Ponte Vecchio LUSSO 2 (Dual) Group Lever Espresso Machine Classic 'Club' Design
You may have noticed that at Sorrentina Coffee we love our vintage lever espresso machines. The spring lever design was created by Gaggia around 1950 and revolutionised the cafe industry. In 1961 Faema introduced the E61 pump driven machine and the golden age of the lever espresso machine seemed to be over. However those in the know understand that the spring lever group head design produces the most stunning and nuanced espresso possible. In Italy lever espresso machines are still used and much loved.
Ponte Vecchio is keeping the dream alive an enabling home users to experience the quality only a spring driven lever can produce.
The Lusso has two groups- with high quality chromed brass portafilter handles. The lever and group handles are made of genuine bakelite and have a classic feel. Having 2 groups makes this the ultimate home machine for entertaining. You can use both groups simultaneously. The machine comes with four filter baskets: two doubles and two singles. It features a large 3 liter stainless steel boiler, which means you can make 20 espresso shots with no problem at all between fills. It also means you have very good steam pressure for continuous frothing- and you can froth milk whilst you pull your shots. The steam arm works very well, and easily produces rich velvety frothed milk. The boiler is manually filled via a cap under the removable stainless steel glass tray at the top.
In use we have found this to be the best home/domestic lever machine on the market. The group heads are attached to the boiler via a thermosyphon heat exchange- this means they are kept at the ideal temperature for optimal performance at all times. Other domestic lever machines suffer from overheating- the Ponte Vecchio machine maintains the correct temperature easily. The spring in the group is powerful, though the lever is easy to pull and the machine remains very stable. We have found that we get consistent, thick layers of crema- each and every shot. We have also found that the machine is very tolerant of error on the users behalf: many espresso machines require the grind of the coffee to be just exactly so- requiring constant adjustment. The Lusso group design is very forgiving: there is a good degree of latitude in how you pull your shot.
The Lusso is based on a classic ‘club’ design, intended for all day use, you can leave it turned on and walk up and pull a shot any time. This makes it ideal for the home but also for the small office or shop setting. It is also very simple: it only has features you need to make world class espresso and froth perfectly textured milk. With no internal pump it is very quiet to operate and requires little maintenance. We have been testing one for over a year on a daily basis: we have had no problems whatsoever.
You can read a detailed review of the Lusso HERE. This review is quite old now and some of the tweaks mentioned by the reviewer are no longer necessary as the latest Lusso machines are ready to go right out of the box. In addition they have been fitted with new easy-grip steam and water knobs on the side.
This machine is only available to Australian and New Zealand customers. Ponte Vecchio machines are only avialable in Australia from Sorrentina Coffee. The Lusso runs on 220 volts and is fitted with an Australian power cord and plug. It comes with 4 filter basket, 2 portafilter handles, a funnel for manual filling, and metal tamper spoon and a bakelite tamper. For some unknowable Italian reason the tamper does not fit the 45mm basket size but is usable. However we have now sourced a nice stainless stell wood handled 45mm tamper and one ships free with each machine (not pictured).