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Thread: Who owns a STREGA or similar?

  1. #1
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    Who owns a STREGA or similar?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Considering a new Strega one lever.

    After to to owners thoughts.

    What at machine did you have previously, and or after? I'm considering a HX e61 also.

    How ow did you find the process for pulling shots.

    Shot it in the cup quality and any differences from other machines you liked or disliked.

    Really um after any thoughts on your experience compared to e61 group heads.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Bishy

    Make a day trip to the big Smoke in Sydney and go and visit a site sponsor like Jetblack or Di Bartoli. You really need to have a look and play with the machine you're going to buy.

    I've owned pump driven machines and manual and spring-lever machines. I don't have a sophisticated palate but have found that lever shots have more body than pump shots.

    I've never owned an e-61 group pump machine though.

    I also like the involvement a lever machine gives you, through control of the extraction. Old school pressure profiling, if you like. And the simplicity of the design.

    But a pump-machine will 'pump out' the shots faster than a lever machine. So, it's all going to depend on what you want and how involved you want to be in the process.

    Make the trip. It'll give you a much better feedback from actually using the machines rather than reading other people's experiences.

    Cheers

    Sniff
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    Yeah very true sniff. I agree. Might try see one tomorrow actually. When I first looked at high end HX e61 the Strega or any lever was not on the radar. More I read about the Strega it seems they are more capable of great extraction that e61 machines may not achieve. Trying to consider how different they actually are. I almost bought a e61 HX but now this has made me think twice

    Still would like to get as much info / experiences from people.
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    Yep read it. Is the izzo lever worth the extra 1k +? interesting if in the cup is very different.

    I also see see you can get a Strega with PID from factory if I read correctly?

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    PID aftermarket mod is for the Group head heaters, some say the stock thermostat runs too hot.

    5 months ago I was in the position you are, tossing up between Strega and Izzo. I ended up going with the Izzo and have not regretted it at all. I am sure the STrega is great too.
    You should check out the Alex Lever thread, and also possibly the Prof lever thread(from what I read they are in a similar class to the Izzo)

    There is definite difference in the cup compared to my previous E61 DB. Lever espresso to me is silky, and sweet with a clarity of flavour I was not getting before.
    Last edited by Sink_cut; 4th August 2016 at 09:30 AM. Reason: Oops got my boilers mixed up

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BISHY View Post
    Yep read it. Is the izzo lever worth the extra 1k +? interesting if in the cup is very different.

    I also see see you can get a Strega with PID from factory if I read correctly?
    When you look at the internal build quality and simplicity of the Izzo, most would agree it's in a different league to the Strega. The mods required to get the Strega close will take it close to the price of the Izzo- and still without the San Marco group.

  7. #7
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Hello Bishy,

    There is no factory PID option from the factory on the Strega

    The PID option is on the group head heaters and was developed by ourselves and the Coffee Machinest.

    We offer the PID option on new machines and cover it under the factory warranty. This is exclusive to Casa Espresso.

    Biggest differences between the Izzo and the Strega ( and we have both on our demo bench ) IMO, is the group head, factory PID and that the Izzo needs plumbing in where the Strega runs from a tank.

    Shot quality... maybe the Izzo takes the win but that doesn't take away from Strega as great machine.

    Cheers
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    I don't want to plumb in. Restrict my placement in the kitchen to much at the moment.

    I think the Isco is just pushing the budget to high. Around the 3K is where I am at and that's is making me out.

    With that in mind I think my choices are only a Strega or a high end HX e61 like the profitec pro 500.

    I do wonder why people use one over the other. If the Strega produces better shots why do people go for a HX e61? I feel I'm missing something here.. Or is it simply they like the taste of the e61 shot.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    There are many reasons and they'd differ for each user. The more common and obvious ones would be - don't have room for a lever, want volumetric dosing, ease of use is more important than the slight potential for improved shot quality, don't like the aesthetics of a lever, don't have spousal approval for a monstrosity like a lever, want to be able to texture milk and extract coffee at the same time (to save time or reduce the amount of time they are making noise), and I'm sure there's many more reasons.
    Quote Originally Posted by BISHY View Post
    I don't want to plumb in. Restrict my placement in the kitchen to much at the moment.

    I think the Isco is just pushing the budget to high. Around the 3K is where I am at and that's is making me out.

    With that in mind I think my choices are only a Strega or a high end HX e61 like the profitec pro 500.

    I do wonder why people use one over the other. If the Strega produces better shots why do people go for a HX e61? I feel I'm missing something here.. Or is it simply they like the taste of the e61 shot.

