VA Black Eagle Gravitech experiences

Hey guys - i’m just looking for experiences with the Black Eagle Gravitech?

Particularly interested in any wisdom on reliability, consistency and if anything has been known to be an ongoing issue before we potentially fork out for one for the cafe.


Hey Stevie!

I’ve been running two Black Eagle Gravitechs in two shops and for the most part they’ve been as good as gold. However they definitely aren’t perfect and will suffer from the same issues you may find in any other machine - if not more. The machines save up a lot of time as we’re a somewhat busy locals cafe (6kg/day on average). It allows us to sometimes have one (extremely proficient) person on the machine when necessary.

Things you may need to look out for are:

  • MIsplacing items on the scales whilst shots are running. They’re pretty damn sensitive and will pick up a lot. I try my best to keep cleaning/milk cloths/teaspoons, tools and anything that isn’t a cup off of the rack.

  • The grouphead screens will go blank. Sometimes due to overheating sometimes due to gremlins. OFF/ON usually does the trick - not the OFF/ON on the front of the machine but the switch underneath.

  • Steam wand covers WILL crack over time. Basic ware and tare really but they can be a pain to replace.

  • Sometimes the scales will stop counting whilst shots are running. However it usually catches up to itself.

  • The menu selector knob is over sensitive. Be very very careful when selecting which grouphead to clean when using the auto clean function. Especially because once the cleaning program is engaged you can’t stop it. Even when you turn the machine off when it turns back on it will still be stuck in the cycle until it finishes.

So far these are the only issues my team and I have had. Keep an eye on your grouphead seals though. They seem to ware pretty fast. I’ve gone through 3 sets of seals for both machines over the last 10 months.

If you keep everything clean, look after the machine and treat it well when it should do you proud. It’s certainly made life a lot easier for my team and I.

Really appreciate it Jack. What shops are you at using the machines?

Are the seals straight forwards to change, compared to say a La Marz?

We’re nowhere near as busy as you guys - we’re a small shop doing 2kg a day and we take delivery of the machine in a week!

No worries :smiley:

Gratz on opening 44poets!

I’ve been Head of Coffee for Local Hero cafes for just under a year now but I’m moving onwards soon. We’ve been using the Black Eagles, Mythos 1 Grinders, EK43’s and PuqPresses. Also using Problend R/O systems, Ohaus scales, OCDs and Moccamasters. Pretty solid set of equipment. I was working/training as a Service Engineer previously so I know my way around a few machines. Seals are sososososososososo easy to change. A hell of a lot easier than the La Marzoccos.

Something I forgot to mention is that the stock shower screens and baskets are garbage. Invest in some VST baskets and IMS shower screens (the one piece competition ones) as soon as finances allow.

Also be SUPER careful with the leather on the portafilter handles. Any contact with water/pulycaf when cleaning = ruined after a few weeks.

Every machine has it’s ups and downs. The Blackeagle is no different however I do have a soft spot for it.


These ones?

Those ones indeed - they’re great from my experience. With the original shower screens water comes out of the group heads at random points. Theres zero consistency. Whereas with the IMS screens the water showers down like one of those rainfall shower units you can install into your ceiling :+1:t3:

Ordered them and the VSTs :slight_smile:

Nice one! NOW all I need to do is find some time to venture down to Hove. Looks like you’ve got a real nice place.

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Where are you based? Its tricky with us as we are in a super residential area. We’ve had a few people venture out to find out and theyve always been amazed how remote it is :stuck_out_tongue:

Based up in London so not too far. Been to Brighton many times and Portslade occasionally. I know the area roughly.

You’re not too far out of the way really and I think what you’ve done is what the UK desperately needs. Small indie speciality cafes NOT in central locations and cities is the way forward and something I’m looking forward to in 2018/2019. Not everyone knows about speciality coffee. But if someone plonked a great speciality cafe on their doorstep they’ll have no choice but to stop by and hopefully become enchanted.

Im really glad you picked up on that as it was totally what I was trying to do - very Melbourne, taking speciality out to the suburbs. I’m half way between Brighton and Portslade :slight_smile:

Jack - is there a way to program a flush on button one? As it has the gravi tech i don’t think there is and you have to push it on and off? (only one extra button but a 1 second pulse would be more ideal). If that makes sense?

No way to program a flush unfortunately as far as I know as it’s gravitech technology and stops when desired weight is reached.

I’ve just been doing it manually on/off. Pull out handle, run group, knock puck and turn off group. Best do it before you grind/have your shot ready as you don’t have to wait for a group to flush.

Wish there was an option! Could always program it for a 1g yield and touch the scales but I wouldn’t recommend it.

I’ve always used button 1 for a restricted shot and button 2 for a full shot dependent on my recipe.

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