Buying a lever espresso machine for coffee shop - Page 3

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Markant

#21: Post by Markant »

gavijal wrote: Im in EU, so I prefer equipment produced in a EU to avoid custom services.
Hmm, didn't notice that before. The second hand Vostok I was talking about is still for sale, Western Europe. Asking price 5000 Euro but I guess you could negotiate to maybe half new price. Has been used 2,5 years in a specialty coffee bar; they claim they exchange machines on a regular basis just because they like to try out different kind of machines; supposedly it will be fully serviced before sale.

If you are interested I could PM the link to the advertisement. It is not in English, so you may need google translate (or my help :) )

Oskuk

#22: Post by Oskuk »

If want a lever as classy one, then that ugly San Marco is just a christmas-tivoli.
Levers are a bit slow, so the idea of 3-gropups is not bad. You can make any kind of espressso on any kind of lever, but dippers you could end having a bit litttle steaming-power if tuned down the temps.
The nerdy coffees in case, there could be 5 diff grinders as there is plenty diff coffees to argue with customers like Frasier ;-)

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Markant

#23: Post by Markant »

Oskuk wrote:Levers are a bit slow
Are you sure? :) Just look up THIS guy (Dritan Alsela) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRTebBz7450 8)

gavijal (original poster)

#24: Post by gavijal (original poster) » replying to Markant »

I know that in every argument about lever machines someone link this video, but I have few issues with his work flow.

It's great, don't get me wrong, but is more south Italian then modern third wave. Even espressos look like traditional Italian espressos. No coffee scaling, time measuring or any kind of profile adjustment. Now, all that things are not really important if you are doing traditional Italian espressos with dark roasted blend because most levers are optimized for that. But when you have few types of coffee in a shop, different roast, you can't just do that, because not all of that espressos will taste good, and they need twitching.
At least in my opinion, but maybe Im wrong.

Markant

#25: Post by Markant »

gavijal wrote:I know that in every argument about lever machines someone link this video, but I have few issues with his work flow.
Yeah, sure. Sorry for that, it is boring I know. :-) But that is why I put his name there: if you know him, you won't watch again.
gavijal wrote:It's great, don't get me wrong, but is more south Italian then modern third wave. Even espressos look like traditional Italian espressos. No coffee scaling, time measuring or any kind of profile adjustment.
You might be right here. It might be that he is just using one kind of coffee of a traditional roast. Scales/time measuring: He is making cappucinos according to the title, and then precision is not that critical. And of course, he has some experience... and he is really quick....
gavijal wrote: Now, all that things are not really important if you are doing traditional Italian espressos with dark roasted blend because most levers are optimized for that. But when you have few types of coffee in a shop, different roast, you can't just do that, because not all of that espressos will taste good, and they need twitching.
At least in my opinion, but maybe Im wrong.
How much experience do you actually have with spring lever machines?

Oskuk

#26: Post by Oskuk »

If I have the possibilty to go a cafe which has a guy scaling the beans and choosing profiles on app and all the tricks of nowadays toys, I'd rather not go there, too Frasier to me ;-)

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Almico

#27: Post by Almico »

Markant wrote:Are you sure? :) Just look up THIS guy (Dritan Alsela) video 8)
+1. What is slow about a lever? It still takes ~30s to pull a shot. Do you mean the 0.2s it takes to pull the lever? Steaming milk takes longer than pulling the shot anyway. Never understood that statement.

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espressotime

#28: Post by espressotime »

gavijal wrote:I know that in every argument about lever machines someone link this video, but I have few issues with his work flow.

It's great, don't get me wrong, but is more south Italian then modern third wave. Even espressos look like traditional Italian espressos. No coffee scaling, time measuring or any kind of profile adjustment. Now, all that things are not really important if you are doing traditional Italian espressos with dark roasted blend because most levers are optimized for that. But when you have few types of coffee in a shop, different roast, you can't just do that, because not all of that espressos will taste good, and they need twitching.
At least in my opinion, but maybe Im wrong.
Third wave espresso doesn't look like espresso?
Grind,rake ,tamp and enjoy a great espresso.( by F. G.)

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Almico

#29: Post by Almico »

I've been using an Athena Leva in my coffee shop for 4 years. Bought a second in March for my second shop. I wouldn't consider using anything else.

That said, I don't care for third wave espresso. I roast my own coffee blend to Full city and that's all I brew. By industry standards, it's a medium/medium dark at 50 Agtron.

The big advantage of the Athena Leva is the Hx. It does not use boiler water to brew, only steam. So the downside is the boiler water doesn't turn over. The upside is, who cares?

The advantage of the Hx is that you can control the preinfusion pressure independent of the boiler pressure. That's huge.

So first you choose you coffee dose. I use 15.5g for doubles, 20g for triples. Then you dial in the grind so you get a good flow rate. Then you adjust the incoming water pressure meter so that you get Xs of preinfusion depending no the coffee. With a light roast I would grind finer and pre infuse longer, thus lower the incoming pressure. I would also turn the pressure stat up a bit to brew a little hotter.

With the Hx you are at the whim of the grind for preinfusion.

No, this does not work well if you're changing coffees a lot. But your coffee business will also not do well if you're changing coffees a lot. The customers that pay your rent do not want a different coffee every time they come in. At least not from my experience.

Maintenance is practically non-existent. Use good filtered water, change the groupie gaskets a few times a year and the piston seals once or twice a year. I keep a spare pressure stat and water solenoid on hand because eventually they will crap out. That's pretty much it.

Mine are hammered copper finish and are the centerpiece of the bar. People love watching the levers dance and a good barista working them. The only thing that kills my mojo is all those alt milk people. I cry a little inside every time I have to make an oat milk cappuccino.