Coffee Collectibles Gallery

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#1: Post by drgary »

Hi All:

This thread is a place to post photos of your rare coffee collectible items. Maybe you have a prototype lever espresso machine, or a rare document, or a first-run item that later sold many units. This is for that first-year Cremina in original condition, or ... show us what you've got!

I'll start off with Orphan Espresso LIDO 1 #6, hand signed by Doug and Barb Garrott and customized by their exchange of a blue catch jar to replace the original clear glass. The "blue bottle" catch jar was their gift to me, recalling central Europe's first coffee house in Vienna, dating back to the late 1600's.* The LIDO 1 dates back to January, 2012.

Orphan Espresso LIDO cupping grinder

These early models were hand-assembled by Doug and Barb. The body is aluminum and the chute is plastic. It is very adjustable and easy to use and still works like new. The anti-popcorn shield was my addition. It all started when the plastic adjustment ring cracked and I sent it in to replace that. (Apologies for the coffee grime. Time for a little deep cleaning.)

Here's a top view. Notice the ability to shorten the handle using the extra hole.

These first-model LIDO grinders came with OE's rubber base.

Doug and Barb signed their grinder, making it even more special. The inscription reads, going clockwise: "OE LIDO #6 1st edition" "for Gary Seeman" "coffee friends peace" "Doug & Barb OE" and the cross bar has the serial number 6, better shown in another photo here.

See "006" engraved on the crossbar of the frame.

Coarseness is adjusted by loosening the wing nut, then loosening the plastic adjustment fastener and re-tightening that to position the wing nut snugly to the frame. It's not calibrated like their later models but works very well.

I added a popcorn stopper, made out of buna rubber.

This was their second model of their innovative hand grinder line. An important feature was dual bearings to keep these grinders aligned. This is a modern design that sets it apart from earlier wooden box hand grinders.

This grinder has its place in coffee history. It started a 21st century artisinal industry of innovative hand grinders. That industry has gone mainstream now that grinder manufacturer Mazzer has introduced a hand grinder, which employs some of the features and the basic shape and footprint of Doug and Barb's LIDO grinders.


What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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#2: Post by Jofari »

I remember when the Lido first came out. It was right around the time I was discovering good coffee. You're right - there weren't many options for hand grinders back then. I had a Hario hand grinder at the time, but the grind consistency left plenty to be desired. The Lido was a revolutionary product, especially when you consider the current state of hand grinders in 2022. I ended up getting a Lido 2 from the first batch that came out in 2014. It's a very nice grinder, but not as cool as the original Lido.

Thanks for sharing and starting an interesting thread.

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#3: Post by ira »

This is probably not as good as Gary's, but at the 2015 SCAA conference Acaia released the Lunar and you could buy a special "Eclipse" version. And then there were 25 of those that were engraved and given to friends of Acaia and others. I know Howard Schultz of Starbucks fame got one, the Tiawan or Korean barista champion got one and weirdly enough I got one. I think it's a single digit S/N, it rubbed off as it's used as a foot, but I checked the box and it's S/N 8. receiving a Lunar as a present was quite a surprise, but when Rex came back, grabbed it from me and opened it to show me the engraving it was pretty special. When the Pearl first came out, I was KS backer 81 or so and the manual was horrible. I offered to edit it and in order to keep from going crazy trying to put all the images of the display in the proper places, I created a proper 7-segment True Type font with all the special Acaia characters. So I guess this was a thank you. Hard to believe it's 7 years old.

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#4: Post by jbviau »

drgary wrote:I'll start off with Orphan Espresso LIDO 1 #6...
Love the custom engraving!

At one point, I had both #002 and #003. I kept #002, shown below, for sentimental reasons since that's the unit I won in a GCBC traveling road show back then:

Here's the backstory along with a pic of a nice note that D&B sent me after some repairs had been done: Kudos to Orphan Espresso

As an aside, I noticed that the OP in the original Lido 1 owner experience thread was tekomino, aka Denis Basaric, who went on to found Kafatek...
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias

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#5: Post by allegedlybrewing »

I really hope this thread continues to grow both stories were short but super fun to read and its great to see that some people here have very unique items deep seated in the coffee industry that were building blocks of the future to come. Thank you both for your stories and i hope to see others posted here to further this all along.

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drgary (original poster)
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#6: Post by drgary (original poster) »

One day I was scrolling the San Francisco Craigslist to see if I could find a vintage Olympia Express Cremina. I saw a listing for a La Graziella lever but wasn't steeped in espresso gear yet. The person who listed it asked for information about it. I offered what little info I could, which wasn't useful by itself, since I thought it was a La Pavoni or similar. Maybe I pointed her toward the Thomas E. Cara shop in San Francisco, which specialized in importing and servicing wonderful lever machines. In any case, she appreciated my attempt to help and answered my email with a photo of another machine she wanted to sell. It looked like a beautiful vintage lever, of course, but I had never seen one like it, which is a good sign.

This was a Lady Duchessa, which is very rare, so rare, in fact, that Doug and Barb Garrott had never seen one, so they offered to service it at no charge just to look it over. This was back in the days that Orphan Espresso specialized in parts and service for orphaned espresso machines, especially vintage levers. Not only did they service it, they did an entire restoration, repainting it too. It is still my wife's favorite in my espresso machine collection. I shared my photos with Francesco Ceccarelli, whose site has the most extensive information about vintage home levers. It's a version 1.1. Here's a screen that shows its listing on Francesco's website:

Here are my threads on this Lady Duchessa:

Rare Lever Espresso Machines by Duchessa / Ducale

Adding a Booster Spring to Lady Duchessa

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!