The reason I'm debating these two is because I have very limited counter space. The lelit is the smallest E61 HX machine in the world, and the Elektra although not an E61, has a small footprint, a gorgeous design, and from what I've read here on Coffee Geek delivers excellent espresso. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Posted Tue Dec 10, 2013, 5:23pm Subject: Re: Lelit Mara vs. Elektra Microcasa Semiautomatica
The PL62 Mara looks like a nice package. 1.5 liter boiler would give good stability. Can you buy one in North America? A cursory Google search did not reveal any distributors here.
I have seen the Microcasa in action (at Jim Schulman's house), and it is very nice, but not aesthetically pleasing to my eye. If you like it, I would say you would not be disappointed.
Other compact machines are the Quickmill Alexia (single boiler) or Vibiemme Domobar Junior (and both will save you several hundred dollars over the Elektra). For comparison (in centimeters):
PL62 = 22 w x 40.5 d x 35.5 h Alexia = 22.9 w x 40 d x 38.7 h Junior = 22.9 w x 40.6 d x 43.2 h (edit) also the Bezzera BZ07: BZ07 25 w x 42.5 d x 37.5 h
Of course neither beats the Microcasa's 10 inch (25.4 cm) footprint, if width is the deciding factor, then the PL62 or Alexia or Junior have the Microcasa beat. For the Microcasa you also have to have a place without a height restriction (23" or 58 cm)
The Alexia and Junior are available in North America.
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
Posted Wed Jan 22, 2014, 5:56pm Subject: Re: Lelit Mara vs. Elektra Microcasa Semiautomatica
How compact does it need to be?
Which grinder will you pair with it?
What's your maximum budget?
The Elektra is a good -- but less than great HX -- machine. Unfortunately it's high quality in the cup is balanced by poor ergonomics. The Semiautomatica is inconvenient in a number of ways, especially because the drip tray is so small, it lacks autofill, and is a burn magnet.
Jim Schulman gave it a very good review in H-B, which covers just about everything anyone would want to know. But to give the review some additional context, Jim moved on from the Semiautomatica to the Bezzera Strega without any regret.
There are a lot of good HXs on the market with a narrower than 12" footprint. Some, quite interesting, well built, and with nearly all of their larger brothers' bells and whistles. These machines may not be the lookers that the Elektra is, but are more comfortable living companions.
Have you considered, for instance, the Faema Carisma, or the QM Anita? There are a lot of other machines at the same level as well, not all of them sold by Chris either.
nkbsbl Senior Member Joined: 11 Oct 2013 Posts: 21 Location: NJ Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Elektra Semiautomatica SX Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 11:41am Subject: Re: Lelit Mara vs. Elektra Microcasa Semiautomatica
I have the Elektra Semiautomatica and love it. I'm able to pull shot after shot in a row - works perfect with gatherings. Haven't run into any issues. I bought the machine back in October - the bronze and copper version. I highly recommend. Just a warning that the machine needs to be powered on about 32-33 minutes before reaching correct temperature - make sure you prepare in advance.
Ditto. On such a new unit, we will be getting one for testing - not expected fro another few months and then about 4-6 months of testing by us. HX design is a new area for Lelit, and hence we suggest waiting for proper testing under a 110 volt environment.
Sincerely, Jim Piccinich Business Partner 1st-line Equipment, LLC www.1st-line.com
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