LMWDP Rollcall - Page 238

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.

#2371: Post by Primacog »

More than a decade ago, I started with an Oscar and mazzer mini but soon started wanting to upgrade the machine and grinder. At the time, the titan conical grinders were the rage on this forum so based on the posts abd the threads on this forum, I invested in the compak k10 PB. I was intrigued by the high respect paid to the spring lever on this forum notwithstanding the high tech machines like the Strada etc. I had the chance to get a Izzo Pompeii single group machine (the original non PID one) at a great price and I went for it. In fact I had the chance to get a 2 group machine at only slightly more and I would have liked the extra group though I simply do not have the space for such a massive machine in my kitchen. As it stood the single group Pompeii dominated the tiny kitchen already and barely fit under the cabinets!

I have never had cause to regret that decision as the pompeii has delivered what I found to be great tasting shots even for one of such poor barista skills as myself. I am now checking out the possibility of getting a suitable flat burr grinder to complement my compak conical grinder for more variety especially now that I am wanting to try out light roasts.
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#2372: Post by MCal2003 »

Did not hijack LMWDP #151. Had to re-register here at HB.com. Forgot my password. It has been awhile since logging on. email address linked to the account is long dead. New id, but same old lever user.

Still a lever only user. Retired the lightly used PVL-2. Added the Flair 58. Will be retiring the Macap M7. Niche Zero in route. Might add a Logom Mini for V60 coffee. Probably need to first sell the PVL-2.
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#2373: Post by NicaDon »

I've seen the LMWDP tag from several users and today finally got around to seeing what the acronym meant. Now that I know, it's time.

I came pretty late to the precision roasting/brewing/espresso party and admittedly resisted the espresso part as expensive, fiddly and not cost effective yet everything led me to this point. Now going through another stage of simplification in my life having eliminated music- 5000 albums gone, books- 1,200 gone, cars- vintage Formula Vee, 11 Alfa Romeos, 1978 Moto Guzzi LeMans owned and raced since new, all gone. Coffee is the one bit of pure indulgence I have.

The coffee thing came out of necessity. A two week trip to Nicaragua is now into its 10th year and easily the happiest time of my life. The only thing missing was coffee. In spite of much good Nicaraguan coffee exported around the world- an acquaintance recently sent a photo of several varieties for sale in India- everyone drinks instant. I started searching the internet for ways around that and found Sweet Maria's helpful videos. On a trip to the US bought a grinder, Nostalgia popper, Chemex, Aeropress, Moka pot, brought it all back to Nicaragua and started in.

Wow! I seriously couldn't believe how good coffee could taste! Having lived in once remote surfing towns most of my life and leaving to find another after they were 'discovered' I had little access to really good coffee. Ah, for simpler, more innocent times...

I would think of espresso but no experience beyond finding a brass Pavoni in a thrift store for $6 in the 1980s. Without a clue how to begin to use it and no one to teach me it mainly sat and looked cool until I later sold it. Looking at the prices now there was no justification for going down the exquisite rabbit hole.

Then someone here had a Starbucks Barista for sale. Yes, I know, but in a place where the few espresso makers are 2 or 3 group I had seen nothing else for sale. It had a bottomless portafilter and a real steam wand for $50 and I was off. Temperature surfing, the proper grind now with a Lido ET and an Aergrind for travel, were all an exercise in frustration but eventually succeeded in making passable espresso and the hook was set. There was only one direction to go.

I found a recently restored 1972 Pavoni for sale by a man who thought buying the standard of espresso makers meant he could instantly make world class espresso and was proved wrong. He was happy to dump it and I was very happy to buy it. While searching the group on exactly how to use it and what I'd gotten myself into I found it was restored by our very own Alslaw and saw his post documenting it. He gave me a few tips but for the most part I was on my own.

Brought it to Nicaragua and started the long frustrating process on exactly how to get results. But now I was getting restless. Inspired by RandyG's page and his Silvia, decided I also needed one. Found an almost new Silvia V5 with PID for an excellent price, a refurb Baratza 270wi for good measure and packed it all here after my next trip to the US.

It was so nice to push a button at 4AM, take a shower and come out to a warm machine, push another button for 21g of a perfectly fluffy grind, push another button and done. A few of those in the morning, an occasional afternoon Pavoni shot using the Lido in the afternoon. All that work for so little coffee!

Then it was time to move to the other side of the world and 220v. I was loth to trust a power converter with all the electrical bits in the Silvia and the fiddliness of the Baratza board so decided to sell them, keep the Pavoni and use it on a converter there. I wasn't too sure though and the dollar figures for the converter or a heating coil swap didn't make much sense and most importantly no Pavoni here for my visits.

The other day I thought to browse on eBay and there was a lovely 1974 Series 1.7 220v in Italy at a fair price. A member in the US will change all the degradable bits except for the sleeve gasket and I'll have two Series 1 machines 11.5 time zones apart and giving all the other coffee clutter away save the Bonavita for guests. Simple and elegant. The results I get out of the Pavoni now are beyond compare. Only now I realize how much I missed for the sake of convenience and in almost complete silence. Less truly is more.

