Stuck: Izzo Alex Leva or Profitec Pro 800

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

#1: Post by belegnole »

Hi,

I've been researching and looking and participating in various threads. Trying to figure out what machine to purchase next, just like many others. I am now stuck between two machines, the Izzo Alex Leva and the Profitec Pro 800.

Now both give me much of what I want. First a lever which I have been wanting for years. Second the ability to plumb in (one forced), which I want to do at some point with a flojet. Third the simplicity of an old school machine (ok, plus pid) which for some reason draws me.

So,here's where my research is falling short. Which is best...lol. Ok, I know it's subjective but one should be better for me at least. What do those of you that have used one or both of these think right now? For me it's become LSM group vs Bosco(?) group. What advantages do you find with one or the other? Disadvantages? help me decide...
LMWDP #641

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truemagellen
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#2: Post by truemagellen »

I assume you read Dan's review of the 800. Is is thorough and brilliantly laid out gives you so much great info not just about the 800 but a larger spring lever like you are looking for. Profitec Pro 800 Review

I found a ton of info reading the super thread about this machine the Ausssie forums. I don't believe I can post it but their market for levers is huge so they have a lot of info. Which I attribute to many growing up with them over there as you could find gas powered levers in all sorts of areas.
Here is the thread hopefully I don't get in trouble for this occurrence. https://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-equi ... -leva.html
Please note the thread started in 2013 and so some things have changed about the machine for the better:

-including Izzo branded bottomless portafilters you can buy
-A cup tray you can take apart and keep 1 level instead of 2
-White LED on the PID
-Cup tray steamer valve hidden but accessible (used to be sticking out size on bottom)
-appears to be a more robust steam and hot water wand. Used to have not as smooth a feel TomC told me
-no more logo on 2nd level of cup warmer tray
-orange instead of red power switch

I enjoyed Orphan Espressos video review of the La San Marco group (bolted to an LSM HX frame). It is much older but the design has not changed much over 6mins in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqcvMtYHpBA Interestingly enough it seems from the video like one of his favorite groups. Just like Wouter from Streitman espresso and his LSM is his daily machine.

So questions I asked myself as I had the Profitec 800 in the cart a few times:

Is it important for you to have an Italian machine with a more avante guard Italian look?

Do you like having the PID temp in front to see what boiler is up to or hidden for adjustment only? (Izzo PID now has white LED no longer red)

If you are doing plumb in only do you want the added cup warmer surface area or does it not matter because of your cabinets?

Do you want power switch, power light and heating element lights on the front or a lighted switch hidden bottom right and a heating element active indicated by a dot on the PID.

-----

A big factor for me with the LSM group, it's exposed spring and feel. The smaller group '55mm' size is a bit more forgiving to puck prep. I am finding paint like shots are made effortlessly. I attribute this to the 55mm and also perhaps the pressure delivery (I came from a 58mm Carimali dipper single group commercial lever made amazing shots but due to my more laisze faire puck prep I didn't get as great mouthfeel).

To a lesser extent on Izzo I like the idea I can control the water delivery/preinfusion valve. Although I am more of a traditional roast drinker I started enjoying single origin roasts and may try my hand at super light roasts. You can start preinfusion at boiler pressure on the LSM group then without lifting the lever and (or needing to hold it at a specific angle), deactivate the preinfusion valve separately from the lever action. Let the shot bloom at zero added pressure then lift the lever and have the spring complete the shot (aka Slayer shot).

The portafilter quality is very high, thick with machined openings and even the spouts have machining done.

Stainless is top notch all over. I have not inspected the Profitec to that degree for comparison but knowing Profitec it is also high quality.

Downside to the Izzo is the machine weight dry you will need help to move it.

Also Izzo the tamper that comes with it is the nicest I've seen with a machine but it is closer to 54mm in size which let's you do the Napoli style angled initial tamp then opposing leveling tamp. So I machined a 54.49mm tamp out of stainless and so I only use this precise tamp to finish tamp, and use the Izzo tamp to help distribute (I have no distribution tools).


My final advice to you is don't look back because both are amazing machines that should give you a lifetime of amazing shots.

-J

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belegnole (original poster)

#3: Post by belegnole (original poster) »

Thanks Jason,

I have scoured the internet and yet have questions. Some may not be answered ever, but I thought I would try before jumping anyway.

For myself with these two it has really come down to choosing between the LSM or the Bosco group.

The Bosco has the Cafelat gaskets and 58mm aspect going for it. That may end up being the deciding factor.

However The LSM has some nice features including what looks to be easier upkeep. But, it also has the non standard PF size and what looks to be harder to source parts. For instance where to get a tamper as I would have to replace all my 58mm gear.
LMWDP #641

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truemagellen
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#4: Post by truemagellen »

I wrestled with these same questions. I decided this was lifetime type machine for me and so I choose what I really wanted and then dealt with fallout of losing my 58mm gear.

The tamper that comes with it is nice but you can go on eBay I will try to find link to USA made precision custom tamper. Don't need backflushing great anymore. Distribution tool not really needed on lever but nice to have

I machined my own but it is a bit crude as the bigger machines were occupied and I used a small tool room lathe.

msimanyi
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#5: Post by msimanyi »

Reg Barber can certainly make any size tamper you would like, though they may not be a "cheap" option.

Phaedrus
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#6: Post by Phaedrus »

The biggest advantage the Izzo had IMHO was that CCS was the dealer (for US folks at least). Now that they no longer carry it, who does?

TenLayers
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#7: Post by TenLayers »

Or Dana Paul can make that tamper.
https://tamperista.com/

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LObin

#8: Post by LObin »

Concept art makes a 55mm base and I've had 2 custom tampers from Alperwood on Etsy, which are both beautiful and quite affordable.

I'm a fan of the "Bosco" lever group on my Londinium for it's thermal stability and easy maintenance.

Never had a shot on the LSM group but it has an excellent reputation so I totally understand how this is not an easy decision.

With luck, someone who's owned both machines or tried both groups will chime in.
LMWDP #592

belegnole (original poster)

#9: Post by belegnole (original poster) »

Thanks for the tamper ideas folks.

LObin wrote:snip..With luck, someone who's owned both machines or tried both groups will chime in.
That's what I'm hoping. Though I would appreciate anyone with knowledge of either chiming in.
LMWDP #641

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truemagellen
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#10: Post by truemagellen »

I don't know how close you are to the Twin Cities but come on over.

I'll see if the Bosco group londinium guy is still around. Not sure of there is a PP800 around