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Bezzera "Family" Espresso Machine -- Sold!

Kin to our beloved (and sold) SAMA Club machine.  There's some question about which of these actually came first, but it seems Bezzera either knocked off, or licensed, the SAMA design/tooling for this "Family" model.   


Produced from approx. the late 70's to mid 80s.


(It lives on today as the Ponte Vecchio "Lusso," with the most notable difference being the loss of the front facing "joysticks.")


(Check out the OE SAMA video on our Resource page for a view of one of these in action, here.)


The group is different than SAMA's Elektra MCAL, but with Bezzera's own spring assisted model, users can still remove two bolts on the top, and pull out the piston for easy servicing.  


The stainless steel drip tray and cup warmer are obviously Bezerra, with their trademark cool "moon crater" holes, but the body, frame, boiler and electronics are essentially the same as the SAMA Club.


Built like tanks, with heavy welded steel frames, thick steel bodies, and heavy gauge stainless panels.  This chrome on the solid brass group is really thick.  It's hard to believe this level of quality materals, and "overbuilt" construction is now considered a thing of the past.  Now "impossibly extravagant, and too expensive," to go into products intended for home use. 


When handling one of these, you're reminded that we're not likely to see "consumer" espresso machines (or anything else, for that matter) being built to these standards anymore. 


And as with the SAMA, dig those steam and hot water "joysticks."  (Right around the time Atari was bringing out thier "revolutionary" ultra modern joystick controls for home Pong games!)  One of the early adopters of "quick release" valves. 


And of course, 70's Italian Orange is well represented on these, although this one has been repainted over the factory orange.


Obviously missing some chrome on the lever roller "wheels," and a few minor pits on the lever itself, and the decals for the steam and hot water wands are missing/worn (as is the case on most of these) but this "club style" machine is very presentable, and still packs loads of charm.  The "defects" are reflected in the price.  (The wheels could be removed and re-chromed, but we're trying to keep this affordable.)


The group on this "Family" has been rebuilt, with new piston seals, and it has a brand new heating element, and pressurestat.  (These little MA-TER pressurestats wear out eventually, but they are cheap, and easy for the home DIYer to replace when the time comes.)   


As with most "home" levers, this piston doesn't generate the pressure an electric pump does, which means espresso shots have a different character than electric pump machines.  Obviously the operator has a lot of control over the outcome, but to grossly generalize, the lower pressure and smaller baskets on home levers make it harder to extract oily "crema," but the trade-off is shots tend to be "sweeter," less acidic, and overall have a "smoother" character. 


Less oil extracted means a lighter mouth feel, but the coffee flavor itself is more refined.


This will come with one of our custom steam tips, to lift it out of the steaming Stone Age, but the pics depict the stock steam wand.


Overall a sweet, heavy duty, affordable vintage Italian lever, in good order, with a compact 12x12 footprint.  The "commercial lever machine hit with a shrink ray" comment we made about the SAMA obviously fits here as well.  And even though these are fairly rare machines, thanks to Ponte Vecchio still making the Lusso, most parts are still replaceable with new!  



Bezzera "Family" Espresso Machine -- Sold!

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