We asked Patrick, who leads our team in dedicated refurbishing of espresso machines, to talk to us about the process they follow when they’re rebuilding a machine. He talks about testing, part replacement, aesthetic quirks and what they go through in preparing a refurb.
If making espresso was a children’s fairy tale, this experimentation is all about good ol’ Papa Bear. According to Kenneth Davids, an espresso lungo is 2 oz of espresso, or 2/3 of a demitasse, pulled using the coffee dosage for a single espresso.
We have had several folks ask us if some machines are more suited to this than others, but we really think it’s probably going to be more defined by the coffee you’re using. However, we still tried it out on a few different machines to see if any of them produced a better long shot than the others. Watch Gail pull long shots from the Rocket Giotto, Nuova Simonelli Oscar, Saeco Via Venezia and Crossland CC1.
So you’ve got an espresso machine with a pressurized portafilter — like a Saeco Aroma, Via Venezia or Sirena — and you’re looking to improve your shots. Dialing it in doesn’t require the same level of precision as when you’re using a non-pressurized portafilter, and since the pressurization system impacts the pace of the shot, you can’t dial it in by timing the shots. So, what’s left? Tasting, of course!
Watch as Gail tries different grind and prep techniques and how that impacts shot flavor on the Via Venezia.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade the stock plastic panarello on your Saeco Via Venezia or Aroma with the stainless steel version or you just need to replace a well-loved panarello on your Sirena, the most important thing to keep in mind is: Do not lose those compression fittings! These aren’t sold separately, so if you lose one, you’ve gotta pick up a whole new assembly.
Watch Gail as she walks us through how to install a panarello on the Via Venezia.
This is one of our crew faves (from !!!Bunny!!!) and we realized the only video crew review we had done on this machine covered the refurbished models we work on and carry. So we thought we’d take you through a brand spankin’ new model — which performs exactly as a refurb, it’s just a little bit shinier. Watch Gail take us through her usual lecture on the Incanto Deluxe’s features and functionality, then demonstrate making a latte.
In our next round of updated buying guides, Gail takes us through several single boiler espresso machines under the $1k mark, giving us a basic overview and comparison of their features. She talks about the Saeco Aroma, Via Venezia & Sirena, the Francis Francis X7, the Rancilio Silvia, the Ascaso Dream & Uno Pro with PID and the Crossland CC1. If you’re in the market for a machine, this is a great primer on some of the available options.
Our refurbished Sirenas are incredibly popular because they have some great functionality for the price — including automatic, programmable buttons. The key with the two programmable buttons is that you have minimums below which you cannot program them: The single cup cannot produce less than 1.5 oz and the double 3.0 oz. If you try to program them for less than these minimums, the programming will not be saved and it will revert to the default values.
Watch Gail as she walks us through programming our demo Sirena.