The ancient art of coffee still lives in the Athena Leva, the espresso machine so beloved by espresso professionals. Its lever delivery system ensures a high level of customization of the drink, but at the same time requires a high level of competence on the part of the barista. Operating the Athena Leva is straightforward and intuitive and, given the simplicity of the movements and mechanisms, the machine is extremely durable.
The lever system of this professional coffee machine lets the barista modulate the pre-infusion manually for each delivery. When you lower the lever hot water from the boiler enters the group, wetting the coffee. The more the barista pulls the lever, the longer the pre-infusion phase. A good professional waits for the first drops of coffee to come out before lifting the lever; this means that water will have permeated all the coffee. For effective pre-infusion, the pressure of the water as it enters the group should not exceed 2 bars.
In typical lever espresso coffee machines the water that enters the group is straight from the boiler, which is well known to have a pressure of 1 to 1.2 bar, corresponding to 120-130 C. Basically it is the same water used to generate steam. Instead, in the Victoria Arduino Athena Leva, which uses heat exchangers (even though it is a lever machine), the water temperature can be controlled to optimize the quality of extracted coffee. In this case, for an excellent pre-infusion, a special pressure reducer reduces the pressure of the water supply, which is normally 4 to 6 bar. With these specifications, coffee extractions with the Athena Leva are particularly creamy and not burnt (as may happen with water at high temperatures).
Victoria Arduino marketed its first lever machines at the end of World War II, in 1946. They were the WAT series of espresso machines, ancestors of the exquisite Athena Leva, the first of which was made in late sixties in Casorate Sempione (VA), Italy.
The materials used for the internal and external components make the espresso machine particularly exquisite. The bodywork, completely hammered by hand by expert craftsmen, is an expression of uniqueness and tradition that is also reflected in the final cup, a perfect espresso.