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Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

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  • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

    Nice little review-

    two points:

    the hot water- it does blast out. But if you just sit the cup in position (dont hold it) and open the valve it is not a problem and works nicely. The water blasts straight into the cup and does not splash out.  I do it all the time to make long blacks.

    second-the baskets. The design does not suit bashing out the puck in the traditional manner. The flat sides of the basket and the weakness of the retaining spring make bashing the puck annoying and messy. What I do instead (after 3 years of use) is remove the basket and extricate the puck with the back of a teaspoon or similar. You stab it and scrape most of the coffee out with a swirl before knocking the basket to remove the remnants. After a while it is not as annoying as it sounds: routine.

    Another idea with the PFs is to go naked and have the base cut off. I have just done this with mine. I have realised that you should remove the entire base, leaving just a collar that ends above the base of the double basket.  Otherwise  the coffee will  flow to the edges of the basket and touch the edges of the pf- producing an uneven flow.

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    • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

      My Lusso has arrived, safe and sound,  as far as I know, first one in Tassie. 
      All appears to be working as it should. Still working on dose amounts and grind size, but my third attempt was quite good.
      Agree steam is good. I have found, so far, that the hot water tap has some progressive action if opened carefully, and water does not come out too fast, although I can see how it could.

      One question I do have, regarding removing the tap handles, do they just pull off, I cant see any retaining screws in mine?  I have some Insulbrite material to insulate the boiler with, and the job would be easier and neater with the cover removed.

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      • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

        Hi Bullitt,

        You have to unscrew them from the body of the boiler itself. If you check out page three http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1265525881/100 of this thread youll see some pics I posted with a bit of a description of how to do it (about half way down). The black plastic cover underneath the cup warming tray has to come out, but apart from that its pretty straight forward.

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        • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

          Hi all

          When I got my Lusso quite a while ago the baskets also fell out of the portafilters. Just carefully remove the spring and holding it with some pliers carefully give it a bend so you have a bit wider "flat" that protrudes a bit more. That will hold the baskets in and you can knock out the pucks as normal.

          I have been using cotton buds to wipe the upper, inner groove of the portafilter holder. They get a bit more crap out than a flush.

          Mike

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          • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

            Ashs description is the best out there. The hot water taps have little caps covering the screw that are near impossible to see- the edges are seamless and it is easy to believe that the taps are a solid piece of plastic. It seems the best way to remove the disks is to drill a little hole in the center, and use a tool to pry it out.

            I insulated the boiler on a Sama I restored and it did result in very slight power savings and slower element recycling. It is probably a good idea in the long term to shield the electronics and other parts from the heat of the boiler as much as possible.

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            • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

              Thanks Ash and Jack, for the info about removing the tap handles.  There has been some evolution and things have improved a bit since some of the reviews were written.

              One other question/comment I meant to include in my previous post was about the water level gage.
              I am finding it difficult to actually see the water level on mine, is anybody else?  Is fine if I shine a torch at it. Not sure if its to do with the lighting in our kitchen or the relative position of the sight-glass in the machine.  Have thought about putting something white immediately behind the sight-glass to help with seeing the water level, will try something on the weekend when I install the boiler insulation, and report back.

              Apart from that, this morning I had a fantastic picolo latte from the double basket with about 15g crammed into it, and 1.5 pulls.

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              • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

                Bullitt - me too with regards to at times needing a torch to see the water level gauge, depending on time of day and light in kitchen

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                • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

                  actually I had another buyer worried about not being able to see the water level. Since then I have looked at mine closer- I do think it is a matter of the light where the machine is positioned. On mine I can generally see it- sometimes I have to stoop a little.

                  I do remember at my old house I had it in a darker room and it was at times hard to see.

                  It would be great if there was a little LED in there... wouldnt be too hard for someone with the nous to wire one in...

                  Even a white or silver reflector of some sort will help quite a bit I think...

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                  • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

                    Originally posted by 4B574A4A5D564C5156595B575E5E5D5D380 link=1265525881/232#232 date=1315464647

                    It would be great if there was a little LED in there... wouldnt be too hard for someone with the nous to wire one in...
                    I too had thought that a LED could be a good idea, but would need some help to put one in, and while I have friends who are qualified to work it out, not sure if I still owe them favours first....
                    On a different note, I did try some white paper behind the sight-glass, (and it is very fiddly to get it in there), it does seem to make a small improvement,...an LED would be better.

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                    • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

                      Originally posted by 7F4851515449493D0 link=1265525881/233#233 date=1315479656
                      too had thought that a LED could be a good idea
                      You have got to try it the LED on the BES900 is a really good feature (which I thought was a gemic) and really works I have not been reminded by the machine to fill yet

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                      • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine


                        So I measured my dose the other day...

                        Through a combination of serious whacking and light tamping Im packing around 16grams of coffee into my double basket...

                        ...and Im only taking 30mls out of that...

                        ...so my question is...am I really making a ristretto on my Lusso? :-? :-? :-? :-?

