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Livia G4 or Expobar Lever Plus
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Livia G4 or...  
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Vsquare
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Joined: 25 Jan 2014
Posts: 10
Location: NJ
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Feb 28, 2014, 10:30am
Subject: Livia G4 or Expobar Lever Plus
 

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the forum and have been lurking a little bit. Currently researching on purchasing our first espresso machine and given the price point, the machines I'm thinking at the moment are the Livia G4 and the Expobar Lever Plus. I've read a lot of good things about the Expobar Lever but nothing really on the Livia G4 just a youtube video on it by SCG and WLL. Just wondering if anyone can provide any insight tha would be great. We're more of latte/milk based coffee drinkers but wouldn't mind an occassional espresso shot every now and then. I'm also thinking of partnering it with the Compak K3. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 10:03am
Subject: Re: Livia G4 or Expobar Lever Plus
 

Historically, Expobar has been highly regarded for their "Brewtus" models . . . less so for their "Lever" series.  This may have changed since I owned one, but there are (relatively) few users of the Lever models when compared to Brewtus.  The Pasqini Livia G4 is a relatively new machine, and not widely used.

Just out of curiosity, why did you settle on these two machines?

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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Vsquare
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2014
Posts: 10
Location: NJ
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 11:28am
Subject: Re: Livia G4 or Expobar Lever Plus
 

Thanks for taking the time.

As for the Lever it's because of good pricing, a lot of resources/support from WLL via their site and some good feedback overseas. As for the Livia G4, I'm currently seeing a very good price point on it, only a couple of hundred dollars above the Lever - if it wasn't for this I would've pulled the trigger on the Lever. I'm looking to pair either one of them with a Compak K3. I was also looking into the Quick Mills but they are just out of my budget and from what I can see, I can get more bang for the buck on the Expobar.
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Vsquare
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2014
Posts: 10
Location: NJ
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 11:52am
Subject: Re: Livia G4 or Expobar Lever Plus
 

Oh, a couple of more things, the Livia G4 I am looking at has a PID and is also an HX machine.
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 612
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 11:53am
Subject: Re: Livia G4 or Expobar Lever Plus
 

The livia is very pretty but doesnt offer much for its price. I am partial to expobar as I own a brewtus. What gets me is that for the price of the livia, you can buy a brewtus. The brewtus is a dual boiler PID machine. You can get the iv-p which is plumbable and reservoir for about $1800 through WLL. If you can plumb, you can get the rotary pump model for not much more.


Any of these machines will do what you need them to. Especially with the compak grinder... Whatever machine you go with, do  not skimp on the grinder.

I say expobar, and for your price range Id say go big or go home.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Dallis Bro's (NYC): New York Espresso

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 12:00pm
Subject: Re: Livia G4 or Expobar Lever Plus
 

Yes, if you can reach for the Brewtus, get that and don't look back.  The build quality on the Brewtus machines is a step-up from the Lever/Office models.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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Vsquare
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Joined: 25 Jan 2014
Posts: 10
Location: NJ
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 12:03pm
Subject: Re: Livia G4 or Expobar Lever Plus
 

Thank you guys for your feedback, I really appreciate it.
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
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Location: Monrovia, CA
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Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 12:29pm
Subject: Re: Livia G4 or Expobar Lever Plus
 

There's just not enough information out on the G4 to tell you much you can't get from the retailers' sites.  

I've been doing business with Pasquini since the early nineties, and owned and used Liva 90 for something like eighteen years, but have no experience with the G4.  

As an espresso machine "manufacturer," Pasquini doesn't make its own stuff but either brands machines made by factories owned by other makers, either on a custom basis -- or merely by dressing up a current product in a new box and slapping their own label on it.  

One thing about "dressing up," Pasquini F&F (fit and finish) is always top notch.  For instance, my old Liva 90 looked and felt better to operate than the Bezzera 99 it really was.  

As far as I can tell the G4 is custom.  

Over the past few decades -- with the exception of a couple of great machines and a couple of stinkers -- the general problem with Pasquini machines has been value.  This was especially true of the old Livia 90 which became increasingly obsolete, even as its price rose to keep pace with its more modern and better performing competitors.  

However given its specs and feature set, the G4 seems to have nearly all of the right stuff and, at its current (introductory) price seems to be something of a bargain.  

If the choice is between the Expobar and Pasquini, I'd take a chance on the Pasquini.  However, there are quite a few E-61 HXs at around $1750, and E-61 means at least some type of pre-infusion.  I'm not sure whether or not the G4's "independently heated group" is enough of a trade-off to compensate for its lack of pre-infusion, given that a properly tuned E-61 is fairly stable and very easy to temp.    

Lots of competition in the price range from Bezzera, Isomac, Quick Mill, Rocket and Vibiemme to name a few.  Tough call.  Try not to worry too much about it though, nearly all of them will suit your needs.  And, as long as you pass it through the group here, it's unlikely you'll choose a stinker without someone giving you a "Don't."  

I'm a big fan of WLL too.  But good as they are, they aren't the only great retailer on the web.  Look at Chris, Clive, 1stLine, idrinkcoffee, Prima, and Seattle Coffee Gear (again) to name just a few.    

GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER

The biggest bang in the bang for the buck of espresso equipment comes from the grinder and not the machine.  A $1000 machine paired with a $1500 grinder, will make MUCH better espresso than a $6000 machine mated to a $500 grinder.  

Either of the machines you asked about, and just about everything else in the general price range, is capable of exposing the weaknesses of any grinder and highlighting the strengths of the very best.  

If you're thinking about something like a Baratza Preciso or something else in that class, you're making a mistake.  Anything less than a Compak K3 or Baratza Vario (which grinds in the same, "in the cup" class), and you're short changing the machine by quite a bit; and there's certainly many better (although significantly more expensive) grinders from which to choose.  

It's a personal decision of course, but I don't think I'd go with anything less than a Mazzer SJ, and would consider stretching as far as a Compak K-10 PB.  

If your budget is such that you have to compromise a little on either the machine or the grinder -- compromise on the machine.  

Rich
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CSME9
Senior Member
CSME9
Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 273
Location: West Texas
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea, Rancilio Silvia,...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: Moka Pot
Roaster: BBQ Roaster
Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 12:54pm
Subject: Re: Livia G4 or Expobar Lever Plus
 

I have never owned a Lever Plus but I did have 3 new double boiler Brewtus machines that ALL were duds within a week.
But the very few shots I was able to pull were richer tasting than most other machine's I have owned to include QM and Vivaldi. My friend has a 3 year old Expobar Lever and he has never had an issue.
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dwRK
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Joined: 14 Sep 2013
Posts: 92
Location: Houston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 1:40pm
Subject: Re: Livia G4 or Expobar Lever Plus
 

The G4 looks like a Bezzera BZ13 rebadge...I'd search on that...
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