Conti Prestina vs Olympia Cremina

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Jasper_8137

#1: Post by Jasper_8137 » Sep 08, 2019, 7:37 pm

Hello all - I have a cremina and have the opportunity to buy a Conti. The Conti is awesome (fully refurbed by a fellow HBr) - it would be a stretch for space and cost for the Conti so I'm curious as to how much of an upgrade the Conti would be relative to my cremina with Gabor's pressure kit. Anyone with experience with both?
Thanks for the input.

Paolo

#2: Post by Paolo » Sep 08, 2019, 8:05 pm

There aren't too many Prestinas out there in the wild. To me, finding a restored one that is actually for sale is a real opportunity.

If you can afford it, I would advise to grab it, make room for it and compare both machines yourself. You will be the ultimate judge in this comparison.

You could always sell it later if it didn't deliver the goods for you.

LObin

#3: Post by LObin » Sep 08, 2019, 9:28 pm

You should get in touch with drgary. He owns a Prestina and I'm pretty sure he's had a shot or two on a Cremina...

If I can add my 2 cents, I've never had a shot on neither of these machines but I have owned an Oly club, a La Pavoni professional and then 2 commercial spring levers including my current Londinium 1.

The main advantage with a commercial group is obviously thermal stability. If you like leaving your machine on all day or for long periods of time, the Conti will be wonderful.

I also find commercial spring groups to be a lot more consistent and forgiving. As an example, I find myself drinking the "bad" shots (when dialing in a new coffee) a lot more often since the extraction range is just so much bigger compare to my old Oly club.

That being said, Cremina's are wonderful machines that are built for a lifetime. Getting the Prestina also means plumbing in the machine which is not always trouble free...

It's a fun dilemma!

sprint jinx

#4: Post by sprint jinx » Sep 09, 2019, 10:20 am

I have a self built Prestina lever group that has a larger boiler, so my focus here is on the group itself. I believe that this setup delivers fantastic shots, with much forgiveness to coffee type and other variables. The way in which the spring lever operates and self cleans, with its soft infusion and ramp up of pressure, it is just a pleasure to use. The group delivers bulls eye repeat shots and requires very low upkeep. Mine is on a PID and manual fill, so these machines can be tinkered with to fit your requirements.
Get the prestina, at least try it, the resale of it is fairly easy. I bet you keep it.

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truemagellen

#5: Post by truemagellen » Sep 09, 2019, 12:02 pm

Do you still have the Linea? If the Conti is in excellent shape and worry free you may find yourself wanting to sell the Linea and keep the Cremina.

A plumbed in commercial spring lever for your daily driver and for when you have guests over is my ideal machine. Much easier to keep clean with no backflush and almost silent (pstat/or none with pid & autofill clicks but no pumps or heavy mechanical noises). If you get the espazzola cleaning device I bet you your cleaning routine will be cut down to 5% of what you need to do now with a pump/3waysolenoid machine like the Linea.

The Cremina is worth keeping to play with and for situations where you want to move the machine around (take on long vacation? :)

Tonefish

#6: Post by Tonefish » Sep 09, 2019, 4:14 pm

LObin wrote:You should get in touch with drgary.
First thing I thought too. In fact, I wondered if he was selling his (tho couldn't imagine that)!
LMWDP #581 .......... May your roasts, grinds, and pulls be the best!

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drgary
Team HB

#7: Post by drgary » Sep 09, 2019, 4:45 pm

Nope.

I have a Cremina and the Prestina, of course, and other very good espresso machines. The Prestina is the one I use if I'm reviewing a coffee because of its consistency. My Prestina is equipped with a PID, which I highly recommend. This week I have my Arrarex Caravel on the counter, also equipped with a PID.

There are +/- with any setup. The Cremina doesn't waste as much energy as a Prestina. The Prestina doesn't just pull great shots, it has commercial steam power that the Cremina doesn't. You don't need to plumb in the Prestina, just use a water bottle and a Flojet pump.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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Denis

#8: Post by Denis » Sep 09, 2019, 5:01 pm

Isn't there a huge difference in volumes output? Because this might be a decision factor for some. Is it 30 versus 50g?

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drgary
Team HB

#9: Post by drgary » replying to Denis » Sep 09, 2019, 5:23 pm

Not a huge difference.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

Jasper_8137

#10: Post by Jasper_8137 » Sep 10, 2019, 7:31 pm

Thanks for everyone's responses - sounds like this is a machine that I shouldn't pass up.

How hard will it be to source parts if needed? What about picking up a bottomless portafilter? I did see a thread about replacement portafilters but not sure if they fit the prestina.