Lever machines, only you using it? - Page 6

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
BSdV (original poster)

#51: Post by BSdV (original poster) »

Hi Jeff,

For brew the C40 is great, if something would happen to my C40 or if I'd lose it I would buy another without giving any other grinder a second thought. For brew it's much more consistent than our Specialita - with which I'm disappointed - but I've also seen V60 pictures ground with g iota's 64mm burr grinder that I found very muddy looking and that I don't get with the C40.

However how it will perform for espresso I don't know. From what I understand the c40 shines with brew and less with espresso. Or maybe this is just where others are equal or can keep up..

First let's see how the whole espresso thing is going and how much of a taste I'm getting for it once I'll manage to consistently pull nice shots.

For sure the Robot is on my radar... Ballparking coffee and water quantities, is that something that's realistic with the robot? That's what I'm doing with V60 but this is also much easier as the tolerances are much higher I think..

Cheers

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#52: Post by Jeff »

TL;DR - Yes, go for it

In the early days of the pandemic and weeks-long quarantines, I read several positive reports of use of the C40 with a machine that is generally considered tweaky and demanding. For a pump-driven machine, you don't have the luxury of being a little off in grind. For those style of machines, the RedClix accessory was highly recommended. With a manual lever, you sort of magically learn to watch the stream and make subtle adjustments subconsciously. With my Robot I can throw grind that is reasonably close into it and get a good shot. That's why I think you might have good results even without the RedClix.

For decades, unpretentious baristas have been measuring dose by one or two flicks of a bulk, mechanical doser. Maybe they wipe a finger across the top of the basket. Maybe. The shot is done when it's done, by eye by volume or appearance. True, SO coffees are generally less forgiving, but they also tend not to get unpleasant if the ratio gets too high.

I think that with a 50 mL / 2 oz measuring glass for unground beans, you can get close enough for a manual lever. (17 or 18 g of beans is somewhere under 50 mL, so a finely graduated "shot glass" seems a viable choice.)

BSdV (original poster)

#53: Post by BSdV (original poster) »

That's very good to hear and something I'll definitely keep in mind. It would be absolutely fantastic to be able to make good espresso when onboard.

But first things first :wink:

BSdV (original poster)

#54: Post by BSdV (original poster) »

RueFondary wrote:The Vesuvius Evo Leva (supplied directly from its manufacturer) while marginally more expensive (€150 or less if you value some of the spares, plumbed-in kit or stock wooden accessories and factory customisation options for instance)
Hello Francois,

If I would have found this machine for €2650 I would have given it very serious consideration, as it does undeniably have some strong selling points over the pro800. That it heats up in only 15 minutes can also not be overlooked..

But I only saw the non lever version for €3300 ish, and the lever for €4350.

And at those prices it's not worth looking at at this time.

For me, what I feel speaks for the pro800 are the looks, although that's not a dealbreaker. And I expect this unit given its much simpler construction and less electronics to be more durable than the Vesuvius. And that's also an important factor to me.
If the Cremina SL would not have been an additional €1000 over the Pro800 that would have been a strong contender as well.

But anyone seriously considering the Cremina SL would probably be smart to wait what Londinium will come up with, with their upcoming compact...

I wasn't patient enough..

BSdV (original poster)

#55: Post by BSdV (original poster) »

So, a small update from my side.
Two weeks ago we purchased the Pro 800. Went to the dealer who gave a good demonstration and had my wife pulling a couple of shots as well.
I was already sold on a lever, and I'm very happy to say that the demonstration and machine itself convinced my wife as well.
Even our son started asking for cappuccino's. Hadn't expected that yet.

This Pro 800 has black side panels and came with the joystick type valves which work great. Quite a nice looking machine as far as this type of lever machines go.

