There is a lot of excitement in the world of espresso machines and there are a slew of machines that are coming out this year with new and exciting features. A machine that received a lot of buzz among the enthuiasts is the Bezzera Strega. For in-depth discussion, Home-basista has feature discusion page on this: http://www.home-barista.com/reviews/bezzera-strega-second-look-t18933.html
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From a quick glance, it might looks like a classic lever espresso machine with its big prominantly displayed group head and and new and more modern case. However, upon closer inspection, it appears to have a pressure relieving valve at the front. Additionally, it also have an additional 9 bars pump built-in and well as the group head is supposingly actively heated. Most home lever espresso machines that I know of such as the La Pavoni, Elektra, cremina and PV export are not meant to be left on for extended period of time but it seems like Bezera Strega can be left on for as long as the barista want. Additionally, the implication of the actively heated group head in the Strega is quite important and possibly revolutionary in hthe world of lever espresso machines, as most lever espresso machine require warming flush to bring the big group head to brewing temperature; the actively heated group head could deliver more temperature consistency intershot as well as intrashot.
From what I have read online, the Bezzera Strega is a chimera in the sense that it combine a pump with a lever group head; this has many implication to the extraction of espresso and allow barista almost limitless ability to tweek shots. Therefore I'm extremely excited about trying out this lever espresso machine to compare it to my other lever machines. I'm hoping it will be for sale in the United States soon; if Roaste decide to carry it, that would even be better!