Lever or not ??? (should it stay or should it go?)

New Cafe Lever Machine?- Yea or Nah

  • Yes use a lever, Tradition and shot quality is important!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No forget you are a roaster at all and use a superauto

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
Look, I love lever machines. The theatre, the sweet...sweet shots. I have a three group Lever in a cafe at present. My question is- I am opening a new cafe July. It needs a machine. Should it be a lever or not? The slight kink in the equation is most of the clientale will be antipodean (look it up in the dictionary for definition :wink: ) many like "Long Blacks" which often run through the portafilter of a traditional semi for a long while. You cant do this with a lever machine- designed for short, crisp, sweet and precise shots!


Well-known member
Aug 15, 2005
Central North Carolina
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After owning an Olympia Cremina NOTHING else compares in my book. Yeah some like the convenience and repeatability of semi and auto machines, but the lever allows the barista to be all hands on and I appreciate it now that I own one.

Thought about having both if room allows? Later!
Sadly only room for one. Last November I was Italy at the Del Doge in Venice- fantastic example of coffee commitment in a tiny space. They had 3x 3 groups (1x 3group lever Brasilia and 2x3 group Brasilia Semis). Most of the work was done on the lever machine- producing good quality shots. The bulk of machines I saw South of Rome were levers- in the North (including in Venice) mainly semis and an occasional auto. No superautos! Like the regional foods, coffee quality and blending reflected the atmosphere the area I was in. In the North generally slick, fast (by Italian standards)- the south slower, laid back and suprising.

Anyway back to the Poll- watching with interest!!!!
Hey EPD. As always I value your advice and comments. I think my experience with levers to date might actually suprise you. For sure the machine looks more daunting to use than a semi or an automatic- the levers themselves on the groups can scare of some even experienced baristi. However- generally I find I get much better quailty shots from barista using the lever than from the semi. This does really only apply to short, espresso, doppio and lunggo shots- it does no really work with anything longer cause the machine design reflects Italian drink culture- not that elsewhere. Stability is actually better than you would expect- although no where near as good as a semi or auto with heat exchangers.
PinkRose said:
For those of us who don't always have a dictionary handy, here is a link to the definition, plus you can click on the icon to hear the pronounciation.

http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_18615 ... odean.html


Thanks Rose! We An-Tipo-de-ans sometimes forget that those north of a line drawn through Cairns have never heard the expressioh before! :)


New member
Feb 8, 2005
South Africa
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my first machine i got was a semi auto and i was very happy with it...i then got another and couldnt as for better, but i have now got my 3rd machine for another shop im opening, a lever and when i tried it for the 1st time (complete with a step by step instruction on the pre-infusion sweet pot :wink: ) i couldnt believe the results.
if it wasnt for the clear difference i got after trying it, i would have gone with the semi auto.

stick to the lever, im tempted to replace my semi's with levers.
Not so sadly C.B. :( Astoria (CMA) which builds my Rapallo machines must close down part of their production schedule to squeeze in the build for the lever. They produce so few these days that the Lever is more expensive for me than a semi. I forgot how many they have built this year, but from memory I could count them on my finger and toes- out of a total of 28,000 machines built! I am kind of secretly homing my fetish for lever and my postings around the place will fuel a renaissance. Actually on another site debate about levers has reached fever pitch. I like Cindys comments. Her observatios really run par with mine!

John P

Active member
Jan 5, 2007
Salt Lake City
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This could be a very easy decision, but the fact that you are asking the question brings these thoughts to mind.

Pull several shots of your espresso on the lever and on the other machine --
Which speaks to you? Is one hands down better espresso? Or are they just different?

Does your roasting style and espresso best suit the lever?
Does the vibe of your store change with a different machine?
Does it improve? or Does it worsen?

From my perspective, unless you are dramatically improving the taste and consistent quality of your espresso, then stick with the Lever.