  10. #10
    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BISHY View Post

    I do wonder why people use one over the other. If the Strega produces better shots why do people go for a HX e61? I feel I'm missing something here.. Or is it simply they like the taste of the e61 shot.
    Like Leroy says, lots of reasons. It's like when people choose a new car. You can rationally argue that one is better than another on the basis of economy, price, performance, size etc. Then you buy the one you like!

    So buy the one you like.

    Personally I think levers are more involving but as I said before, they take longer. There's no 3 way valve like on an e61 to release pressure from the PF after the shot, so making multiple shots with a lever is slower than an e61. When we have friends around, it takes a while to get the coffees done for everyone.

    If you're not plumbing in then a PID Strega would be the way to go, or you should have grabbed that PV Lusso which came up a couple of weeks ago. Pretty much all e61 pump machines will have an internal tank (with a couple of exceptions) so that won't be an issue.

    With any of these machines they're going to hold their value pretty well so even if you have a change of heart 12 months down the track you'll get a fair chunk back of what you originally paid.

    Take the road trip!

    Sniff
    Last edited by SniffCoffee; 4th August 2016 at 11:20 AM. Reason: Spellink
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  11. #11
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    It's only home use. I don't have much of a need to be able to pull many shots quickly.

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    I saw the PV and thought wow that looks good... It's what start this mess!

  13. #13
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Hi Bishy,

    The Strega is certainly a more "hands on" machine. Some people are slightly intimidated by the physical aspect of having to pull the lever down. The E61 group head is a simple activation of a micro switch activating the pump.

    Space is an issue if you have overhead cupboards and are trying to fit the machine in a selected position.

    On the upside with the Strega there is certain romanticism with the lever process, you can control the variable preinfusion and the pressure profile of the spring gives a different flavour profile to the traditional 9 bar pump extraction.

    The best machine is of course the one that is best for you
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    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Not to change the conversation of this thread, but can someone explain something to me related to lever machines?

    Let me try and ask this the best i can....

    Weather they are run by a spring, pump or both from what i have seen through videos and in the flesh is that towards the end of each shot pulled there is residual coffee still being extracted out and one must pull away the cup after they feel it is done. I gues what im asking is are these lever machines able to be mastered (i guess you can say) by the operator so they pull a 30ml shot?

    I ask this as im also very keen to buy a lever of some sort. At present I have a Expobar Minore which allows you to pull a shot and stop when you know its enough. These lever machines like the Strega, Izzo and Profitec 800 I see people pulling shots but get over extraction of water if you dont pull away your cup after the desired amount of coffee is reached?

    If im well off or wrong on this please do explain and help push me to buy one of these machines.

    Cheers,

    Chris

  15. #15
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Hi Chris,

    One thing to keep in mind is that in many videos and demos people are pouring into single shots, when the lever chamber will, at full capacity hold enough for a double.

    There are certainly techniques with levers including limiting the preinfusion time, short pulling on the lever etc that will give you single shot volume if that is what you are looking for.

    It really is a matter of learning how your machine works.

    Cheers

    Antony

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    As said above different flavour profile - can you add to this more please. Maybe your thoughts on same bean but using both machines types?

    Also I was thinking if the lever was producing superior shots why would the e61 not be designed with a pump that reduces the pressure automatically to simulate a lever action via a pump?

  17. #17
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Hi Bishy

    Yes there are such machines about. The latest "pressure profiling" range of machines have the control board vary the pump pressure to simulate lever profiling, or can be programmed to your own desired pressure profile over the shot.

    The Ambient Vesuvius is one such beast, along with Ricks moded LM L. etc....

    Pricing on these is upwards of $5K

    Cheers

    Antony

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    In my reading, if correct, southern Italy prefers the Lever machine but northern steers towards the pump e61. It never got into the reason why but I found that very interesting. anyone know why? Think it was Jim off HB


    Think this was mentioned but if the lever is left down it will produce the entire shot under 9 psi from the pump alone?

  19. #19
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BISHY View Post
    In my reading, if correct, southern Italy prefers the Lever machine but northern steers towards the pump e61. It never got into the reason why but I found that very interesting. anyone know why?
    No. And I'm struggling to work out what bearing it has on this thread. It could be as simple as regional loyalty to machine manufacturers.

  20. #20
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Who owns a STREGA or similar?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by BISHY View Post
    Think this was mentioned but if the lever is left down it will produce the entire shot under 9 psi from the pump alone?
    Mostly no as most lever machines don't use a pump during extraction. Obviously the Strega is one exception so that has its own set of rules, but you can set the Strega to lever only for extractions I believe. I don't know enough about levers to know if there's any others, but I can't think of any off hand.



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