Olympia Maximatic - Second Look - Page 7

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antipodes

#61: Post by antipodes »

I note from the correspondence generated by the review that concern has been expressed about the quality of the accessories supplied with the Maximatic. I can advise that the Maximatic comes supplied with a newly designed frothing jug. The new jug comes with heavier gauge stainless steel, engraved logo and tweaks to improve the froth. The knock box is adequate for the task and is solidly made. The stainless steel funnel is one of the best made I have come across

My criticism is the .5mm difference in the size of the filters and the difficulty I have in producing a dry single shot puck which I am sure I will achieve with experience and further experimentation.

Hope this helps :lol:

Antipodes

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HB (original poster)
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#62: Post by HB (original poster) »

antipodes wrote:I note from the correspondence generated by the review that concern has been expressed about the quality of the accessories supplied with the Maximatic.
Really? I don't remember reading any, and I certainly have no issue with their quality:



My only quibble is the frothing pitcher is too large (approx 600 ml / 20 ounces). What is the volume of this newly designed pitcher? Would you post a picture of it?
Dan Kehn

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antipodes

#63: Post by antipodes »

Hi Don

Please check this link http://swisscoffeeproducts.com/product_ ... ucts_id=12 and also londinium's web site.

I was particularly irked by one correspondent describing the supplied knock box as laughable but there were other insinuations from other correspondents as well. I believe the size of the jug is 500ml.

best wishes

Antipodes

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HB (original poster)
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#64: Post by HB (original poster) »

I suppose the included knockbox may not look serious to some, but it works quite well and is practical.

For example, the knockbox's bar is trivial to remove for emptying the box, something that isn't practical with other knockboxes (i.e., with others you must remove bolts at each end of the knockbox bar, empty the box, then rethread the bolts; it's enough of a pain that few bother). The Olympia's knockbox bar is wide for firmly dislodging the puck. The wide bar with center slotted area acts as a convenient rest when cleaning too. Instead of resting the portafilter on the countertop while scrubbing down the machine, I rest it flipped over on the knockbox with the handle between the two small bars.

It may not be a "manly" looking design, whatever that means, but I give the design high marks for practicality and it's well proportioned to the machine itself.
Dan Kehn

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RAS

#65: Post by RAS »

What may seem like a silly question here... Seems like there is a lot of support around HB for preinfusion. On machines like the Maximatic, is it possible to do a "manual" preinfusion with a quick pulse of the brew-switch to get an acceptable preinfusion?

I just bought and did a very-light (that's all it needed! :D ) restoration of an Olympia Caffarex (all the functionality of the Max, though it has a 49mm brew-group, and a hot-water tap), and will be diving into my first shots this weekend. I can see why these machines have the following they do. The "Caff" was a piece of cake to take a part, confirm gasket/seal integrity, descale (very easy!), clean-up, and reassemble. Heck, the case on mine is that "lovely" brown which is in pretty much perfect condition. Though I wouldn't mind it, I see no reason to get it re-powder-coated at this time.

Okay, one more question - about back-flushing: is it a good idea to do with these machines like it was with my old Andreja? If so, I'll need to get some kind of disk or insert to do this.

Thanks!
Bob

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Bluecold

#66: Post by Bluecold »

I guess the rapid depressurization from the 3way valve when pulsing the pump probably won't do the puck any good. But that's just a guess.
LMWDP #232
"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."

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RAS

#67: Post by RAS »

Thanks Roeland - guess the three-way is an issue for pump-on/pump-off preinfusion! Crud.
Bob

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cannonfodder
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#68: Post by cannonfodder »

Olympia Maximatic redux

Some items just exude quality. A Rolls Royce, a custom shotgun, a Rolex watch. The Maximatic falls into that category. Simply taking the machine out of the box and setting it on the table top you know it is above and beyond the usual build quality.

I cannot convey the quality of the build and design on this machine. Every edge is rounded, every seam straight. A cursory external examination reveals a flawless machine. No sharp edges, loose panels or gaps in seams. The polished stainless is nothing less than perfect which takes some serious work and attention to detail. The powder coating is perfect, no ripples or bare spots on the external surfaces or the internal, a real professional job. Even the chrome plating on the inside the portafilter, no brass showing, no nickel spots, smooth and perfect coverage.

It appears that Olympia's modus operandi was if it takes two screws to secure it, use three. Everything is solidly assembled.



