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New 1 group lever from ACS - Vostok 1 group


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I had to forego my morning cuppa today, as a good friend of mine, @scots_flyer made the time and effort to come down on the train from the remotest village of Tranent south of Edinburgh ro see myself and my wife.I wanted him to start by seeing the machine warm up from cold. I first met AL when trying to sort out the problems he was having with his Quickmill and we have been good friends ever since! Al has one of the last LR's and has the dongle kit. It had to be replaced a couple of times and now, when it works it certainly lets you change PI via the ap seamlessly!

The point of todays visit was to see if Al's tastebuds could tell the difference between my coffee, then trying to improve it through temp control. We decided to use some Coffee Compass Rocko which I know to be great but I have only had once before. I left my machine and grinder exactly as they had been set for my Mystery beans which were definitekly darker. Shot pulled then I started making small changes to group temp and brew boiler. Through inexperience I might not have left a long enough time for the changes to fully take place but the point of the exercise was not to produce the stellar shot, but to see if by playing around with temp, it affected the shots taste. It did!

Anyway, after a very pleasant couple of hours it was soon time to take Al back to the station to begin the journey home, and I hope he spends the train journey pondering his next move!

Edited by dfk41
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In a race between a donkey and a horse, to see who could reach the bottom first..........one side has a commanding lead

 

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I think "we" should create a FAQ thread (with tips and techniques as well) for this machine, so that all the good stuff (banter excluded) doesn't get lost in this very long thread... I'm very new at the coffee game (and have yet to receive my shiny new machine), but I'd be happy to contribute in due time within the limits of my expertise

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If someone, or a few people want to get together and pull the information together from the thread for me, into  a 1 or 2 pager...I'll add it to the manual under a hints and tips section.

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Sticks and Stones, sours…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until roasted, pick em out and flick them in the bin. Life is too short for bad coffee

 

 

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Has anyone received request or payment today? I am buying a second one for a pal of mine who has never owned a machine and does not have the internet!

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In a race between a donkey and a horse, to see who could reach the bottom first..........one side has a commanding lead

 

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2 minutes ago, dfk41 said:

Has anyone received request or payment today? I am buying a second one for a pal of mine who has never owned a machine and does not have the internet!

I did and sent the payment last night. Paolo said my machine is shipping early next week.

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I  have been pulling a few and storing as notes on my ipad. I will share them with you @DavecUK. Dave, do you need this as formatted in word or plain text please? 

Others may chip in, if I have missed out anything, after reviewing the updated manual. Thx 

Edited by Like Medium Strong Coffee
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“Every time I judge someone else, I reveal an unhealed part of myself” -  Joy Marino 

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A few thoughts on the Evo… Just for clarity on the limits of my experience to date, I have owned a Quickmill Veloce, an L1, an Olympia Cremina 67, a Brui Brunella and currently have an LR. I don't do pump machines because I am just not interested in them. For those of us who are looking for a more substantial lever than one of these "candlestick "type machines which personally, I can't be bothered with, the choices are pretty limited. This appears to be where Londinium are pitching their product and now that Evo has turned up it's the first time there is something on the market to make a meaningful comparison with.

I don't think it's as straightforward as "this one is better than that one ". I don't think either machine is anywhere near perfect, perhaps a better question might be, what exactly are you looking for… even then, it isn't straightforward. What I like about lever machines is the physical interaction required and the idea that the only technology in play is essentially a boiler and a spring – simplicity is king. The problem I have come up against is, the truly simple old – style Italian lever machines made for home use, typically need a lot of work and sometimes repeated repairs but often produce inconsistent results.

It does take time to get dialled into any machines or and sort out a process that works for you. Once you get beyond how a machine looks and what the manufacturer would like you to believe, it comes down to what that machine is capable of in your hands and how it feels to work with on a daily basis.

I suppose the feature of the LR is the ability PI pressure and while it does make some difference, I think it is only marginal and I tend to leave mine set at four bar. I think making more traditional adjustments in grind size, tamp and shot time/weight have a far greater impact. It takes 15 mins dot from cold to reach operating temperature and producing good consistent coffee from this machine is not difficult provided you have a decent grinder. I also find this machine quite practical and easy to clean and maintain.

The biggest surprise with a Londinium is the price. Not only are they hilariously expensive to buy new or used - especially when you consider what is inside, but all spares, parts and accessories are all unnecessarily expensive.

There is no comparison to hands on experience with a machine and it was striking to see how different the Evo was from the LR. I thought it looked surprisingly understated, especially for a machine with so much in the way of on-board electronics but the control panel is really very discreet and fits in well with the overall traditional aesthetic. Pulling a shot was straightforward and although there was a little flex in the front panel, it did feel solid. In fact, everything about this machine felt very robust.

