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Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
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ant
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Joined: 7 May 2003
Posts: 1,046
Location: Brisbane
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: sunbeam em6910
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Posted Sat May 8, 2004, 5:51pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

woohoo Rob :)
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kwhyte
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Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 23
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomace Zaffiro
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Posted Wed Jun 16, 2004, 11:46pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

I thought I'd point out for people intrigued by this review that kitchenetc.com (also in their amazon store) have the chrome model for $999.   I wrote to 1st-line to see if they'd match it, but they won't (since it's a clearance price and does not come with any support beyond the 1 year warrantee from Elektra.  This is understandable, although their unwillingingness to state an up front low price ("call us, tell us what prices you've seen and we'll make an offer ...") has an unpleasant feel.  Anyway, I thought there might be people here who want to take advantage of the kitchenetc clearance.  

I'm temped, and I might still give in, but I only drink straight espresso so it's hard to justify replacing my Zaffiro.  Anyone have any good excuses I can tell myself?  Or, maybe I need to go with a spring lever or rotary pump machine.
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RoxieL
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RoxieL
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Location: Phoenix
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Posted Thu Jun 17, 2004, 8:19am
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

kwhyte Said:

This is understandable, although their unwillingingness to state an up front low price ("call us, tell us what prices you've seen and we'll make an offer ...") has an unpleasant feel.  

Posted June 16, 2004 link

This happened to me twice, a few years ago.  Found a lower price elsewhere, called them & each time, they had a reason why they wouldn't match it.  Oh well....
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HB
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Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Thu Jun 17, 2004, 12:23pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

kwhyte Said:

This is understandable, although their unwillingingness to state an up front low price ("call us, tell us what prices you've seen and we'll make an offer ...") has an unpleasant feel.

Posted June 16, 2004 link

In many cases the vendor can't advertise prices lower than the minimum advertised price (MAP) set by the manufacturer.   Some might use this as an excuse to jawbone you, but usually it's a genuine way of offering a better deal.

-- Dan

 
www.home-barista.com
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Mista_T
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Joined: 4 Jan 2004
Posts: 99
Location: New Zealand
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra MC SA, Carimali Uno
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Anfim Milano
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Roaster: iRoast
Posted Wed Jul 28, 2004, 1:01pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

Firstly, thanks for a great review - it was highly influential in my decision to purchase a used MC Semiauto when the opportunity presented itself.

Secondly, if you haven't seen one of these (I know its been said before), pictures just don't do it justice. Sitting on its (optional) big black base, it makes an imposing figure in the kitchen. Everytime I go into the kitchen I think, 'wow, that things BIG!'

The real point to this post is hopefully to clarify a few things about how it works (and show up my ineperience in the process :) ). As I understand it, this is basically how the thing works: You fill the boiler manually, and the level remains reasonably high, and is only lowered through making steam. The brew water comes from the tank on top, through the HX boiler, and into the group. The steam comes directly from the boiler, and is the only thing that will cause the boiler water level to drop.

The reason I am suddenly unsure of myself is that I was quite unnerved by the fact the water level in the sight glass remained unchanged as I made about 10 shots. I am used to the sight glass on my Cimbali lever machine going down quite rapidly, due to its "closed" boiler system.

Any affirmations or corrections are appreciated!

 
I don't get mad. I get...stabby.
                                        - Fat Tony
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Mista_T
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Joined: 4 Jan 2004
Posts: 99
Location: New Zealand
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra MC SA, Carimali Uno
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Anfim Milano
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos
Roaster: iRoast
Posted Sun Aug 1, 2004, 1:35am
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

Just one other thing - you mention the Elektra PF will fit in La Marzocco machines. Does this mean LM filters will fit the Elektra?
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melish
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Joined: 15 Aug 2004
Posts: 1
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Aug 15, 2004, 7:05pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

I've had some really excellent coffee with this machine.

But, within days of receiving my semiautomatica from 1st-Line, the boiler fill valve stuck open and I had to return it to them. They paid for the shipping and replaced the valve. It came back working, though the sight glass was still full of muck inside and there was a big scratch on the finish near the screw that was very lamely "covered up" with a "new" sticker!

Now,  a few months later , the valve is stuck again. This means that the water level in the sight glass never goes down, and I'm wondering MisterT if you got yours fixed okay as this is what you described happening as well.

