Olympia Cremina SL vs Elektra Micro Casa a Leva

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

I'm hoping someone(s) offers an informed opinion about relative merits and disadvantages. I believe they both have 6-bar springs and overall similar architectures; I'm guessing workflows are similar. I presume both are excellent. I'm primarily interested in in-the-cup results or notable gotchas. Price difference is not a consideration. Thank you for any insights you may provide.

cyclezib
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#2: Post by cyclezib »

I would add that the fact you are living near where Cerini is located is a major plus.

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drgary
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#3: Post by drgary »

I don't know if there is any replacement for trying both. And, there is quite a price difference. Cerini sells the Cremina, 1st Line Equipment sells the Elektra.
Gary
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What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

BrendaninBrooklyn (original poster)
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#4: Post by BrendaninBrooklyn (original poster) »

For my purposes, price is less important than build quality, ease of maintenance, and cup results. It may be there is no meaningful functional, construction, or serviceability difference, and merely distinct ergonomic and aesthetic choices, but I wouldn't know this. I have no prior spring experience, and thus rely on those who do.

pcdawson
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#5: Post by pcdawson »

I've owned and used both. The SL is better made and produces better espresso in the cup - IMHO. The MC Leva group is far easier to service than the SL, which requires a special tool or c-clamp to reduce spring compression. Heat management seemed easier with the SL - at least to me. Aesthetically I prefer the SL to the MCAL.

BrendaninBrooklyn (original poster)
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#6: Post by BrendaninBrooklyn (original poster) »

Thank you, this is very helpful.

BrendaninBrooklyn (original poster)
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#7: Post by BrendaninBrooklyn (original poster) »

Would you be able to say something about the cup differences; why you felt the SL was better?

drH
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#8: Post by drH »

There is a great review of the SL here:
https://thelevermag.com/blogs/articles/ ... cremina-sl

My understanding ( without trying either ) is that the SL is less likely to overheat, and may even need warming with a flush for some coffees. The Elektra is said to overheat and need cooling after some time. Both situations are totally manageable as you learn the tricks. Super easy maintenance on the Elektra is a nice plus.

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drgary
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#9: Post by drgary »

When I reviewed the Elektra, I suggested settings and a heat break gasket that made it more temperature stable, and I loved the clarity and flavor layering in its shots. The aesthetic is a personal choice. The Elektra looked like a rock star on my counter. I would still have one, except I have a Conti Prestina commercial spring lever with a similar shot style.

Elektra Microcasa a Leva Review

I see that there's a duplicate thread in the Levers forum that has not gotten responses. In that thread I suggested that there's no replacement for trying them both, since you live near Cerini and should also easily be able to get to 1st Line, which sells the Elektra.

Moderator note: I'm closing the duplicate thread in Levers and will direct viewers to this thread.
Gary
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What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

pcdawson
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#10: Post by pcdawson »

BrendaninBrooklyn wrote:Would you be able to say something about the cup differenvces; why you felt the SL was better?
That's a tough one - my feeling was that the SL produced sweeter tasting shots than the MCAL. I drink mainly medium roasts. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me might be able to comment on the differences in spring pressure- I believe both are about 6 bar but could be wrong. I loved both machines but the SL is just so nice to use. I have both manual and SL groups for my machine - so I guess that is another point in the SL's court - you can't swap between spring and manual groups with the MCAL. Not sure how many people have done this but it's nice to have the option.