                        Sniff

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                        • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

                          Originally posted by 293528283F342E33343B39353C3C3F3F5A0 link=1265525881/232#232 date=1315464647
                          - I do think it is a matter of the light where the machine is positioned. On mine I can generally see it- sometimes I have to stoop a little.

                          I do remember at my old house I had it in a darker room and it was at times hard to see.

                          Even a white or silver reflector of some sort will help quite a bit I think...
                          I have installed a shiny aluminum reflector behind the sight-glass and IT WORKS.  I found some old aluminum sheet at work, about 35mm wide and 0.5mm thick, cut it to about 48mm long and bent it around a piece of wooden dowel, then around a steel socket extender out of my 1/2" drive set, finished up with a nice curved reflector that is a neat push in fit  behind and around the sight-glass.
                          I can now see the water level without needing any extra light.

                          On another note, while I had the cover off, I spent a lot more time fitting some layers of insulbrite material around the boiler to insulate the boiler.  Is quite fiddly to get it around all the fittings, but worth the effort I think.
                          I understand it will help prolong the life of the electronics.  Additionally there should be a small power saving, after a suitable warm up time, (before the insulation was installed I measured element "on" for about 2 to 2.5 sec and off for about 14 sec, compared to with insulation, element off time is now closer to 20 sec).  Note the cup warmer tray doesnt get quite as hot, but does still warm up.   

                          Finally, when flushing the groups after use, it seems to me that the left hand group has more volume and pressure than the right hand group, with handles fully down, is this something that any other users have noticed? Does it matter as it is only the boiler pressure pushing the water? As far as I can tell both groups are brewing about the same....and am getting some nice shots out of my Lusso.

                          Comment


                          • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

                            it seems to me that the left hand group has more volume and pressure than the right hand group, with handles fully down
                            This may have something to do with the orientation of the element? :-?

                            Comment


                            • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

                              Originally posted by 7C4B5252574A4A3E0 link=1265525881/236#236 date=1315645168
                              I have installed a shiny aluminum reflector behind the sight-glass and IT WORKS. I found some old aluminum sheet at work, about 35mm wide and 0.5mm thick, cut it to about 48mm long and bent it around a piece of wooden dowel, then around a steel socket extender out of my 1/2" drive set, finished up with a nice curved reflector that is a neat push in fit behind and around the sight-glass.
                              I can now see the water level without needing any extra light.

                              On another note, while I had the cover off, I spent a lot more time fitting some layers of insulbrite material around the boiler to insulate the boiler. Is quite fiddly to get it around all the fittings, but worth the effort I think.
                              I understand it will help prolong the life of the electronics. Additionally there should be a small power saving, after a suitable warm up time, (before the insulation was installed I measured element "on" for about 2 to 2.5 sec and off for about 14 sec, compared to with insulation, element off time is now closer to 20 sec). Note the cup warmer tray doesnt get quite as hot, but does still warm up.

                              Finally, when flushing the groups after use, it seems to me that the left hand group has more volume and pressure than the right hand group, with handles fully down, is this something that any other users have noticed? Does it matter as it is only the boiler pressure pushing the water? As far as I can tell both groups are brewing about the same....and am getting some nice shots out of my Lusso.

                              Any piccies of your ally part and your insulation? I would like to do that myself. How did you find getting the case off? I found mine to be a PITA to get back on because it didnt quite fit back onto the stainless front panel without lots of swearing and cursing. :

                              Had a kiddies party yesterday, made approx 12-14 milkbased drinks on one fill of water. Everyone loved the coffee too! This machine steams like crazy, Ive opened the steam valve and the pressure hasnt dropped below 1bar, even after discharging steam for over 1min.

                              Anyone working on the antivac boiler fill extension idea?

                              Comment


                              • Re: Ponte Vecchio Lusso Club Spring Lever espresso machine

                                Originally posted by 183537313C3D39540 link=1265525881/238#238 date=1315697464


                                Any piccies of your ally part and your insulation?  I would like to do that myself.  How did you find getting the case off?  I found mine to be a PITA to get back on because it didnt quite fit back onto the stainless front panel without lots of swearing and cursing.   :

                                Anyone working on the antivac boiler fill extension idea?
                                1. Boiler Insulation is covered in detail in following thread, http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1258726137 (IF link doesnt seem to work, look in "Brewing Equipment - Non machine specific, Important topics, Boiler Insulation & noise dampening")
                                It covers everything you need to know, including pictures.  Biggest difference with the Lusso is that its quite difficult to get 3 layers of the insulbrite completely around the boiler, but I do have 3 layers over the top half, and 2 layers completely around the boiler.  I have 2 layers over each end, cut the ends out with tabs that just push up under the long side insulation, as also explained in the above link, and hold it all together with cable ties.

                                2. Will see what I can do about pics of the reflector behind the  sight glass, and a shot of the insulated boiler.

                                3. Yeah getting the case off, and back on the front stainless panel is a bit fiddly.  Thankfully I dont expect to be taking the case off very often.

                                4. Now just waiting for my bottomless pf that is on its way from Jack.

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