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Bezzera Strega Tank 2-spring Lever Machine + Barista Training - Special IBD Version


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Embrace The Subtleties!

So, you love the aesthetic of a lever machine and the taste of a manually pulled espresso shot? But, you’re intimidated by the steep learning curve of a true manual lever espresso machine? You’re not alone. Bezzera has designed a totally unique espresso maker for people just like you!

Behold the Strega.

Strega is the Italian word for witch or sorceress. It’s totally appropriate because I promise you will be astonished bewitched by this ingenious design. Keep reading for all the details on this pump-lever hybrid and why it might be just what you’re looking for.

The Full Bezzera Strega Review

The Bezzera Strega occupies an interesting niche. Manual purists will probably scoff at its noisy pump and electronically heated lever group, while at the same time, lovers of automation will be wary of the manual lever. But for the right audience, there is definitely no other machine like it.  

Brewing Capacity

There is something special about a classic lever espresso machine.

It’s a nostalgic blast from the past, but it’s not just a romantic throwback. A properly pulled shot from a lever machine also yields a flavor and clarity that’s difficult to mimic on an automatic machine. The trade-off is that these proper shots are more challenging to master. A Strega might help you to minimize the challenge of a Pavoni and other toys, but not espresso machines.


This unique machine combines the barista control of a lever with modern technology that makes it more accessible. As a result, even beginners can produce some spectacular shots with just a bit of practice. And we help out to dial in the correct ground which will safe you some hours of experimenting at all, beside of the complementary Barista training, we


While some have suggested that this machine is too expensive for a heat exchanger, I think they’re missing the point. The Strega’s manual-style flow profiling capabilities put it in a class all its own, not to be compared with the average heat exchanger machine.

Let’s cover the basics. On the front, you’ll find a chrome-plated brass group topped with the unmistakable large lever. It’s a particular Bezzera group, designed in-house rather than a typical E61, but it retains the industry standard 58 mm size, so it’s easy to accessorize. This is linked to a 2-liter copper heat exchange boiler heated by a powerful 1450 W heating element. 

But here’s where things take a turn. The Strega also has a vibratory pump, not something you’d expect in a lever machine. A typical manual machine uses two springs to generate pressure, and a typical automatic machine uses a pump.

The Strega uses both pump and lever. Two forms of pressure.

A pump applies a relatively constant pressure of about 9 bars throughout the shot in a typical automatic espresso machine. With the Strega, the pump starts the shot by filliing the cylinder, imitating the plumbed in pressure of the fresh water, at a pressure closer to 11 bars, until you see the first drop and release the lever out of the park position. At that moment the pump shuts off, since you want to the pressure you tentioned with your muscles in the two springs, now loaded.  As you release the lever, it sails up by itself, and releases the pressure tapers from about 9.5 bars to 5.5 bars. This sort of pressure profiling is what makes shots from lever machines so delicious. Just ask industry expert and former World Barista Champion James Hoffman.

"A lot of this desire comes from the profile of espresso produced by lever machines, which have a very different pressure profile compared to a pump driven machine."

Secondly, in a commercial 2-spring lever machine as well as in this prosumer lever machine from Bezzera, you have no turbulences in the coffee puck: There is no jet injection with a diffuser plate approaching the coffee puck. No: It is just the hot water sitting on top of the coffee puck, now kindly, gently pressured by the piston with a 53mm even footprint down through the coffee puck. The results are convincing, the flavor profile of your coffees will extend by 30%, you might want to change to a better roast, try our Danesi and Manaresi beans!

But that’s not all! Because you can also control the lever, you can exert more influence over the flow rate through the shot. With practice and drinking plenty of espressos, you will be able to use this machine to tease the best flavors from different specialty coffee beans. More expensive automatic machines often add flow control modifications to mimic this very process.

All in all, thanks to this unique hybrid design, the Strega is good for:

Medium roast, dark medium roast

Oily dark roast, it does not clogg the machine like oily beans do with pump machines

Sorry, but light roast is a joke and not coffee, our forecast, in 3 years from 2023 nobody will talk anymore about light roast, like other marketing jokes of the past.

What else?

Interestingly, the heating system in the Strega is also a bit of a hybrid. First, there’s the 1450 W heating element that heats the copper boiler. But the group itself is also electronically heated, rather than the more traditional thermosyphon heating used by E61 groups. The Strega’s group includes two heating elements controlled by a thermostat to yield improved temperature stability.

Because of this combination, you end up with a temperature profile that mirrors, in some ways, the pressure profile. Each shot starts hot and cools off as it progresses. Thanks to the high starting temperature, you’re able to properly extract the rich caramel sweetness and fruit flavors typical to Arabica beans. But the cooler finishing temperature prevents over-extraction, avoiding bitter or muddy flavors. 

