Bezzera Strega - Second Look - Page 3

Behind the scenes of the site's upcoming equipment reviews.
User avatar
drgary
Team HB

#21: Post by drgary »

another_jim wrote: I spent a day with the Victoria Arduino lever, which has the same Astoria/CMA group and runs via an HX and mains connection. I got shots with thick mouth feel but very flat and mild taste. However, I was not able to retard the lever or control the grind settings and dose like I do to get the repeatatably great shots from the Strega.
Jim,

The ability to retard the lever seems like a critical piece. Since the Fellini move is common, that must be possible with at least some commercial levers. It's curious you write that you weren't able to control dose and grind with your Victoria Arduino experience. That must have been a situational constraint -- unless you tried that machine when you were just starting out?

OTOH, "repeatably great shots from the Strega" is a very strong endorsement. It seems Bezzera has a real winner here.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#22: Post by another_jim »

Oops -- that should have been "I didn't know enough" about dosing and lever retardation when I spent the day with the Arduino. If it is possible to manually pump water into the group until it reaches 9 bar in a lever without an assist pump; everything I was doing with the Strega would be possible on it as well. I've just never heard about this before.
Jim Schulman

espressotime

#23: Post by espressotime »

It only reaches 9 bar at the end of the pre infusion when the chamber is at the point of being full.At 9 bar it's pulling espresso and it's no more pre- infusion.If I fill the chamber with 2 or 3 bars and let the lever go I reach the 9 bars also.
Like I said before I don't see any advantage of the pump filling the chamber up to 9 bars and certainly didn't taste any difference between the three month's I used the pump and the month I've used the plumbed in set up.
The Strega pulls great shots but gets beaten by my Ponte Vecchio Export tastewise.But the Ponte isn't near as consistent as the Strega.
Coffee. Don't let the tea drinkers fool you. Yes ,it's supposed to taste bitter.

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#24: Post by another_jim »

espressotime wrote:The Strega pulls great shots but gets beaten by my Ponte Vecchio Export tastewise.
This has emphatically not been Dan or my experience. The Ponte Vecchio earned a 7.5 for exceptional espresso. This makes it fine for traditional Italian espresso blends, but lagging behind for SOs and the 3rd wave blends, where it mutes the acidity and flavors. The Micro Casa a Leva would earn an 8.5 to 9 in this respect, and the Strega is going to come in at least at a 9, and probably higher.

There is a wider issue here. Almost all the shots I get from traditional levers are buttery, sweet and muted in flavor. I am usually overjoyed to get shots at this level in a cafe; but it would not cut it at 3rd wave cafes or at the home of amateurs influenced by this style of espresso making. I'm recommending the Strega for people looking for cutting edge espresso.
Jim Schulman

espressotime

#25: Post by espressotime »

Well,I roast my own and drink mostly SO and blend my own.I look for sweetness,caramel and chocolate flavours in espresso and totally dislike acidity and fruitlike flavours.So that could be it I guess.
Coffee. Don't let the tea drinkers fool you. Yes ,it's supposed to taste bitter.

Ian_G

#26: Post by Ian_G »

OK I need to begin here: "The pump is activated by a microswitch that engages when the lever is at the cocked detente. When engaged, it offers water through the HX into the lever's cylinder"

What is the purpose of the pump other than to refill the boiler and supply heat to the group?

User avatar
HB
Admin

#27: Post by HB »

Short answer: Envision the Strega as a traditional HX espresso machine which happens to have a big spring-powered chamber above the grouphead. Instead of the pump filling just the brew chamber, it fills the brew chamber and the piston's chamber, at which point the spring can take over (or not). The grouphead is actively heated via a thermostat and heater, not a thermosyphon.

Long answer: See Bezzera Strega - new spring lever for home use.
Dan Kehn

User avatar
Bob_McBob

#28: Post by Bob_McBob »

Nobody has mentioned that Bezzera is also shipping a plumbed-in version of the Strega with the pump and reservoir removed, for people who want a more classic lever machine.
Chris

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#29: Post by another_jim »

espressotime wrote:Well,I roast my own and drink mostly SO and blend my own.I look for sweetness,caramel and chocolate flavours in espresso and totally dislike acidity and fruitlike flavours.So that could be it I guess.
Sorry, guess I'm just an acid head. For your concept of the perfect shot, you should set up very differently from me.
Jim Schulman

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#30: Post by another_jim »

Bob_McBob wrote:Nobody has mentioned that Bezzera is also shipping a plumbed-in version of the Strega with the pump and reservoir removed, for people who want a more classic lever machine.
I'm not sure how that would affect the taste. Gary and Alf think you can probably reproduce the initial state of the pump primed lever with a line primed lever and few extra pumping motions. I defer to their far greater experience with levers on this.

I'm approaching this review as a pump machine user who is looking for a wider range of shots that include both the lever and pump taste. I suppose I should apologize for this slant to those who like classic levers and are considering the machine for its compact size, and its simplified thermal management.

Dan runs the Elektra A Leva and will better be able to comment on the Strega's plusses or minuses compared to it. When Gwillym Davis talked about commercial lever, he said that the minimum commercial configuration is a three grouper, since the groups should be idled for three to five minutes between shots. My impression is that the thermal recovery of the Strega is faster, around one and a half to two minutes.
Jim Schulman