Parting is sweet sorrow.
I am shipping off my trusty old (well, not so old) Elektra Semiautomatica. The machine served me well for two and a half years. It is an amazing espresso machine. It is one that most people could spend their lives dreaming of owning. I was lucky to find a brand new one that had not moved for a few years and a motivated seller. I think more than anything else, he liked the fact that I was so passionate about coffee in spite of my not being in the business so he offered it to me a steal, but it also probably did not hurt that it had sat unsold for several years.
I took it home and fired it up and expected it to be different from, but not better than my La Pavoni, but I was wrong. It was enough better that I would essentially never reach for the lever if they were both at the same place. Yes as I mentioned recently there were blends and shots that were better on the Pavoni, and no the best shots were not light years ahead of the Pavoni, but the average shot was definitely much better and the worst “drinkable” shot was probably better than the average shot on the lever.
I also loved the ease of pulling 8 shots in a row to dial it in. When I got a chance to get a T1 for less than my current machine would sell for used, I couldn’t turn it down since the T1 was my dream machine and what I had wanted when I bought the Semi.
It is not light years better. It is very similar in the cup for most blends. There are a few Single Origin Espressos that I never loved on the Semi that are great on the T1, so perhaps it has an advantage there, but then again there may be blends that were better on the Semi that I just haven’t tried yet on the T1. The Semi had a vibe pump and that allows in some sense for a gentle ramp up that is almost a form of preinfusion, so even though the T1 has a better, more durable, nearly silent pump it is not clear that it will always be a better pump for the taste in the cup.
I will miss the Semi dearly, but I do have a heck of a consolation prize!
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