A dual boiler lever machine is something I never thought I would consider and still can't help thinking this is one boiler too far in a machine that should be simplicity itself by design. The temperature adjustability options certainly introduce new possibilities but to fully investigate, would also require quite an investment of time and consideration before arriving at a firm opinion. I will continue to watch with interest for now…

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Temperature is crucial for taste, if it would not be then we would all have preset machines at 93C, but this is not true.

Temperature has a direct influence on the flow/viscosity in the puck, meaning you will have to correct and adjust that flow by grinding coarser (lower temp) or finer (higher temp). This has a direct influence on taste. A light roasts is more sensitive to this, as it has a much narrow dial in spot while a super dark napoletano roast will be almost indistinguishable at 3 C apart, because of the heavy notes you find in, there is little complexity there to compare between a 90 and a 93 C.

In my opinion, someone who wants to dial in to the perfection a bean, must have precise temp control, to be able to go up and down in temp, and the most important since 2020, to be able to have a temperature drop from 2 to 5 C during a shot. This can make a much better cup instead of having a flat stable temp fixed at one point.

Temperature has a huge impact in taste, as I was saying because it's related to grind size, so even if you are skeptical about temp doing nothing, you cannot deny the grind size changes the taste.

 

 

Edited by Denis S
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I have now had my Evo for 33 days. I have made espresso and cappuccino everyday, and somewhere in the back of my mind - to reassure my investment in money and trust in the Evo and its ecosystem is sound - I tried to answer the same question nearly everyday "Did I make the right choice?"

Paolo and I spoke about this yesterday. Is the Evo a stunning new entry in the "prosumer" or "personal luxury" category that will take its place in history? Or is it a flash in the pan waiting to be unseated by the next latest and greatest, so evident currently in the grinder market?

To clearly knowledgeable and experienced folks like @DavecUK, @The Systemic Kid, @Denis S and @scots_flyer, the arguments for and against may arise from a substantial background of experience, and their points are fact-based,  nuanced and balanced. To me as a pragmatic yet diehard foodie and espresso lover, it's a more direct matter - what else is there for the money, and will it continue to be excellent without needing massive amounts of babying?

The short answers for me is no and no. I'd thought 33 days after the Evo landed I would have found more to moan about but there really isn't. I mentioned to Paolo I wish the Evo had taller feet so I can get under to clean the counter easier but that is the nitpick of nitpicks.

The machine warms up in exactly 16 minutes, almost the exact time of my morning routine out of bed. By the time I am ready with the puck the Evo is at exactly 92/100/125, the way I set it for my espresso and my wife's cappuccino. Not even one minute of waiting needed.

Then the same "Godshot" lands in the cup, day after day, no drama, no surprises. I said to Paolo I can no longer go to cafés as the Evo has done them in for good. There simply is no comparison in taste and more importantly, no better satisfaction. The Evo brings out what's in the bean more than any machine I've experienced including the various high-buck La Marzocco commercial machines in my neck of the woods from Strada's to GB5's and Linea's who charge a fortune then inevitably disappoints.

5 minutes after I pull the shots, the Evo goes off. The average energy consumption observed is about 0.7 KWh, or US$0.12 per day. On a busier day with company visiting, it may be double or triple but it still costs less than 1/2 of a candy bar.

The impact of the 3 PIDs is not only on energy consumption but the cost of long-term maintenance. With the machine not needing to be on for any more than 15 minutes at a time for 2 drinks - versus the full hour needed for the 5L or single boiler models - the heat and pressure stress on parts are substantially reduced, and scale deposit inside boilers minimized. Longevity goes up, costs go down, and hassle minimized. Not many folks talk about this aspect of the Evo's brilliance and even if this was not part of the master plan from @Paolo_Cortese and @DavecUK, they are getting a big thumbs-up from this pragmatist. Next to machines of remotely comparable stature and capabilities, no one comes close.

On the flex issue - I had big worries, and had even devised a plan to counter it when my Evo arrived. I since found a way that works for me with no added parts or hacking the frame - by simply lifting up on the locked portafilter handle while pulling the lever down. The counteracting forces of up vs down allow the group head to act more as a fulcrum at the frame than having to transfer the downward force of the lever to it causing it to flex. With just a little practice this became a simple and workable solution.

Paolo mentioned that the parts are finally starting to flow, so I wish him a lot of success in the market with the Evo. It is a brilliant design well executed and it very much deserves a very loyal following.

 

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@SL01 Great review 1 month in. I wanted the simplicity of the lever with just enough modern tech to deal with the issues of traditional levers. Temperature being a key variable to control was important to me, along with all the other great features.

Another key consideration was using that beautiful and very high quality lever group but still keeping it affordable....and quick to market.

It was all part of the master plan once we realised simply bettering what was out there was an insufficient challenge.

