Bezzera Strega Espresso Machine
Introducing the Strega from Bezzera, combining the modern features of a twenty-first century espresso machine, with the traditional lever system that guarantees optimal extraction of coffee. The innovative Double Spring Lever System is not ,something you see in other lever machines. Equipped with a support vibration pump to refill boiler and to fast track fill the lever cylinder with boiling water. At extraction it is switched off. All of these features wrapped in a polished stainless steel body!
Bezzera Strega Espresso Machine features:
- Accessories included: Single spout portafilter, double spout portafilter, 1-cup filter basket, 2-cup filter basket, handle for lever, stainless steel braided hose, grouphead cleaning brush, plastic tamper, and plastic measuring scoop.
- The Tank V2 model is water tank only, meaning the machine can be operated with the built in reservoir only.
- The Switchable V2 TOP model has double water supply/switchable, meaning the machine can be operated with the tank/reservoir only or it can be plumbed directly to the water line. Our suggestion on initial usage, to avoid heating element damage, is to first operate the unit as a tank model.
- Vibration pump: Activated to refill boiler or when lever is brought into down, locked position for pre-infusion.
- Pressurstat: Monitor boiler’s steam pressure.
- Grouphead: Heated by a separate heating element to keep the temperature more stable.
- Stability: There are weights placed in the lower rear of the machine’s interior to keep it more stable while pulling it down on the lever.
- Hot water wand: Located on the right side. Multi-directional. Activated using joystick control.
- Steam wand: Located on the left side. Multi-directional and utilizes non-compression valve with a joystick control.
- Boiler pressure gauge: Indicates steam pressure in boiler.
- Drip tray: Made of stainless steel. Removable for manual cleaning. Optional drip tray to drain is available (order parts #12 through #17 in direct connect diagram).
- 1 year parts and labor warranty
- Do not place your face in the path of the lever at any time!
- Backflushing: Bezzera forbids backflushing the Strega as there is no 3 way solenoid valve for the water pressure to be relieved. If you backflush this machine at your risk, you may have a difficult time removing the portafilter, or the portafilter, upon removing, may explode off the grouphead and cause damage or injury. The proper way to clean the grouphead is by manually removing the dispersion screen and scrubbing it with a small wire metal brush and soaking it in Ascaso backflushing detergent. The screen can be damaged upon removal and is not covered under warranty.
- Manual Drain Valve: Starting with serial number NP01815321 and higher (until further notice from Bezzera and it may change again without notice), the minimum water level probe in the boiler has been removed. A manual drain valve has been added.
the downside of the Strega is the group head thermostat, which allows the group temperature to fluctuate in a very wide range. this can lead to significant inconsistencies from shot to shot by affecting the brew temperature. other than that, i feel like this machine is great overall and i've been getting plenty of use out of it..
I have gotten at least 50 times the value from the strega. I like the strega more and more each day because it makes my life a lot easier. You won't regret it.
My controller doesn't work and dealing with the issue has been a hassle. Months later my machine still turns off randomly and I don't have a replacement controller. Also, the frame is riveted together, so the flex in the frame is ridiculous and has gotten way worse over time. It was fine when I first got it but it gets more and more flexible over time.
When it decides to work, its a decent machine. Maybe iv'e just been unlucky, but as of now, I would purchase something else.
The Strega is a pour over, not a direct connect. But instead of a 3 bar boiler fill assist pump (like the pourover Pavoni Pub EL), this has an Ulka pump set at 11 bar blind pressure. The pump is activated by a microswitch that engages when the lever is at the cocked detente. When engaged, it offers water through the HX into the lever's cylinder. The pump noise quietens when the cylinder is filled and goes virtually silent when its pressurized. Lifting the lever off the detente kills the pump and starts the spring action.
It's a very loud machine. It is possible to do all lever shots, by cutting to lever the moment the pump quietens. It is also possible to let the pump do the first part of the shot, or all of it, and cut to lever later into the shot.
Strega was my first espresso machine, and I am still happy with it after almost 3 years. Before that, I used Nespresso to make coffee at home, so you can imagine it was a significant jump for me. It took a bit of time for me to get used to the machine and pull shots I was happy with, though I would judge them against those made at the best coffee shops. The challenge for me was that the springs appeared to put too high pressure during the extraction. For my personal taste, I found a triple basket with smaller holes worked best, with some pre-infusion time. With Strega you have the manual control over the pre-infusion time, and can pressure-profile by holding back the lever. How well and consistent you can do it depends on how easily you can learn and the time you have to practice.