Shots from lever machines like this are often described as offering incredible clarity.

Another nice feature common to all lever machines is the ability to control pre-infusion, a low pressure wetting of the grounds prior to brewing that aids extraction and avoids channeling. You can do it with the Strega by raising the lever a bit to stop the pump and holding it in place for as long as you want pre-infusion to last.

User Friendliness

Once upon a time, all espresso machines were manual machines. But these days, they have become mainly the realm of keen hobbyists. This is not for no reason. They are certainly more challenging to master than automatic espresso machines. 

However, Bezzera has made the Strega considerably easier to use than other lever machines by including the pump. If you’re relatively new to espresso but still have your heart set on this style of the espresso maker, this one is an excellent entry point to the genre. 

Of course, the biggest difference between using the Strega and a standard heat exchange espresso maker is that the shot is pulled using the lever rather than a button or knob. So it does require more physical effort to make a shot with this machine. You need to pull the lever down and guide it back up. It’s not exactly a workout, but you do need to be involved. 

In fact, a danger of this machine is that if you forget to guide the lever, it can snap up pretty aggressively, giving you a nasty punch in the face if you’re not careful.

The boiler on the Strega is auto-refilling, which is nice in terms of user-friendliness as it avoids one extra step. You will probably want to do cooling flushes in between shots, as you would with any HX machine, to ensure the lever group isn’t too hot. 

In general, this type of machine is a relatively slow way of making shots, which is relatively slow to recover. So I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re regularly serving a crowd and pulling many back-to-back shots. You’re relegated to about one espresso every two minutes.

Milk Frothing

With its 2 liters horizontal boiler, the Strega has incredible steam power. Combine this with its commercial style 4-hole tip, and you can froth milk ultra fast. It makes steaming ultra fast. If you haven’t worked with a commercial machine before, it will probably be too fast at first! It takes some practice to handle this amount of power.

You can froth 6 ounces for a cappuccino in under 10 seconds. Or you can steam for about 45 seconds before the boiler needs to recover, enough for two 12 ounce lattes! A nice perk of all this power is how easily you can produce the perfect silky microfoam for latte art, a surefire way to impress your guests.

The downside? Once you master this level of power, you’ll find it impossible to go back to the standard home machine, where the steam will feel like a sputter in comparison.

The wand itself is a fully articulated no-burn design. It’s operated by a joystick rather than a knob, which I prefer because it feels more responsive. You can flip the joystick in any direction for a short burst of steam, or lock it in the “up” position for hands-free steaming. 

On the other side of the machine is the dedicated hot water wand. A joystick also operates it, but it has no lock position.

Build Quality

Bezzera is one of the best in the business when it comes to build quality. This is partly due to their incredibly long history. In fact, Luigi Bezzera is credited with inventing the espresso machine, so you could say that the company has been in the business longer than anyone. 

But that’s not the only reason these machines from Bezzera are so well made. They’re also the only company to design, manufacture, and assemble all their components in-house. Common practice is outsourcing a lot of the manufacturing. Yet, keeping everything under one roof guarantees impeccable quality control and ensures all the parts work together as a seamless whole.

The exterior of the Strega is wrapped in a mirror finish stainless steel case with perfect craftsmanship. The edges are smooth, and the joints are perfectly fitted. The drip tray is also stainless steel, even including the hidden underside, a commonplace you’ll see rust develop in lesser quality machines. The top of the Strega acts as a passive cup warmer, which is very effective if you give it enough heat up time.

Of course, the most obvious feature of the Bezzera Strega is its size.

This is a BIG espresso machine.

It probably won’t be suitable for every kitchen. The footprint itself is quite large, at 13” wide by 17.7” deep, but the height is the biggest factor. The Strega is a whopping 29” tall. You won’t be sliding this machine under your cupboards. It needs a dedicated place of honor in your kitchen, which her design requests by herself.

We sell the Strega since more than 10 years, the current version has some minor design flaws. So we decided to make a different price for the machine and upgrade your Strega to our standards, so she can last for 15+ years.

By the way, we offer Barista training complementary!



2 years labor and parts

1 Review Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Amazing and beautiful

    Posted by raphael on 23rd Jun 2015

    For the many Pavoni owners this machine will cure any upgraditis. This machine is a beauty. If you enjoy more than just pushing a button for amazing espresso this may be for you. It can be very simple or you can play with it changing your technique will change your extraction. I love it and Italian bean delight has the best pricing.

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