The Arrarex Caravel - Page 11

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
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hbuchtel

Postby hbuchtel » Aug 25, 2008, 9:51 pm

Hey Guys, I just had my first shot after a basically espresso-less summer... mmm! You can't get that aroma with french press! :)

It was a weird shot... took almost a minute of pressure on the Caravel lever, so I was preparing to throw it away... till I lifted the cup to my nose... wow! Amazing stuff, this espresso. Shot was creamy (bordering on oily) but too acidic for my taste, which I'm chalking up to it being a lightly roasted SO Colombian.

Doug and Barbara, I got the o-rings etc that I ordered and they are working perfectly. Thanks!

Regards, Henry
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CoffeeOwl

Postby CoffeeOwl » Aug 29, 2008, 6:12 pm

Hi!

I have my Caravel for some two weeks so I thought I'd post my first impressions...
The very first impression was not that great... I was happy my machine arrived but it turned out it has three-bolt plug (basically the seller was a bit misleading when he replied to my question about it, anyway he claimed it can be easily changed) and it smelled a bit metallicaly. But then the whole idea of the machine is just wonderful. It took my heart completely. :D
I cleaned the boiler with a metal grate and washed it etc and it turned out the water tastes good. After couple of shots I can say that the espresso is very good. It's amazing that I can produce half-crema (after shot settled) in the glass without any effort nor lever-experience :shock: I have the same grind as for Vivaldi, put almost 11g of coffee in the basket, level with a bit of compressing and tamp with my thumb and then I pull. I never ever thought it could be that easy. Shots resemble Vivaldi's singles yet they have clearer taste.
Yesterday I removed the plastic dirty legs. I still have to change the cord (dirty too) and the plug and then only hand grinder is what I need to have coffee happiness at work.
'a a ha sha sa ma!


LMWDP #199

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orphanespresso

Postby orphanespresso » Aug 30, 2008, 3:46 am

About that plug....if it is a quality plug it can be taken apart and the center ground prong removed...some will actually screw out of the plug so you can go with the two prong into a US adaptor. Or use a step up converter to 220 from 110 which works with the euro 2 prong plug, and 220v with themachine gets it heating up nice and fast. Dirty legs? No suction cups?
Nice espresso though, something akin to magic.
Doug

CoffeeOwl

Postby CoffeeOwl » Aug 30, 2008, 7:06 pm

It's Arrarex original plug (has the name on it) and unfortunately these three bolts are melted into plastic - unremovable. The machine is 220V. Anyway no big deal - I use kettle.
I didn't undestand you about the cups, but for the dirty legs - the machine is clean inside, but outside it just looks like it has its 50< years.
If you meant undrinkable espresso by the 'suction cups' - well yes, my first shot went sideways instead through the pf and then the second was a bit too cold because of the manual heating. :D
'a a ha sha sa ma!


LMWDP #199

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hbuchtel

Postby hbuchtel » Aug 30, 2008, 8:44 pm

Pawel, if you like you can replace the original electrical cord with a more standard one- that is what I had to do.

If you [unplug the machine and] take off the bottom you should be able to see the pretty simple attachment for the cord, then it is just a matter of loosening the screws, putting the new wires in, and tightening the screws again. Just make sure you identify which wire is ground! :!: The order of the other two doesn't matter.

Congrats on getting it working! :)

Regards, Henry
LMWDP #53

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peacecup

Postby peacecup » Aug 31, 2008, 2:45 am

I have just not had time to contribute to this thread lately, but my Caravel has really been rockin'! I'll get to some impressions soon, but for now just say that when I get it dialed in for the right flow (slow, almost drips at full pressure pull) and full basket (10-11g?) the espresso is out of this world. Oh, and I always use a Fellini pre-infusion.

PC
LMWDP #049
Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

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hbuchtel

Postby hbuchtel » Sep 05, 2008, 2:56 am

orphanespresso wrote:Which do you have the single, or the double? The little single is really hard to use, in our opinion, and we don't get the amazing shots with it like we do with the double.


Going back quite a bit, Doug, have you been using the single basket much? Would you mind posting how many grams it can hold or a picture of it?

Regards, Henry
LMWDP #53

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orphanespresso

Postby orphanespresso » Sep 05, 2008, 4:27 am

Henry....yes, going back a bit, you are right, and also going back a bit I must take back what I said about the single basket. Not the amazing shots, true, but the single basket holds 7 grams and is cone shaped and it is the basket of choice for us these days, with a single pull, no Fellini, just a slow steady pull to the bottom of the lever travel, pull the cup and a very very good shot. A bit small on the volume but large on crema and flavour. The picture is on the orphan site, not of the pull but the single basket. The original has the small bumps to clip in the portafilter and ours is an adapted La Peppina single basket which fits tight and is identical in performance.

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hbuchtel

Postby hbuchtel » Sep 07, 2008, 12:31 pm

Cool, that is what I was hoping to hear :)

I've been trying a looser grind and two pulls with the double basket the last couple days (influenced by this forum's recent explorations into blond territory :lol: ) and... it looks funny, smells funny, and tastes good! Whadaya know...
LMWDP #53

CoffeeOwl

Postby CoffeeOwl » Sep 08, 2008, 3:54 pm

So the magic is over..? :)
I felt quite proud after my first adventures with Caravel, yet now it turned out to not be that easy to pull the shots. My last two attempts were shameful, yet I didn't have real motivation to put my best into them.
Here's the story:
I'm allergic to lots of things besides the 'normal' range, like for instance climatisation. And after drinking shots from the machine I started having pink marks on skin and eaching. I'm not completely sure that it is the reason, but it is associated.
Does any of you have idea what material the boiler is made of?

As for the cord - thank you for advice! My dad is electrician so it won't be much trouble, though it looks a bit complicated to remove the old cord.
'a a ha sha sa ma!


LMWDP #199