Spring Lever Curious

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
mwynne

#1: Post by mwynne »

I got my first espresso machine this summer (Europiccola) and absolutely love it.

My wife is less thrilled with using it, in part to the effort needed to pull a good shot (doesn't help that she's 5 month pregnant with twins). So I was wondering... would a spring lever machine maybe be more accessible/easy to use? Anyone have favourite recommendations?

A separate matter is using the hand grinder... but that's a separate conversation.

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Balthazar_B

#2: Post by Balthazar_B »

It's certainly easier to get consistent results from a spring lever. Yes, you need to pull the lever down against spring pressure, but it's easier than keeping pressure on a manual lever for 30-40 secs.

Of course, there's a cost involved. Spring levers are wonderful, but good ones aren't often cheap. :)

What's your budget? That'll determine where it lies along the dream-reality continuum. And based on that, folks will be able to provide feasible recommendations.

ETA: Just wanted to add my perspective on cost. Most people -- I've been guilty of this -- sort of cheap out at the beginning and then end up replacing and upgrading things several times, which, like using a credit card, seems easy enough, but the costs add up. OTOH, I can tell you that it'll be possible for you to acquire a machine and grinder that will literally last you for the rest of your life, with very occasional maintenance and little additional cost. But it involves spending money up front (to save much more later). Just something to think about.
- John

LMWDP # 577

mwynne

#3: Post by mwynne »

Well I'm not actively looking to purchase just yet, so I don't have a budget lined up. But probably on the cheaper end of whatever is out there. I like the small footprint of the Europiccola, and I don't think running a plumbed system would be an option. Not usually making more than 2 drinks at a go.

Edit: re cost, I don't have a good sense of the ranges. Definitely very happy with a used unit, as long as I can mostly service it myself!

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Balthazar_B

#4: Post by Balthazar_B »

In that case, the only small unplumbed spring lever that would probably work for you would be something like an Olympia Club, but even used ones are obscenely expensive (IMHO). There are other less expensive ones with small footprints, but generally build quality and reliability will suffer.

I hate to say it, but under the circumstances a pump machine might be better for you, at least for the time being. And you can get reasonably good ones without going broke.
- John

LMWDP # 577

mwynne

#5: Post by mwynne »

A bit bigger could be an option too, just not huge. What about the Elektra MCAL?

learncoffee

#6: Post by learncoffee »

OP - under your and your wife current situation, the best solution for the near future is for you to make the espresso for your wife :)

BTW, congratulations!!!

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Balthazar_B

#7: Post by Balthazar_B »

mwynne wrote:A bit bigger could be an option too, just not huge. What about the Elektra MCAL?
Yeah, an MCAL would be worth considering, so long as it doesn't need to fit beneath a cabinet. About $1700 or so?
- John

LMWDP # 577

LObin

#8: Post by LObin »

My wife pulls shots everyday on our Londinium L1. She also did back when we had an Olympia Club as our daily driver.
She doesn't feel as comfortable with our Europiccola 2nd gen or our Cafelat Robot.

So yes, my experience is similar. Unless your wife his a member here or is somewhat of an amateur barista, a spring lever, will be much more intuitive. This goes for most people actually. Wife, husbands, gf, beginners, etc.

Odyssey espresso is close to releasing their OE-1 spring lever. A MCAL, an Oly club, a Ponte Vecchio Lusso or a commercial lever all have a much smoother learning curve VS a Europiccola.

That being said, Europiccolas are wonderful machines that will provide frustration sometimes and joy often. Hard to let one go...


Hope this helps!

Cheers!
LMWDP #592

mwynne

#9: Post by mwynne »

learncoffee wrote:OP - under your and your wife current situation, the best solution for the near future is for you to make the espresso for your wife :)

BTW, congratulations!!!
Oh I try, but she is fiercely independent! And thanks! We've got some big changes coming for sure.

mwynne

#10: Post by mwynne »

Oh that Odyssey looks interesting! If a bit on the small size, boiler-wise.

But good to know I may be on the right track. I would absolutely love to find a restoration project to work on...