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2-group lever (PV Lusso) vs. HX e61

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  • 2-group lever (PV Lusso) vs. HX e61

    Hi all,

    I'm in the market for a new machine.

    A two group lever like the PV Lusso really appeals to me for the 'artisan' factor (as well as for a whole number of other reasons) but I am wondering how it would compare against a HX e61 machine such as the Isomac Tea, particularly in regards to suitability for parties or larger groups - banging out the occasional half-dozen to a dozen milk-based drinks.

    The machine would be used every morning to make 2-3 coffees, so fast heat-up time is also a plus.

    Being that the PV lusso has two groups one might think this would give it the advantage, but as I understand there is some recovery time for each group as the excess pressure is released, I'm wondering if having two groups merely compensates for this, rather than making it faster than a pump-operated machine.

    Any opinions, experience or abuse appreciated!


  • #2
    Hi Gabe,

    I am in a similar position to you, I currently have a VBM Jnr (HX e61 machine) and am looking to upgrade/change to a lever machine, the PV Lusso being one of the options. My VBM is similar to the Isomac Tea and can easily handle half a dozen coffee's including milk in one sitting.

    I can't really answer your questions about the PV but here is a link to a review on the HB website.

    Ponte Vecchio Lusso Review •

    From the review: "According to 1st-line Equipment's website, the boiler has a 3 liter capacity. In practice, that's enough to make 10 or so double espressos complete with screen clearing flushes and some steaming before having to refill. So the Lusso is capable of handling a small dinner party"


    Last edited by Sully; 7 August 2013, 07:50 PM. Reason: Added quote from link


    • #3
      Hi Gabe,
      I have an e61 type machine and a PVII. The PVII is still pretty new but can turn out 5 espressos and the same amount again milk based drinks on one go - did it easily. As quickly as I made the shots, cleared the portafilter, reground, tamped and locked it back in to the group it was good to go. Temperature was good for all shots (mine was last).

      It's not as polished and nor does it have the aesthetic quality in appearance of the e61 machine. The drip tray is nearly useless and one of the group handles turns to 4 o'clock right out of the box . But, it is of stout build quality an absolute joy to use and above all makes a wonderfully, velvety shot that is different than the e61 machine using the same beans.

      Hope this may be of some assistance.


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies guys.

        Great to hear a comparison from somebody who owns both machines Mariner. Would you say that 5 espressos and 5 milk drinks is the limit for the PVII before the boiler has to be refilled?

        Do you have to actually wait for the machine to cool down before you can refill it? or is there a way to vent the excess pressure off quickly (i.e: via the steam wand)

        I think I can live with the build quality of the PV's not being to the same level as some of the dearer HX machines... the only decider for me is that I could pick up a second hand HX machine for about the same price or even less than what the PV's are going for new...


        • #5
          Not at all. Could have done probably double that volume. Boiler sight glass was still right up with water.

          Love the machine. Great for day to day use or small gatherings - I reckon even with time required for turning the machine off and refilling when you have to use a whole boiler load you don't lose much time - about 10 minutes +/- for a refill and boiler pressure (even less if you were to use water just off the boil).

          The beauty of the machine is that it can pull shots at a quicker rate than any standard HX e61.


          • #6
            Well I think I'm sold... now the hard part, to actually get my hands on one!

            Thanks again.