Something completely different. This Elektra single spring piston lever machine is priced between the manual lever machines from Pavoni ($600-$1.200) and the commercial double spring piston lever espresso machines, manufactured by Bezzera ($2.100+).
Manual, 1 spring, or 2 spring lever espresso machine?
What is the difference?
With the manual piston (Pavoni), the operator directly via muscle power pushes the water through the ground.. In the spring piston design, the operator tensions via muscle power through the lever the spring system (pulling the lever down): This Elektra comes with one spring above the piston, Bezzera uses the double spring system. By releasing the lever upwards the power / tension of the spring system pressures the piston against the water/coffee ground.
From our standpoint, the manual piston system, manufactured for example by Pavoni is rather a toy and the results are inconsistent caused in the inconsistent pressure executed by the operator with his arm/hand. The Elektra one spring piston system provides - during extraction - a consistent pressure at 8 bar to the coffee ground. The Bezzera double spring system is more sophisticated by launching with higher pressure at 9 bar and lowering this pressure during extraction down to 6 bar which is the best treatment for the espresso ground at all.
- Beautiful Belle Epoque (Twenties) design: Chrome finish on large round base (around 10' diameter), boiler, brewing group, steamdwand and water glass. Polished chrome eagle situated on dome. Bakelite handles. Large, round base.
- One Spring piston-operated grouphead: Lever idle position is up. The operator pulls down against the spring and holds it down until espresso starts to drip out of the portafilter. Then operator releases slowly the lever towards up until the operator feels the resistance of spring against espresso ground and can leave the lever alone traveling slowely up back to the idle position. The tension of the spring pushes against the piston and the piston drives the hot water through the coffee ground underneath. Variation for a double shot: The operator holds down the lever not only until the first drops are coming down but rather longer to extend the amount of water coming through the brewing group for two shots.
- Brass piston: While other machines may have plastic pistons in the grouphead, the Elektra comes with brass piston to house two piston gaskets (upper and lower gasket). Plastic pistons can get brittle and crack over time with all the heat in the grouphead whereas the brass piston in the Elektra is a great add-on to maintain heat within the grouphead.
- Durable brass boiler: Provides exceptionally dry (!!!) steam for creating micro foam.
- Pressure gauge: Shows steam pressure in boiler and needle in green zone indicates optimal time to extract espresso. Standard pressure ranges anywhere between 0.8 - 1.3 bar. Our machine is adjusted to 0.8 bar to provide the best extraction by still having a powerfull steam available.
- Water level sight glass: Indicates level of water in boiler: Please be aware that this machine has not an automatic water refill pump. It is at the operator' discretion to refill water when the level of water as indicated in the water glass at the left of the machines reaches a low point of 1/3 of the visible water range in the water glass (the old fashioned way relaying in humans not electronics). If the operator might forget to refill water in time, heater heats boiler up until safety thermostate kicks out the heater (needs to be reset with a push button underneath of the machine). Please take into account that the safety thermostate should not be your way to get alerted to refill water since still a heat damage on the boiler is possible.
- Armour-plated heating element: Rated at 800 Watts.
- Physical boiler pressure relief valve: Located on top of boiler for safety.
- Internal pressure regulator: Automatically regulates the temperature via boiler pressure to switch on and off the heater.
- Built-in safety thermostat: Prevents meltdown if left without water - please note that you can still damage the heating element if the machine is run dry (without water).
- Measurements (w/ handle): 21" Height x 10.24" Width x 10.24" Depth
- Weight: 24.25 lbs
- Cup height underneath portafilter: 2.8"
- Power: 800 watts, 110 volts, 60 hertz, 15 amps regular kitchen outlet.
- Boiler capacity: 33.8 ounces (1.8 liters).
- Filter basket size: 49-50 mm.
- Made in Treviso, Italy.
Operator's instruction (does not substitute the manual)
- Security Warning: Do not pull the lever down without holding the filled portafilter installed into the grouphead. The grind needs to be ground for espresso opump machines. Failure to do so might damage to the machine and personal injury.
- Water quality requirements: It is very important to use 'softened water' in these machines, as well as all espresso machines. Hard water will cause these machines to scale and malfunction. Elektra will not cover the parts and labor within the warranty due to hard water. Maximum calcium level in the water you like to use: 50 ppm Calcium.
- Water level in boiler: It is extremely important to run this espresso lever machine with water in the boiler at least visible 25% full in the sight glass to the left. Running these models with a water level lower than 25% visible water level can cause damage on the heating element which will not be covered as this is not a manufacturer's defect.
- Portafilter: As with all semi-automatic and automatic espresso machines, it is very important to fill into the portafilter 7 European gram of espresso grind for the 1-shot basket, and 14 European gram of espresso grind for the 2-shot basket.If you overfill, the extraction will be too slow.extractioin will be too fast. The Italian understanding is 1 ounce of espresso including crema equals one shot.Now having the right amount of espresso ground in your basket, please lock the portafilter with both ears into the brewing group. You need to turn the portafilter counterclockwise from 180 degree towards 160 degree, or in hours from 6 to 5 or 4.30. Then you are ready for the extraction. Failure to follow these steps might cause a pop down of thel portafilter when you release the lever according to the instructions. If it pops down, the "good news" is there is only one ounce of espresso/water mix messing up your countertop. For further instructions, please read the Elektra manual as well as watch our You Tube Channel "Italian Bean Delight" thereunder the categories machine reviews and espresso4dummies.
- Boiler pressure: The recommended boiler pressure is between 0.75 bar and 1.2 bar which you can read out at the gauge to the left. You might know the rule that as more as you increase the boiler pressure within the operating limits, as stronger your steam will be. On the flip side as more as you increase the boiler pressure as more you increase the extraction temperature which ruins the coffee flavor. We adjust this machine to 0.9 or 1.0 bar so you get a flavorful espresso shot and the steam is still dry and strong. Over time, the settings you might need to change as the machine ages. In addition, if the boiler pressure reads 1.4 and up to 1.5, this is a symptom of limescale buildup from calcium/magnesium in the water or oxidation from purified/RO water. In this case, the machines will need to be descaledy. When you descale please be aware that you need to replace he pressurestat easy accessible from underneath of the platform. Please be aware that limescale buildup or oxidation which can occur in as little as 1 week. To prevent damage, we will provide you with a kit to understand the level of calcium in the water
- Body finish: Elektra espresso machines feature a high polish finish, with materials ranging from chrome to copper to brass. Most parts are clear-coated. Special attention is required when cleaning. Harsh products can eat away at the clear coat or even etch the chromed finish. Descaling solution can eat clean through plating. The exterior color, which includes a clear coat finish, will naturally change as each each Elektra machine ages. This would not be covered under warranty as color changes are not considered manufacturer's defects.
- Safety thermostat: There is a safety feature on this machine when water is not pumped into the boiler on initial startup. If this isn't done the safety kicks off and the machine will have to be reset. On the bottom of the machine underneath the yellow cap there is a reset button for the safety thermostat. Please call us 800 746 6174 if you need further help.
- Maintenance: This machine cannot be backflushed and there is no need for it
- Elektra is primarily a manufacturer of commercial machines. Hence also this machines for home are tested with water and coffee to insure there are no leaks under pressure and to insure proper operation when received by the customer. Although the manufacturer cleans each grouphead to the best of their ability, you may find some coffee grinds in the grouphead or on the machine when dislodged from the grouphead during shipping.
The price is calculated as "free shipping" for the lower states. For Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Canada as well as international, please call us and we are more than happy to quote you your price including safe shipment to your destination.