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Thread: Lever machine

  1. #1
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    Lever machine

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi there! Love this site, did not know it even existed a few days ago.
    The way the brewing machines are separated by their price, it is rather difficult to start a thread but anyway, here we go, if it needs to be somewhere else, the mod can relocate it I suppose.

    I have been thinking about buying a commercial coffee machine for a while now. First I thought I could get work mates to contribute to have one in the office but soon realised that they are happy for me to make them coffee with my own equipment but wouldn't cough up enough to buy a Napolitana.
    So next thought is to have one at the holiday house where I go from being b myself to being among 15 family members all wanting a coffee, and doing it on a Sunbeam EM7000 becomes a task.
    After endless "Commercial coffee machine for sale" strings on Google I stumbled on your site and discovered the existence of the lever machines. Simple, small and available in 2 groups.
    The best priced one I found is the Ponte Vecchio Lusso, but a review on another site detailing a long saga of repairs, poor workmanship, sloppy manufacture and scores of defects in a new machine and how to address them, sort of put me off. Other lever machines seem to be horribly expensive and when they look a million dollars it seems hard to justify.
    So what should I buy for my holiday house for occasional busy times?
    I can justify to spend $1500 to $2000.
    Ponte Vecchio seems to be out of stock (?) how valid is that bad review?
    Another lever suggestion?
    Non lever:
    Saw a Bezzera second hand for that sort of money with a Bezzera grinder thrown in the deal. Good deal?
    A Rancillo for $1000 from a commercial reseller of restaurant equipment.
    Last edited by Marc1; 19th June 2015 at 09:26 AM.

  2. #2
    htb
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    Ponte Lusso 2 group is a great machine but you cant refill it while it is hot so I don't think it is well suited to pushing out 15 cups of coffee a time.

    There are plenty of prosumer machines for that price range although you would probably want a HX or dual boiler unless all your family like black coffee. They start at around $2000 from memory.

    If you want to go for a commercial machine I believe Coffee machinist has a two group Rancillio for sale at a good price. Details are in the site sponsor section.

    Have you budgeted for a grinder?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lukemc's Avatar
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    Adding my two cents to contact Rick - Coffee Machinist for his 2 group rancillio he has for sale. Looks like it would suit your needs and leave ample money leftover to buy a nice grinder to go with it


    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    Ponte Lusso 2 group is a great machine but you cant refill it while it is hot so I don't think it is well suited to pushing out 15 cups of coffee a time.

    There are plenty of prosumer machines for that price range although you would probably want a HX or dual boiler unless all your family like black coffee. They start at around $2000 from memory.

    If you want to go for a commercial machine I believe Coffee machinist has a two group Rancillio for sale at a good price. Details are in the site sponsor section.

    Have you budgeted for a grinder?

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    Yes, had a look at Rancilio and it is within the price range to add a grinder, true. Only bummer is that he is in Melbourne and I am in Sydney. Must edit my profile.
    What takes me to my next question, hope you don't mind the chat.
    Found a Bezzera Ellisse that is sold with a Bezzera grinder for $2000. Hopefully negotiable. The only thing that has me worried is the start up time. Some websites have the technical data and it states "Quick start up = NO"
    I really don't want a machine that takes 1/2 hour or more to warm up, are all the commercial like that? My daughter works in a cafe and she told me it takes her 10 minutes to start but I can't get her to remember the brand of machine she is using ha ha ... generation Y.
    Do you guys use either a Bezzera Ellisse or Rancilio or Wega 2 groups and can comment on warm up time?
    Your replies are appreciated.

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    Hi Marc1,
    Heat up time depends on boiler size, i think 20-30 min is a reasonable warm up time for a full size 2 group machine. There are compact versions which should be quicker to warm up due to its smaller boiler size. If you are considering rancillio from coffee machinist, try contacting pack and send, they can arrange pick up and delivery.
    Good luck, let us know how you go

  6. #6
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka View Post
    20-30 min is a reasonable warm up time for a full size 2 group machine.
    Sorry- but I disagree. Allow a minimum 45 min for a commercial machine
    Dimal likes this.

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    I think you are right too Chris the boiler may come to pressure within 30 mins but it will take longer until group heads get up to brewing temperature. My bad ...

  8. #8
    TOK
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    Marc, I can tell from your posts that you are not familiar with the stuff that you would like to have. Nothing wrong with that BUT, in that case I think you should talk with a professional equipment trader and let him guide you into something that will suit your needa and wants, without getting yourself ripped off or BUYING THE WRONG EQUIPMENT FOR YOURSELF.

    There are two contributors here that you can trust to get you into something that will suit YOU. If you really want a lever, get off the keyboard and talk to both Chris (post # 6 - two above this) and Rick (Coffee Machinist). Both have some nice stuff (new, or used, or remanufactured etc) that may suit what you think you want.

