New home for Olympia Caffarex "rescued" off eBay

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zin1953

#1: Post by zin1953 »

OK, it's been a long time coming . . .

For some inexplicable reason, UPS took 12 days to ship my "new" (1989) Olympia Caffarex from Connecticut to the eastern shores of the San Francisco Bay. (And they said it was on time; go figure!)

The unit arrived well-packed, but missing its single-dose basket, funnel, coffee scoop, and knockbox (or as the manual I found online describes it, "coffee grouts case"), it has its portafilter, double basket, and one-half of its plastic tamper. It was surprisingly dirty from a cosmetic standpoint, and has a little bit of sufferficial scratches directly behind the group, and on the warming tray.

This weekend, I'll descale the boiler, clean the crusted milk off the steam wand, take the group head apart to clean that, and -- hopefully -- see what it can do! If all goes well, I'll set it up in my office Monday and be "Gaggia-free" for the first time in 15-20 years!




Anyone with any "Caffarex Experience"? Advise is cheerfully welcomed!

Cheers,
Jason
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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farmroast

#2: Post by farmroast »

Seems very much like the coffex with the addition of the water outlet making it a little wider and I assume a little larger boiler for steaming. The group water reservoir I believe is the same size as the coffex. looks great! Ed
LMWDP #167 "with coffee we create with wine we celebrate"

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Knock

#3: Post by Knock »

Hi Jason,

12 days and in one piece is better than the usual complaint! Congratulations.

Only thing I forgot to say in my pm was an obvious thing about re-jigging your expectations of shot volume - if you are used to an E61/commerical portafilter my guess is you will be used to drawing a larger measure than one might from any standard Olympia basket - same for the Gaggia as they're usually a 58mm. I'm not sure what the capacity differences are but any shortfalls could be boosted by the elektra basket as mentioned.

Almost everything anyone has to say about the Coffex / Maximatic (original, not new model) will apply so there's already a decent resource pool. eg Greg "Mogogear" insulated his water tank from the boiler on his Max which would help keep the plastic tank from warping I guess if you are intending to leave it on all day.

Best of luck anyway.
sneaky
Peter Kilpatrick

zin1953 (original poster)

#4: Post by zin1953 (original poster) »

Knock wrote:Hi Jason,

12 days and in one piece is better than the usual complaint! Congratulations.
How true! :wink:
Knock wrote:Only thing I forgot to say in my pm was an obvious thing about re-jigging your expectations of shot volume - if you are used to an E61/commerical portafilter my guess is you will be used to drawing a larger measure than one might from any standard Olympia basket - same for the Gaggia as they're usually a 58mm. I'm not sure what the capacity differences are but any shortfalls could be boosted by the elektra basket as mentioned.
Ahhh, hadn't thought of that . . .

So, baskets for the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva will fit the Olympia portafilter . . . good to know! They're only $15 from 1st-Line (as opposed to getting them directly from Olympia; they want $21 -- not to mention the difference in shipping).

:?: But will the Elektra portafilter fit the Olympia Cafferex? Anyone know??? (Again, the chrome version is $50 from 1st-Line; it's $126 directly from Olympia!) :!:

Cheers,
Jason

P.S. I do know that the Caffarex NT uses the exact same portafilter as the Cremina 67 and Cremina 96 (same part number), but it's different than the PF used for the newer Cremina 2002.
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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mogogear

#5: Post by mogogear »

FYI-
KarlSchneider comes to mind about your Microcasa and Olympia PF portability question- you might throw a PM to him!
greg moore

Leverwright
LMWDP #067

zin1953 (original poster)

#6: Post by zin1953 (original poster) »

OK, so the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva PF will not fit the Olympia Caffarex, but the baskets will . . . so much for getting a second PF. Not a big deal.

* * * * *

Pulled my first shots today, and I must have lucked out, as they were pretty gosh darned good right from the get-go! More delicate and more nuanced than from the La Val (same beans), but delightful! :D

* * * * *

:?: Now, can anyone HELP with one more question :?:

The cap atop the boiler hisses constantly and lets steam escape -- much like the valve on top of a pressure cooker -- whenever the machine is on and up to temperature. This will be very annoying, to say the least, if I leave this machine on in an office environment. Is this normal? Do I need a new cap? new gaskets? (those are already on the way) a different machine for my office? :?

Cheers,
Jason
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

ccfore

#7: Post by ccfore »

Hi, Your machine looks GREAT! Here is a link with the info about the Olympia boiler cap that is probably on your machine: Few Quick Olympia Cremina Questions
Todd / LMWDP #109

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zin1953 (original poster)

#8: Post by zin1953 (original poster) »

Todd, thanks! That thread was before my time, but it addresses the issue perfectly!
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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Knock

#9: Post by Knock »

I seem to recall that an old style pavoni (PRE millenium) portafilter can be made to fit but can't check that again as my old one is long gone. Anyone remember if this is correct?

Then again why bother when espressme's bottomless portafilter is this year's must have: ket the others use the OEM part and keep your custom made baby in it's velvet holster* ready to roll.

Hope that helps,
Knock

*(holster described not supplied as standard - please see options list).
Peter Kilpatrick

mattwells

#10: Post by mattwells »

I believe that all the Olympia machines use the same portafilters, and all the portafilters lock in to the right. IIRC (could be totally wrong) the La Pavoni locks to the Left, even if they are the same size the ears of the portafilter would be 'ramped' opposite directions.

Oh, and you can get a naked portafilter for it that would definitely fit - check the Lever forum.
Matt Wells

LMWDP #160