Why so few lever espresso machines at coffee shops

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.

#1: Post by derylob »

Most of the coffee shops I have seen (at least in North America) use non lever machines. And then when you find one that does, it seems to be such an attraction and rarity. Few month ago I traveled to Canada and in Montreal I went to a shop that had a spring lever machine. I tried their coffee and I was really impressed. I thought the taste was different and unique. I have been using at home a single group Slayer ( I guess typical machine that would be desired and used at coffee shop) for last couple of years. I am very happy with my Slayer, but wanted also something different. After some research and reading on forums of this community I decided to get myself 2 group Bosco which I have been using for last few weeks. It is very simple to operate, seems low maintenance (so far). Again, I love my Slayer but don't think it is better than Bosco (it is ~ equal in overall quality, different though). Bosco is cheaper, seems very forgiving. I think it would be pretty easy to train someone to operate it. Other than using a little physical effort to pull a lever (which is very satisfying) it is very simple to use. Yes, why levers are not popular at coffee shops?

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#2: Post by Chert »

Starbucks chose La Marzocco linea in the 80s-90s.

I bet there are lots of other reasons: stability of temp issues, ergonomics, marketing.
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#3: Post by EthanL »

Wondering how long the piston gaskets could last in a busy cafe, would maintenance frequency of the lever group be a reason behind its lack of popularity in shops?

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#4: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

A lever machine requires that the portafilter to be left in the group until the pressure is 'naturally' released. This can be ameliorated by having a machine with sufficient heads to meet the demand.
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#5: Post by wachuko »

My take is that it slows down the workflow...

When I have family visiting, I turn off the LR and leave the Rocket on 24x7... Here you are talking about lots of latte in the morning and at all hours during the day. For us, it is faster to use the Rocket over the LR when making 8-10 latte in one take. My brother-in-law knows his way around the Rocket... where he would be lost using the LR.

Can't imagine having a coffee shop with high traffic using all lever machines.

Of course there is this video making my comment invalid...
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#6: Post by pizzaman383 »

We had a local specialty coffee shop (not a chain) that had a two-group lever that made great shots. They switched it for a modern two group saturated group. From what I can tell it was because they could hire less experienced baristas; at least, that is what I noticed changed when the lever was gone.
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#7: Post by nguye569 » replying to pizzaman383 »

there was a shop in my area that did the same thing.

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#8: Post by TomC »

Technological innovations are generally always seen as a positive advancement. Pump driven machines have been in vogue for nearly 60 years now. I'm sure part of their selling-factor back in the day was the perceived safety aspect of not having a big mechanical spring-loaded handle capable of injuring someone. Whether it actually made a better shot is debatable.

When my friends at Andytown Cafe opened up here in San Francisco about 4-5 years ago, James Freeman (Blue Bottle) gifted or gave them a screaming deal on a 3 group Kees Idro lever that he'd pulled from his Ferry Building location. It's still there to this day, churning out shot after shot.

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#9: Post by slipchuck »

Speed of workflow

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#10: Post by pizzaman383 »

slipchuck wrote:Speed of workflow

This is real. I went from an E61 to a commercial spring lever and although I prefer the lever it takes longer per shot than my E61.
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