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Expobar E61, 1 Group"Leva" -- Sold!

Super clean Expobar E61 "Office Leva" machine.  For the people who've been waiting for something "more modern." 


It's fairly sparkling condition sold us on it, but when we started going through it we were reminded once again of the difference between something you buy off the street (ebay, a "garage sale," etc.) and a machine you'd get from us.  


Check out the "before" pic of the shower screen.  Seemed fine looking up at it in the group.  But after pulling it out... underneath that shiny wire mesh was serious CRUD.  (The pic with the red seal is the new screen we installed instead of just trying clean the original.) 


No knock on the previous owners, who were pretty anal about keeping their machine clean, but even the most conscientious owners seldom (if ever) look "under the hood."  Even people who like to "backflush," or change their own gaskets, can end up with gunk like this without even realizing it.   


A lot of people are in the habit of "overdosing," under the assumption that cramming more coffee in the basket must be a "good" thing.  Unaware that not leaving any space above the puck has consequences. 


Overloaded baskets can push coffee up into the screen, and actually slow the pour down.  A lot.  That can fool people into thinking their grind is too fine, so they go coarser, which leads to faster, but weaker shots, and more frustration.   Leaving enough "head room" on top  of the puck is one of those tricks that just takes some expirimention with your machine to figure out. 

But regulars know we're not here to nag people about "correct" espresso making technique.  We're just sayin', we have to "restore" machines, so we DO look under the hood.   And if you actually look, you're likely to find stuff.  It's one of the annoying things about having a conscience in a "business" like this. 


To put it another way, when you buy an espresso machine from us, you're getting one without the crud.    


Another spot on the E61 "chrome boxes" we look at, even if a machine "works fine," is the "mushroom."   It's the heart of the E61 group, inside that big chome thing sticking out the front.  Almost nobody ever seems to looks at it, but when we pull them out, what is smooth chrome when new, looks like a coral reef!   We pull them out and clean or replace them as part of the E61 routine rebuild. 


This mushroom obviously bathed in really good water running over it's life, and as E61s go, was an easy clean up job.   We only had to replace the seals, and the clean "gliceur" orifice, so this one should be good to go for quite a while. 


Expobars are made in Spain, and the comany sold a lot of these over the years, because they're one of the really good E61s for the money. 


They feature all the usual "pro" attributes, including auto fill, pressurestat controlled heating, safety overheat cutoff switch, copper plumbing, and insulated copper boiler, manometer, etc.


This one also has a "cool touch" steam arm, which is sweet if you make a lot of milk drinks.   (Or just tired of getting burnt fingers!) 


And the separate hot water wand will even impress tea drinkers.  But we like it for cleaning out milk pitchers, or heating up cups in a flash.

The machine can be plumbed in, or you can use the inboard water tank.   A simple turn of a valve underneath, switches back and forth.  (Plumbed in is the most convenient with an E61, where you may find yourself running a lot of water through the group for "cool downs."  But a lot of people have mean landlords, or just aren't in a situation where they can plumb a machine in, so the option to go either way is a serious plus.) 


If you've been waffling about a single boiler vs. a double boiler, one thing to keep in mind is that double boiler machines are almost twice as complicated on the inside.  Meaning twice the stuff to potentially have to deal with (fix) eventually. 


Fortunagely, the Expobar single boilers are really robust, reliable, and easy to maintain.  They're a good way to break into "serious" espresso making at home.


We'll through in a steaming pitcher, and a used convex stainless tamper with this one. 


(A new bottomless portafilter is available for $45 extra.)

Expobar E61, 1 Group"Leva" -- Sold!

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