The Arrarex Caravel - Page 225

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
Swissbariss

#2241: Post by Swissbariss »

So after 5 years of owning a V1.2 seafoam green Caravel I am ready to move on and join the darkside of pump machines. I still love my Caravel and will still keep it, but I need an easier and more practical (wife friendly) daily driver. The Caravel will stay in the garage and will now be the sunny Sunday driver. So after 5 years I would like to think I have my Caravel figured out, and for the most part I have, but its still a moving target to get those repeatable "perfect" shots. But as we all know, even those less than perfect shots are still better than what most other machines can produce.

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redbone
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#2242: Post by redbone »

New early fine example Caravel in the house. Dissembled oxygenated soap soak for 24hrs followed by Barkeepers Friend polish either toothbrush or mini brass brush. This method works well on all parts except aluminum base which oxidizes to a patina which can be polished with fine steel wool and rinsed.
Image Really need a separate sink away from the laundry room according to wife.

Oddly enough one of the most difficult tasks is fitment with a new l.e.d. The original one piece lights arrive not working or don't produce visible light at 120v since they're220v.
Image Does the job even if not that oem look with metal ring bezel.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

lost13coffee

#2243: Post by lost13coffee »

[quote="caravelista"]
What type of coffees (beyond the roast levels) would you recommend in particular?

Balazs[/quote]

Caravels are amazingly rewarding RE the standard of coffee you use.
I can get a constantly "good" cup from very average beans (supermarket beans)
I can get a mind altering cup from specialty beans.

This is where different baskets come in. For supermarket beans it needs the largest basket. For something like Tim Wendelboe beans it has to be the small basket or it blows my brains.

Yes the grinder should work. I suspect that as Caravel has such a small basket and only under hand pressure, the more consistent the grind the better. I use an OE Pharos (version 1) and am happy with it. I have heard good things about the zero but never used it. I think grinders are like tv screens, there is always bigger and better...but they may not fit your budget or kitchen.

If you want to explore coffees and you are in an area that means you have to mail order...you may want to look at the menu from https://thenewblack.coffee/artisans. Its a coffee shop in Singapore that specialises in roasts from around the world. If you are in Singapore, try them...TIP: don't do them all in 1 day.

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redbone
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#2244: Post by redbone »

Being that the VAM / Caravel elements are plug and play figured why not have the easy ability to swap the power cord also. Added a detachable 3 prong universal short male plug. This accepts NEMA 5-15 and many European cord sets.
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Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

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armindillo

#2245: Post by armindillo »

4 years ago I got a caravel but turned out to need a lot of work.
So I jumped at the chance to buy a light green VAM in perfect condition.
Then I couldn't resist getting a VAM Export when I found one.
This year I got carried away and got yet another VAM because it had the spoon I coveted.
Finally I just couldn't pass up the chance to get a yellow VAM 1.1, (with another spoon, even).

Here are my toys lined up in order of age:
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3 of the machines had a date stamped on the heating element, 1957 - ???? - ???? - 1961 - 1968

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armindillo

#2246: Post by armindillo »

And now, moving on from just showing off, something that might be useful:
Replacing the cracked, yellow hardened suction cups turns out to be really easy. I found a bag of suction cups with hooks on the internet. These suction cups are a bit larger than the originals, but the machine will stick to the counter nicely.
All you need is a swiss army knife.
Be sure to save the old suction cups in case you want to put the machine into a museum instead of using it.
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armindillo

#2247: Post by armindillo »

The machines often come with 2-prong plugs, the ground prong in the middle having been ripped out.
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When there is no ground connection you might find yourself touching the machine handle and the grounding goes through you. It's yet another jolt besides what you get from the caffeine. After it happened to me, I decided I only want plugs that are grounded. Luckily the plug on the Export still has the ground prong. The later machines have a connection block to screw the wires into.
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See how the rubber sleeve around the cord is the same on both machines, but it goes into the Export and comes out of the VAM.

Here are the original plugs:
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When you replace the cord, you can look for an interesting or attractive plug, or just go with something ugly:
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armindillo

#2248: Post by armindillo »

In case anyone is thinking of powder coating a Caravel, make sure the paint withstands high temperatures.
After a few months of use, the orange paint I chose started bubbling in the areas near the heating element.
Eventually, after a few years, it looked like this:
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Instead of starting over, I got some red paint made for brake calipers with the idea of doing some kind of orange-red fade.
First I chipped and scraped and sanded off the crusty bubbles.
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After the first 2 coats and some attempts at smoothing it out, I just got a nasty, runny mess. With the 3rd coat I decided to go for the full Halloween look and pretend that's what I wanted all along.
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armindillo

#2249: Post by armindillo »

I've gotten used to the scary paint job. This is what the paint looked like when I got that machine 5 years ago.
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armindillo

#2250: Post by armindillo »

Today is a good day to show off multi-color piston seals in red, white and blue as well as black.
The ordering is by age of the machine, as in some of the pictures above.
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