Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    My budget setup is doing what it was designed to do. Get me decent coffee at 2am and confirm that a largish investment on home espresso would be worthwhile for me in the longterm. Ill be 40 this year and have decided a special bday present is in order. Im now willing to go to $2k for a lovely machine (not including grinder).

    I have my heart set on a lever machine for many reasons and am willing to learn to use it properly. To be honest i love the simplicity of the europic, both aesthetically and functionally. But many moons ago the Micro Casa was a swoon moment for me, so I wont rule it out. Ive done a it of research and discovered that the main difference between the two is a spring lever and somewhat higher artistic merit in design and build on the Elektra. But does that mean Ill find it vastly superior to use and drink from than the europic which is half the price?

    Dont get me wrong price is not the driving force, the europic is just appealing to my sensibilities more at this stage but I dont want to be missing something obvious like vastly better coffee or ergonomics from the higher price point. It is a special purchase and I want to be enjoying it not feeling frustrated that I made the wrong choice.

    I know I can go along to a sponsor and see them etc. The thing is I wont be buying until June and hate wasting peoples time when I know my buying decision is so far off. :-/


  • #2
    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

    You raise an interesting question, claraflo.

    I have seen and felt both machines, but did not pull a shot on either.

    The Elektra Micro Casa Leva is a visually impressive machine, and in brass/chrome is quite stunning.
    The La Pavoni does not have the visual look at me of the Elektra, but its a great looking machine. Consider this, I looked  at the La Pavoni along side the Elektra, an Izzo Alex, a Giotto and a few other top quality machines, and the La Pavoni was only outdone by the Elektra. The La Pavoni is not a shrinking violet and will draw the eye (and the jealous glance) of most, but the Elektra is something else.

    Performance wise, I would expect that the Electra may have an edge over the La Pavoni, but some of these edges are pretty narrow. In saying that, the lever crowd tend to believe that a spring lever is the way to go.

    The AUD is high, its the end of summer, and there are more than a handful of sponsors who may be willing to sell you either machine, even if they dont generally keep the machines in stock. The 1k difference may be less than you think (or maybe more !!), but chat to a few sponsors and see how much you can twist their arms.

    My Elektra Micro Casa Semiautomatica is a wonderful piece of engineering, form, design and function. I have been told that buying an Elektra is a decission to consider carefully, as you may become hooked.  :P



    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

      Question:
      "...Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?..."

      Only you can really answer that wrt your own expectations, opinion and personal situation, however
      My opinion:
      No.

      Questions to consider (in my opinion):
      Do you want an ornament or a good coffee machine?
      Do you want a machine that produces good commercial quality brew or are you happy with something else?
      Are you prepared - over time - to pay quite a hefty premium for spare parts and service, or not?
      Do you want a machine that only has the capacity of its boiler (so when it runs down to minimum you shut it off, bleed out remaining steam, open the boiler and refill with water, and wait for it to get going again), or do you want a machine where you simply put cold water in the water reservoir and it will run indefinitely.

      There will be other questions but these are probably the main ones, and they dont just cover the two models in your question, but also lever machines like these VS more "std" machines especially in regard to price comparisons and what they are capable of producing VS amount of effort required etc.

      Hope that helps.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

        You both raise really good points and Im grateful for your insight. What Im hearing is that both those models produce a comparable cup, although the Elecktra perhaps a little more elegantly. Both models have good build quality for their respective prices. However is elegance something Im willing to pay a 100% premium for?

        Ive picked those two models mostly out of familiarity with them. I dont know, what I dont know and its possible theres a more suitable machine out there for me than either of them. My coffee needs in volumetric terms are pretty simple. I drink 3 cups a day, two in the early hours and one just after lunch. I am the sole coffee drinker in my house and hell will probably freeze over before my partner ever drinks it. No matter how beautiful the machine or how good it smells. So being limited by a boiler isnt going to be a huge issue for me.

        Ive started looking at other lever options. I took a look at the Cremina, supposedly the rolls royce of home lever machines. While its undoubtedly a wonderful machine capable of amazing coffees I just cant get excited about it due to its bog standard countertop design. For $3k+ Im expecting something a little more considered and if it looked the business I probably would not find it very difficult to stretch my budget that far. But as it is, thats probably something I might consider 2nd hand but I doubt I would purchase it new.

        Next I started looking at the Lusso. While its not exciting to look at, at least the price doesnt make me baulk. It comes with some very nice features that enable me to overlook its rather drab exterior. Please dont get outraged if you love its look, thats a personal thing I know, Im only talking about my preferences here. While I love beauty, I also love value for money and the Lusso has that in spades.

