User Experience with the Argos lever espresso machine - Page 2

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.

#11: Post by sedy »

The four consecutive group head temperatures of the particular machine at the top of this thread is shown in the shipping page above. Their measurement appears to be part of the final QC protocol for each machine. This is one is obviously very stable.
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#12: Post by retireddude »

Jeff wrote:The shot temperature is stabilized, as I understand it. At least as I think of the control system, when the group head is cooler, the boiler temperature is higher, and vice versa.
That's correct. A consequence of this is that pre-infusion pressure becomes a variable. For example, if you're pulling several back to back shots the first shot might be at 2 bar boiler pressure for pre-infusion and the last shot at .5 bar. This variability can be mitigated, but it's something to be aware of.


#13: Post by Jonk replying to retireddude »

Would you say you notice much difference between 2 and .5 bar though? With the manual lever I use (Robot), I'd say it makes a minor difference, if any. I guess the minimum pressure is limited by boiler pressure in the Argos to some extent, but it ought to be possible to reach 2 bar in subsequent shots by manipulating the lever (although that might have an impact on maximum shot volume).

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#14: Post by retireddude replying to Jonk »

Not sure if the difference would be significant. I think if you didn't adjust the grind you might not see pre-infusion drips at .5 bar if you had been seeing them at 2 bar. My current plan is to use the Argos as a direct lever (since I already own a couple spring levers) and after filling the group I'll manually pre-infuse at 2 bar, using the analog gauge. That will keep PI pressure consistent. That strategy could also work in spring lever configuration, just a little less easy.


#15: Post by bikinglindy »

In my experience it depends on the style of shot you're pulling; turbo shots don't require as much boiler pressure to fully soak while trad shots with finer grinds sometimes need some help once the boiler pressure gets towards the low end. It's easy enough to add a little pressure though, especially in direct mode, and with the bleed valves you can 'mini-fellini' to get full piston displacement once the puck is soaked. I found that the variable boiler pressure was mostly an issue for the first day or two when I was pulling a ton of shots back to back (driving the group head hotter) and getting familiar with the machine (so didn't have much of a mental model).
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#16: Post by retireddude replying to bikinglindy »

Good information, makes sense. Sounds like it's not likely to be an issue most people will encounter, since most probably don't pull a bunch of shots in rapid succession. In any event, should be easy to mitigate. Also, good point about turbos, I was thinking of traditional spro.

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#17: Post by MASONMAN (original poster) »

Ok, more time to play with the Argos today. The more I have used it, the more I like it. Someone mentioned that it appeared to be some condensation inside the boiler cap pressure gauge in one of my pics. I hadn't noticed it but without even asking, Ross contacted me and said a replacement boiler cap was in the mail. Now that's what you call excellent customer support!
I love how quickly the machine is ready from initial startup. Less than 10 minutes. By the time I have cleaned the portafilter and ground beans for the next shot, it's ready to go. Not sure how much time is actually needed between shots but it's less time than I need. I only make espresso, no milk-based drinks, so I can't speak to the steaming performance but it seems powerful when I tested it.
On a side note, I completely forgot that the base machine DOES have Bluetooth built in! I didn't buy the transducer so I wasn't thinking of it but I saw a video of Ross using his phone app with a transducer-less machine and so I downloaded the app..... sure enough the app easily connected with the machine and provided instant feedback. Amazing! Attached are pics from just before first shot and the other pic is after 4 consecutive shots, 27 minutes later. I increased the brew set temp after the fourth shot which is why that reading is different.
Shots are coming out extremely well. I have noticed that the machine likes a very fine grind....even finer than my La Pavoni. I am going back and forth between a Kinu M47 Classic hand grinder and a Ditting Kr-1203 with SSP burrs. Both are resulting in very tasty and beautiful shots from a variety of coffee I have roasted myself and store-bought.
Summary after a few days of use: I love it! So consistent and easy to work with. It's a beautiful machine on the countertop and a small footprint.
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#18: Post by bgn »

That app connection, it's all Bluetooth, right? I mean, not wifi. I can see connecting the app once in a while but I have no intention of getting my phone out at 5am when I normally make coffee.

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#19: Post by MASONMAN (original poster) »

Correct. And it's info only. Not needed to operate the machine.

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#20: Post by LondonBunny »

As an outsider, it looks on paper and in the pictures a stunning a very desirable machine.

Sadly, the import duties for me (outside the US) would be very painful.