A Best Seller: the LUCCA A53 Mini Espresso Machine
Built by one of Italy's leading machine manufacturers, La Spaziale, and designed by LUCCA, the A53 espresso machine was made with the small café and home barista in mind. Based on the well-renowned Vivaldi II, the LUCCA A53 Mini has been a cornerstone machine in Clive’s lineup since its evolution. It tastefully encompasses the same utilitarian design and reliability as the Vivaldi II and carries over the elements that make it economically viable, fun, and easy to use. After its initial debut, the LUCCA A53 Mini dual boiler has remained one of our top-selling, most customizable, and user-friendly espresso machines.
What we love about the LUCCA A53 Mini:
Footprint + commercial feel: The A53 is compact at 15.25 inches tall, 16.50 inches wide, and 16.50 inches deep. It has a powerful 1.2L steam boiler and is commercially rated. This machine is as close as you can get to the café experience under $2k.
Front-loading reservoir: The A53 Mini is equipped with a 2.4L front-loading reservoir that makes for easy access should you place the machine beneath a countertop or in an enclosed space — no pulling the machine out or lifting up a reservoir.
Volumetric programmability: There are two programmable buttons on the machine’s PID interface that allows baristas to pre-determine the volume of water being dispensed through the group head. This is a common feature in commercial machines, allowing baristas to multi-task as their shots will stop automatically. Learn how to program the A53.
Accessories: Unlike most machines, The LUCCA A53 comes standard with a bottomless and double-spouted portafilter, a double and triple basket, and a metal 53mm LUCCA tamper — all commercially rated and well built.
Pre-infusion: Espresso machines with E61 group heads or ones that are plumbed in can likely pre-infuse using line pressure. Since the A53 Mini has a reservoir, it uses a pre-infusion chamber that releases unpressurized water through the group head for about five seconds before engaging the pump at a full nine bars of pressure. Adding the chamber to the A53 Mini is fairly easy and only takes a few minutes to install. Once it's installed, every shot pulled will have a five-second pre-infusion. To disable, the chamber must be removed. Learn more about the mechanics of the pre-infusion chamber and how it works through our blog: What is Pre-Infusion.
IMS Precision Basket ($38): Precision baskets make a big difference. They are designed with the scientific complexity in mind that comes with extracting espresso. With machine-drilled holes that are precisely measured up to a difference of +/- 30 µm (a difference that is minuscule). Expect a more precise and uniform extraction with an IMS or VST basket compared to a regular basket whose holes may differ in size and placement. Fun fact: We are working closely with IMS to make sure each LUCCA A53 will come standard with one in the near future!
Wood Customizations ($40-$575): Customize your A53 with beautifully detailed wood accents in either maple, walnut, or bubinga. These hand-made products are crafted in our wood shop right here in Portland, OR, and turn the simplistic machine into a staple piece.
Cool Touch Steam Wand ($100): This wand not only ensures safety while steaming, as the name suggests, but the wider diameter of the wand allows for greater steam flow providing more pressure and a more commercial feel.
Luminare Shot Timer ($89): Easily install to your A53 to begin counting up as soon as the brew button is pressed. It’s one less thing to worry about and makes all the difference to your workflow.
A53 Shot Mirror ($45): Place the mirror up against the back of the drip tray to get a good view of how the shot is pulling from the portafilter. The LUCCA A53 comes standard with a bottomless portafilter, so check your work and watch the shot closely with the shot mirror.
Common concerns and questions about the A53:
Semi-saturated group head: Machines with a semi-saturated group head have many advantages, including a much faster warmup time, easy repairability, and more user accessibility. Oftentimes, newer baristas lean towards purchasing a machine with an E61 as their machine for a few reasons: 1. Most machines have them. 2. They are commonly talked about. 3. They typically are able to do more advanced techniques such as pre-infusion and flow control. To read more about how group heads work and the differences between them, check out our article How Espresso Machines Works.
53mm vs. 58mm: Though most espresso machines come with a 58mm portafilter, and that feels standard, it doesn’t make it superior (a similar misconception to the group head type). In fact, there is an advantage to the novice barista in using a 53mm portafilter. The baskets hold the same amount of coffee, but since the 53mm is smaller in diameter, the baskets are deeper. Though it’s often argued that a shallower bed of coffee can lead to a more even extraction, with pre-infusion installed and a little coarser grind, the 53mm size can mask and negate beginner mistakes such as uneven tamping, improper distribution, and even a less-than-ideal grinder.
Looking for a commercial option?
The LUCCA A53 Direct Plumb: This machine is fierce competition to the La Marzocco Linea Mini, a single group commercial-grade espresso machine. With a 2.5L steam boiler, programmable pre-infusion for up to five seconds, and all the included features we love about the Mini, the Direct Plumb version of the LUCCA A53 is suitable for any small café. Connect it to a waterline or used with a Flojet and 5-gallon water jug. It’s ideal for high-volume smaller coffee shops, catering, carts, or the home barista who wants the commercial experience.
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