    Trust me. Buying an ex catering large commercial machine as you suggested above, without advice first from someone profesisonal, has great big black hairs on it and will be a mistake for you for your home use. DO NOT buy the 2 group elise or any other commercial equipment being offered on auction sites etc or you may end up with money wasted, ancient, decrepit, or overused, unmaintained, equipment, and nothing more than a boat anchor that takes up your valuable space and needs much more money spent on after the cost of purchase...

    Do you want a project or a coffee machine?

    Decide on a real workable budget, and talk to one of these guys, and buy something that suits you and can be plugged in immediately you get inside your door to make an immediate coffee (called "plug and play", and is never more than a 10 amp machine suitalbe for a home electrical circuit).

    Anything else, is nothing more than people getting caught up in the spiraling psychology of upgradeitis from reading what other people say they like and want, rather than knowing or being guided to buy what you want.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by TOK; 20th June 2015 at 10:40 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Thank you for your replies.
    Yes I am aware that there is a lot of boat anchors around and I am also aware that I know very little about coffee machines ... isn't that the point of posting here? I am just interested in hearing from those who know more than me, (probably most of you) and I appreciate those people time and effort.

    I have spoken to a number of professional traders but that is what they are, like used car salesman they talk up their stock and bag the competition, hardly a reliable unbiased source of advice to follow. Must listen and draw your conclusions. One of this trade people told me he did not like the Compak k10 WBC grinder because it was made in Spain ... what can I say? ... forums like this on the other hand give a variety of ideas to take home and chew over and I am sure your resident tradies are reliable since you talk with them all the time.
    This are just a few preliminary steps.
    I'll get there in the end.

    In relation to lever machines, I thought someone said you can not push 15 coffee cups one after the other. If that is the case, then it will not be an improvement over my EM7000 other than perhaps quality of coffee but not speed.
    Don't get me wrong I love that little machine looks and silent performance yet can not get past this review
    Ponte Vecchio Lusso 2 Group Review and Maintenance - Home-Barista.com
    I have better things to do with my time than going through that! ... if it is true and correct that is.

    So still out there ... all suggestion appreciated and welcomed.
    PS
    I do have all the power I want in the kitchen. 3 phase switchboard with 100 amp per phase a few meters away, to pull a 3x4mm cable and change the powerpoint to a 20 A is a non issue. Plumbing is one meter from where the machine can be, bench room for a 750x450 footprint nor height at 500 or similar are an issue.

    Marc
    Last edited by Marc1; 20th June 2015 at 02:19 PM.

  10. #10
    TOK
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    Marc....size does not equal quality. Fitting an unsuitable (for home use) boat anchor of unknown condition up in your kitchen with 25 amp power and a water connection will not get you good coffee, just a lot of coffee if you have people over. It could be a lot of bad coffee...its just volume.

    Additionally, water connections are not the be all and end of all anything. A workable drain connection is much more important, if you connect something up to water...

    You mentioned that you have spoken to some (apparently unprofessional) traders and fet their advice was not good for you. By the same token, try not to get carried away thinking that a lot of stuff that can be found in these types of forums is somehow better for you than the other. All written by anonymous posters, bona fides unknown, pushing their own barrows, many experts of one. How is that somehow better than the other?

    I referred you to two professional traders who will look after you.

    There is no point in buying a Ponte Vecchio machine if there is no one around to guarantee and service it and supply spares (however limited the need might be owing to machine simplicity) ...sometime down the track. Can anyone handle the truth? The reason people got into these things initially is because they were a reasonable price for a nice coffee for an "unusual package" / read lever machine. When you see it in the flesh you will understand why (the price). Once you remove the convenience of a local source of guarantee, service and parts, what does it all mean? And as you have found it, it has a finite coffee brewing cycle owing to its closed boiler design. That by the way is not so important, unless you intend to do a lot of entertaining...

    Go slow, and it will work out for you . The danger is in rushing into something.

    Hope that helps.
    Dimal, samuellaw178, TC and 1 others like this.

  11. #11
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    You already have plenty of good advises here so far. With your requirement, there's no reason for going lever. The Ponte Lusso is a strictly home machine for personal use. Seeing it online can be deceiving, as it seems to have 2 'groups', but those groups are tiny by a huge margin and needs multiple pulls at the lever to coax a reasonable shot volume. Definitely not a entertaining/production machine.