The machine has a very small footprint so the internal space is very limited. Every inch was used. Every piece thought out and meticulously assembled. Recessed Allen head set screws all around the internals. I am no stranger to the internals of an espresso machine. Home, single group, multi group, old and new but when I took the covers off this machine I just stood there and stared. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Will the Olympia Maximatic's price live up to its reputation? Stay tuned for the Olympia Maximatic redux.
Dave Stephens

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cannonfodder
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#69: Post by cannonfodder »

Out of the Box

One of the unique things about the Maximatic is that right out of the box you have a full kit. The machine includes a stainless knock box, aluminum tamper, stainless funnel to fill the boiler with, stainless coffee scoop even a stainless steaming pitcher. You have both a double and single basket for espresso, a single portafilter and the owners manual. All you need is a grinder and some fresh beans to start pulling shots. One thing you will need is a blind basket for backflushing. I keep a generic rubber insert that sits inside a basket to plug the screen onhand. Sine the Oly does not use a 58mm portafilter none of my baskets will fit, so I use the rubber bathtub stopper for backflushing.

The knockbox is rather shallow and uses a lay across double bar made from what appears to be nylon or other polymer. I have had issues with splattering coffee and water when I knock the puck into the knockbox. It is functional and much better than what most machines come with which is nothing but you may want to upgrade to a deeper knock box.

The tamper is a solid piece of machined aluminum. There is a couple millimeters of space around the tamper piston and basket. Those that are obsessive compulsive about having a friction fit tamper to basket will no doubt want to order a replacement. Since the Olympia uses a 54mm basket none of my current tampers will fit but I see no issue with using the included tamper. It is well beyond what most manufacturers include which is normally a plastic hunk of junk suitable for use as a door stop.

The Maximatic is a small footprint heat exchanger. It measures 7.75 inches wide, 13.5 deep and 13 inches tall from the table top to the top of the cup warmer edges. The boiler fill cap adds another inch and a half to the overall height as measured with my ruler. It is small enough to have a minimal footprint on your kitchen cabinet and does not require two people to move. However, as Dan eluded to, it is no light weight at 40 pounds.

Dave Stephens

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#70: Post by cannonfodder »

Getting Started

The Maximatic is decisively low tech by modern espresso machine standards. The boiler is a manual fill using a sight glass. No auto fill or level box in this little guy. It is strictly a manual process. With a cold boiler, you unscrew the boiler fill knob from atop the machine, insert the supplied funnel and pour in water. You can see the boiler water level through the sight glass on the front of the machine. There is a Minimum and Maximum mark for your water level. Since the boiler water is not used for brewing, you can save yourself some maintenance by using distilled water in the boiler.


The Oly is a vibe pump pour over machine so you have to fill the internal reservoir with your brew water. The machine uses a well thought out and simple lid over the reservoir. Most machines require you to remove the entire cup warmer top to access the water tank. The Olympia has a 1/3 sized lift off panel. That way you do not have to take the entire top off and remove all your cups to fill the tank. That is a good thing because the tank is small and requires frequent refills.


The reservoir is also unique. Unlike most pour over machines, the Oly does not use a plastic water reservoir, it is brushed stainless. It appears to have been bent from sheet stainless and TIG welded. A perfect job, no weld seams, everything ground and polished so it looks like a single piece of stainless. The reservoir pulls up out of the frame and has a cutoff valve in the bottom under the pump intake. No hoses to pull out, it is all self contained and does a very good job. I have pulled the tank out several times to see if it would drip and it has yet to leak. Under normal circumstances there would be no need to remove the reservoir from the machine.


It would be very wise to fill the reservoir before you start each session. Keeping in line with the low tech design, there is no low water shut off. No magnetic switch or spring loaded contact switch to shut down the pump when it runs dry. While that sounds like a big deal, it is not as critical as you may think. Since the boiler is not fed from the reservoir, you will not burn up your heater if the tank goes empty. The vibratory pump changes pitch noticeably when the reservoir gets low and starts sucking air. You will just ruin a shot, not melt your machine.

Once you have the boiler and reservoir filled, you turn on the small rocker switch on the right side of the frame to start heating it up. You will need to run the pump to fill the heat exchanger then let it heat. It comes to temperature quickly. From a cold start you need about 20 minutes to bring the machine to operating temperature.

During the heatup you will have to take into account another little quirk of the 2008 Maximatic models, like the evaluation model we tested, that do not have a vacuum breaker. After 10 minutes you will have to open the steam want to purge false pressure out of the boiler. If you do not, it will never come to the proper operating temperature. After the warm up, you are ready to start pulling shots.
Dave Stephens