non-electric lever machine?

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e61brewski

Postby e61brewski » Jul 31, 2006, 10:01 pm

lax though i've been to frequent the forum of similarly stricken lever machine junkies, i knew where to come with a Vital Lever Question:

be there, anywhere, a lever machine that does not depend on direct electricity?

my mother lives in the remote bush of africa; she cannot plug things in. she adores her espresso, and has long wanted nothing more than a lever machine. alas, the daily ration of car battery juice is not enough to permit using some on the 'spro (clearly, she is not as devoted as i would wish). she currently uses la pavoni's stovetop pot, which of course singes her beverages beyond what is optimal. she wondered aloud to me if perhaps there were a lever machine that, instead of using a heating element beneath the boiler, instead operated on a stovetop.

she has a gas stove, and this idea seems almost absurdly simple. why not rig some sort of machine that uses a stove burner for its heat instead of a dedicated element? the rest of the machine, roughly speaking, would need little modification.

but does such a thing exist?
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HB
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Postby HB » Jul 31, 2006, 10:31 pm

How about the All-Clad Presso?
Dan Kehn

e61brewski

Postby e61brewski » Jul 31, 2006, 11:02 pm

hmmm, that could work. although i'm sure the ma was thinking of something a little more durable.

isolation in the bush puts premium on rugged, no-fix products. the plastic parts and snapping of both arms reported by one user is spooking me a bit...
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mogogear

Postby mogogear » Aug 01, 2006, 12:22 am

e61brewski wrote:hmmm, that could work. although i'm sure the ma was thinking of something a little more durable.

isolation in the bush puts premium on rugged, no-fix products. the plastic parts and snapping of both arms reported by one user is spooking me a bit...



Ok everyone can shoot me , but I have a dear friend here in Portland that is originally from Rome. When you ask him if he has an espresso maker he says- Yes, and goes to retrieve his Bialetti Moka pot from the kitchen. Throw me under the bus, but it doesn't need electricity very dependable, arguably one of the most imitated items in the world, produces great java- just-not a-lot-a-crema! Combine it with a nice Zazzen hand mill or equal ( a nod to Peacecups K-machine and others on the site) you got a dependable source of good JOE!!
greg moore

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Aug 01, 2006, 1:52 am

A Peppina is perfect for power failures (although more expensive than the now clearance rack Pressos) -- pour boiling water into the kettle, and make the shot. You also don't have to fool with whittling Teflon. Not nearly as portable though.

On the other end of the scale, there's the 2 group gas fired Gaggias and Contis: just turn on the gas, wait 6 hours, and make a few hundred shots!
Jim Schulman

Dr Jim

Postby Dr Jim » Aug 01, 2006, 11:13 am

e61brewski wrote:she has a gas stove, and this idea seems almost absurdly simple. why not rig some sort of machine that uses a stove burner for its heat instead of a dedicated element? the rest of the machine, roughly speaking, would need little modification.

but does such a thing exist?



Begin searching German, Italian, and French Ebay - Conti, Astoria, Wega, San Marco, and Rancilio all made single-group 'Gaz' (Butane in France, LNG elsewhere) powered lever machines which would work well for her.

Since there's no pump or electronics required for a lever machine, the only bit of design cleverness is the choice to use either a boiler pressure relief valve and allow the burner to operate without external control - or rig up a mechanical connection from a pressure-driven diaphragm or bellows that operates a gas-flow valve to regulate the flame.

I've seen both systems, the older Gaggias used this monster steel ball in a captured race to release the boiler pressure, while my two-group Futurema uses a nifty bell-crank and 1/4-turn valve to regulate the gas flow.

These machines do exist, some of the older Conti and Faema machines are works of Techno/Deco Art, and because of their limited appeal these days can be had quite cheaply.

Cheers

Jim
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bill

Postby bill » Aug 01, 2006, 3:31 pm

Yes! My single-group 1981 Conti Prestina was available in either electric or gas. That could be an option if you can find a gas version.
Bill
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timo888

Postby timo888 » Aug 01, 2006, 10:03 pm

What commercial lever had the smallest footprint?

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bill

Postby bill » Aug 01, 2006, 11:39 pm

Conti Prestina is 16" Deep x 12" Wide.
Bill
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timo888

Postby timo888 » Aug 02, 2006, 7:47 am

Thanks, Bill. Were these available with a pourover reservoir as well as plumbed in?
Regards
Timo