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Advice on buying a machine!

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  • Advice on buying a machine!

    Hi all!
    I just joined up and would greatly appreciate any advice on a purchase Im considering.

    Ive always appreciated a good coffee but never thought much about it beyond buying supermarket beans (usually), grinding in my low end burr grinder, and then whacking them in the french press, aeropress or moka pot.

    That all changed a few weeks ago when I went to a reception and after dinner we were served little glasses of espresso that smelled and tasted exactly like liquid coffee beans. Mind = blown! I dont know if every espresso tastes like that or what but Ive been researching and reading everything I can to see if I could learn to make something similar one day.

    It seems like I need a machine so Ive found one that I love the look of and it seems to have good reviews - the Ponte Vecchio Lusso with 2 groups. Love the idea of a lever machine for some reason. It is expensive and Im not made of money but I could squeak one into the budget this year  - but is it a mistake? Is there something half the price that will work nearly as well? Can I learn to make coffee on this machine that will blow my mind?

  • #2
    Re: Advice on buying a machine!

    Whoa, first machine a 2 group lever?? Hardcore 8-) It is kind of a strange machine to start on the journey with, but hey, why not! Im sure you wont regret it.

    The Lussos are wonderful machines, very forgiving and easy to work with for a lever group - they will also pull shots for hours without really overheating which is an annoyance for many other domestic lever machines.

    You really do need to consider the grinder though in your budget, as the one you have may or not be suitable for espresso grinding.


    • #3
      Re: Advice on buying a machine!

      Cheers for the reply! Maybe it is weird but when I read about pump vs lever machines for some reason I wanted a lever straight away. Maybe Im a bit of a masochist

      My grinder is a Delonghi KG100 - Im open to getting a better one as I dont think it is very awesome.


      • #4
        Re: Advice on buying a machine!

        Once you go Lever you will never go back!


        • #5
          Re: Advice on buying a machine!

          Ensure you have a decent grinder and good fresh beans (**NOT** supermarket). Without both, the best machine will, at most, make very average coffee.

          I love a good lever machine.



          • #6
            Re: Advice on buying a machine!

            If you dont want to spend too much money with fancy bar-type machines, you could just get one of the cafeteria machines. Cheap to buy and easy to maintain (you just need to rinse them out with water - never ever use washing-up liquid inside them). And hey presto, you will have proper espresso whenever you like it.


            • #7
              Re: Advice on buying a machine!

              You had me going there for a bit wondering what sort of machine they use in a cafeteria that is so cheap and easy to maintain, so just on a technical point....

              I think you meant Cafetiera rather than Cafeteria, but being as that is an Italian word and many wont know what it means, perhaps it may be an idea to note that you probably meant "Cafetiera", which is the Italian term for what we call a stove top or traditional espresso machine.

              Hope that helps.


              • #8
                Re: Advice on buying a machine!

                If lever calls you do not pass go or collect $200, go directly to lever territory. I started with a pump machine but two things called me constantly....vintage and lever. Within one month I bought a lever. While its quite good advice generally to test the waters before making a big purchase I do believe its equally valid to follow your gut where choices are concerned. We are never called to something that doesnt in some way suit us.

                I actually think the PV 2 group to be an excellent starter machine, especially if you want new, as there is not a lot else in that price range lever-wise thats also as versatile. I dont have one of those but only for other reasons Ive already gone over ad-nauseum which have nothing to do with the PV.

                Levers have a bit of mystique about them and they are often accused of being finicky and difficult to use. Often that reputation comes down to some design aspect of an individual machine that people either accept and live with or find
                something else to buy. Same deal with the various pump machines.

                If your budget doesnt stretch that far, there are also vintage options which can be coinsiderably cheaper but require a bit of patience and work on your behalf to hunt down and fix up. If
                youve got the budget why not go for a new option?

                From my own research, if what you are wanting is that old school syrupy shot, then the lever will give it to you as well as classy-ing up your kitchen.

                And since forewarned is forearmed if you type the words vintage and gaggia into the bay you can see where levers can lead.