Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Articles: Detailed Review Feedback
Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
Rocket R58 Double Boiler
Rocket Espresso R58 Double Boiler -  Everything you need for the perfect shot!
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Articles > Detailed Reviews > Elektra...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 3 last page next page
Author Messages
MarkPrince
Moderator
MarkPrince
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,523
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Mon Feb 23, 2004, 12:00am
Subject: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica

In our longest running review ever, we put a work of art through the hoops and then some. Find our our definitive take on one of the oldest heat exchanger machines made for the consumer.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
brook0
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Feb 2004
Posts: 1
Location: NJ
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Feb 25, 2004, 10:15am
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

Mark,
    Great review. Why does the grouphead not get too hot when making multple shots, ala the La Pavoni?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MarkPrince
Moderator
MarkPrince
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,523
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Wed Feb 25, 2004, 10:54am
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

The grouphead doesn't over heat (like the a leva or the pavonis) because it doesn't have a direct water path like the lever machines do. Those up and down tubes you see on the machine - that's the water path for brewing water, before and after it passes through a heat exchanger; on the lever machines, the brewing water comes direct from the boiler. This can overheat the grouphead, and also deliver too-hot water to the espresso process.

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
FXDXT
Senior Member
FXDXT
Joined: 14 Sep 2002
Posts: 165
Location: Sandy, OR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Vivaldi II
Grinder: Cimbali Max Hybrid
Vac Pot: Sunbean
Drip: Vac: Royal Balance Brewer
Roaster: RK Drum Roaster/Hottop
Posted Wed Feb 25, 2004, 4:58pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

Mark Said

The Elektra Semiauto is faster than the a Leva model, but still slow when you consider the size of the boiler. In five tests of 7oz of milk frothed in a 12oz pitcher, I averaged just under 32 seconds. Compare this to 23 seconds for a Pasquini Livia (which has a boiler that is .4L smaller than the Elektra), or the stellar 11 seconds record time on a custom La Marzocco.

Mark, I believe more than boilers size itís the heating element and the size of the boiler and how they are matched.

I have the Wega Lyra EVD and had trouble with it steaming ability. Mostly because of the five hole tip. It just expelled the steam too fast for the heating element to keep up. The Lyra is stamped on the side as being 1200w. I replaced the 1200w element with a 1500w element. All is good now. When I had everything taken apart I measured the resistance of the 1200w element. It was 12.4 ohms, with my voltage at 118v the available Wattage  = 1122. The 1500w element measured 8.6 ohms with the voltage measuring 118v the available wattage is 1619. Thatís almost 500 watts different. I have modified the standard 2 hole tip into a one hole tip. The steaming takes a bit longer but I can now get nice silky microfoam.

I realize that most heating elements are of a nominal value and it makes a differences were the machine is plugged in and what ever else is on that circuit. I donít think that you can just look at boiler size alone with out considering the heating element and how well they match up. In my case a 1200w element is just to small for a 2 liter boiler and the amount of milk I steam.

Thanks

Tom (who thinks too many people over look the heating element and boiler size matching)
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
handcannon
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Jun 2003
Posts: 237
Location: Ames, IA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: PIDed Zaffiro
Grinder: MCI, Innova, Zass, Capresso
Drip: Capresso Aroma Classic 461
Roaster: Modded FR & WBs
Posted Wed Feb 25, 2004, 6:39pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

Mark:
      Excellent review, but one (longstanding) quibble:  it's a _manual_ three-way valve unless it uses electricity to actuate it.  A solenoid valve uses a coil and electricity to move the valve.  A good commercial solenoid valve has a coil of at least 2" O.D. and an inch thick (that would be for a small valve).  If it doesn't use electricity to move it, it ISN'T a solenoid valve, and is a manual three-way valve, such as my Zaffiro has.  I've got a URL at home (posting from the road) on a really good DIY durable food grade clear coat for metals such as the Elektra has.  I'll send it to you once I get back home.

 
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most."  A. Brilliant
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MrHouse
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jan 2004
Posts: 42
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Feb 27, 2004, 6:38am
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

Very helpful review.

A "top three espresso machine" rating? That's high praise!

Considering that, would someone please, please, please.....speculate on a comparison between the Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica and Elektra's top home model: the Mini Verticale. I'm very interested in buying a Mini Verticale, but I cannot find a single review on this machine. I can't even find a spec. report that lists whether or not it has a heat exchanger. I could really use your help before I make a final decision about purchasing an expensive, top of the line, home espresso machine.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
gourmetguy
Senior Member
gourmetguy
Joined: 10 Dec 2002
Posts: 111
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: All kinds of stuff
Grinder: Various in my day
Drip: You name it I've had it
Roaster: just an iRoast
Posted Sat Feb 28, 2004, 9:11am
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

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.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
stackie
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Feb 2004
Posts: 81
Location: california
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Fiorenzata Bricoletta
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: Why
Drip: Ummm, same.
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Sun Feb 29, 2004, 10:25pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

Mark,

Great.  Just when I was trying to figure out which of the shiny chrome E61 clones to buy, you go and release the review on this beaut.  Now I'm jonesin for the Electra MC Semiautomatica.

