Bay Area: coffee shop with lever espresso machine - Page 2

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
Pressino

#11: Post by Pressino »

While the Londinium machines (or a Pro 800) are great, potentially "end-game" machines, something like used La Pavonis are quite capable machines on which you could learn a great deal about brewing espresso on lever machines, which is transferable to machines that use different things (like spring loading) to extract the coffee. Plus, you can get them right here on the HB.com Buy/Sell forum for close to the price you'd have to pay for a top-of-the-line Flair. Many folks stop at and are quite happy with a La Pavoni machine.

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yakster
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#12: Post by yakster »

bostonbuzz wrote:There were a bunch in Monterey with levers, but they closed. Only Happy Girl now still has a lever. They are not very careful about their coffee program though so I would not use it to judge levers as a whole. They are an amazing place for other stuff and I stop there every time I go through.
On the way to Monterey, Acme Coffee in Seaside has a 3 group Astoria lever. I believe they serve darker Italian style espresso and you'd want to check their hours closely, I've stopped in a few times and missed them. It's a walk up location with no inside seating.

Circling back to Barefoot Coffee, they closed the roll-up bar at their roastery years ago and AFAIK aren't using their three group Victoria Arduino lever in any of their retail spaces, but I could be wrong. Contacting them could clear this up.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

Royal Coffee

#13: Post by Royal Coffee »

A little late to the party here, but Blue Bottle used to have a Kees van der Westen Idrocompresso 3-group at their WC Morse location in Oakland. Unfortunately their website isn't helpful in providing updates on the current state of the different cafes (likely because there are too many to keep tabs on now!).

You can also help Rhetoric Coffee repair their 4-group Astoria cart and get a shot from them at the Temescal Farmers market or beyond: https://www.kiva.org/lend/2476193?m

Hope a link is allowed.
Evan Gilman
Creative Director
Royal Coffee, Inc.

chipman

#14: Post by chipman »

Andytown in the outer Sunset district of San Francisco uses a lever.

TenLayers
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#15: Post by TenLayers »

And I just went to Royal's website to see if you are using one at the Crown and you show up here!
And...years ago my wife and I looked at buying the WC Morse building that Blue Bottle is in. We didn't necessarily want that building but it was attached to the brick warehouse behind it. We would have been their landlords! The warehouse was too much work to be done to live in it.

Royal Coffee

#16: Post by Royal Coffee »

Yep! That's my station. :)

Unfortunately we don't have a lever machine on site. Andytown is also a good call - I had nearly forgot that their cafe in the sunset also has one.

The Bay Area does have a few spots, but I hear that Viriginia is for levers...
Evan Gilman
Creative Director
Royal Coffee, Inc.

TenLayers
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#17: Post by TenLayers »

Well, how bout petitioning the powers to be to buy you a lever for the station just for the show of the dance of the levers?
Just on another note. Wondering the percentage of people here that go to coffee shops? I only do when I travel and therefore have little actual knowledge of bay area shops.

chipman

#18: Post by chipman »

I haven't been to a shop since 2019.

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yakster
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#19: Post by yakster »

It's been a long time, I keep myself stocked with green coffee and drink what I roast.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

macaber8 (original poster)

#20: Post by macaber8 (original poster) »

imp96 wrote:You have exactly the same approach as I do for any hobby, in terms of not wasting money on continuous upgrades, but your analysis for this case is wrong.

1. Resale value of the Robot/Flair is actually pretty high. Regardless of resale value, I believe this would be the cheapest way you could try to understand if you like lever espresso. As others and I have mentioned, trying to understand if you like lever espresso machine by trying espresso at coffee shops is futile. To add to everything that has been said, the vast majority of shops don't make good espresso. I too started to learn about espresso by trying it at coffee shops around the Bay Area and came to realize that most are mediocre at best. A few are great and a good chunk are flat out awful. At the end of the day, you would probably lose 100 dollars on the resale or even less if you buy used. You might also end up just keeping the Robot/Flair around as they are easy to experiment with pressure profiling. I started with a Robot to try and don't have any desire to upgrade as I like the workflow and the coffee it produces.

2. An important thing to realize that espresso at home is not a hobby of drinking espresso but making espresso. Regardless of the machine you get you will make terrible espresso for a while. It is very unlikely that you will make good espresso in a week.

3. You can check recent sales of LR24 on this board. You would probably lose more on the resale then the cost of the flair/robot. The resale value has little to do with the original cost. It is about current availability of the product/demand and depreciation. The Robot/Flair are in demand and have no depreciation as long as you don't scratch or break them. Any other machine will depreciate as you will need to service them and maintain them.

If you are dead set on going straight to LR24/Vesuvius then I would just do that and forget about trying to find a coffee shop or other ways to try a lever. You will never know if you like it until you get to play around with it yourself. I am sure either machine will serve you well. Most importantly you haven't mentioned a grinder, which in my opinion is a more important consideration then the machine choice. Thats another topic though.
Thanks for the advise. I am very surprised but this is very true, most coffee shops make so-so coffee even with very fancy professional machine. I dont understand. These are Baristas doing this for living.

It is also true on the cost of try and upgrade is depending on what we tried and how many different things we tried. I am pretty sold on the Vesuvius but still I think there is some DD one have to do.