Bezzera BZ99s

My Bezzera BZ99s – a relic from the last millennium

Espresso is my favorite way to extract coffee, which is why a Bezzera BZ99s espresso machine lives on my kitchen bench.

Photo of espresso machine and grinder.

My Bezzera BZ99s

It is a used machine I picked up on ebay sometime in 2013, that had spent the past few years being neglected in a small office. It’s heavy, it reminds me a bit of an arcade machine from the 80’s, but it’s a bit like an old friend – familiar and dependable. It’s age was uncertain, as the nameplate had no built date.

The importer was very helpful when I contacted them for information, but could only confirm the machine was over 15 years old – based on the color of the nameplate. Their serial number records don’t go back far enough to determine the actual year of manufacture!

Needless to say, they are built to last!

Technical Details

Manufacturer: Bezzera
Model: BZ99s

The BZ99s is a tank supply espresso machine with a single group heated directly via conduction (mounted to the boiler). It has both steam and hot water wands (which are fully articulated only on newer models). Control is fully manual (toggle button for power and brew pump on/off), but it has a handy boiler auto-fill feature and low-water heater cut-off. It is a single boiler machine with a 1200W element. Brew water is heated indirectly using a heat exchanger. This model uses a vibration pump for brewing and boiler auto-fill. The more expensive BZ99R variant was also produced, which was a plumbed-in machine with a rotary pump.

More details about the Bezzera BZ99s may be found here.

Where can I get one?

Recently I noticed that after over 20 yrs on the market, the Bezzera BZ99s has been discontinued. There might still be a few new ones in specialist retail stores, but otherwise getting one second hand is the only option. Luckily, they last a long time and used one in good condition will set you back only 25-50% of the new price.

However, the Pasquini Livia 90, a similar machine which was apparently based on the Bezzera BZ99s and made under contract for the US market, appears to still be available (I have seen for sale on Amazon):