So. Can I haz a LMWDP too?
LMWDP #730

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#2374: Post by coffeedog »

My first machine in the 80s was a white and black Gaggia Classic. I think I replaced the thermal fuse at least 3 times. I had a Krups blade grinder, little funds and no clue, but it was a start. When it stopped working I disassembled and learned about water and scale. Work travel and kids happened and out came the Mr. Coffee. Eventually I got a Breville 870 with the built-in grinder and I learned a lot about bars, bean freshness and grinders. Next was an Astra Pro with the Sette 270 and I learned about grind, process flow and flavors. And then I reached a crossroads - I'd socked away enough money to do a major upgrade - should I get a Decent with all the new bells and whistles or an old-school Lever? I went with the Olympia Cremina and Moca grinder while waiting for a Monolith Conical and Max. I have found for me anyway, an appreciation for machine simplicity. And a direct connection with the lever has been immensely rewarding. I'm pulling shots that I just love and continue to learn from all of you on this journey.
Steve Maiwurm
LMWDP #731


#2375: Post by Stanford55 »

Coffeedog, I enjoyed reading about your coffee journey. Like you I transitioned from a Breville to an Olympia Cremina and Kafatek grinder and haven't looked back. Its diminutive stature belies enormous espresso making potential and versatility. I've tried a wide range of different coffee and there's nothing it can't handle.

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#2376: Post by Saber »

Realized I should do an actual post here, since I clicked the "join!" button in the OP. Oops. Anyway, my adventure with coffee has been longer than my actual adult life, as I found the caffeine helped to treat what turned out to be mild ADHD. We had one of those inexpensive De Longhi pressurized PF machines, but we couldn't really get it to work right, alongside a cheap Cuisinart burr grinder.

The DL went in the bin, the grinder stayed, and I wore the burrs out. Bought another, wore the burrs out. Saw the Rocky was a good grinder that could handle all kinds of abuse, so I saved my money from running pizza at the time and bought it.

Then I got a Stradivari from my grandfather because he couldn't figure out how to use it and he needed to drink less caffeine, anyway.

So it reached my counter, and there it has stayed for the last seven years, and it's become something of a ritual for me. It's the only machine I put serious thought into, and it will probably be the only espresso machine I ever buy, assuming this Vivaldi II listing on Craigslist falls through.
"It's all fun and games until someone cracks the puck."

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#2377: Post by coffeedog »

Stanford55 wrote:Coffeedog, I enjoyed reading about your coffee journey. Like you I transitioned from a Breville to an Olympia Cremina and Kafatek grinder and haven't looked back. Its diminutive stature belies enormous espresso making potential and versatility. I've tried a wide range of different coffee and there's nothing it can't handle.
Nice to have fellow travelers! After 6 months I'm getting a little bit of a "feel" for the lever while watching the pull, scale and timer. Love how dynamic the flow can be and at the same time forgiving. I may pick your brain when the MC4 and Max arrive in December!
Steve Maiwurm
LMWDP #731


#2378: Post by GoodKidSAADCity »


I got my little Zacconi almost 2 years ago, and oh boy it has completely evolved my understanding of espresso.

I loved brewing on my Gaggia Classic because it was strangely formulaic: Input, output, time. I thought it was so simple, if the time is too short or too long simply change the grind. I got good espresso from that machine occasionally, and it taught me the basics. Eventually I desired something more... romantic? (I know, such an embarrassing word to use here.) Enter my Zacconi baby. I actually picked it up from the Buy/Sell forum on HB! I fell in love with it the second I saw the listing, I was looking for a Microcasa but I got surprised by this machine! it was so pretty to look at, but when it came in I had TROUBLE brewing espresso with its manual lever. It turned my espresso world upside down.

I tried to master it for months, but eventually I had to go back to school. I graduated and started work. Life was hitting me non stop, it was brutal. My little Zacconi sat on the counter for a VERY long time until a couple of weeks ago when I returned to try it out again. After pulling sink shot after sink shot, I finally made something resembling espresso--and it was surprisingly good. I finally feel like I can comment on this thread after 2 years of falling short of my own expectations, so here I am! I'd love to be a member of this prestigious society. There is so much to be learned about espresso through a lever machine, so I am in full support of the LMWDP.
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#2379: Post by mgrayson »

I've been a home espresso and latte enthusiast since 2007. I had to take a 3 month break between jobs and decided I would find the answer to "why was the worst espresso I had in Italy better than the best espresso I'd had in the US?" That quickly led me here, and I started to learn about *gasp* freshly roasted coffee. I've had three pump machines since then, and they've served me well. But I've had some delicious lever pulls in cafes and never quite got the same feel from my pump shots.

I thought I wanted a big commercial spring lever group, but the Robot was too cheap and easy to resist as a first step. It came today and I'm already a huge fan. Roasting up some Bali Blue Moon and Brazil Yellow Bourbon as we speak.


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#2380: Post by drgary »

Congratulations, Matt!

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!