[Homeroast] Espresso machine shopping

Greg Hollrigel ghollrigel at gmail.com
Tue Dec 30 09:25:21 CST 2014

I have a Salvatore Automatic (HX vibration pump) and it is great.  But, I
was helping someone in my neighborhood learn to use an Alex Duetto II, and
man, that machine was fantastic.  Quiet, consistent, and great shots.  I
only used it for a few hours, but I really liked it.  I've heard good
things about the Duetto III but no first hand experience.  I've also used a
friend's Alex I, and I liked that too.  So I don't think you can go wrong
with Izzo.


On Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 10:50 AM, Starfinder Stanley <coffee at starf.org>

> Well, after a dozen years of labor, my little Salvatore Famosa espresso
> machine seems to be teetering on its last legs... and it's had a
> centipede's life, with me replacing solenoids a few times and a boiler
> element that burned out after the leaky steam solenoid ran the boiler dry
> (oops!).  Now the backflush valve is failing along with yet another
> solenoid...  So I'm looking at replacing it, and considering my options,
> which have expanded considerably in the last 10 years....
> Thinking about a spring-lever piston driven machine vs the vibrational (or
> rotary) pump versions; I learned to pull espresso on my dad's old Conti
> lever machine, and always loved that beastie (though not so much when it
> was time to refill the boiler ---that was a real PITA!).
> Salvatore (an Italian immigrant who hand-builds his machines in southern
> california) is making a spring-lever version now, which looks interesting.
> Also, a friend pointed out that Bezzera, whose founder apparently invented
> the espresso machine in 1901, is making a small spring-lever machine for
> home use as well:
> http://www.wholelattelove.com/products/bezzera-strega-lever-espresso-machine
> I also see that SM's has 2 more robust options on the site, though one is
> out of stock; one down side is that neither can be plumbed in, which I
> would like the option to do eventually.
> Does anybody have suggestions or warnings about machines in this price
> range (1500-2500) and spring-lever piston vs vibrational pumps etc?
> Arguments for or against double boiler machines like the La Spaziale
> Vivaldi or Izzo Duetto III?
> While I'm asking, how about filtration systems for well water for plumbed
> in machines?  We have pretty good quality well water than runs through a
> calcite filter and KCl softener to take out iron/Mg/Mn/Ca, comes out pretty
> low in dissolved solids.  Reservoir machines allow you to use more pristine
> water (distilled, RO, etc), but I have always disliked having my coffee
> made with water that's been sitting in a heated plastic container....
> Thanks!
> ...Starfinder
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