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Commercial Lever machine La Pavoni Bar T 2L/3L - Pros & Cons

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  • Commercial Lever machine La Pavoni Bar T 2L/3L - Pros & Cons

    Hello, everyone (trying my luck here)


    I'm looking at setting up a cafe and I love the lever machine looks and appeal however I have yet to have any experience with a lever machine.
    I've worked with a Rocket Linea Professionale, LaMarzocco Linea EE & GB5 and Nuova Simonelli Aurelia 2 which are all semis. I am curious if the steaming/frothing parts are the same for lever and semis? Can someone share their experience of using a commercial lever at a low-mid sized cafe (10-20 customer per hour)? Do lever machines has HX & DB setup?

  • #2
    I think steaming will be your last concern. It is no different than any other commercial machine and should have plenty of steam. Most of the commercial levers are either HX or a dipper(drawing brew water from boiler) system. There's no double boiler.

    Operating a lever, especially in a commercial setting, is more challenging. There is no 3-way-valve on the lever group. This means if you get the grind or dosing wrong, you have to wait for the lever to do its thing to fully depressurize before removing the PF. It also means it is better logistically to get more groups than lesser.

    Another concern would be the operation of lever. If someone let go (or had his hand-slipped) of the lever without coffee resistance in place, whether intentionally or accidentally, the lever will snap into its top position without any hesitation. This will cause either OHS consequences or is very damaging the group lever itself. You have to make sure that only those fully trained are allowed to 'touch' the machine.

    Levers sure are charming but not without additional risk. It's up to you to decide whether it's worth it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the explanations. Will take note on the additional group head and OHS.

      Are there any other disadvantages compared to semis apart of the lack of 3 way valve?

      Comment


      • #4
        There is another one but it's minor compared to the above. Obviously your barista needs to pull the lever, wait for the preinfusion and let go of the lever. Once the extraction is done, he needs to pull the cup away manually since it is not volumetric (otherwise the shot will taste overextract). More time consuming and knowledge needed vs pressing a button. In a commercial setting, especially in a rush, those extra few seconds here and there could mean a lot.

        Other than that, I can't offer any more as I can't think of any more disadvantages.

        I'm a lever fan myself and have a single group commercial lever as my home machine (along with some other home levers in the past). I do work part time in a cafe(not specialty cafe) as a barista that gets rush moment sometimes so I do know a bit of the workflow in a commercial setting. Hope that helps.

        Comment


        • #5
          I see, that definitely helps! Well, I won't be getting a super crowd hence I think a 3 group head will pretty much solve the 2 issues you've mentioned.

          Are you using a La Pavoni too?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KLcoffeeaddict View Post
            I see, that definitely helps! Well, I won't be getting a super crowd hence I think a 3 group head will pretty much solve the 2 issues you've mentioned.

            Are you using a La Pavoni too?
            Pavoni was one of them. I've also had Cremina, Faema Baby, La Peppina, Arrarex Caravel and then some manual devices like Rossa PG and Rossa HC. Had a Minipresso but let's forget that(it's more of a toy compared to others).

            Currently I'm using a vintage lever (Brugnetti Aurora) and Espresso Forge - both manual devices.
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi

              * Will your customers be able to taste any difference between a commercial HX machine and the commercial lever? *
              Given that it will take you longer to pull a shot will you be charging them more for that "lever taste" :-) Not likely. From a practical point of view why would you use a lever machine in a commercial setting?

              If you expect to have just 10 - 20 customers then you have to setup to be able to cater for 20 i.e. the maximum that you expect. You wont get 20 customs per hour uniformly - a few will arrive all at once, Maybe 6? You can by your self run a two or three lever machine so should be able to do 3 customers over a minute or so but you will be very busy. Who is running the till?

              Mike

              Comment


              • #8
                samuellaw178

                Wow,nice....btw,i'm a little confused with the manual and spring description,i assume most commercial machines are spring piston? If it's manual piston, I would definitely have to think twice,hahahaha

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by speleomike View Post
                  Hi

                  * Will your customers be able to taste any difference between a commercial HX machine and the commercial lever? *
                  Given that it will take you longer to pull a shot will you be charging them more for that "lever taste" :-) Not likely. From a practical point of view why would you use a lever machine in a commercial setting?

                  If you expect to have just 10 - 20 customers then you have to setup to be able to cater for 20 i.e. the maximum that you expect. You wont get 20 customs per hour uniformly - a few will arrive all at once, Maybe 6? You can by your self run a two or three lever machine so should be able to do 3 customers over a minute or so but you will be very busy. Who is running the till?

                  Mike
                  The decision of getting a lever machine is solely mine, I'm attracted at it's aesthetics and "man & machine" factor. It's also another "wow" factor to set my cafe apart from the others. (Definitely won't be charging them for that,pricing will pretty much follow the standard where I am)

                  I was thinking the same as well. At the moment, the operation setup will be a 2-3 person crew including me which I think is sufficient.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KLcoffeeaddict View Post
                    samuellaw178

                    Wow,nice....btw,i'm a little confused with the manual and spring description,i assume most commercial machines are spring piston? If it's manual piston, I would definitely have to think twice,hahahaha
                    You're right, that is probably a confusion that is best put in the right context. For me, anything that is not pump-driven is considered manual. To me, manual machines include spring-driven levers because you need to manually pull the lever - the spring is just a mean to store your energy and exert on the coffee when released. Some people may classify them differently though!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Whilst a lever will be a little slower, don't be discouraged. If you add an extra group to what you think you need, you will be fine.

