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!!!WITHDRAWN!!! - FS: Brugnetti Aurora HX Lever 1980s - Melbourne

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  • !!!WITHDRAWN!!! - FS: Brugnetti Aurora HX Lever 1980s - Melbourne

    Hi all,

    I thought upgraditis is a thing of the past after I've found myself a commercial vintage lever machine like the Brugnetti Aurora. However, we snobs probably know how well that story goes....

    Anyhow, I am putting my Brugnetti Aurora up - if anyone gets it off me(and the Robur-E) then I get the pass to 'upgrade' (more like a side/downgrade to be honest).

    A bit about the machine in general - Brugnetti Aurora HX lever is a one of the few single group levers that has a true heat exchanger from the old days. Why HX on a lever? You can read some from this : Clevis to Lever - further explorations in Espresso Space -

    Fresh brew water from water line - not from boiler
    In my own understanding and day-to-day use, the HX system is really the heart to this lever and why the Aurora is so unique & good. The first and most important reason is the brew water is flash heated (no boiler water) from the water line. If you're sensitive to water 'flavor', you wil probablyl get what I mean immediately. Water sitting in a big boiler is especially a common concern in a low-volume domestic setting (for machines which draws from a big boiler).

    Better shot quality
    Secondly, HX config allows preinfusing at line pressure and that itself gives a lot more flexibility. The higher preinfusion pressure allows the use of finer grind and more thorough preinfusion (soaking the puck). In practical term, it allows to pull a higher dose (18-20g) as often recommended by third wave coffee roasters and still pull a full double (higher shot volume compared to boiler-preinfused). If you followed Londinium's evolution, this water-line-pressure preinfusion seems to be the key why the shots are so much better (better body/crema) on Londinium 1-P than the L1.

    Consistent temperature with no (elaborated) flush routine
    The secondary result of the HX engineering is the temperature is quite consistent once warmed up and there isn't really a need for elaborated flush routine, unlike conventional HX. You can do whatever flush routine that suits your personality/habit (just to clean the screen, and within a reasonable volume - as long as it's not super long flush), or even no flush, and it won't impact the brew temp negatively (measured myself). For me, I like to do a screen flush before prepping my puck. You can also do it immediately after the shot, or immediately before pulling the shot. Each routine gives slightly different temperature curve(in the preinfusion phase) but you will be in the brew temp range (92-94C) guaranteed. Unlike a dipper lever, you don't need any warming flush even after a long idle. And unlike a thermosiphon lever, you don't have to flush immediately a shot for the fear of thermosiphon stalling. Really a simple machine to use with no afterthought needed.

    Good steam pressure with no compromise on brew temperature
    Another thing I've found unique about the Aurora - brew temperature is much less dependant on the boiler pressure, which means you can adjust the steam pressure without compromising your brew temperature. On many levers (at least the one I am planning to move to), the boiler pressure (usually too low at 0.8-1.0 bar) is often a compromise to hit the right brew temperature. Currently, I have the pstat at 1.2 bar which steams beautifully and deliver perfect brew temperature.

    Spare parts

    On the other forum, Aurora is also known as Faema Termozona. To be honest, I am not exactly sure why. If I had to guess, the grouphead seems to look similar to the early Faemas grouphead (used in the wall mount Faema Velox etc) - The early Faema-ish group head is easily the best looking I've seen among so many levers (if only I can slab this grouphead onto my next machine, I would!). It even uses the same Faema grouphead piston seals/gasket/screen.

    Speaking of which, spare parts are plenty and easily sourced (Coffeeparts and Diamond C in VIC). This is probably one of the most easily maintained vintage lever machines with spares available. The only part I did not search for is the heating element (but trust it could be done and have been done before - not a dead end even if it fails).


    With all the pros, certainly there're some cons. In my opinion, the downside of the lever is the long warm up time(1.5+ hour ideal) and the boxy body design (which wasted the grouphead's beauty in my opinion). I think I am a picky owner but these two are really the cons I could pick at. The warm up time could easily be solved by a timer, or left on all day as some do. I did however, found a stick-on band heater mod (reversible) to aid the warm up down to 45 min (it detracts a bit from the look - I've tried my best to hide it and it is removable without a trace - see the pic). As for the boxy design, there you have it my reason for the side grade. Don't misunderstand, I still think she's a beauty but there're better lookers out there.

    Condition of the machine:

    It was restored about 15 years ago by a coffee tech. Machine looks well cared and is in extremely good condition. All non-wear-and-tear parts are original and intact (no Frankenstein parts). During my own checking (when I first received the machine), I did not find any sign of scale-build up or neglect in care. I've replaced some bits that needed it (rubber bits, shower screen and minor stuff). Inevitably, there're some minor cosmetic (or some think of it as patina from age) on the chrome and some in the body. Not a perfect-flawless face of a 15 year-old teenage girl but in very good condition otherwise. Might be a easy project if you want to restore her to like-new (if you just enjoy polishing metals to shine or restoring in general, the head cover probably won't polish but requires chroming). Looks stunning from 1 meter away but if you're up close to pick on her pimples, you are sure to find some.