Very frustrating, as after the 1 year warranty is up I'll be left to handle this out of pocket. Really dissapointing that the longevity of this valve is only a few months.....Really sours up this otherwise fine machine.
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skunk
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Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 31
Location: Minnetonka, MN USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cimbali Junior
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Drip: Who needs one?
Roaster: Modified Air Popper
Posted Wed Oct 6, 2004, 5:50pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

"'Elektra's a company long known for the beauty of their machines. They've taken knocks for what's under the hood sometimes (especially in their commercial machines), "

Mark,
Can you elaborate on this statement (from the detailed review of the Semiautomatica) What are their commercial machine lacking under the hood? I have been negotiating on one, and this statement from you, has me pausing.

Thanks,
Steve
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Big_Easy51
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Big_Easy51
Joined: 13 Feb 2005
Posts: 53
Location: Florida's east coast
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra MicroCasa...
Grinder: La Cimblai Junior
Drip: Presto Scandinavian Design
Roaster: Soon...very soon
Posted Sat Jul 23, 2005, 7:32pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

gourmetguy Said:

A drip tray that has to be emptied after every shot?  What a PITA!  That in itself takes the machine out of consideration for me.  What was Elektra thinking?  Sounds like a fun machine, all that aside.

Posted February 28, 2004 link

I have a Semi Automatica.  I typically pull 8 shots with it first thing in the morning, and even after 8 shots, the tray doesn't usually need emptying.
If you are doing the "portafilter wiggle" after each shot (I don't), try putting a pair of cappuccino cups or other small container on the drip tray.  It catches the water and is no trouble at all to empty. I use a small Tupperwear container when I am doing a partial backflush...it catches the mess with, well, no mess.
And is it worth the slight extra effort?  Well, I am still getting to know this machine, and even my worst efforts produce shots that are better than 95% of the espresso I have had at local coffee houses.  And when I am really clicking with this machine?   Absolutely the best espresso I have ever had.

 
"Coffee is not, after all, a matter of national security or life and death.  It is MUCH more important than that."
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Big_Easy51
Senior Member
Big_Easy51
Joined: 13 Feb 2005
Posts: 53
Location: Florida's east coast
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra MicroCasa...
Grinder: La Cimblai Junior
Drip: Presto Scandinavian Design
Roaster: Soon...very soon
Posted Sat Jul 23, 2005, 8:55pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

I bought my Semi Automatica from 1st Line, and the level of service I received has been outstanding.
The machine arrived with a problem: the boiler-fill valve was remaining partially open during the brew cycle, causing the water level in the boiler to rise.  Jim @ 1st Line sent me (via e-mail) a UPS label.  I packed the machine up, sent it back (at his expense) and waited.
4 days later the machine was returned to me.  Jim said they had replaced the spring with a heavier one, tested the machine by pulling a number of shots, and it was working fine.
Have you heard of Murphy's Law?  Well, I experienced O'Toole's Corollary, which, briefly stated, says that Murphy was an optimist.  The machine did the same thing yet again.
I called Jim, who was both embarrassed and apologetic.  His suspicion was that there was a small particlr of metal stuck in the valve, a remnant of the manufacturing process.  It was likely dislodged during shipping the machine back to me.  He talked me through a number of tests and possible ways to flush the particle out, but no joy.
He sent yet another UPS label and back went the machine.
This time he replaced the valve, and they tested the machine by running 2 gallons of water through it.
When the macchine came back it worked perfectly, and has been producing liquid heaven ever since.
Regarding the pricing, I think it has a good deal to do with what you are ordering.  I knew I wanted a La Cimbali Jr. grinder, but 1St Line doesn't list that on their website.  I was planning to order the grinder from Chris' Coffee Service and the Semi Automatica from 1ST Line.  When I mentioned that to Jim, he told me that 1ST Line does indeed carry the La Cimbali, and had it in stock.  So...I ordered a Copper/BrassSemi Automatica, La Cimbali Junior Grinder, Reg Barber tamper, Urnex, 12 and 20 oz pitchers, thermometer, knock box, blind filter, LaMarzocco double filter, and cleaning brushes...all for a delivered price of $1842.44.  I can say without reservation that it is the best money I have spent in many a moon.
As for 1ST Line Equipment:they are First Rate all the way.  I don't hesitate to recommend them to anyone who asks, and based upon their service, I would not hesitate to buy from them again.
As for the quality of the shots this machine produces, I continue to be amazed.  Coupled with the La Cimbali Jr. (although I suspect any quality grinder would produce fine results as well) and high-quality beans, I believe you would be hard-pressed to find another machine in ANY price range that produces God shots with such regularity.  Add that to the fact that the Semi Automatica is just stunningly beautiful, and you have a combination that, in my humble opinion, is impossible to beat.

 
"Coffee is not, after all, a matter of national security or life and death.  It is MUCH more important than that."
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