Monday, May 17, 2010

Ulka Pump Repair

Ulka Pump Repair

A pretty cool blog that goes over how to repair / rebuild Ulka vibe pumps used on many espresso machines

Rebuilding an ULKA Vibratory Pump (Espresso machine pump)

A DYI at Instructables

Pompe à Vibration ULKA - Modèle E - Type EP4

A French site with great animations that show how the pump works!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Deal of the Day -Olympia Cremina Lever Espresso Machine (Red) - $450 (West Seattle)

Wow this looks like a good deal if it is in the shape the seller says it is:

Olympia Cremina Lever Espresso Machine (Red) - $450 (West Seattle)

The Olympia Cremina is a hand made lever espresso machine.
This is the first model made, the 67.

It's a machine that's built to last.
Very easy to use, clean and maintain.

Comes with:
-use grounds box
-cleaning brush
-2 shot basket

This machine is lightly used and in very good condition.

The Cremina has a cult following among coffee aficionados.

Please reply by email
West Seattle pick up only please (no shipping)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wow! I am impressed

This is some very cool latte art!

Gaggia Coffee o-rings and spring clips needed for rebuild

Per Coffee 97' Parts Diagram / List ER0077/01

DM0041/082 OR 167 gasket EPDM 70 SH - O-Ring between boiler and group body

This is a 2 3/4" OD - 2 1/2" ID - 1/8" W  Material: EPDM  Durometer Hardness: 70A - AS568A Dash Number: 230

A pack of 25  is available at Small Parts for $6.96

DM0041/022 OR 2025 gasket red - O-Ring between inlet fitting and group body & between group valve assembly and group body

This is a 3/8" OD - 1/4" ID - 1/16" W  Material: Silicone / VMQ  Durometer Hardness: 70A - AS568A Dash Number: 010

A pack of 100  is available at Small Parts for $11.07

DM0041/081 OR 112 gasket EPDM 70 SH - Seal between steam valve and boiler

This is a 9/16" OD - 3/8" ID - 3/32" W  Material: EPDM  Durometer Hardness: 70A - AS568A Dash Number: 110

A pack of 100  is available at Small Parts for $3.68

or if tolerances are "loose" - big

This is a 5/8" OD - 3/8" ID - 1/8" W  Material: EPDM  Durometer Hardness: 70A - AS568A Dash Number: 204

A pack of 100  is available at Small Parts for $5.65

DM0041/088 OR 2025 gasket - O-Ring between steam pipe - lower pipe and steam pipe - uppper pipe

This is a 3/8" OD - 1/4" ID - 1/16" W  Material: EPDM  Durometer Hardness: 70A - AS568A Dash Number: 010

A pack of 100  is available at Small Parts for $4.34


Group Gasket NG01/001 - Mine is 8.5mm thick 57mm ID 72mm OD

Tex at the Gaggia Users Group recommended I use a $6.06 E-61 Soft 8.5mm Group Head Gasket from Espresso Parts

Last item on the list is 4 DM0701 Belt - Spring clips to secure latex tubing.

Still Researching but these may work:

Acetal Snapper Type Hose Clamp, Quick Ratchet Closure, For 3/8" Nominal Tube OD, .351-.394 Clamp ID (Pack of 10) $4.55 at Small Parts

These are plastic so they will not rust like the original ones did.

This is  a helpful o-ring sizing chart

A potentially sleep inducing 256 page technical handbook on o-rings - could be handy

If I only lived near Indianapolis

I watched this eBay item for several days. It turned out no one bidded on the item and it did not have a reserve. Someone could have had a working La Cimbali M27 Selectron 2-group commercial espresso machine for a measly buck.

The listing:

La Cimbali M27 Selectron 2-group commercial espresso machine

fully working commercial espresso machine, ideal for small restaurant or catering business

Here is a working 2-group La Cimbali M27 espresso machine. Semi-automatic, incredible temperature stability and quick recovery times. High quality boiler can steam drink after drink without a significant temperature drop. Industrial quality; built to last. Built in Milan. Imported by Pasquini of Los Angeles for the USA market.

Local pickup only; Indianapolis, IN; this unit is much to heavy to ship. Please do not bid if you cannot pick this up within a few weeks of the auction's end date.

220v - 240v, single phase. Can be easily rewired internally for dual phase operation. Please ask if you have any questions about this item.

Dish Water and the Espresso Gods

It was not my morning. I had three shots in a row choke my Oscar. I kept making the grind progressively coarser but no dice. For some reason switching from Community Coffee Decaf to Startbucks Espresso Blend (My wife loves the stuff for some reason) required a massive change in grinder setting.  It took four full turns on the Macap M4 stepless before I was able to finally to pull a halfway decent shot for my wife's morning latte. I knew after the first sip she was not happy. I said, "I know it is bad but what is wrong with it?" She paused and very polity told me it was watery and tasted dirty - dirty like used dish water.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Coffee Sucks

I have a large order in with Chris Coffee Service. I ordered the replacement Macap M4 Burrs and since shipping was free with orders over $50 I took the liberty to order some other items as well:

3 Oscar Group Gaskets - Hey they are cheap!

Latex tubing for the Gaggia Coffee water supply lines

2 Bumper rubber tamper holders - Tiny splurge

Isomac 2 Hole Steam Tip for the Oscar - We love the milk drinks

Replacement brushes for my Pallo Coffeetool - Great Cleaning Brush!