You mention that this machine does not seem to have the problems with handling temperature variation from the reservoir water at least from a subjective comparison of the shots.  Did you measure the water temp from the grouphead with various reservoir temperatures?  It just seems odd to me that you would not measure this after the amount of time that you had with the machine and your history with temp surfing the Silvia.

I'd like to have this machine to leave on 24/7 or perhaps timer to come on 30 min prior to waking, so temperature stability is important.  

Also, you mention that one of your friends bought this machine and the matching grinder for his dining room.  Is there any way that he could give a three sentence blurb about the grinder.  I would pay the extra gonks for the Electra if I knew that it was as good as or nearly as good as the Mazzer Mini.  Otherwise, I'd have to make a serious style concession and get the Mazzer Mini.

Seriously, great review!

Jon
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
american_abroad
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Mar 2004
Posts: 1
Location: Utah
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra Microcasa SA
Grinder: Mazzer Mini...someday
Drip: French press only!
Posted Wed Mar 17, 2004, 2:54pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

I have owned an Elektra MC SA for about 1 1/2 years, and generally speaking, I love it.  I have had exactly the same experiences as the author with my machine:  great shots, good foam (but slow), good looks; also, a broken pressure gauge after 6 months (mine stops at .25 bar), discoloration under the drip tray (my theory - UMEX detergent eats the finish), slow warm-up times (I usually plan on 30 min, I used to use a timer, now I turn it on before the shower) and inevitable scratching of the pretty finish.  That said, I always get comments on both the looks of the machines and the drinks I can make.

I have also had the similar experience of trying to get very finely and evenly ground coffee to get good shots - I think the Mazzer is calling my name.  I currently buy small amounts of Starbucks' Italian roast and have them grind it for me, and I have them use just one setting coarser than Turkish grind on their professional grinder!  I had a Solis, but it couldn't make the grade, and I blew it up trying to get a finer grind out of it.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the performance, but don't have much experience with other machines to compare it to.  Still, my local barista was impressed when I hauled the machine down to his place so we could practice pulling shots.  And on a good day, I would compare my drinks to any of the local shops (in Park City, UT) and feel competitive.

One more thing; when I first received my machine, the water temp was a little low (about 87 deg C at the grouphead).  There is a simple screw adjustment under the machine that increases the temperature and boiler pressure - I jacked it up to around 92 deg C (can't go much higher at 7,000 ft altitude) and the coffee is much better.  Plus, I get a little better steam pressure.  I'd recommend playing with this if the temp doesn't seem quite right.

If anyone wants to know more about my experience with this machine, please feel free to ask me.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
skithebird
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jan 1970
Posts: 101
Location: Evanston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra Micro Casa...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky, Mazer Mini
Vac Pot: NA
Drip: French Press
Roaster: NA
Posted Sat May 8, 2004, 5:03pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa Semi Automatica
 

I decided to purchase this machine after reading this excellent and comprehensive review.  Now with about a week of ownership and experimentation I'm in complete agreement with every point Mark made, save one.  The shallow drip tray is not as big a drawback as one might imagine it could be.  Oh, that a deeper drip tray would be nice if it were there, I agree.  But, using a small plastic box, and dumping the box to the sink, works just fine, maybe better, since it's so simple to dump.  I'd probably still use this method even if the drip tray were deeper.  The pressure release valve output in a day is about half the tray, and it works for me to dump and clean the pan each night.

This machine is so beautiful that it's even more thrilling than I expected to actually make such high quality shots.  Mark's review makes it clear that surprisingly great shots can result.  Still, getting them as easily as reported and right off the bat, can't be stressed enough.

I was able to dial in balanced full bodied rich shots with my old Rocky Grinder just as quickly as Mark reports.  A side-by-side comparison with my well-appreciated Rancilio Audry shots made the word syrupy and honey-like come to life for me.  My results have been quite consistent, regardless of bean type used.

Thanks again for such an excellent and well-detailed review!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 3 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Articles > Detailed Reviews > Elektra...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
LavAzza Espresso Machines
Awesome capsule espresso machines. Perfect for home, office and restaurant applications.
www.espressozone.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.272271156311)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+