    If you want to entertain 15 people at a time (15 shots quickly), you'll be better off getting a 2 group pump machine. Getting a ex-cafe/catering machine is not a wise idea as more or less they may at their end of life before needing a major servicing. The demand/abuse of commercial setting is unbelievable. You don't want to buy a 'bargain' commercial machine only to find out the next time you're back to the holiday house, some expensive propietary part has gone kaput. The holiday may turn into some frustrating machine-fixing moment. Way too much uncertainty and risk without proper support/servicing behind the purchase. Thus the Rick's machine is not only a bargain but also fits like a glove for your situation. At least the internals and condition are not in a dubious state.

    Unfortunately, there's no easy fix for your requirement, something may have to give. It's more or less a cafe's requirement, unless the 15 coffees are spread over an hour or two(then you can explore into the semi-professional home machine territory). The 30-45 min warm up time is minimum even for some home machine, unless the coffee quality is not a priority. Alternatively you can flush a lot of water to speed up the warm up, but it's not convenient.


    Some things to consider:
    i) Who'll be using the machine?
    ii) What to do with the machine before you leave the holiday house until the next return? Eg: do you need to drain the boiler or are you comfortable with water sitting in the boiler for months?
    iii) Plumbing/Draining
    iv) Water filtration/softening system
    v) Maintenance schedule (even a 'holiday' car will require maintenance eventually)

    Cheers.

    p/s: btw, the Compak K10 recommendation on the other thread is geared towards for personal use. For your purpose proposed here, a electronic doserless grinder like Compak K3 or Macap M4D may be better. Dosered grinder for entertainment can work but it won't be as consistent unless you fill up the doser (lots of stale coffee).
    Last edited by samuellaw178; 20th June 2015 at 05:03 PM.

  12. #12
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    Yes, thank you for that. Have been chatting with the coffee machinist and he has sold the Rancilio unfortunately. No doser ... OK I am used to that.
    Considerations:
    There are 2.5 people in the family that know how to make coffee. I am the .5
    House is in use over every weekend, friday to sunday most weeks no long gaps. I'll figure out if boiler needs to be drained or not when I know which machine I'll get.
    Plumbing and electrics, like I said, a non issue.
    Water filtration already installed. We are on rainwater and the pump kicks in when one opens the tap. Drink water is off a 2 element filter and a UV thing to kill the bugs. I can fit a T off the drinking water line rather easily.
    Maintenance schedule ... yes, must approach the coffee shops or restaurant/pub in town. They all have machines and must get someone to services them. I have seen one 2 group Wega and a Nuova Simonelli so far. at least 6 machines in town.

    Thanks again!
    Marc

  13. #13
    TOK
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    Making coffee at home for your family and friends (ie playing the "host") is an entirely different ball game to making coffee profesisonally in a cafe where they give you money, and you are the slave to the machine and have to work it continuously to make coffee eafter coffee.

    Playing host at home gives you oodles more time to make a similar number of coffees. Interacting with your family or guests, mixing it up, getting them stuff in the kitchen, means coffees can and do, roll out much more slowly. They dont all want or need their coffee at once and they will wait... And of course the machine doesnt roll out the coffees, you do ie its you that is in control of the speed of operation.

    As such, a 2 group machine is still, frankly overkill. A multigroup machine lends itself to the management and fast use required in a cafe. Not required in a home situation, where a 1 group semi commercial (with goos sized drip tray) will be perfectly adequate to the task.....or where a "compact" or normal sized 1 group commercial would be as far as I would go.

    A water connection is a good help when rolling off several coffees, however it is the drain connection that is more important when rolling off several coffees.

    Seriously.....approaching coffee shops and restaurants wont get you any useful help. They are professional food service operators, not equipment specialists that can advise you on the specifics of your requirements, and buying used, especially cheap (which means they have reached the end of their useful life in that environment) large catering equipment is not for the faint hearted.

    Hope that helps.
    coffee_machinist likes this.

  14. #14
    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Hi Marc

    I have a PV 2 group machine at my farm and at home a 1 group Bezera Domus Galea and a La Pavoni Lever. I can serve 15 people from the Galatea as I can quickly load, pour and dump and it will keep up with my speed. The PV 2 group limitation is twofold: 1. It has no antivac so if need to wait till the pressure has dropped or very very carefully crack open the group to allow the pressure to escape. Too fast and you will have wet coffee puck and water everywhere. 2. It has a 48 mm basket so gives a small shot volume. The entire shot is needed for one cup. On the full 58 mm portfilter you can use the two spouts to deliver enough for two cups.

    The upshot is that a prosumer 58 mm PF machine with pump will enable you to serve a dozen to 15 persons. The PV 2group Lusso will not be able to do anywhere near that number (by more than a fact of two).

    As a personal machine for you and immediate family the PV Lusso 2 would be fine. I have mine for 3 years or so and have had no problems at all. Its nice but for guests you need to consider the good advice in the previous posts. And chat with a CS sponsor. They have good advice and maybe a machine in your budget. .

    Mike



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