    There is no pump, so you need to plumb in or use a Flojet/caravan pump to draw from a bottle/container (that's what I use and can assist if needed). Insulated 4.5L boiler. Can be plumbed in using common 1/2 inch BSP connection or 3/8 inch connectors (adaptor is on the machine).

    It is honestly a simple machine that works well and pulls great espresso (I don't claim to have ever pulled Godshot but my best shots were from her). I could go on and on with the features I liked about her, but those are the main ones that distinguish herself from the pack. I won't spoil you and have you explore the rest her yourself. Can assist with learning curve though if you need it.

    This is probably one of the rare collector piece that actually makes extremely good coffee on par with modern levers. One of the smaller footprint for a lever and plugs into 10amp switch with plenty of headroom (1500w heater). Home friendly so to speak.

    What's included:
    The machine(duh) and the portafilters (a generic but well-made heavy E61? portafilter and a rarely used original Aurora pf - that has its signature body/curve)
    Cafelat E61 gasket seal fitted
    Profitec articulating steam wand with microfoam tips (installed) and the original steam wand (it's crap IMO but worth keeping for sentimental reason)
    Spare parts - Piston seals, gasket seal, spring
    And maybe some other helpful bits that I don't recall at the moment.

    Located in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Price is $2700 for a rare excellent vintage lever (not much more than a Cremina ). This is also not something money can easily buy as you don't see them on sale, if at all. Almost twice that or more for an equal HX lever like the Londinium 1-P or other commercial levers (I know what I am side-grading to is almost double that so I do need the fund to justify an upgrade).

    p/s: sorry for the long essay but here's another one summary from a person(with permission) that told me I might regret selling it (still I can't resist how beautiful the new machine looks) -you can probably can guess what machine I am itching to move to:

    "I do know that when I test drove an Aurora, I really liked it. The shots also had more body, probably due to line pressure pre-infusion at higher pressure. Both are great machine, probably the two very best home friendly commercial levers in the World. Between me and two of my friends, one here in Milwaukee, WI and the other one in CT... One who sold me my Faema and replaced it with a Brugnetti Aurora (!!!) and the other one who has a Faema Lambro, Brugnetti Aurora, Conti Prestina and Gaggia Internationale. Truly, we all agree Brugnetti Aurora and Faema Lambro are the two machines to have. I also had a Bosco 1-group at the same time I had a Faema and wanted to choose one out of the two. Both pulled great shots. I liked Faema much more for its elegance, simplicity, quality of construction and beauty. Faema Lambro, in my mind doesn't have anything it doesn't need (at home). It's very simple and easy to live with.

    ..I urge you NOT to sell your Aurora before getting (if you decide to) the -xxxx-. It is very possible that you may prefer Aurora and by that time, it might be too late. "
    Attached Files
    Last edited by samuellaw178; 30 June 2016, 11:21 AM.

  • #2
    I have to ask, which machine have you chosen to replace the Aurora?


    • #3
      Hi Brat,

      The hints were there. But nothing's solidified yet. It's another lever, it's another vintage - just not as boxy looking. A Speedster or Slayer just doesn't cut it (no temptation) to me.


      • #4
        Originally posted by samuellaw178 View Post
        Hi Brat,

        The hints were there. But nothing's solidified yet. It's another lever, it's another vintage - just not as boxy looking.
        Hi Sam,
        Just fishing here....but....your potential replacement doesn't currently reside at Blackheath in NSW, does it?



        • #5
          I agree, but be better not to say that (unless you're the seller )

          Great ad btw Samuel.


          • #6
            Haha. Thanks Simon!


            • #7
              This looks like an outstanding machine at a really reasonable price. I have the older brugnetti aurora without the heat exchanger, but restored one of these for a friend to give as a wedding present. They can produce some outstanding coffee and are getting quite difficult to find.

              If I had the spare bench space I'd buy this in a heartbeat.

              Good luck with the sale!


              • #8
                Originally posted by Davos View Post
                This looks like an outstanding machine at a really reasonable price. They can produce some outstanding coffee and are getting quite difficult to find.

                Good luck with the sale!

                I agree with you, Davos. A really reasonable price.

                I have a 1974 Aurora and yes, it can make some truly excellent espresso.

                This is a great opportunity for the discerning snob to score a piece of incredibly functional lever-espresso history for a modest amount.

                Good luck with the sale, Sam.


                • #9
                  Hey guys, after serious consideration and days to calm down, I regret to say that I am starting to second guess my initial decision and the rationality behind the 'upgrade' - must have been the rush in the head. It wasn't that the Aurora is not delivering (I reckon it does look fabulous after looking at her closely for these few days - I would've missed her sorely) and the economic doesn't works in favor at all. I am sorry to anounce the machine is no longer on the market... Thanks for the support and sorry for any disappointment!

                  Mod: Thanks and appologies for wasting the ad space. Please mark this as 'withdrawn'.
                  Last edited by samuellaw178; 2 July 2016, 04:50 PM.