Profitec Pro 800 vs Bezzera Strega vs Quick Mill Achille

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

#1: Post by El_hondero »

Hello guys , I'm very new here

I'm slowly looking for my first serious level machine . I'm very new to the espresso game , I don't even have a proper espresso machine , I only have 3 moka pots and a picopresso from wacao.

I've scoured intensively on HB and other forms regarding spring lever machines and still can't arrive at a choice

I've narrowed it down to the profitec pro 800 , Quick mill Achille and the bezzera strega.


The pro 800 is right at the top of my budget , but it looks really good and apparently highly rated.

The Achille is quite a low key machine not much can be found about it. But it seems to be about the same machine as the pro800

The strega is the most affordable , but I'm not sure about it , as many purist have a thing or 2 to say about it ...


My biggest criteria is durability and low maintenance.
I'd like to use that one machine for years to come and maybe do maintenance on it once or twice a year .

Thank you for your time

JayBeck

#2: Post by JayBeck » replying to El_hondero »

Welcome! What is it about a spring lever style machine that draws you to it? I think that could be something good to know. The Profitec Pro 800 is a very good machine. It's a dipper style lever which means it can tend to pull shots cool and then can rapidly heat up if you pull many shots in succession. It also can only preinfuse at boiler pressure which is fine for darker roasts but when doing lighter roasts it can be a challenge to pull off. Have you considered the Londinium R24? It doesn't suffer either of those ills and is smaller than the Pro 800.

Urnex: 100% dedicated focus on coffee and tea cleaning
Sponsored by Urnex
El_hondero (original poster)

#3: Post by El_hondero (original poster) »

Thanks for the reply jaybeck .
Firstly it was solely based on looks, it looked very different, but as I read up more about it, the more I liked the idea that it's a very hands on process, I'm at the point of life where I'd like to take my time and learn something new.
And it seemed the lever machine provides a nice learning curve for me.

I've looked at the Londinium , only the compressa could squeek into my budget, but it's plumbed in only, and I'm not very comfortable that there isn't a dealer in my country (Singapore)

Over the 2 weeks I've been reading up all I can find here on levers and it seems the bezzera strega would suit me quite well, but I'm still reading up .

pcdawson

#4: Post by pcdawson »

I owned a Profitec 800 and never experienced any issues with it overheating. I put a temp strip on the group to monitor the temp. The machine was on for 4 hours in the morning and 3 in the evening. It was an excellent machine and I would highly recommend it. The Achille is an interesting machine in that it has a rotary rather than vibratory pump for filling the boiler from the reservoir (if not directly plumbed in). It is a larger machine than the 800. The Alex leva is also one to look at but it is a 20amp machine that needs to be directly plumbed in.

Good luck with your search! They are all good machines and spring levers are a lot of fun.

Marmot

#5: Post by Marmot »

I own a Bezzera Strega and am very happy with it. It heats up really fast due to its heated group. Because it is an HX machine water is always fresh from the tank and you can adjust brewing temperature by flushing for a shorter or longer period. The pump fills the group before the spring takes over extraction which allows you to get more water into the group and therefore more volume for your espresso shot. The pump will go up to its opv setting (~11 bars) but you can shut it off anytime before by lifting the lever a little bit. During this time before you let go of the lever the puck can preinfuse at the pressure you chose. With time you will get a feeling for this and can use it for instance with light roast for long blooming.
As with most spring lever machines the need for maintenance is really low because you have very few moving parts and seals.
The Strega is not everyones favourite due to its plastic piece on top and the use of a vibration pump (which adds a lot of positive aspects in my mind).

Regardless of the machine you will choose at the end, what grinder do you already have or which one will you get? As many others have said I also came to the conclusion that a grinder is at least as important as the machine. I get much better espresso shots out of my Picopresso with my commercial grinder than with my 1zpresso JX Pro ;)

TenLayers
Supporter ♡

#6: Post by TenLayers »

In this thread on a grinder, Dan used a 800 to pull a shot every 2 minutes for 3 hours without mentioning it becoming hotter.
La Marzocco Swift Mini Review

El_hondero (original poster)

#7: Post by El_hondero (original poster) »

Marmot wrote:Regardless of the machine you will choose at the end, what grinder do you already have or which one will you get? As many others have said I also came to the conclusion that a grinder is at least as important as the machine. I get much better espresso shots out of my Picopresso with my commercial grinder than with my 1zpresso JX Pro ;)

Right now ? I have a baratza encore :D I'm currently playing espresso with moka pots and a wacaco picopresso.

A dealer in Singapore sells a strega and bb005 grinder as a bundle for $3.7k with wooden accent upgrades. So I might just go with the bb005 grinder , alternatively it's the eureka mignon specialita.

Is your strega stock without mods ?

BPlus: turning your coffee spirit
Sponsored by BPlus
Marmot

#8: Post by Marmot »

Yes, I have a stock Strega. I would like to add a manometer to measure preinfusion pressure and later maybe PID for the group heating.
The BB005 should be adeqaute for the Strega. It's very important it can be adjusted in small steps. I guess you already realised that the Encore has steps too far apart to dial in espresso on the Picopresso. You have to get lucky or adjust the dose which is not optimal.
I think the Picopresso is a good tool to get to know the espresso workflow. You have to preheat it thoroughly but it is able to give you espresso almost as good as a high end machine if you get the grind size, dosing and tamping right.

El_hondero (original poster)

#9: Post by El_hondero (original poster) »

Yes the picopresso is quite finicky.

For the strega how long did you own it for ?
Any malfunctions ?

I've been reading that the valve that sputters water out (the vacuum breaker ?) Might be an issue ?

Thanks !

Marmot

#10: Post by Marmot »

I have the Strega since about a year. I bought it used from a guy who owned two.
I never had any problems with it and neither did the guy who I bought it from. The only issue I have once in a while is that the machine thinks there is no more water in the tank. Then you have to either bend the tank a bit outwards or clean the metal contact inside. This works every time and never bothered me very much.
I think the guys haveing problems with the vacuum breaker valve leave their machines on during a long time. It can happen that some dirt or scale gets caught in there and it can not close completely anymore.
These problems can happen with any machine more or less often. But compared to a E61 group machine the Strega is built extremely simple. You can also change the group gaskets yourself by taking out the group on top. Other spring lever machines can be quite tricky to repair.