New lever owner (Ponte Vecchio Export)

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#1: Post by Sean_in_SF »

Hi Folks:

I've been lurking here for a couple of weeks, researching a replacement for my Gaggia so-called "Old White Coffee" (single-boiler, vibe pump, 3-way solenoid; Susan knows the type well!). I really wanted some real pre-infusion, I didn't want to learn HX tricks, and I wanted to be able to steam milk while, or immediately after, pulling a shot. It seemed to me that this meant a double-boiler E61 pump machine, or a lever. I went the lever route, opting for a bright red Ponte Vecchio Export. I have only pulled all of two shots on it so far, but I already like the espresso, and the user experience, much more than what I had before. Feeling so committed to lever-dom and its eventual domination, I will now post this and apply for my LMWDP number!

Hope to see you all 'round!
LMWDP #214

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#2: Post by Bushrod »

Who's Susan?
Rich A

LMWDP #131

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Sean_in_SF (original poster)

#3: Post by Sean_in_SF (original poster) »

Try using H-B search for the lever forum! "Search found 108 matches". She has posted in this forum a fair amount, and in her sig she has a reference to the Gaggia group she runs.

Really, though, is that the most interesting and relevant aspect of my post?!? C'mon!!
LMWDP #214

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#4: Post by Bushrod »

It was a joke based on her long absense. She seemed really gung-ho there for a while then dropped out in favor of her Gaggia. Shame, too. Her enthusiasm was nice.

I think you made a good choice with the PV! They have a very loyal following.
Rich A

LMWDP #131


#5: Post by tjkoko »


I just got a SAMA Export which is a rebadged PVE. Since I'm brand new to espresso making, perhaps you could answer a few questions:

1. How are the "false pressure bubbles" bled from the machine when it's reaches operating temperature? Please describe the procedure.

2. Are you using the single or double basket? Most prefer the double. What weight of beans did you start out with in pulling espressos?


Sean_in_SF (original poster)

#6: Post by Sean_in_SF (original poster) »

To Rich -- OH!! Sorry I didn't get the joke! I guess I haven't been around here the last few days, even as a lurker. I actually thought she'd gone the other way: more with her lever, less with her Gaggias. We can't win 'em all, I guess!

To Terry -- I'm *very* (times 3, say...) far from being an expert (Peacecup is one, most would say; I think he's still around), but I can say a little bit:

The "false pressure" (one doesn't usually speak of it as bubbles, AFAIK) is bled simply by opening the steam valve for few (5-10?) seconds after the heater-indicator light goes off for the first time. Folks more experienced than I say that you can hear the change in the sound when the false pressure has been bled off. I'm still learning that part. I may add a pressure gauge at some point.

I've only used the double basket (but then, I've only made 2, yes 2, shots on this machine). It seems that very few people bother with the single basket on these machines, although I do know that one PVE regular (Peacecup, I think) was using it for a while. I'm not weighing beans, just using the metal scoop that came with the machine: 2 scoops for a double. That seems to be a common approach to dosing for this machine.
LMWDP #214

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#7: Post by peacecup »

In my opinion the easiest way to get started is to fill the basket pretty full (14-15g), and use a hardish tamp, adjusting the grind to get about 0.5 oz pf espresso per pull. USE FRESH, GOOD QUALITY BEANS. the spring lever operates at lower pressure than does a manual, so you'll get better crema with good beans.

I usually turn the machine on, wait till it cycles off, open the valve 5-10 secs. and wait till the light goes off again. After that I pull a little water through the group, then pull the shot. This will ensure that the group does not overheat. Overheating is not too big a problem with the PV, but if you wait long enough and pull enough hot water through the group it can get too hot.
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#8: Post by tjkoko »

Thanks Sean and Peacecup. Peacecup, you stated:
about 0.5 oz pf espresso per pull
Okay, so is one pull a ristretto, and with two being a regular shot of espresso (allowing differences between beans).

To make a double therefore I need two double baskets pulled twice each back to back?

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#9: Post by GB »

Congratulations Sean_in_SF on your purchase. I think both you and tjkoko will find the PV/Sama machines to be very rewarding. I agree with the earlier comments regarding false pressure. But want to add that this is typically needed after refilling the boiler because its function is to remove the air trapped in the boiler during the filling process. Yes there is a difference in sound and velocity when bleeding the air from a boiler compared to releasing "a full head of steam" so to speak. Releasing air produces a weak flow often spitting water that has condensed or been trapped in the steam line, whereas "with a full head of steam", the flow has high velocity, hisses constantly, and the stream of steam will extend to the counter top. But be careful this steam can cause serious burns.

Peacecup is the Master of the PVE and I always look forward to his postings. In one of his earlier posts he mentions touch testing the group head to determine its temperature. With practice I have found this technique invaluable for getting the brew temperature at a point where I prefer to pull a shot. I would recommend that you try it.

I agree the group head can overheat but I think these machine may be less susceptible to overheating than some other domestic lever machines. Please read my earlier posts regarding this.

As for what qualifies and how to make a ristretto etc I think peacecup and others are more qualified to answer.

I am curious, I thought a PVE is a SAMA Export a rebadged? Anyone know the exact history?

Simply coffee

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#10: Post by jamoke »

Greetings to another Export user!
I have an old (thirty years plus, I'd guess) Sama Export which was little-used and long-stored before my Ebay purchase.
I only employ the double basket, as that's the only one that came with it. I generally go for a three-pull double, which works for me.
As for brand history, I think Sama became Ponte Vecchio in the late nineties, apparently as the result of a change in business ownership, not rebadging. Currently, the Ponte Vecchio machines are rebadged by Gensaco.
Ed Bugel
Huky #297