        So all of this is forcing me to prioritise what it is Im really looking for. Here it is in order of preference....

        1. Good coffee (given decent beans and grinder). Some of those syrupy espresso pours I keep seeing pictured here. The ability to pull a shot that isnt bitter and is full flavoured with buckets of crema.

        2. Ease of use. I dont want to end up with a machine so difficult to use that I never get around to drinking from it. Im prepared for a learning curve but I also need to be able to get drinkables out of it fairly soon, if only for encouragement. It must after-all provide me with my morning cup not long after its bought.

        3. Lifespan. It must have a decent build quality. I dont want to be replacing major components every year. I am a sucker for quality, even if quality costs a lot more. I also need to be able to grow into my machine, become a better barista and not reach the limits of the machine inside of a year. Id like some longevity and the ability to keep learning without needing an upgrade. I dont consider myself much of a barista so I dont think this is a tall order really.

        4. Looks. All other things being equal I would like a machine with a bit of personality. If it came down to two of a similar quality and similar production capabilities Im going to pick the one with the nicest bod, yes I would even pay a bit extra for it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

          claraflo, have you looked at the Bezzera Strega.
          The budget may suffer, and its not 100% quiet (the pump will buzz away for a few seconds), but it may be worth a second look.

          Again, dont be too worried about the retail price .. twist an arm and bargain hard, and most prices become somewhat flexible.

          http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1319882086/100

          Looks pretty funky, too (of course, its no Elektra but it will still draw a wolf whistle or two).

          BB

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

            Ill admit I ruled that one out off hand because I really cant see the point in having a lever and a pump. Is this just a pump machine with a lever design element? In other words not a lever machine at all? Although I suppose a pump isnt the worst thing in the world, I will admit that at 2am even the not very loud pump on my Gaggia sounds intrusive and kind of inconsiderate at that hour. No-ones complained yet but I dont really want someone to have to complain either.

            I will admit its getting hard because once you start talking $2k+ you are in the territory of a lot of reasonable pump machines that make the Elektra look not very good value for money. :-X

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

              the bezzera is definitely a true lever- the pump just adds water to the boiler and pressure for pre-infusion I think- and after that the lever takes over- and I believe there is an option to get it without the pump- though I am not sure if that is yet available.

              Concerning the Elekta and the Pavoni- both will produce great shots. I have not used the Elekta but have used very similar Sama group levers. From my experience the spring will tend to be easier to use and more forgiving. The Pavoni is great if you are already good at making espresso: understand tamping and grinding etc. It takes a little dialing in. Both machine are good for small volume sessions- neither is very good if you need to make more than 2 or maybe 3 drinks in a session as they overheat and need to cool down. But if you are generally only making one or two- they are fantastic- take up little space, are well built and simple to maintain.

              The Elekta is easier to service than the Pavoni as you can remove the piston to change seals by removing to nuts at the top of the group. The Pavoni requires a little more effort but is not too hard either.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

                Ok, thats good to know. The strega is a weird one to me at least although I can see it is beautifully made and I couldnt really put a foot wrong there.

                And would you be interested in talking to me about the Lusso, since you sell it? Ill admit it didnt really float my boat much until I started to google some reviews and watch the YouTube videos. It does have a simple kind of charm and its a relief to know its not actually as large as it appears in photos.

                I am attracted to its features although a little worried about build quality. Do you have any in a showroom I could see in person. I could fly to ADL quite easily for such an expedition.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

                  Originally posted by 465A4747505B415C5B54565A53535050350 link=1330506644/6#6 date=1330582775
                  Both machine are good for small volume sessions- neither is very good if you need to make more than 2 or maybe 3 drinks in a session as they overheat and need to cool down. But if you are generally only making one or two- they are fantastic- take up little space, are well built and simple to maintain.
                  Agreed .. not everybody wants or requires a machine to turn out shot after shot, nor something that includes an abundance of electronics.

                  The Lusso gets some very good feedback from other forum members, and some creative powder coating of the exterior may produce a machine that looks outstanding.
                  BB

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

                    claraflo I dont know where youre based but the other day I saw a PV Lusso at Cosmorex in Canberra.

                    The Lusso is a great little machine - massive steaming power and very dense syrupy shots. The only reason I dont have mine any more is because of upgradeitis.

                    And the Lusso has character in spades. It can also be tweaked, modded (Lacehim managed to put an anti-vac valve on his).

