Ponte Vecchio Lusso vs. Bezzera Strega

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cskorton

#1: Post by cskorton »

Does anyone have any experience pulling shots on a Ponte Vecchio Lusso and Bezzera Strega? I'd love to hear preferences as I'm considering both.

My preferences are for traditional, Italian dosing with robusta/arabica Italian style blends. I'm finding I like body and shots with lots of crema.

Obviously the two machines are at very different price points, but just curious on everyone's thoughts on these two older machines in 2020.

LObin

#2: Post by LObin »

Both these machines were reviewed by the Home-Barista team:

Bezzera Strega Review

Ponte Vecchio Lusso Review

I owned a PV lusso and have a Bezzera with the CMA lever group that is also a heat exchanger but commercial size. Never had a shot on a Strega.

The PV Lusso groupe makes the smoothest ristretto. The weakish spring, deep basket and thermal properties of the group are quite unique. It will tame any harsh and bitter notes. Shot volume is on the low side +/- 20g and thickness and mouthfeel are good but not as great as a commercial lever shot. The machine is surprisingly small and very simple. Build quality is ok. The shot quality makes for it! The group is a pain to service though. You'll need to come up with a jigg of your own.

Commercial levers are different beasts. More volume, thicker shots, more crema and very forgiving. They take a lot more space and need longer warmup time. Rebound time is usually very fast.

If you are considering a commercial lever, there is a demo Quickmill Rapida for sale in the open box section on the Idrinkcoffee website. At $2000 CAD, it's a steal.
https://idrinkcoffee.com/collections/consumer/open-box

There's also a rare Olympia Club in very good conditions for sale in Europe. These are always worth a shot, no matter where they are in the world...
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2475546364

Cheers!
LMWDP #592

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truemagellen

#3: Post by truemagellen »

Ill concur thethe dose and shot volume of Ponte Vecchio group is very low. You will be performing Fellini moves to get about 75% of the shot volume of the strega.

Strega is a commercial group size.

"If I grind and tamp correctly with good beans I can get a 1.5-1.75 oz double with three pulls. If I dose very full I can get a 2-oz double with four pulls and no blonding."

3 pulls just an FYI.

Like the Olympia Club A slightly higher volume would be an Elektra MCAL but you will still need 1 Fellini to get to full size group shot volume.

Would you consider a Bosco, Profitic 800, Izzo Alex Leva or LSM?

espressotime

#4: Post by espressotime »

Ponte Vecchio would be my choice had I to choose between the two.
Strega is nice but shot quality of the Ponte is better.

cskorton

#5: Post by cskorton »

truemagellen wrote:Ill concur thethe dose and shot volume of Ponte Vecchio group is very low. You will be performing Fellini moves to get about 75% of the shot volume of the strega.

Strega is a commercial group size.

"If I grind and tamp correctly with good beans I can get a 1.5-1.75 oz double with three pulls. If I dose very full I can get a 2-oz double with four pulls and no blonding."

3 pulls just an FYI.

Like the Olympia Club A slightly higher volume would be an Elektra MCAL but you will still need 1 Fellini to get to full size group shot volume.

Would you consider a Bosco, Profitic 800, Izzo Alex Leva or LSM?

My choices are limited since I live within an hour of 1st Line Equipment, I feel like I should probably buy a machine that they can service. They carry the Bezzera Strega, Izzo Valexia, Ponte Vecchios, and Elektra MCAL. Seems like based on my preferences I'd be better off with a commercial lever or E61.

espressotime

#6: Post by espressotime »

cskorton wrote: My choices are limited since I live within an hour of 1st Line Equipment, I feel like I should probably buy a machine that they can service. They carry the Bezzera Strega, Izzo Valexia, Ponte Vecchios, and Elektra MCAL. Seems like based on my preferences I'd be better off with a commercial lever or E61.
Crema depends on type and freshness of beans.Not so much on the type of the espressomachine.

cskorton

#7: Post by cskorton » replying to espressotime »

I agree, but all else being equal, wouldn't a stronger spring on a commercial lever produce higher pressures and thus more body/crema?

Plus, add multiple pulls that home levers need to utilize, wouldn't that produce less crema and body? I have no experience with either type of machine, so I'm not speaking from experience.

LObin

#8: Post by LObin »

cskorton wrote: My choices are limited since I live within an hour of 1st Line Equipment, I feel like I should probably buy a machine that they can service. They carry the Bezzera Strega, Izzo Valexia, Ponte Vecchios, and Elektra MCAL. Seems like based on my preferences I'd be better off with a commercial lever or E61.
Here's the beauty: If you go with a commercial lever, you'll most likely do all the servicing yourself. All there is to do is remove the top assembly of the group about once a year, clean the seals and shower screen, reapply lube and reassemble. The seals are usually good for at least 1-2 years. It's a 10 min job. A quick flush a after each pull is enough to keep the group clean. Use proper water and you're good to go for a long, long time. E61 groups are a proven design but servicing is a bit more tedious.

It's always better to learn how to take care of your own machine. Saves you time and money.

If I were you, I'd give Idrinkcoffee a call and ask about sales to the US. The QM Rapida has one of the best lever group out there. It comes with full waranty and they have a good after sell service. At $1500 USD it's a steal. Used Strega, Profitec Pro800 or Londinium sell at higher prices...

Cheers!
LMWDP #592

okmed

#9: Post by okmed » replying to LObin »

+1

espressotime

#10: Post by espressotime »

The power of the spring(s) isn't as important as you may think in creating a rich crema.
The Ponte Vecchio's I've owned gave incredible rich and creamy crema.
Also the groupe of the Pontes is really easy to open up and clean.All it needs is a tool that you can make yourself.
Seals should last a long time.
Many Londinium owners complain about seals that only last 1-2 years.
On the machines I've owned they lasted longer.
The seal in my Izzo is already 8 years old and still in perfect nick.