It is clear that for a coffee shop the choice of an espresso machine is one of those essential steps. Basically we can say that the choice is between the lever machine and the automatic machine. These in turn are divided into super automatic and automatic models.
Obviously there are two main aspects to take into account: performance and stage presence, and role in the décor.
Professional coffee machines can be chosen with a focus on performance or beauty.
In the first case, the high number of espressos to be made is considered more important. And in the fear of not being able to satisfy the demand, you choose a machine that, being automatic, has an extraction rhythm that is obviously faster than the lever machine.
In fact, lever coffee machines are slower in their use, because every time it is necessary to prepare the filter holder and lower the lever.
Therefore, choosing an automatic model means focusing on the speed of execution.
However, we must also say that automatic machines, compared to lever machines, are also subject to other types of failures.
So while it is certainly true that automatic models allow a much higher rate of preparation, it is also true that they are more complex machines and fail much more.
Lever machines have essential mechanics
The lever machine has an essential mechanics, simple and evolved over more than a century and a half.
The more modern models, on the other hand, have many technological additions that complicate the mechanism.
An electronic fault, for example, is unlikely to occur when using a lever coffee machine.
So it is clear that when making this choice, it is a matter of careful consideration to include a lever coffee machine for a coffee bar.
Its lines, compared to those of automatic machines, are more vintage and classic. The profiles are drier and more essential, the shapes more solid and classic.
The other fundamental aspect for a bar is beauty, design, furnishings.
A bar is not just a place to stop for a coffee. For us Italians, the bar is a sort of extension of our home. Each of us has a favourite bar, with his or her trusted barista who masters the coffee machine to make our favourite coffee.
Models are more fascinating
The lever machine as we know it today represents the organic development of the first models of the late 19th century. The gestures and rituals of actions that belong to the classical imagination. It is clear that the customer in the bar has the perception that he is drinking a real espresso in a workmanlike manner. It is one of those cases where you can talk about the experience of consuming a product.
With regard to the lever coffee machine for a bar, the fatigue factor must also be taken into account. Since it is a machine that relies for the extraction of coffee on the manual action of the lever to exert pressure on the coffee.
And it is equally clear that an automatic machine that only requires the effort of pressing a button is more suitable for those who want to avoid any fatigue.
Maintenance changes a lot between the different models
What changes in terms of cleaning between the different choices of espresso machines?
In the case of the manual machine, the barista must, each time before preparing a new espresso, purge a small amount of hot water that cleans the ducts.
This means that this type of machine is implicitly cleaner and therefore requires slightly less effort to maintain.
This factor also affects the quality of the espresso: the taste varies less after long use.
Manual models: pressure varies
Another positive aspect of the lever machine is the pressure profile. Automatic models obviously have a constant pressure, whereas manual models do not. By their nature, depending on the gesture of a barista, the pressure varies. This causes the pressure to be slightly higher in the initial part of the extraction. The correct value would be 9 bar, and the fact that it is slightly higher in the initial phase causes the coffee to lose its bitterness. Some of the substances that cause bitterness do not affect the espresso as much as they do in automatic machines.
The taste of espresso with a manual machine varies
Despite this, it has to be said that using a manual espresso machine results in inconsistency in the taste of different cups.
Of course, this aspect also still depends on the fact that there is the human component in its use, which is by its nature inconstant.
A coffee bar must therefore assess these different variables well. For example, it must consider the skill of the staff who will be using it. Manual models are simple, but require practice. Automatic models are more complex but require less practice.
Then there is the aesthetics: manual models decorate with their classic forms, automatic models have a more futuristic air. It has to be said here that the ‘futuristic’ gets old faster than the ‘classic’, which as such does not go out of fashion.
What does not change, however, are the preparation possibilities: with both choices you can prepare more coffee, cappuccinos or long coffee. This last category is not to be confused with American coffee, for which there is an entirely different method of extraction.
Pontevecchio manual models are the ultimate expression of design with classic references. Their operation is the result of artisan passion that has improved their details over the years.
Choosing your ideal model for the bar is easy and fast on our website, where you can also choose among different colours. So you can put in the best possible contribution in terms of beauty and design.
If the manual machine is for your bar, then its best expression is a Pontevecchio model.