                    And as you say, the Lusso is a bargain in comparison to most other levers. The main qualification about it is that the build quality can be a little dodgy.

                    But Jack at Sorrentina provides excellent after sales service.

                    Sniff

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

                      Yeah Ill agree to that. While the body of the Lusso is not in the same "league" in terms of old style aesthetics as the europiccola and the microhasa, it could be made to look great with a bit of creative art on the body. It has a better capacity than the other two and in my opinion it works better and is easier to manage. Its a more functional machine overall and in my opinion is not just an ornament that makes coffee....

                      It therefore offers in my opinion, much better "value for money" than either of the other two, neither of which I would have except on the mantlepiece (in fact I do have a couple of non functioning europiccolas in my collection) but I could live for a short while with the Lusso which for me represents a bit of fun in coffee making. Essentially, if I was going to have 2 machines at home, I would place a Lusso just for fun, next to one of my Diadema Junior HX machines for when I just want a "no fuss" cup of "real" coffee 

                      Must admit we had been toying with the idea of doing an individual paint job on the Lusso in our showroom!

                      Jack has been a gentleman and not blown his own tune here, but Im happy to give it a push along.

                      Over to you Jack.

                      Attilio
                      very first CS site sponsor.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

                        we lusso owners are a friendly lot too - im sure if you post in the owners thread (http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1265525881) you could find someone in your general area happy to show off their machine to you.

                        and yes, i cant ever see my lusso ever being replaced, i just need a bigger kitchen so i can also fit a big HX in (choice being such a wonderful thing and all)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

                          Thanks for the input on the Lusso. Im still put off by owners describing the build as a bit dodgy. As a birthday present it sounds less than ideal but then the only other choices are over the $3k mark.

                          *Sigh*, this is why avoid shopping at all costs. Just about every choice is a disappointment of some kind. Maybe I should stick with the europic and its frustations. At least its relatively cheap which is
                          some consolation  :

                          I went back and looked at the Strega and cant help feeling they ruined a perfectly good concept by sticking a pump in it. : half the reason for choosing a lever is the lack of a pump. Why this machine requires a pump when other levers find no need for one is just maddening. Apparently the pumpless model needs to be plumbed. Fine if you own your own home.  :-/ so its ruled out definately. My
                          net price point is the Izzo Pompeii at 5.5k.. beautiful machine not sure I want to sink the price of a car on it, and....its huge. :-[

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

                            Id also love a lever and the izzo Pompeii is my cure for upgraditis (galumay and a snob from Adelaide have on)...But If you dont want a ponte vecchio lusso 2 grp (is it about the look or the coffee it produces) why not go the Olympia cremina.. beautiful build and from what Ive heard amazing coffee.. Ask sniffcoffee what he thinks

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Is an Elektra Micro Casa Lever really $1k better than a europiccola?

                              Originally posted by 637B7A707166140 link=1330506644/13#13 date=1330669772
                              Id also love a lever and the izzo Pompeii is my cure for upgraditis (galumay and a snob from Adelaide have on)...But If you dont want a ponte vecchio lusso 2 grp (is it about the look or the coffee it produces)  why not go the Olympia cremina.. beautiful build and from what Ive heard amazing coffee.. Ask sniffcoffee what he thinks
                              Its the form and quality of the build. The most off-putting part is that its only available in Australia in the wide body form. I know its not very big but its still wide enough to be a pain in my kitchen. That 38cm width means it will hog over a third of all my kitchen
                              benchspace and be a PITA right up flush against my sink. I have only one powerpoint in my kitchrn so no choice at all on where to situate the machine. The irony is that if I could get the export model which is tall and skinny we wouldnt even be having this conversation as I would have bought it already. Its got the perfect footprint and I like its appearance enough that it being a lower-end
                              machine with certain limitations wouldnt fuss me at all. But since I hate the form and have no use for two groups at all it would need to be exceptional in function and build to win me over. Word that its not the best build is just another reason not to go there. Id rather pay more and get higher quality.

                              I do understamd the reasons why Jack only wants to import the 2 group model. I agree in terms of value for money its the best of this line and he will probably sell lots of those and hardly only of the export. My situation, is my problem.

                              Budget is not the limiting factor for me. Its quite arbitrary and if I found a machine that knocked my soxs off Id find the money for it. My budget is a function of the perceived trade-offs of each machine choice. Im willing to go lower-end if the compromises arent too bad or there is something that particularly recommends that machine. Although my overall preference with most purchases is to buy once, buy quality.


                              So yes the cremina ( even with its very high price tag is back in the running).

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X