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Coffee at the Moment by Mark Prince
CoffeeGeek Holiday Gift List 2013 - Price is No Object!
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: December 14, 2013
Article rating: 10.0
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Elektra Microcasa A Leva Espresso Machine - $1,350
Posted by Mark Prince, 2:30pm Permalink to this blog entry
electra

To this day, one of the best shots of espresso I've ever had, has come from this machine: the Elektra Microcasa a Leva. A beautiful spring piston lever espresso machine.

These machines are pure works of art. Elektra polishes and coats every surface so they gleam, shine, and look awesome. But you're also seeing all the "guts" of the machine when you look at this - the tower at the back of the machine? That's the boiler. The polished round thing up front? The exposed grouphead. The tube on the left? That's the connected sight glass to show you water levels.

This is not a "smart" machine. No real electronics save for the most basic thermostats and safety devices to keep it from blowing up. No PID, no rotary pump, no dual boiler action. The boiler tower is a single boiler and drives both the espresso brewing water and the steam pressure for frothing your milk.

Instead, it's a pure manual machine. It is a spring piston, meaning that you cock the spring by pulling down on the lever, and releasing it so the spring itself pushes water through your bed of ground coffee you packed into the portafilter. You can even operate the machine turned off and unplugged after you let it heat up to brewing temperatures.

That manual control lets you control the preinfusion time. Hold the lever down longer and you get longer preinfusion, using just the boiler's pressure (around 1.2bar). Release the lever and the spring's initial 9bar of pressure force does its job, and over the shot, reduces the pressure to finish at around 3 or 4 bar of pressure. Grab the arm again during the shot, and you can bring the pressure down yourself.

It's not without flaws: the drip tray is horribly tiny, for example. There's not hot water ability for americanos (steam your water up to boiling). There's no cup warmer.

But as pure elegance, and manual espresso preparation, this is the tip of the top for home in terms of looks and old school function.

Product Link (1st in Coffee, USA)

Article rating: 10.0
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: December 14, 2013
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Coffee at the Moment Column Archives email author
Mark PrinceColumn Description
Whether it's up to the minute, happening this day, this week, or in the recent past, this column's goal is to present coffee and attempts to make the experience truly culinary. You'll find short reviews about past events, interesting coffees coming on the market, new and different ways to enjoy espresso and other brewing methods, and give an insight into efforts around the globe to make coffee a truly culinary thing. Column written by Mark Prince.

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