                      We've had two now at the warehouse and for me, there is no turning back. I love what they do in the cup and their simplicity in service as well.

                      We went with a PID Izzo Valchiria and I have no regrets. The PID offers terrific temperature tweakability.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Chris

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm with you KLcoffeeaddict. I love the look of a good commercial lever machine.

                        I love lever machines since I saw a little Cafe open near my work called "La Moka" in Adelaide. Its been my local ever since making really nice, strong Italian coffee.

                        I don't have any experience with levers but they run a 3 group San Marco Leva with relative ease. The seem to just pull the handle down and up and let the spring handle the rest where the water stops automatically. They handle very busy traffic with one person on the groups and another on the steam wand quite easily.

                        Here is some pics of their beautiful machine with wooden handles. Lunch review: La Moka - CityMag

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          +1 to Chris' post #11.

                          If you want a lever machine..... go for it. Still a very popular coffee machine type in Southern Italy,

                          so they are no stranger to the commercial environment. You just need to establish an MO specific to

                          it's operation as well as developing good technique.

                          I have a San Marco lever group planted on to my Alex Leva. I will probably never sell it.

                          The 55mm SM lever group rocks.

                          But.... like any other piece of coffee kit, just having a lever on your bench doesn't guarantee the results.

                          That's still up to the mug holding the handle.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Klcoffeeaddict I think it is a good differentiating point to have a lever. I suppose depending on your other decor it will either send out a retro Italian espresso bar feel, or a hipster vibe? While we can be all utilitarian about these little seemingly unimportant choices, I guess they matter. Why else would there be bicycles on every second cafe wall in Surry Hills!? There must be some return on equity on those fixies.

                            I remember hunting around Melbourne Cbd for a coffee once, and a bakery on Little Collins St where I saw a lever sitting on the bench ultimately drew me in. Mind you they didn't use the lever, it just sat there looking pretty while two baristas worked the peak hour rush on another machine!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by samuellaw178 View Post
                              You're right, that is probably a confusion that is best put in the right context. For me, anything that is not pump-driven is considered manual. To me, manual machines include spring-driven levers because you need to manually pull the lever - the spring is just a mean to store your energy and exert on the coffee when released. Some people may classify them differently though!
                              Noted,hahahaha

                              Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                              Whilst a lever will be a little slower, don't be discouraged. If you add an extra group to what you think you need, you will be fine.

                              We've had two now at the warehouse and for me, there is no turning back. I love what they do in the cup and their simplicity in service as well.

                              We went with a PID Izzo Valchiria and I have no regrets. The PID offers terrific temperature tweakability.

                              [ATTACH=CONFIG]10231[/ATTACH]

                              Chris
                              Oh...will you recommend to get a PID installed on the Pavoni?

                              Originally posted by mrvautin View Post
                              I'm with you KLcoffeeaddict. I love the look of a good commercial lever machine.

                              I love lever machines since I saw a little Cafe open near my work called "La Moka" in Adelaide. Its been my local ever since making really nice, strong Italian coffee.

                              I don't have any experience with levers but they run a 3 group San Marco Leva with relative ease. The seem to just pull the handle down and up and let the spring handle the rest where the water stops automatically. They handle very busy traffic with one person on the groups and another on the steam wand quite easily.

                              Here is some pics of their beautiful machine with wooden handles. Lunch review: La Moka - CityMag
                              Wow,thanks for the tips! Their wooden handles are gorgeous!

                              Originally posted by chokkidog View Post
                              +1 to Chris' post #11.

                              If you want a lever machine..... go for it. Still a very popular coffee machine type in Southern Italy,

                              so they are no stranger to the commercial environment. You just need to establish an MO specific to

                              it's operation as well as developing good technique.

                              I have a San Marco lever group planted on to my Alex Leva. I will probably never sell it.

                              The 55mm SM lever group rocks.

                              But.... like any other piece of coffee kit, just having a lever on your bench doesn't guarantee the results.

                              That's still up to the mug holding the handle.
                              Hahahaha, ikr, i foresee a few months of re-learning what I know of "pulling" a shot

                              Originally posted by pyrmontboy200 View Post
                              Klcoffeeaddict I think it is a good differentiating point to have a lever. I suppose depending on your other decor it will either send out a retro Italian espresso bar feel, or a hipster vibe? While we can be all utilitarian about these little seemingly unimportant choices, I guess they matter. Why else would there be bicycles on every second cafe wall in Surry Hills!? There must be some return on equity on those fixies.

                              I remember hunting around Melbourne Cbd for a coffee once, and a bakery on Little Collins St where I saw a lever sitting on the bench ultimately drew me in. Mind you they didn't use the lever, it just sat there looking pretty while two baristas worked the peak hour rush on another machine!
                              I'm running along the retro and hipster-ish line. (Don't know how but I am looking around for lotsa ideas). Well,I definitely can't afford to have it just sitting around doing nothin. It has to earn its keep,ahahahaha. Maybe,just maybe,if business expands,I'll be looking at Idrocompresso...but they have stopped taking orders....

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