izzo lever.

    Greg

  34. #34
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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B5E494B7B435E414D40482C0 link=1330506644/32#32 date=1330895057
    If you make the trip to Adelaide ;), you are welcome to come up (Im up off the flat plains) and try the Izzo lever.

    Greg
    ....and once have, you will be looking for a way to extend the kitchen! ;D

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Quote Originally Posted by 363934273433393A550 link=1330506644/20#20 date=1330762179

    You know. Im probably going to end up buying another freakin handbag, which seems my default when I cant make a decision.* *::)
    I sure hope you are of the female persuasion, Claraflo ...** :o

    If not ... well, not that theres anything wrong with that* :-X

  36. #36
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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Hey, hey beanbrat, this is Sydney. I could be a really metro guy with a mad sense of fashion....or I could just be a chick. Which do you reckon it is? ;D

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    :-? I will say a chick with a love of bags and coffee .. *now all the guys start to swoon at the thought .. bag love not included, of course*.

    Any update on the decision, Claraflo ?? Dont leave us hanging.

    As much as I like the Elektra styling, I must say the one group Lusso does look pretty cute* :D

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    how different espresso does lusso/ export produce compared to the other machines like pavoni and MCaL??
    Is pavoni on the sour tasting side?
    Im quite interested in getting export since it has small footprint and the great consistency from ive read. :D

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    To Nswer BeanBrat, in terms of which is it. Heres how my thinking went and the decision. Drumroll pls....

    Ponte Vecchio - while good machines and good value for money were a little bit un-special in my mind and not what I had in mind for a bday present. I had a sneaking suspicion I would suffer from upgraditis should I go that route. If I was looking for a good first lever at a decent price they would be my pick, they certainly offer more than a europic at their price.

    Europic - good in its day but its been eclipsed by ultimately more functional machines at the same price point (ponte vecchio). If I was on a really tight budget and dying for a lever then Id probably hunt an old one down for $400 and learn to love its finicky nature. But Ive got more to spend and can get a better machine thats easier to use.

    Elektra micro casa a leva - this ran a close second. And it was only a hairs breadth second. Priced mid-way between the low end and the high end its a great machine that offers quality, design and function affordably. It has its own quirks but overall I was hardpressed to find an owner with anything but nice things to say about it. And whats not to love about the appearance. I am now keeping an eye out for an unloved restorable one, as I just cant turn my back on her completely. And what a great project!

    And the winner is.....the Cremina. While its not a show pony it has its own understated charm. Simplicity cannot hide a multitude of sins so its craftsmanship is the design statement. But overall this one had the highest rating in terms of form, quality and function for me. And just as I was despairing of ever getting my hands on one, the right one came along. Ive now got a lovingly restored Cremina 67. Cant wait for her to arrive.
    haoran likes this.

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    67 cremina... Mmmmmm let us all know how she goes..... Pictures and a penny for your thoughts.* ( Now I might just have a better look at the 67 on evil bay, seeing how I wont be bidding against you* ;) )

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    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6870717B7A6D1F0 link=1330506644/39#39 date=1332539593
    67 cremina... Mmmmmm let us all know how she goes..... Pictures and a penny for your thoughts.* ( Now I might just have a better look at the 67 on evil bay, seeing how I wont be bidding against you* ;) )
    Built in 1974! Id be very concerned about the condition of the boiler in a 38 year old machine. :)

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    Really interested in how the Olympia went.
    Any pics or review from you claraflo?

    The previous discussion sums up my decision making process/ current dilemma very well. It mus be pretty common for interested parties to fall in love with the looks of the pavoni and elektra - then start wondering if they couldn't get a better coffee for their money.

    The olympia cremina and PV lusso are interesting, I was also thinking E61 but now after thinking about it - there's something very appealling about the lever for me - I want one!

    Sooo, in terms of pressure and performance how do these stack two stack up? The reason I'm probably leaning away from the Elektra is that is doesn't produce a great deal of pressure and I've read that it produces a fairly light flavoured coffee. I'd prefer a richer deeper flavoured shot. The pavoni, while I'm up for a challenge - I think this may be a bridge too far for my current technique, temp surfing abilities etc etc.



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