Lever espresso machine, budget under $5000 - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
macaber8 (original poster)

#11: Post by macaber8 (original poster) »

Idfixe wrote:I believe one may want to look at features such as temp stability, worlflow and ease of use when evaluating a machine. CT1//2 checks all these boxes.

Not undermining the ones you are mentionning, just trying to helpyou look at a broader range of machines.
Thank you Idfixe, none taken. I appreciate the input. I want to learn more about your experience, and also I have a few follow up questions:

Temp stability and temperature adjustment.

Stability: I find almost every lever machine claim that they have temperature stability. I think there are 3 kinds of stabilities: 1. Being able to maintain temperature before pulling a shot, and no matter how long the machine has been running. 2 Being able to pull consecutive shots: temperature being stable from shot to shot. 3. Being able to hold temperature during a long shot.

It seems Micro Casa Leva and La Pavoni would have trouble in 1,2,3. Cremina might have trouble in 3. Would CT1//2 do better? Assuming maximum we are doing max 2 consecutive long shots?

I also see a lot of machines are temperature stable but have no temperature adjustment ability:
Bezzera Strega Lever
Izzo Alex Leva
Londinium R24
Cremina SL
Izzo Pompei
La San Marco Leva 20/20
Quick Mill Achille

Now CT1//2 seems to be another one. What is your point of view when the temperature set point cannot be adjusted? I thought temperature is as important as pressure. Most lever machine allows user to adjust boiler pressure for pre-infusion, and handle control brewing pressure. Temperature seems not an issue. What do you do when your machine is not at a idea temperature?

chipman

#12: Post by chipman »

macaber8 wrote:Maintenance is not a big deal but in my area I only find retail for Rocket machines, which is disappointing.

Where do you buy the Vostok?
If you are referring to Great Infusions in Santa Cruz, i'm pretty sure they work on all espresso machines. May not be warrantee work, but they will service it as needed.

They also are a agent for Chris Coffee, so anything Chris sells, Great Infusions will also be able to order.

Amberale

#13: Post by Amberale »

The Strietmans are all adjustable for temperature and more stable than the Cremina and LP due to their open boiler design.
Yes they are simple with fewer features but if you don't need milk foaming why complicate the rest of the brewing process.
You don't fit machine guns to FTL spaceships. :)

macaber8 (original poster)

#14: Post by macaber8 (original poster) replying to Amberale »

This makes sense if one don't need to steam milk. It is probably more efficient than any other machines. I argue that, for some one doesn't care about the look as much, Cafelat Robot or Flair could easily bring similar experience. With Vectis and Argo coming out, I think CT2 might not be as appealing very soon.

For someone who does care about milk based drink, a QM steamer is another $600. We are at $3000 mark again. Too much competition in this range.

drH
Supporter ♡

#15: Post by drH »

macaber8 wrote:

Stability: I find almost every lever machine claim that they have temperature stability. I think there are 3 kinds of stabilities: 1. Being able to maintain temperature before pulling a shot, and no matter how long the machine has been running. 2 Being able to pull consecutive shots: temperature being stable from shot to shot. 3. Being able to hold temperature during a long shot.

It seems Micro Casa Leva and La Pavoni would have trouble in 1,2,3. Cremina might have trouble in 3. Would CT1//2 do better? Assuming maximum we are doing max 2 consecutive long shots?
Maybe I can add some perspective since I was also doing similar research. Much of the choice comes down to design and personal preference. I chose a Cremina because I love the old school approach and the simple, brutalist design. The Cremina does idle at the correct temperature but will not be stable shot to shot unless you let it rest or actively cool the group. It is easier to manage than the Pavoni but requires similar temperature intervention.

Stability during a shot is not always desirable. An often cited advantage of the big spring levers was that the temperature declined during the shot along with pressure, reducing extraction of the bitter notes at the end of a shot. I can't say from personal experience whether temperature decline has any beneficial impact, but it doesn't seem necessarily bad.

The Streitman and the Londinium are likely to be the most stable across all of your definitions of temperature stability. The Londinium thermosiphon will keep the ground perfectly consistent. The Streitman integrated boiler will let you dial in the temperature exactly.

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Mad Scientist

#16: Post by Mad Scientist »

drH wrote:
The Streitman and the Londinium are likely to be the most stable across all of your definitions of temperature stability. The Londinium thermosiphon will keep the [group] perfectly consistent. The Streitman integrated boiler will let you dial in the temperature exactly.
I can speak to my Londinium L1 2014 legacy (boiler pressure pre-infusion), it is temperature stable. After a shot you do an open port flush of ~60-70ml to restore the thermosiphon.
“You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.” Doris Day

macaber8 (original poster)

#17: Post by macaber8 (original poster) »

Mad Scientist wrote:I can speak to my Londinium L1 2014 legacy (boiler pressure pre-infusion), it is temperature stable. After a shot you do an open pull of ~60ml/60 grams to restore the thermosiphon.
Do you know is there any post already provide some numbers of group temperature on consecutive shots? Would you mind post a few numbers of your machine?

macaber8 (original poster)

#18: Post by macaber8 (original poster) »

drH wrote:Maybe I can add some perspective since I was also doing similar research. Much of the choice comes down to design and personal preference. I chose a Cremina because I love the old school approach and the simple, brutalist design. The Cremina does idle at the correct temperature but will not be stable shot to shot unless you let it rest or actively cool the group. It is easier to manage than the Pavoni but requires similar temperature intervention.

Stability during a shot is not always desirable. An often cited advantage of the big spring levers was that the temperature declined during the shot along with pressure, reducing extraction of the bitter notes at the end of a shot. I can't say from personal experience whether temperature decline has any beneficial impact, but it doesn't seem necessarily bad.

The Streitman and the Londinium are likely to be the most stable across all of your definitions of temperature stability. The Londinium thermosiphon will keep the ground perfectly consistent. The Streitman integrated boiler will let you dial in the temperature exactly.
Pleas help me out with some directions. Is there any post already discussed the temperature consistency of Streitman with data during consecutive shots? I am curious how consistent they are and how many consistent shot can we get out of the machine when filled.

drH
Supporter ♡

#19: Post by drH replying to macaber8 »

The Streitman user thread is long and very helpful- just try the search function.

This review from The Lever magazine is also great: https://thelevermag.com/blogs/articles/strietman-ct2

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Mad Scientist

#20: Post by Mad Scientist »

macaber8 wrote:Do you know is there any post already provide some numbers of group temperature on consecutive shots? Would you mind post a few numbers of your machine?
Please note: The link refers to my machine.

This is the summary of the useful information from a much larger thread where it was discussed. :mrgreen:

Londinium I: Recommended protocol for best brew temperature stability
“You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.” Doris Day