Considering Purchasing a 1 Group Bosco Sorrento

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
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IamOiman

#1: Post by IamOiman »

Hello all,

I currently live in Italy near Napoli, where the Bosco Lever machines are produced. I will be most likely moving back to the states in a year, and I wanted to acquire a memento of Napoli Espresso after saving up for a few years. I have a few questions about the machine before placing the 50% down payment on it to Roberta Bosco.

I want to know if an external water softener is absolutely necessary for where I am returning, Massachusetts, as the water hardness of my city is less than 1 grain or if it can be addressed at a later date.

Also, since this is a commercial machine it will likely require an external water connection from the boiler. Is it possible to use a flow jet system for the machine until I find a more permanent residence once I finish college? Or can I manually refill the boiler and have no connection at all like a smaller home espresso machine (ie La Pavoni or Elektra, my current machines)?

Lastly, I ordered the wooden handles as an extra for the machine. Will the constant heat eventually weather down or crack the wood?

Thank you to all in advance.
-Ryan
I'll throw my portafilter in the ring
LMWDP #612

lagoon

#2: Post by lagoon »

Is the voltage likely to be an issue?

User avatar
IamOiman

#3: Post by IamOiman » replying to lagoon »

Nope, I can have either US 110V or European 220V (I ordered the former) at 2kW for the 1 group. Machines with 2 or more groups can also have a 400V option if desired.
-Ryan
I'll throw my portafilter in the ring
LMWDP #612

bettysnephew

#4: Post by bettysnephew »

I own a 120v 60 Hz. single group Bosco Sorrento and have it fed by a Flo Jet. The area my machine occupies has no water or drain so the Flo Jet is my choice. You will need to provide more info about the water you will supply to the machine to get a good answer regarding whether softening will be required. There are several folks very knowledgable regarding water on this forum that will jump in and help when you have good data regarding the water available. I feed mine from a carboy that holds 2 gallons but only keep a little over 1 gallon of water in it at any time. I have a 2 1/2 gallon waste catch can that is emptied every time the supply carboy is refilled to minimize overflow possibilities. Holding at this level will not eliminate all possibilities of internal leaks but will minimize the amount available in that unlikely event. I do like the Flo Jet as it allows me to change water mixes easily and economically if I choose to. I have at this point settled on Dr. Pavlis (RIP) formula of potassium bicarbonate in steam distilled water which will have little or no scaling.

I do not think manually filling the boiler is a good choice. The boiler has a six liter capacity, but even with that size it seems to me to be too easy to possibly expose the heater element which will cause rapid failure if not submersed. It could be easy to forget to refill and also if there are several folks wanting drinks you would have to let the temperature drop below boiling to safely refill. Do not choose this route.

I cannot comment on the wooden handles as I stayed with the plastic on my machine. I do recommend adding the boiler drain option which was suggested by a couple of other owners when I was ordering mine. it allows you to easily purge water from the boiler before shipping or also as an easier way to flush if a descale would be required. I also ordered a spare set of seals for the piston and a complete set of the steam wand tips (one of each size) as the power of steam from this machine for frothing milk can be a bit intimidating at first. I did end up downsizing from the supplied tip but no longer remember which one I switched to. The tips were inexpensive so I got one of each size that they make.

You might peruse my posts regarding purchase and also take a look at those from JohnB and Balthazar B for much more info. Roberta is a joy to work with and may have other recommendations regarding your purchase. The craftsmanship of these machines is a joy to behold and I would purchase again.

Dave
Suffering from EAS (Espresso Acquisition Syndrome)
LMWDP #586

User avatar
IamOiman

#5: Post by IamOiman »

bettysnephew wrote:I own a 120v 60 Hz. single group Bosco Sorrento and have it fed by a Flo Jet.
Dave
Hello Dave,

all of your suggestions are very helpful for me. The biggest gap in knowledge for me was setting up the flo jet system. However, this recently posted video from Clive's answered every question I had about the topic. It appears to be far simpler than I imagined. You other posts about flo jets helped as well.

https://clivecoffee.zendesk.com/hc/en-u ... g-a-Flojet

I will definitely look more into my water quality in Massachusetts, but I will not expect to remain there for more than 2 years in which case I will simply use my La Pavoni in its place if the water is too hard due to the simplicity in descaling the machine, though MA is known for having softer water than other states. I personally feel for the handles that they will be fine (but always want to confirm), as my current 1991 La Pavoni still has the original lacquer and has no cracks in any of the knobs or handles, though I did cause two when I dropped the heavy brass boiler cap one time!

I just want to be sure everything is covered/answered before placing a $3300 order! I personally got the wooden handles as mentioned before and traffic orange body panels like those seen in a popular bar near Garibaldi train station named Cafe Mexico and their monstrous 5 group La San Marco.

Image

Ryan Lee
-Ryan
I'll throw my portafilter in the ring
LMWDP #612

bettysnephew

#6: Post by bettysnephew »

That video is very good, I would have liked to have seen it before setting my system up as I purchased an accumulator tank that was not needed. For the Bosco type machines that use boiler pressure for preinfusion pressure nothing more is required. I did add a tee and valve on the pressure side and routed the hose back into the supply carboy. This is handy for two reasons. First to allow the system to easily prime the pump as it does not do to well to fill initially or if the supply tank runs empty and draws air. This apparently is not an issue if the supply tank is at the same level as the machine as shown in the video. My tanks sit on the floor next to the counter and will not draw a prime if there is any restriction to flow such as the closed solenoid valve to the boiler when the machine is idle. in order to get an initial prime I had to disconnect from the braided hose to get flow. After the hose fills you can reconnect the fittings and fill the boiler. I also open this valve to circulate water and make sure my chemicals are fully mixed in the tank after a refill.
Suffering from EAS (Espresso Acquisition Syndrome)
LMWDP #586

User avatar
IamOiman

#7: Post by IamOiman »

bettysnephew wrote: I did add a tee and valve on the pressure side and routed the hose back into the supply carboy.
Could you provide a photo of this setup? I am having a little difficulty seeing this through text.
-Ryan
I'll throw my portafilter in the ring
LMWDP #612

bettysnephew

#8: Post by bettysnephew »

Here is a photo of the tee and valve plumbed into the output line that goes to the braided hose for the machine.

Image

The white tube leading away from the valve feeds back into the supply carboy. The braided hose to the machine is connected to the other leg of the tee. Opening the valve allows water to circulate back to the supply tank and relieves any back pressure to allow for easy priming if needed.
Suffering from EAS (Espresso Acquisition Syndrome)
LMWDP #586

User avatar
JohnB.
Supporter ♡

#9: Post by JohnB. »

With less then 1 grain of hardness you wouldn't need a softener but you might want a carbon filter to remove chlorine if it's city water.
LMWDP 267

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homeburrero
Team HB

#10: Post by homeburrero »

IamOiman wrote:I will definitely look more into my water quality in Massachusetts, but I will not expect to remain there for more than 2 years in which case I will simply use my La Pavoni in its place if the water is too hard due to the simplicity in descaling the machine, though MA is known for having softer water than other states.
Beware - there are places in Massachusetts (e.g., Cambridge) where La Marzocco noticed very high frequencies of boiler failures, which they attributed to high chloride levels in the water, which isn't removed by carbon filters or softeners. People generally resort to remineralized RO if the chloride is high. (La Marzocco says that chloride should be below 30-50 mg/L, and Synesso recommends that it be below 15 mg/L.) If you do have high chloride, then using a flojet/bottle with good bottled or spiked purified water is an excellent choice. And don't put high chloride water in your La Pavoni - it can lead to leaching and pitting corrosion of brass and copper.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h