Elektra Microcasa a leva - sour shots

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?

#1: Post by wag1lukaz »


I got just got into the game of lever espresso machines and I keep having the same issue. I read countless number of different articles and watched tens of vids, but no matter what I do, I keep getting really sour shots with my Microcasa a leva (elektra).. My grinder is specifically made for espresso, so I believe that the grind is fine enough (wasn't too cheap either). I tried to tamp harder, didn't help either. I let the machine heat up for an hour and it didn't change anything. I read that this should be due to the under-extraction of the coffee, however even tho I tried the majority of the advice that I read about, but my shots are still coming out sour... I tried a regular, cheaper coffee and also a freshly roasted coffee (week old roast), but the outcome is still the same. I also read somewhere that the temp. can be too cold, but idk if that is it. The very first few shots I pulled were not sour (they tasted really bad tho:D) and out of nowhere, couple days ago I can pull nothing but sour shots.

Any suggestions?

Thank you:)

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#2: Post by stefano65 »

Just to eliminate the machine issue/possibility
is the pressure reading 1,2 (factory setting) bar or at least above .09?
if so and you have the portafilter as hot to the touch almost as the grouphead (AKA cannot touch without feeling the heat) then the machine should be where is suppose to,
then work on the other M:
Macina (grinder and related grinder setting etc etc)
Miscela (coffee type and freshness and such)
Mano (your hand/technique)
Stefano Cremonesi
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repairs & sales from Oregon.


#3: Post by Rustic39 »

Hello wag, I also am struggling to learn my recently acquired mcal. Mine is an older version, 1980 model. I was initially getting sour shots too. I suspected that the water temperature was not hot enough and no way to measure it to start. Then I stuck a piece of black tape on the front of the grouphead and got some temp readings using my ir temp meter. I found that the grouphead was leveling at about 177 F, until I pulled the first sour shot, afterwards the temp went up to 197 F. If I didn't do something to cool it down for next shot, it would lean towards bitter. If I take out the portafilter and cool it off in water bath, the third shot is best.

Another thing I learned. Leaving the boiler an hour did not get the temp up to speed very well. What does work fast, is to open the steam vent intermittently a bit to bleed off cold air when running up the initial pressure. When it turns to good steam, keep closed and element gets the heat up very quickly after that.