Ponte Vecchio Lusso vs. Bezzera Strega - Page 2

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#11: Post by peacecup »

If you have the money, space, and desire something large the commercial lever your choice. The Strega has the added benefit of the pump, which can be used for all sorts of hybrid stuff. Jim S. had a Strega for a long time, and he is one of the most knowledable and experienced on HB.

That said, I've been perfectly happy with my Ponte Vechios and Samas for 15 years. I've passed up larger machines because I don't need the capacity and don't have the space. The Lusso makes blindingly great shots - maybe the Strega can top it with some coffees, I don't know. You do have to make 2-3 pulls to get a full 30-40 ml, but many pull the cup at 30 ml even on the larger machines. If you are on a budget or tight on space the Lusso could be a solution. But you'll probably wind up with upgraditis.
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Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

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#12: Post by prof_stack »

I had the PV Lusso for a bunch of years (and the (Sama) Export before that, plus a Gaggia lever before that...). The small shot sizes were decent flavored but too small for me. The sheet metal build quality was okay, but nothing like the Strega, which I bought in 2016.

The Lusso has no lever lock-in-place at the bottom of the pull. The handle blew off a few times when I wasn't being careful, and that was while it was under maintenance of a good-coffee-company shop in Seattle. The Strega acts like it belongs in a small cafe.

To my tastebuds, there is a huge difference in shot quality. The Lusso and Strega sat side by side for a few weeks until the Lusso was sold to a fellow simplifying his life from a huge Rocket type non-lever espresso machine. The Strega moved with me to AZ last year.
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#13: Post by espressotime » replying to prof_stack »

You find the Strega shots of better quality?
To me the Ponte shots were smoother than the Strega shots.But I wouldn't call the Strega shots better.
And of course you may expect the Strega ergonomics to be better than the Ponte ones.

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#14: Post by prof_stack » replying to espressotime »

Yes, to my taste, the Strega shots are better, and smoother.

But that's why there are many espresso machines to choose from, right?
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#15: Post by IamOiman »

If you still are open for a domestic lever (which can be cheaper especially used) my pick is the Elektra MCAL. Very simple maintenance with the gaskets and with a teflon group gasket to the boiler I do not think I have ever overheated with it after a few hours being on. The shot itself can be a full commercial shot with a Fellini pull as noted by truemagellan. Preferences over the Elektra shot and other levers will vary, but my MCAL can produce very nice shots. It is less forgiving than my Bosco with a modified CMA group, so make sure you have the grind and dose well tuned.

If you want the budget CMA group machine that $1500 used Quick Mill is looking mighty tempting if you want a plug and pull.
I'll throw my portafilter in the ring
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#16: Post by truemagellen » replying to IamOiman »

I will add the Elektra steams incredibly well for it's boiler size. Nice for heating cups. Speaking of cups you can keep cups warm by placing them right up to the boiler flanking the drip tray. I put them on little silicone mats to prevent scratches to chrome.


#17: Post by cskorton »

Over on the U.K. forums they mentioned some quality issues with the Quick Mill lever on idrinkcoffee.

Does anyone know enough about that machine (Rapida) to comment?


#18: Post by LObin »

I believe there was some issues with the early version that were fixed by Quickmill. I remember reading positive stuff about the later version of the Rapida.

My fellow Canadian home-baristas must be scared of levers or simply unaware of the deal. I'm quite surprised it's still available.
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#19: Post by Javier »

LObin wrote:My fellow Canadian home-baristas must be scared of levers or simply unaware of the deal. I'm quite surprised it's still available.

I am surprised no one has snagged that unit (yet)....
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#20: Post by chex »

I told my brother about the Rapida deal when it popped up, since his BDB has been having issues. After doing research, it looks like the previous model, the Veloce, had initial issues with the thermosyphon which seem to have been fixed, from testimony of owners online. There's much less info online about the Rapida, and it looks like it just isn't very popular at all, even though it uses the well-regarded Bosco group. Perhaps potential lever buyers (and let's face it, we're of the minority) would rather just spend more on a Pro 800/LR than have to potentially deal with problems with the Rapida.