Considering several lever espresso machines... help please

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Naclyh20

#1: Post by Naclyh20 »

Contemplating the purchase and full restoration of a B3000AL in very good to excellent condition. I'm reasonably handy and have restored a couple of Rocket style machines in the past; however, this would be my first journey into lever machines. I have reviewed the other forum threads and the few restorations journey here...

Would greatly appreciate any personal experiences on performance, parts scarcity, or just a general recommendation on the purchase. Priced at $1200 USD.

My preference, money no option machine is the Profitec 800 and I'm not too enamored but the new Bezzera Strega. I do like vintage machines and thought the B3000AL might be a good fit.

Thanks in advance!

pizzaman383
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#2: Post by pizzaman383 »

What do you know about the condition and history of the B3000AL?
Curtis
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

Versalab: maker and supplier of finest espresso equipment
Sponsored by Versalab
Naclyh20 (original poster)

#3: Post by Naclyh20 (original poster) »

Pizzaman383.... Very little other than the machine is fully functional and was owned by one person since new.

LObin

#4: Post by LObin »

Naclyh20 wrote:Contemplating the purchase and full restoration of a B3000AL in very good to excellent condition. I'm reasonably handy and have restored a couple of Rocket style machines in the past; however, this would be my first journey into lever machines. I have reviewed the other forum threads and the few restorations journey here...

Would greatly appreciate any personal experiences on performance, parts scarcity, or just a general recommendation on the purchase. Priced at $1200 USD.

My preference, money no option machine is the Profitec 800 and I'm not too enamored but the new Bezzera Strega. I do like vintage machines and thought the B3000AL might be a good fit.

Thanks in advance!
The B3000AL was first commercial lever machine. It could've very well be my last one as well!
Sadly, it was just a tad too big (that's what she said! No, really. My wife thought it looked too big on our kitchen counter...).

It's has a full commercial boiler (5 or 6L if I recall) and it has a massive HX. It's a simple machine that's built like a tank. With the variable preinfusion pressure, it pulled amazing shots. Steam power was ridiculous (220v).

If you have the space for it, preferably an espresso bar, the B3000AL could very well be the last machine you ever buy. I haven't seen the condition but the price is quite low for such a machine.

That's my 2 cents!

Cheers!
LMWDP #592

patrickff

#5: Post by patrickff »

(Sorry, in German) A restauration of a B3000AL:
https://www.kaffee-netz.de/threads/rest ... 0al.39682/

DonFelipe

#6: Post by DonFelipe »

Patrick, do you speak german?
What about this?


https://m.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzei ... -176-20395

pizzaman383
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#7: Post by pizzaman383 »

Naclyh20 wrote:Pizzaman383.... Very little other than the machine is fully functional and was owned by one person since new.
That seems to be a decent price but the amount of time and money you will need to spend on it after the purchase is unknown.
Curtis
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

Decent Espresso: espresso equipment for serious baristas
Sponsored by Decent Espresso
Naclyh20 (original poster)

#8: Post by Naclyh20 (original poster) »

Thank you all for the helpful input. Admittedly, I've been enamored by the initial looks of machines in the past and then despised the machine after broken bolts and more man hours than I cared to spend. Guess I'm drawn to the traditional simple look of the B3000AL. Hmm...

pizzaman383
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#9: Post by pizzaman383 »

Curtis
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

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zix

#10: Post by zix »

I bought the B3000AL more or less new, but it had been spending its time unsold on a shelf in a storeroom for many years. It worked right out of the box. I got a real good price, but it is many years ago now, so hardly comparable. One group pro machines was not common then, and it is not common now, so that, and the fact that it had a leva group, were likely the reasons why it never got sold at the time.

I don't know about the quality of the internals of the Strega, have never seen one. Lady Bez' internals are definitely less complicated, well built (but the Strega may be very wel built too), and easy to fix - if you can find replacements for gaskets and spring and if you are not afraid to tinker.

You should be aware that this is a big machine and that there is no easy way to descale it. Usually, this was done by pro's. It is not that they are overly expensive, I got mine descaled, the gaskets switched out and the spring exchanged at a local repair shop for around 350 dollars. That was after, say, five years of use. I do recommend a water softener unless you already have very soft water.

It will take about 30-40 minutes to get warm.
Since the machine is coupled directly to the water supply, there is no slow ramp-up from an external pump. You will get the full pressure of the water line supply, minus whatever the group limits it to. This machine needs a fine grind, fresh roasted coffee beans and a very good grinder. It wants to be used all day, needs a flush unless you make espressos back to back, and will deliver some of the best espresso on the planet. I don't use it at home anymore though. It sits in the office.
LMWDP #047