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Spring Lever & Manual Grinders | Recommendations
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coffeegrindin
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coffeegrindin
Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 10
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 12:35pm
Subject: Spring Lever & Manual Grinders | Recommendations
 

Greetings and Salutations Coffee Gurus!

I'm a grom at this forum and espresso machines but I have a passion for coffee and being hands on. I've been reading a lot of your reviews/guides on Lever Pull Espresso Machines and i would greatly appreciate your opinions/expertise/nerditude:

I am a very fast learner, Mech. Engineer by trade, and love tinkering with EVERYTHING. The following is what i'm looking for in a machine, please help me pick the best brand/type for my needs:

Spring Lever

Single Switch (i.e. Pulling shots & Steaming Milk Simultaneously)

Vintage-ish

110-120V

Sexy

Pressure AND Temp Gauge(Does this exist or is it Necessary?)

I see a LOT of La Pavoni Lever Machines out there which is good because there will be no lack of parts; however they are not Spring Lever and only the "Professional" models can steam and pull simultaneously. Besides La Pavoni and Gaggia the only other brands i've been able to consistently come across are the Elektra Micro Casa. Mostly been scouring ebay for machines to purchase so any advice on styles, websites, brands, refurbishers, etc would be a huge help!

As I've come to learn, the grind makes it or breaks it. Are there any good hand grinders out there that are even closely comparable to an electric grinder. Since i'm trying to keep it vintage figured it doesn't hurt to ask.

thank you in advance!
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johnboddie
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 207
Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: MCAL, Brasilia Mini Classic,...
Grinder: Rossi RR45a,Rocky,...
Drip: Cuisinart (non-grinding)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 3:27pm
Subject: Re: Spring Lever & Manual Grinders | Recommendations
 

Re: "only the "Professional" models can steam and pull simultaneously."

With the LaPavoni (EP or Pro) the problem with pulling a shot and steaming simultaneously is the lack of a third hand. You need to pull the lever, mind the steam valve and hold the pitcher simultaneously. I'm sure it can be done but is likely to feel a bit uncomfortable.

You can steam and pull a shot simultaneously with the Electra MCAL and I expect you could do the same with any other spring piston machine.

Most lever machines lack a temperature gauge.

The most often cited hand grinders for espresso are the ones from Orphan Espresso.
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JZY
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Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 108
Location: CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Control, Sama...
Grinder: HG1 & Pede
Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 4:26pm
Subject: Re: Spring Lever & Manual Grinders | Recommendations
 

Look for a Export or Lusso.  As far as vintage hand grinders many Dienes are good for espresso.
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coffeegrindin
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coffeegrindin
Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 10
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 4:52pm
Subject: Re: Spring Lever & Manual Grinders | Recommendations
 

Haha! My bad, when I said "simultaneously" I meant I'm looking for a machine that keeps the boiler at steaming temperature so I can pull a shot and steam milk without having to wait for the boiler to heat up.

Can the hand grinders produce an adequate espresso Grind and is it able to regulate consistently?

Thanks guys
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victoriacoffees
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victoriacoffees
Joined: 18 Feb 2009
Posts: 46
Location: Victoria
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Izzo Pompei
Grinder: Compak K8 Fresh; Mythos...
Roaster: Ambex 15K; Hottop
Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 6:53pm
Subject: Re: Spring Lever & Manual Grinders | Recommendations
 

When you say "spring lever" are you referring to a spring assist setup like the QM Achille, L-1, etc or a manual piston pull type? If spring assist, easy to steam while the lever rises.

Enjoy the search, that's half the fun!

 
-John
www.victoriacoffees.com
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coffeegrindin
Senior Member
coffeegrindin
Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 10
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 6:56pm
Subject: Re: Spring Lever & Manual Grinders | Recommendations
 

I guess in summary what I'm looking for is a few reliable manufactures of spring pump lever espresso machines that keep the boiler at steaming temp or has the ability to adjust temperature in the boiler (do they make Lever machines with temp gauges?)
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victoriacoffees
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victoriacoffees
Joined: 18 Feb 2009
Posts: 46
Location: Victoria
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Izzo Pompei
Grinder: Compak K8 Fresh; Mythos...
Roaster: Ambex 15K; Hottop
Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 7:25pm
Subject: Re: Spring Lever & Manual Grinders | Recommendations
 

Most machines come with boiler pressure gages only. Those with PIDs offer you a digital boiler temp readout in addition to boiler pressure.

As far as I can tell, and I can be wrong, there are no spring lever machines available in the US with PIDs right now.

 
-John
www.victoriacoffees.com
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SpaceTime
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Thu Jan 30, 2014, 8:44pm
Subject: Re: Spring Lever & Manual Grinders | Recommendations
 

coffeegrindin Said:

Can the hand grinders produce an adequate espresso Grind and is it able to regulate consistently?

Thanks guys

Posted January 30, 2014 link

Do some research on the Pharos and HG One, and make your own call... you won't have a lack of information on these two grinders on this site and Home Barista.  (Home Barista has a lot more Pharos info as OE is a sponsor there, and not here...)  Being an engineer, you will appreciate both of these grinders.

I am thinking critically of trying out an HG One also, the fact it is $900 is one of the biggest reasons I don't already own one.  I love hand grinders...
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crazy4espresso
Senior Member
crazy4espresso
Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia, La Pavoni...
Grinder: Pharos
Posted Fri Jan 31, 2014, 6:04am
Subject: Re: Spring Lever & Manual Grinders | Recommendations
 

Orphan Espresso just released the Lido 2 and is currently taking pre-orders.  You can consider that grinder for espresso as well as the Pharos. The HG One is ridiculously expensive if you consider the cost of the Pharos ($245 vs ~$900?).

As for levers, why spring assist necessarily? You can easily mimic a declining pressure profile with a full manual like the Europiccola or Cremina.  The manuals allow total control, if you value that aspect.
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coffeegrindin
Senior Member
coffeegrindin
Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 10
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Jan 31, 2014, 9:28am
Subject: Re: Spring Lever & Manual Grinders | Recommendations
 

Thanks for all the input. I'll definitely check out the grinders recommended. I guess I'm stoked on the spring pumps due to the coffee geek's reviews on the quality shot they pull. I'm not 100% set on spring but just had a hard time pulling up adequate info on brands.

As far as boiler temp gauges, I'm trying to keep it old school so will not be going with any digital readouts. Didn't realize it wasnt common. Are vintage boiler temp sensors adequate in the older machines? How do you check Temp coming through the group head? Pull a shot of water into a cup with a thermometer in it?

Sorry if these are stupid questions, but as I said I'm a Grom
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