New Vacuum Breaker Valve for the Oscar - So I can put it on a timer in the future  

Water Hardness Test Strips - I have no clue how hard or soft our water is 

Solid Stainless Steel 58mm Tamp -  Total splurge item - Hope the wife likes it!

My only problem is I cant make espresso and we are having major withdraw. Flora called me during the day to tell me she had an espresso at a local coffee shop and expounded about how good it was. I tried my best this evening with the French Press but frankly the coffee sucked. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010


- What o-rings will work with espresso machines?

- What materials are used and what are their respective pros and cons?

- What materials are food compatible?

- What sizes are used and are their standards?

- Where can 0-rings be purchased at a reasonable cost?

These are just some of the things I need to think about.

Some guides I came across on the Internet that I need to study:

Parker O-Ring Handbook

O-Ring Reference Guide

Dichtomatik O-Ring Handbook
(this looks very comprehensive)

Sealman's O-Ring Handbook
(another comprehensive guide)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Very Interesting Commercial Machine for $200

I saw this machine on the New Orleans Craigslist:

I'm selling a Used Cappacino/Espresso machine. It retails for about $2,800. It needs a couple of new parts and a couple of front plate covers replaced. The reason I'm seeling is because I no use for the machine anymore. Please call after 3p.m. Mon. thru Fri. ask for Gus #504-250-2171

After some serious goggling I found out this machine is a La San Marco 95-22 Sprint E

Some good information about the 95 series can be found at this website which goes over the Sprint's smaller sister the La San Marco 95-22 Pract E.

One has wonder how many missing parts and how much time it would take to have this machine making espresso again.

I must admit it is tempting but I already have too many projects.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gaggia Coffee Parts List

The shell of my Gaggia Coffee looks like the current Classic Coffee but the internal components look like those in the Gaggia Coffee Deluxe or Coffee 97.

It looks like the model numbers for the Coffee 97 are in the the 37000 range while the Coffee Deluxe is in the 97000 range

The Coffee Classic model numbers start in the 14100 range.

I have found good source of information about both of these machines at Parts Guru.

I hope to find the correct manuals and parts diagrams in the near future but until that time I will use the Parts Guru information as well as other Internet resources to help guide may way.

Classic Coffee Information

User Manual, Exploded View, Wiring Diagram 120v, Portafilter Diagram

Coffee Deluxe / Coffee 97 Information

User Manual, Exploded View, Wiring Diagram 120v , Portafilter Diagram

Figuring out the parts I need for a restoration is a challenge. So far I think I need:

DM 0041/088 - OR2025 Gasket - O-Ring for steam wand
DM 0041/022 - OR2018 Gasket - O-Ring for inlet fitting and group valve assembly
DM 0041/031 - OR2018 Gasket - O-Ring for suction pipe

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Gaggia Tear Down

Nice looking crack on the portafilter. I should have caught this in the ebay photos but I didn't. One good twist to get the portafilter sung would have snapped the handle right off.

It appears the pump was leaking at some point in time. During my tests I did not notice any leaking around this area. The stains underneath the pump in the housing also support it was leaking at some point.

The inside of the housing is covered in some tan substance that does not want to come off easily. I hope it will come off with some 409 and hot water. I also noticed some black particles in the corners that may indicate the Coffee was home to some small critter. 

Note the increased staining in the pump area to the top right. I could not find any rust on the housing and the paint is sound.

It could be much much worse based on pictures I have seen on the Internet of other owners boilers after a tear down. I think descaling before disassembly helped. I will still clean it up with a Dremel tool.

It is interesting to see how the chrome is missing in certain areas of the group head. The boiler gasket was totally dried out. Pieces of the gasket were starting to fall off when I removed it. It is no wonder the boiler was leaking in this area.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bodum Double Wall Insulated Espresso Shot Glasses

Gaggia Coffee

I am now the owner of my second espresso machine in XX hours.

Cost $77.50 + $23.99 shipping for a total of $101.49

This is what the seller had to say:


Will inspect the Coffee better after I play around with the Oscar.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

What am I getting myself into?

Like may of you I have had an on and off again fascination with coffee. Over the years my wife and I acquired a cheap Proctor Silex blade grinder and a Bodum French Press and marveled at how good coffee could be at times. A few months would pass and we would slowly gravitate back to the convience of pre-ground coffee and the trusty Braun drip coffee maker. New Orleans is hot for many months out of the year so during the summer months we would make cold brewed coffee which is delicious.

This time the urge was the ever increasing habit of finding numerous empty latte cups in the car. I also found the ability to tinker around with espresso machines and grinders very appealing. I enjoy taking something old and making it new. Many of the machines seem to impart a certain personality and project  passion and romance much like a classic European motorcycle or car can.  

I did my research and limited my choices down to a Rancilio Silvia, LeLit PL041 or one of the various entry level Gaggia machines. These machines are nat at the Isomac or Expobar level but server as a low risk way to dip my toes in the water and find out if this is a hobby I want to jump head first into.

I have been stalking eBay for an espresso machine it seems like for months with no results.