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Sticks and Stones, sours…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until roasted, pick em out and flick them in the bin. Life is too short for bad coffee

 

 

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@scots_flyer @scots_flyer

I suppose the feature of the LR is the ability PI pressure and while it does make some difference, I think it is only marginal and I tend to leave mine set at four bar. I think making more traditional adjustments in grind size, tamp and shot time/weight have a far greater impact. It takes 15 mins dot from cold to reach operating temperature and producing good consistent coffee from this machine is not difficult provided you have a decent grinder. I also find this machine quite practical and easy to clean and maintain.

Can I just pick up on this claim please that the LR is ready to go in 15 minutes. IT IS NOT! The boiler has to come to temp before the thermosyphon has any impact on heating the group with water from the boiler. Once the boiler is at pressure (and do you know what actual temperature the water is at this point) you can start to pull quite a bit of water through the group to artificially raise the temperature. It does actually work, but for two things:

a) since there is no way of measuring it, how do you know what the temp at the group head is

b)  if you have pulled say a litre through, then a litre of cold water must enter the boiler and be heated up which all takes time

So, there is no guarantee that it is actually warmed up, just because you think it is. If you flush water through the group head to warm it up, then in my view the whole thing would be unstable. So, we are in a position that someone thinks something but cannot back it up with any data, whereas when Al arrived at mine and switched the Evo on, we set a timer running and inside of 15 minutes, the whole thing was heated through with group head and both boilers at the temps I had set.....that is 100% provable!

Edited by dfk41

In a race between a donkey and a horse, to see who could reach the bottom first..........one side has a commanding lead

 

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I posted this on my Instagram and wont link the page as not many are there. I also took my time to flip the machine and remove the back protecting foil off the back panel, I totally forgot to do it when I installed it.

"

I moved from my decent espresso machine because of not optimal tasting shots and too many bugs to deal with from my perspective to something I had and wanted for a long long time (I already owned over 10 levers, mostly small).
Why did I buy the ACS vesuvius evo leva? I payed for the deposit the second day I found about it after reading the specs (no machine was build then).

Features:
all stainless steel 316
0.8L brew boiler/2.3L steam boiler/ modified and improved LSM group
LSM grouphead 8kg+ with double spring (can easily be taken apart w/o tools and remove one spring to lower max pressure)
Fluid-o-tech gear pump to control via pres stat the preinfusion pressure value (1-4bar), flow is 25g/s
To give you an idea about how massive and solid this machine is, I already owned a Bezzera Magica HX and a Bezzera Mitica rotary and those are small.
Gicar 3 PID unit control (can control to 0.5C the group temp, the brew temp and the steam boiler temp, individual and on and off)
54mm group tested and made prior to E61 (1961) this was first made in circa 1950.
The grouphead I have here is an improved redesigned, 2x100W heated group, with a different water path sleeve, so a pressure dial gauge is installed and gives you live pressure feedback
The pressure dial can be used to stop the shot at X volume/weight out in the cup (from 10.5 bar peak to 6.5 bar I get ~ 1-2 ratio) no more scale using
now the top feature, despite having boilers and a massive grouphead, the machine is ready to be used in 16 minutes and it has daily wake up schedule build in set individual for each day.
the water tank is 3L big, and the left panel opens up with a quick release mechanism, and the water tank tilts at 45 degree for easy filling, this means you can keep your cups on top of the machine and never have to remove them
a drip tray 2L is provided, you can easily flush into it, it doesn't fill fast.

The machine comes with many accessories (3 portafilters, 4 baskets, tamper, full gasket seal kit for the grouphead/steam wand service, 2 hole extra wand tip, a microfabric cloth, and a plumbing kit containing drain and line hose)
The machine because it has a gear pump for preinfusion, cannot be installed and used directly to the water pressure line but the plumb in will refill the tank to max (it has a sensor)
There will be a version with no gear pump and that is only for plumb in (called ACS vostok one group)

Despite the machine being new, I experienced no bugs, or problems. Let's face it, many producers face software or hardware problems when releasing a new model (Lelit Bianca plastic T melted, VA prima software bugs, DC studio timer and preinfusion from tank etc).
I believe the advantage of this machine is the fact that they took already tested off the bench parts and put them together to have a modern reliable and capable lever espresso machine.
0.8L brew boiler and 2.3L steam boiler are inside a ACS Minima for some years now
the fluid-o-tech gear pump is tested for many years w/o failing, the part is not expensive
the grouphead is tested for over 70 years it is also a commercial grade grouphead found in many bar machines
and now the cherry on top of the cake, the machine because of the gear pump is capable to pull longer ratio shots. A full down and up lever pull can push in the cup max 82-85g. For a lever this would never be possible, not even the modern LM leva can pull more than 40g out in the cup. So for someone who wants a bigger than 1-2.2 ratio he has to use a tiny dose (12 g in 40g out)."



 

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Edited by Denis S
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@Denis S Someone who completely gets it and what the Evo was designed to achieve.

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Sticks and Stones, sours…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until roasted, pick em out and flick them in the bin. Life is too short for bad coffee

 

 

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