So far we've been making lots of milk drinks and espressos.
Loving the results mostly but not too happy with the grinder. For some reason lots of fluctuation in shot times when preparation has been as consistent as I can think of.. WDT and use of Bravo tamper and distributor which should make prep easy peasy.
I've had a lot of output fluctuations from my specialita so I will look for a better on-demand grinder. This grinder can then serve as a grinder for milk drinks.

In any case, mission accomplished and lever machine at home.
Only downside so far is that I'm not that happy anymore with my v60. Doesn't taste as it did to me. Hope that will come back. But in any case, before going back to sea the next time I'll make sure to get the Robot as well.

Thanks to all for your help and suggestions!

User avatar
zix
Supporter ♡

#56: Post by zix »

Congrats on the lever machine! It is a beauty.
If you are looking for an espresso specific grinder that will work well with a lever machine, one suggestion would be to look at the Niche Zero. I find it more stable and forgiving in grind size than the flat grinders I have owned or tried.
It is an on-demand grinder, tweaked more towards espresso grinding, with very low retention, and it is very easy to use. My wife seldom uses the coffee equipment, she likes to be served her cappas and occasional espressos, but she certainly could use the NZ if she needed to. She also likes it design-wise.
The still-stay-at-home kids (18, 20 and 23 respectively) use it. I have several hand grinders as well, but nobody but me uses them, no matter how good they grind.
LMWDP #047

Maolo

#57: Post by Maolo »

Thanks for posting your story. It is lovely to see your journey to espresso. I hope that you continue to find joy in using your machine...and that you won't be too disappointed in your V60s. Let us know what you decided about your travel kit. I love my Flair Signature. It is highly portable and makes great espresso. After a while I just got tired of many steps required to get to every espresso. If you have time and patience, Flair will not disappoint.

Frenchman

#58: Post by Frenchman »

BSdV wrote:Thanks!
Where your wife appreciates lever machines mine probably really prefers a Jura deep down. I just need to find something that she's also happy enough to use with minimal effort and still get decent results.
What about a lever and a small Nespresso machine? The latter *will* give decent results with zero effort, has tons of varied sources of coffee in pods form from both Nestlé and third parties (and at least Nestlé makes reclying those very easy), and most importantly maybe can be small enough that you could have both easily.

Edit: Saw that you got a machine. Congratulations! The Pro 800 does look beautiful instead. I hope it will bring you and your wife much joy and good coffee.
LMWDP #712

clynch

#59: Post by clynch »

Pro800, nice machine. I prefer the spring lever to the spring and pump Bezzera. Just for the quiet.
Charlie

BSdV (original poster)

#60: Post by BSdV (original poster) »

zix wrote:Congrats on the lever machine! It is a beauty.
If you are looking for an espresso specific grinder that will work well with a lever machine, one suggestion would be to look at the Niche Zero. I find it more stable and forgiving in grind size than the flat grinders I have owned or tried.
It is an on-demand grinder, tweaked more towards espresso grinding, with very low retention, and it is very easy to use. My wife seldom uses the coffee equipment, she likes to be served her cappas and occasional espressos, but she certainly could use the NZ if she needed to. She also likes it design-wise.
The still-stay-at-home kids (18, 20 and 23 respectively) use it. I have several hand grinders as well, but nobody but me uses them, no matter how good they grind.
I was looking at the Niche Zero, but found them only at silly prices. Also it absolutely annoyed me that I would have to pay for UK VAT as well as the German VAT when purchasing this from Niche Zero directly. And some importing/customs cost on top of that.. On principle I, or really both my wife and I, just didn't want to go with that. Don't know what's up with this..when buying a cafelat Robot from the UK the VAT is also deducted when it's shipped to the EU..

In any case, I ended up buying the Mazzer Major V. The new model. Like it a lot and no regrets in that department.. Although it's quite different from what I was initially looking at and in all honesty also was willing/planning to spend on a grinder...
Made a very positive difference in the cup, and requires much less grind adjustments than the Specialita as well.

I now only use my C40 hand grinder for the Robot, when I'm onboard or when travelling.