Help a lever newbie out? La Pavoni Pro? Wait for an Argos? A Vectis? Or, or...? - Page 7

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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#61: Post by baldheadracing »

@officina_maltoni on IG put up a fully-restored 1960 Lambro for sale last week.

However, and this goes for the Vectis as well, what about your desire to pull light roasts? :lol: There is a world of difference between a machine that can pull light roasts or dark roasts vs. one that can do light roasts and dark roasts vs. one that can go back and forth between light roasts and dark roasts in the same session.

There is also considerable difference in what people think is a "light roast." For example, some would say Tim Wendelboe's espresso roasts are very light, and others would say that those roasts are medium-light and something like a Sey filter roast is light. Then there desired dose, desired brew ratio, etc.

Good luck!
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada
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#62: Post by BKH »

Accidemic627 wrote: I wouldn't get something like a Strega or an 800 or an Izzo in the meantime because, well, once you're dropping that much cash, why not just go all the way and get what you want?
I initially would recommend one of the inexpensive, <$500 options in the meantime but it sounds like you have strong preferences for what you want.

But if you are looking for a machine the price of the Vectis then why not a little more to something like a Strega, 800, or Izzo? I have a strega and got that partly because mine was half the cost of the ACS levo and had lots of features I wanted. Check out previous threads about that machine and they can be found used for <$2000. Deals come around for new ones occasionally too.
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Accidemic627 (original poster)

#63: Post by Accidemic627 (original poster) »

Hello again everyone,

It's been a minute since my last post and I haven't yet responded to the most recent responses, but I wanted to manifest with an update on where things stand in the lever machine odyssey.

So... drum roll... I finally made a decision... and just nabbed myself a 1986 Cremina with an upgraded 2021 group head. It's a machine that's been maintained and restored by a true Cremina devotee; we were able to talk at length by phone before I decided to pull the trigger, so I'm feeling good about the seller (anything can happen, obviously, but this was no simple rando on the Bay). Needless to say, it wasn't cheap, but it also wasn't more expensive than a new Vectis would have cost (though certainly more than a new Argos, should those ever actually ship some day). In any case, I'm well versed in all of the various opinions about whether the vintage Creminas are actually worth the high prices they're commanding on the resale market these days. To my mind, it's not a very useful debate (you spend what you're willing to spend to get what you think you want), so I respectfully decline to engage in that conversation, thanks.

In the end, my decision came down to the following:
- I wanted a direct lever machine
- I wanted a machine that makes really great espresso, but that can also steam milk
- I did not want a La Pavoni
- I wanted something built to last, simple, timeless, something I can fix and maintain myself
- Fascinated as I am by both the Vectis and the Argos, I just wasn't ready to throw in for one of those before they go through their teething stages and work out the kinks.
- I wanted that "je ne sais quoi" that the Cremina community always talks about--the pure, tactile pleasure of using the machine.
- I got tired of analysis paralysis. It was time to pull the trigger, and the 86 Cremina popped up on my radar. Seemed meant to be.

I cannot thank everyone on this thread enough for all of their input, advice, and knowledge. It has been a true learning experience and I hope to be able to return the favor some day.

When I get the machine and get her up and running, I'll post some photos here, for good measure.

Thanks all!


#64: Post by Tjyven »

Sounds great, give us an update in a few weeks!