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Singing the praise of the Lever!

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  • Singing the praise of the Lever!

    Just thought I would post an update after a couple of months of ownership of the mighty lever, aka the Izzo Pompeii Lever single group, purchased from Chris at Talk Coffee.

    This machine has me in awe, and so, so grateful that I was not steered away from the path of a commercial spring lever machine in favour of a more complicated option.

    I am really starting to wonder whether we have been mislead by manufacturers creating a market for increasingly complex and more automated machines, when in fact the original design of the spring lever is easier to get god shots from, much more consistent in the shots it does produce and finally so much less mess to deal with!

    My old machine, a Bezzera BZ35e was no slouch in the coffee machine world, a commercial HX machine which was certainly capable of making great coffee.

    Its the fact that the Izzo just pumps out shot after shot without any flushing, adjusting, noise, mess or any fuss. They are wonderful shots with great, sustaining crema, beautiful mouth feel and lasting flavour that has me licking my lips 20 minutes later!

    There is no mess from grounds on the shower screen or round the group, the puck drops out into the knock box with the portafilter only needing a wipe, the WAF is massive, she can churn out great shots, and she definitely appreciates the lack of mess!

    No routine of back flushing on a weekly basis either, a task I dont miss!

    If I am just making a coffee for myself I use the Pharos manual grinder, and I believe I can taste the difference with the big commercial conical burr - probably should arrange a blind testing to confirm that! My old La San Marco flat burr still seems well and truly up to the task, there is just a bit more separation of flavours with the conical IMO.

    While I understand that the Izzo Pompeii is a serious step up in price from most high end consumer or commercial machines, I am constantly amazed at how much better it is, I am sure that some of the lower priced levers like the various Bezzera models, would perform just as well and if any one is considering dabbling with a lever then just do it!

    As I say I have a suspicion we have been conned all along and perhaps simpler really is better!

    Finally I would just like to restate my thanks to Chris, it was his balanced feedback that helped me narrow the choice down to the point where I was happy to part with rather a large wad of cash for one of these amazing machines, if it had not been for him i may well have missed out on my epiphany!

  • #2
    Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

    agree in every aspect, been using levers as our main workshop machine for years now and i just think the taste profile is much better through them and i think it has a lot to do with the pressure profile from pre-infusion to final infusion that makes the difference.
    congrats on such a good post

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

      ;D

      I was just today marvelling at the number of "levers are so much better than pump" threads on another coffee forum ;D

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      • #4
        Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

        Originally posted by 3335382139352D540 link=1307520293/0#0 date=1307520293
        As I say I have a suspicion we have been conned all along and perhaps simpler really is better!
        I was just thinking about another aspect of this. Presumably with those really deep, no mess baskets you dont use any of the complicated, messy and (at least seemingly) anal levelling techniques ... and still get one of those apparently skyhook sourced coffees .

        Admittedly I dont have a machine in even remotely the same league as yours, but I have yet to see any compelling evidence that a consistent fill, tap to settle, top up, tap and the tamp routine is not just as good in puck, pour and taste ... and I suspect you agree? (and you wouldnt need the top up step)

        Now that I think about it I suspect that is probably a long discussed can of worms but I would still be interested in your perspective.

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        • #5
          Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

          Originally posted by 0D0313020C150513600 link=1307520293/3#3 date=1307665992
          I was just thinking about another aspect of this. Presumably with those really deep, no mess baskets you dont use any of the complicated, messy and (at least seemingly) anal levelling techniques ... and still get one of those apparently skyhook sourced coffees .

          Admittedly I dont have a machine in even remotely the same league as yours, but I have yet to see any compelling evidence that a consistent fill, tap to settle, top up, tap and the tamp routine is not just as good in puck, pour and taste ... and I suspect you agree? (and you wouldnt need the top up step)

          Now that I think about it I suspect that is probably a long discussed can of worms but I would still be interested in your perspective.
          Yep, had to forget about any levelling with those buckets! My 14.5g dose sits way down there. A gentle tamp is the extent of the preparation.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

            I love my Pompeii too...

            So much so that I am seriously considering selling my one group Pompeii and the Faema and replacing both with a 2 group Pompeii

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            • #7
              Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

              Not without consulting me about buying one of them first! :P

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              • #8
                Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

                ;D Well have to talk Dean 

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                • #9
                  Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

                  Originally posted by 04313C3B0F133F36363535500 link=1307520293/5#5 date=1307683845
                  So much so that I am seriously considering selling my one group Pompeii and the Faema and replacing both with a 2 group Pompeii
                  What is the price difference between a one and two group Izzo Pompei?
                  If you have the room, it certainly makes it easier when entertaining.
                  Can these machines be plumbed in?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

                    Cant answer the price questions, but they are designed to be plumbed in and have no tank on board.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

                      Yes- they have to be plumbed.

                      Off the top of my head, I think it may be circa $1.2-1.5k but can check if youre serious. :-/

                      They are one BIG machine to have as a 2 group at home....circa 90cm wide, 55 deep and 60cm high (not inc. the extra height of the lever).

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                      • #12
                        Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

                        Thanks for the feedback. I prefer to plumb my machines in.
                        90cm is too wide, I could live with 60cm.
                        How does the Pompeii lever compare with other lever machines like the vintage Faema? In regards to build quality and the ability to produce great coffee.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

                          Originally posted by 093C3136021E323B3B38385D0 link=1307520293/5#5 date=1307683845
                          So much so that I am seriously considering selling my one group Pompeii and the Faema and replacing both with a 2 group Pompeii
                          Noooo, not the Faema...............please not the Faema

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

                            Originally posted by 6D6A7F707D1E0 link=1307520293/11#11 date=1307782838
                            How does the Pompeii lever compare with other lever machines
                            Compared to the other modern (70s and newer) commercial levers I own or have used consider them battleship tough. Personally I think the shots from the 55mm Izzo groups are a touch better across the board than the 58mm ones I have or have tried, including a KVW.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Singing the praise of the Lever!

                              The more I read about this machine the more I need to off load my Duetto, but I dont know if my electric bill or conscience could handle heating such a large boiler for 2 coffees.

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