Taste preference - Pro 800, Bosco, Alex Leva, Londinium or Strega

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LuckyMark

#1: Post by LuckyMark »

Hi Everyone, read the board to almost paralysis trying to choose my next machine. Presently have a Profitec 500 HX machine and like a full bodied coffee. I think a lever is the logical next step for me and am considering a Profitec 800, Bosco, Alex Leva, Londinium (I assume 1 but maybe R) and outside the Strega.

The Profitec, Bosco and Alex are probably my preference for simplicity with their dipper group, the Londinium next and the Strega would be my last choice due to less classic mechanics. I have tasted coffee from the Profitec, Alex and Strega and all seemed good, but they were different coffees, none I was familiar with, and at different times, some distance apart. Have heard the LSM group in the Alex is meant to be magic in the cup, also read impressive things about the Bosco group.

I am in Melbourne Australia and the Bosco and Londinium don't have local support, while the others do. Comfortable to service a bit myself, even though not experienced. Bosco, Profitec and Londinium are similar in price, Alex is 10% more and the Strega 20% less. Will be plumbing in and thinking I can live with most of their individual peculiarities, so really it comes down to taste in the cup. Impossible to compare these anywhere in Australia side by side, so wondering if anyone has any suggestions? I think I will probably be happy with any choice, just want to get the best for the full bodied flavour I like.

Would love to hear any thoughts or suggestions on any aspect of this choice. Of course maybe I should just buy a conventional machine?

Thanks

Mark

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bettysnephew

#2: Post by bettysnephew »

I vote Bosco but I am very biased! LOL
I got down to Londinium, Pro 800 and Bosco for my final candidates when I was shopping. Bosco had a long history of use in cafes, is extremely simple (no pump or fancy electronics) making repairs easy in the unlikely event they are needed, was only once seen for sale by disappointed user and very few initial teething problems reported by owners, they work great out of the box.
I have found my Bosco to be extremely consistent in regarding shot to shot variation and pretty much maintenance free ( I relube the piston seals when the shots start taking longer near the end of the piston stroke ). Just plain a solid, well built machine made from quality parts with a long history of good service reliability. Mine cost me considerably more than the others I was perusing but I am very happy with what I have and would spend the difference again. At the time my purchase was made the other machines were going through group head issues that Bosco owners never seem to have. Do not know if the clunking or groaning issues of the others are behind them but my Bosco has exhibited none of these traits which I think may be due to the extra modifications that Bosco does when speccing/building their group heads. To say I am happy with my purchase is an understatement.
Regarding taste, I really don't know if there are all that many differences and truthfully think the grinder will have more effect than the machine but even that not nearly as much as the bean or roast.
PM me if you have other questions as I have some things I choose not to discuss on open forum.
Suffering from EAS (Espresso Acquisition Syndrome)
LMWDP #586

RyanP

#3: Post by RyanP »

For the most part...

Every Pro 800 owner loves their Pro 800
Every Bosco owner loves their Bosco
Every Londinium owner loves their Londinium

etc...


These commercial spring lever comparison threads always end the same. Owners of their respective machines are generally very happy with them. My suggestion is to pick the one that looks best to you, can fit in your kitchen space and makes you most excited to own. You're very likely to LOVE which ever one you go with....
★ Helpful

def

#4: Post by def »

Perhaps add to the list: Quick Mill Achille

LuckyMark (original poster)

#5: Post by LuckyMark (original poster) »

Hi BettysNephew, thanks for the recommendation, the Bosco and Alex are probably top of my list at the moment, both because of how everyone speaks so highly of their groups - Bosco arguably having the best and most developed of the 'Bosco' groups while Alex the LSM 55mm group - and in Bosco's case the indestructible commercial build quality. Ryan you are right, hoping there may be a few here who have tasted from more than one. Def the Quick Mill now doesn't have a distributor in Australia and is a little harder to import compared to the Bosco or Londinium who are set up for it. Thank you to everyone so far.

In summary what I am hoping to find is if there is any substantial difference in taste between these - and any preference towards one or another - due their groups and tuning?

User avatar
[creative nickname]

#6: Post by [creative nickname] »

At this level all these machines should be capable of making exceptional shots, but the designs will yield some differences in workflow and possibly differences in consistency. Of the machines you asked after, I've only used the Strega and the Pro 800. I wrote up my thoughts on how they compare here:

Drawn to lever espresso machines. Help a newbie choose?
LMWDP #435

LuckyMark (original poster)

#7: Post by LuckyMark (original poster) »

CN, thank you for the link, very helpful and great to read your thoughts there, makes me keep the Pro in my top three. I am also going to re read the thread again, probably missed a lot the first time.

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Nik

#8: Post by Nik »

I have never owned any of the machines except the Londinium. However I have owned LaMarzocco GS3, Faema Legend and two Speedsters as well as a few other machines. The Londinium has been the most dependable machine and best tasting espresso I have ever gotten. The owner of Londinium is located in New Zealand and it doesn't matter, day or night you will get a response from him instantly with online chat. He is also extremely honest and dependable. If repairs are needed he will be on live chat video with you walking you through the process of repair. He is building quite a library of videos that are on YouTube to refer to. He promotes that he services everything he sells for the lifetime of the machine. Go to Londinium.com and go through the forum. I had a defective pump and received it the next day from London. A machine is only as good as the people behind it. This is why Reiss Gunson has been so successful with his machines.

All of the machines you listed are good machines. Take your time and talk to a lot of owners before you make the decision. I have had my Londinium for over two years now and not once have I considered replacing it. I'm not alone!

Good luck

LuckyMark (original poster)

#9: Post by LuckyMark (original poster) »

Hi Nik, Thanks for the recommendation. Today I actually experienced the speed of reply by Reiss. I noticed while browsing the specs on his site that he referred to a plug as an ANZAC plug, for Argentina, New Zealand, Australia and China plug. I got on chat that they are probably innocently not aware that it is illegal to use the term ANZAC in Australia or New Zealand without Government permission. It stands for Australian & New Zealand Army Core and is a National holiday in both countries, like Veterans Day in the USA, many who served would be offended by their use. I mentioned Iwas surprised and as Reiss lives in NZ would have lived through the holiday a couple of times now, then I linked the legislation. Reiss was on chat himself in less than a minute, and within a few minutes he removed that description from one of the machines.

There had previously been quite a slanging match over one of his very first machines on an Australian forum, which i tried to supress in my decision making as it literally was his first batch, it is great to hear your experience is the opposite. A pretty illustrious group of machines you have owned and compared yours too! Good to hear you prefer the lever over all of that group.

Thanks Mark

mathof

#10: Post by mathof »

Nik wrote:I have never owned any of the machines except the Londinium. However I have owned LaMarzocco GS3, Faema Legend and two Speedsters as well as a few other machines. The Londinium has been the most dependable machine and best tasting espresso I have ever gotten. The owner of Londinium is located in New Zealand and it doesn't matter, day or night you will get a response from him instantly with online chat. He is also extremely honest and dependable. If repairs are needed he will be on live chat video with you walking you through the process of repair. He is building quite a library of videos that are on YouTube to refer to. He promotes that he services everything he sells for the lifetime of the machine. Go to Londinium.com and go through the forum. I had a defective pump and received it the next day from London. A machine is only as good as the people behind it. This is why Reiss Gunson has been so successful with his machines.

All of the machines you listed are good machines. Take your time and talk to a lot of owners before you make the decision. I have had my Londinium for over two years now and not once have I considered replacing it. I'm not alone!

Good luck
Two Speesters!