Any lever machines comparable to the Odyssey or Strietman?

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strider

#1: Post by strider »

After a decade of drinking mostly milk drinks made from a semi-auto HX machine, I've gone deeper down the rabbit hole of espresso while working from home. I've upgraded to a dual boiler Profitec with flow control, but that hasn't completely scratched the itch, so I've started looking at levers.

My ideal lever would be something with a slim form factor, with no need for steaming capability (since I have the Profitec for milk duty and sharing the countertop). I've briefly considered a Flair, but would prefer not to faff with preheating and a separate kettle. On a similar vein, PID control sounds like a dream as I don't want to worry about overheating, flushing, grouphead temperature strips, and all that nonsense. 58mm would be a plus, since I could reuse my dosing cup, tamper, etc. If I can set something up on a smart plug to turn on from upstairs 15 minutes before pulling a shot and run into issues if I get held up in a meeting for an hour, that would be perfect.

So far, I've come across the Odyssey which sounds promising and the Strietman CT2 (which doesn't quite tick all the boxes but has a strong following). Anything other machines worthy of consideration for my needs?

Thanks!

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Jeff
Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

Drop a PID controller into a classic open-boiler like an Arrarex?

It's crossed my mind multiple times and I've been in the lookout for that class of machine close by.

mathof

#3: Post by mathof »

strider wrote:After a decade of drinking mostly milk drinks made from a semi-auto HX machine, I've gone deeper down the rabbit hole of espresso while working from home. I've upgraded to a dual boiler Profitec with flow control, but that hasn't completely scratched the itch, so I've started looking at levers.

My ideal lever would be something with a slim form factor, with no need for steaming capability (since I have the Profitec for milk duty and sharing the countertop). I've briefly considered a Flair, but would prefer not to faff with preheating and a separate kettle. On a similar vein, PID control sounds like a dream as I don't want to worry about overheating, flushing, grouphead temperature strips, and all that nonsense. 58mm would be a plus, since I could reuse my dosing cup, tamper, etc. If I can set something up on a smart plug to turn on from upstairs 15 minutes before pulling a shot and run into issues if I get held up in a meeting for an hour, that would be perfect.

So far, I've come across the Odyssey which sounds promising and the Strietman CT2 (which doesn't quite tick all the boxes but has a strong following). Anything other machines worthy of consideration for my needs?

Thanks!
The Streitman CT2 seems ideal for your purposes and unlike the Odyssey, it has been on the market and refined over the years. What boxes does it fail to quite tick?

Jonk

#4: Post by Jonk » replying to mathof »

Perhaps basket size?
An Aplimont MiniGaggia fits the bill, but you'd have to drop in a PID sensor of course. Immersed (saturated) cylinder, pretty neat.

strider (original poster)

#5: Post by strider (original poster) »

mathof wrote:The Streitman CT2 seems ideal for your purposes and unlike the Odyssey, it has been on the market and refined over the years. What boxes does it fail to quite tick?
My main concern would be with the open boiler. Can you leave it on unattended for hours at a time?
Also it doesn't meet the "set it and forget it" nature of a PID controlled boiler. Often I see posts about people using external probe thermometers to pull shots at optimal temperatures, which really isn't for me.

strider (original poster)

#6: Post by strider (original poster) »

I'm not having much success reading up on Arrarex or MiniGaggia. I would definitely prefer something modern. It's difficult enough getting parts for a current machine in Canada, I'd hate to think what it would be like trying to source parts for an older machine.

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peacecup

#7: Post by peacecup »

The Caravel is capable of pulling shots equal to almost any machine on the market, new or old. It is simply espresso-makng at it's most elegant best. There are a few pages written here:

The Arrarex Caravel

I think one can source most parts these days, given you get one in good shape. Try putting a wanted ad on HB and getting a good working model from a fellow HB here.

Not saying you don't need a Strietman, but the Caravel is a valid alternative. I'd run away fast from a mini gaggia as a daily shot puller, however.
LMWDP #049
Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

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redbone

#8: Post by redbone »

Regarding the Arrarex VAM / Caravel, parts are not an issue. I'm in Ontario Canada and have refurbished dozen or so. Changing from 220v to 110v heating element is done without tools. Seals / gaskets can be sourced from Europe or U.S. Power cord easily changed also.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

wojtowip
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#9: Post by wojtowip »

strider wrote:My main concern would be with the open boiler. Can you leave it on unattended for hours at a time?
Also it doesn't meet the "set it and forget it" nature of a PID controlled boiler. Often I see posts about people using external probe thermometers to pull shots at optimal temperatures, which really isn't for me.
I have a CT2 and I don't have a need to leave it on all day. It heats up and is ready to pull shots in less than 10 minutes. So it's really pointless to have it heating water all day in my case. I'm only using it 2x a day.

As for heat stability, it's the most stable machine I've used. You can stick a temperature probe if you prefer a data driven approach, but I haven't found a need. It's stable within a few degrees and not enough to make a huge impact on the shot. It's a saturated group head, so everything is at a even temperature. I don't see any real benefit to PID on this machine.
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TigerStripes

#10: Post by TigerStripes »

A current generation la pavoni would probably fit your needs. They heat up and are ready to pull shots in under 10 minutes.

The grouphead doesn't overheat if you're just pulling a few shots. Depends what coffee you're using, but I'd still recommend a temp strip or thermometer on the grouphead - a few quick "half pumps" of the lever will warm up the grouphead. Know this doesn't fit your criteria, but it's honestly not much effort - it's 5 push pulls of the arm to raise the group head to 80c from cold, with no water wasted (no flushes).

In my opinion, a manual lever is more fun that a spring lever - it's just like my robot except I don't have to mess around with a kettle, and I have more control over the brew temperature.
LMWDP #715