Upscale Home Based Lever Machines

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
KanzaKruzer

#1: Post by KanzaKruzer »

I've only been in the home based espresso machine world for a couple years. I started with a Flair then moved up to a Lelit Mara X about a year ago. I've had great success with the Mara X, but am starting to evaluate whether I should step up to an upscale spring lever machine. I have a good quality grinder (Compak PKE) and prefer light or medium roast beans. My current favorite is Ethiopia Yirgacheffehttps://theroasterie.com/products/ethio ... de-organic. If in fact a lever machine would be well suited, I'd like to get a better perspective of the current offerings. If you were to pick the top 3 features for each of the following lever machines that sets them apart, what would they be?
  • Bezzera Strega Tank $2.400
  • Profitec Pro 800 $3,000
  • Londinium R24 $3,800
  • Olympia Express Cremina SL $4,000
What other lever machines fall in the $2,000 to $4,000 range?
Does anyone have an idea which models above are the most popular or have the highest sales volume per year?
David

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FotonDrv

#2: Post by FotonDrv »

you need to pay more money to get the top of the line. Think Bosco or Lapera.
That Light at the End of the Tunnel is actually a train

KanzaKruzer (original poster)

#3: Post by KanzaKruzer (original poster) »

Thanks for the suggestion. I've never heard of those brands, but will check them out. I've not really figured out my budget, but know I can't justify more than one espresso machine.
David

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yakster
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#4: Post by yakster »

-Chris

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another_jim
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#5: Post by another_jim »

Izzo Pompei is a single group commercial lever, around 3.5K - 4K, often bought by home users.
Jim Schulman

KanzaKruzer (original poster)

#6: Post by KanzaKruzer (original poster) »

Leva X would be out of my price range.
David

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BaristaBoy E61

#7: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

ACS Vesuvius Evo Leva

ACS Vesuvius Evo Leva
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"
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KanzaKruzer (original poster)

#8: Post by KanzaKruzer (original poster) »

The Bosco look's especially interesting. 58mm portafilter is a plus. Not sure if I can handle direct plumbed machines. Tank design is what I am familiar with on the Mara X and I may need to relocate in the house.
David

Satchmo780

#9: Post by Satchmo780 »

Out of the options selected, the R24 or the Strega give most control for parameters you care about for light roasts.

The ACS Vesuvio Evo Leva should also be in the discussion.

RueFondary

#10: Post by RueFondary »

The machines in your initial selection differ significantly in their features and capabilities, beside the fact that they can all run without direct plumbing (Some of the models listed can also be plumbed directly)

The Cremina is a very traditional compact design (no electronics to speak of) manual lever machine with a small portafilter

The Profitec Pro 800, Strega and Londinium R24 are single spring lever single boiler machines with 58mm portafilters (some like the pro 800 are "hot-fed HX" or dipper design, other are cold fed HX designs). The R24 allows to customise preinfustion pressure via a phone app, but doesn't let you adjust brew temperature. The stock Strega doesn't have precise temperature controls (I don't recall if it can be adjusted) but it has a pump which can be used to customise preinfusion pressure (which the Pro 800 lacks when fed from a water tank). All these 3 machines have a fairly long warm up time (the strega does benefit from a group heater which gives it an advantage over the 2 others on this front)... and I'd probably pick the Pro800 out of these 3

In the same price range, there are some newer prosumer designs which combine a long established group design (The dual spring La San Marco 54mm commercial group which has been a staple in Napoli for decades, and also in use by Izzo for instance), with all the modern features one may want (variable preinfusion pressure, dual boiler configuration, precise temperature settings with 2 or more PIDs, fast heat-up time, ability to run plumbed in or from a tank, etc.), which also offer some additional features such as repeatable but adjustable temperature profiling. The ACS Evo Leva (available worldwide by contacting ACS in Italy) has been on the market for 2 years now. The Nurri Leva and the yet to be fully released 1-Group ACS Vostok are also worth a look in my opinion.

(Edited to address some points raised by Satchmo780 in the next post. Thanks!)
Check the website in my contact info for ACS Vesuvius Evo Leva (Unofficial) FAQ