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Okay, I'm converted...

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  • Okay, I'm converted...

    ... To the lever lifestyle.

    Bear with me for a little bit, I know it's been a while since I last posted on the forums, It's been more a case of I've been quiet because I haven't much to say. However, I would like to say that during the time of my last posting and now, I've gone and gotten myself a "new" Espresso machine. I had hoped for one of those Ponte Veccio Lussos, But I wasn't entirely sure I would have really found the point to having two groups all that appealing, as usually, there's Me, and Me, who is having the coffee. I kept on intending to call the importer to see if they had any of the single groups available, but well, It just never happened.

    However, This has now changed. I've stumbled over a little internet/ebay find, Tis an earlyish (mid sixties, as far as I can guestimate by the low-ish serial number) Arin Lever. What's an Arin Lever I hear you ask? Simple, it's just one of the many small home lever machines that were around in the sixties that had an open boiler and used gravity feed rather then pressurisation to drive the infusion. It's rather uncommon on the internet however, Much searching doesn't seem to have brought up much in the way of the internet apart from Arin and a couple of posts on other coffee forums.

    While it's small, and realitively lightweight, I have to comment on one thing. MY GODS it produces good coffee... Like, Seriously, I've not quite gotten to the level of making a "good" cup with it, but the shots I've managed to get from it, Well, Lets just say it blows my pump Sunbeam outta the water when it comes to coffee.

    The only downside? It's a non-pressurised system, so it's kinda a Shot-Only system, but that's okay, I can keep my sunbeam there for the frothing of the milk, and the Arin can be doing duty for the espresso shots.

    Might consider wiring in a thermostat and/or a switch of some sort though, I've come close to having boilovers happen because of the open heated group.

    Anyway, I'm curious, Has anyone else played with one of these strange little Lever Machines, or is it one of the odd few in Australia?

    (Sorry if this is in the wrong spot, I sorta arbiterilly posted it here because, well, it's an all brass boiler/portafilter setup, which places it above the level of 'entry level' but it's nowhere near as highly priced (or complex) as some of the other units out there.)
    Last edited by LaughingAtFate; 1 December 2012, 12:04 AM.

  • #2
    Dunno. I'm interested in levers as well but this looks more to be a collector's item rather than a daily use machine. I wonder how heat-stable an instantaneous hot water delivery would be? The fact that you can still find them after nearly 50 years either means they are fantastically well built or were bought and then not used much. The article doesn't talk about how good a brew it makes but happy to hear you are getting good results.
    You could ask Jack Sorrentina. This is his realm


    • #3
      Pics, must have more pics!! Could we see a shot

      Gorgeous looking machine mate.



      • #4
        Heat stable? it's pretty heat stable, You can only get it up to 100 degrees, and that's about as stable as you'd ever need, I've resorted to poking a Frothing Thermometer down the open hole behind the lever, Just to get an indication of where the temp is at any one time (thinking about making a small switch-box/PID type arrangement that I could use to regulate the temp, but that might be too much arsing about when if I turn it off after it reaches the temperature period. I think the design seems to be rather well built, There doesn't appear to be much in the way of wear in various places. Like I said, the boiler and portafilter are either solid brass, or Heavy duty stainless steel (Guessing it might be stainless, as it's listed as being 'inox 18/8' on the front) Daily use, it doesn't seem to be all that horrid actually, It's a God-Shot seeker, Not built for cappuchinos and the like.

        Boiler's only 300-400ml, So it takes a shortish while to warm up, but that's entirely dependant on the heat of the water you put in there, I'll upload a video later and show a bit of a run-down and shot of this machine and my muffshot so you guys can see how small and how petite this thing is.
        and also the action of it, and my horrible horrible accent!


        • #5
          Okay, Here we go, a linkylink to my blatheringly terrible unscripted Review of the Lever, Arin Inox 18/8 Lever Espresso Machine - YouTube.

          Still not quite there with the shots, They aren't undrinkable, Despite being somewhat scummy on the top and little to no crema, I suspect it could just be crud on the showerscreen that is causing it though... Need to perhaps do a full stripdown and re-fit of everything to make sure however.


          • #6
            Very cute little machine, need some blingy high res pics

            Are you planning to just gravity feed some backflush solution through it? Anything in the path which might deteriorate?


            • #7
              Ran several doses of Backflush solution through the system, as far as I can work out, It really is a very very simple machine, There's only two rubber seals (an o-ring on the piston, and another for the group seal) the Shower screen is friction fit against the base of the Piston, and is held in place by the portafilter, The Shower screen is remarkably simple as well, is just a fine brass Mesh held up by a stainless 'cup' with holes in it to let the water escape

              In short, all I've done to improve stuff, is to disassemble the two bolts holding the portafilter lugs on, undid the three screws that held the lever and piston in place, Lifted the piston assembly off, Washed the end of the piston clean and wiped it down as best as I could to get some gunk off there (I think it could have been some sort of grease) Pushed down on the shower-screen til it popped out, Dumped it, the brass mesh, and the portafilter and basket into the backflush mix, and let it simmer for a little while, Then reassembled... Water's coming out clean, and smooth and I'm even started to get a bit more smoother action on the lever's sealing

              I did notice something, when taking photographs for this post, That I've got a cracked shower screen, Guess I'll have to braze that crack closed, or something, Otherwise, I guess it's all good overall, To take apart, You only really need two tools, a Screwdriver, and a small shifter, at least, That's what I used to pull it apart, Everything's just bolted on, or press-fit.

              Anyway, Have some photos
              Attached Files


              • #8
                And a couple of others, Just to finish up the set, The boiler, when absolutely full, contains about 300-400ml, Depending on how much you wanna risk getting a boilover, However, the piston inlet starts above the level of the majority of the heater element, So you can't boil it dry if you've pulled so many shots you're not getting water into the piston, It Really is very well designed for what is, essentially a simple unit
                Attached Files