Elektra Microcasa a Leva grouphead / piston chamber issue

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#1: Post by Hjonsson »

Hi all, I'm a first time poster so if this issue has been discussed before I would appreciate a link to that post. Unfortunately I could not find it by search myself.

I have had an Elektra Micro Casa a Leva for about 2 years now, I bought it used and believe it to be an early 2000's model. For the first 6 months or so of use it worked fine. Around the 6 month time point I refurbished my entire kitchen and the machine was unused for about 2-3 months. After the refurbishment was finished I realised there was a bit of water in the boiler and I was afraid it had gone stale or mouldy, I purchased some off the shelf descaler and ran it through the machine a couple of times then filled it with clean water and rinsed probably 10 times or so.

The result I found was weird, the water coming through looked clean but the coffee tasted awful. Incredibly bitter. The brew time was short, under 20 seconds and without any crema to speak off. I wondered if my coffee grinder might have issues and the ground was too coarse since the water was flowing so quickly through. I ended up deconstructing my grinder and hack the burrs closer together to get a finer grind, to no avail.

After some research I came to the conclusion that the issue must be with the group head or piston chamber / assembly. The problem seems to be with the injection of water into the piston chamber. The moment I push the lever past the point of water injection into the chamber (about 95% of the way down from upright position) that water just leaks straight into the group head and through the ground coffee.

When I decrease hand pressure on the lever it just shoots back to the upright position as if there is no resistance. Back when I first got the machine I would slowly guide the lever to about the half way point and it would slowly rise from there on its own.

Otherwise the machine seems to be in good order, it heats relatively quickly, the steam wand has no issues and the piston chamber does not seem to have any pitting inside it. I'm at a loss as to what could have caused this issue, what the actual issue is and how to solve it.

I'll attach pictures of the piston assembly and inside the piston chamber, perhaps someone here can spot something that's gone wrong.

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Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

Welcome to H-B

What grinder are you using?

"No puck resistance" problems are often due to the grinder or stale coffee. Both the situations you describe seem to fall into the puck being more like a bed of gravel than a sponge.

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Hjonsson (original poster)

#3: Post by Hjonsson (original poster) »


I'm using the DeLonghi KG79. Its not high end and out of the box it doesnt really grind fine enough for an espresso machine. But there is a way to move the burr closer together for a finer grind, which I did.

I've tried quite a few different brands of coffee by now all with the same result. I could try a different grinder that might grind finer, at this point I'd be amazed if the issue as simple as the coffee not being ground fine enough.

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#4: Post by stefano65 »

You should be able to choke the machine with the finest of your grinder setting
then go a step at time time course from there,
sound to me as well that the issue is not the machine but the grind.
Stefano Cremonesi
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repairs & sales from Oregon.


#5: Post by RobAnybody »

wrote:I've tried quite a few different brands of coffee
as in supermarket brands or from an actual coffee roaster?
most supermarket coffee beans are stale upon opening the bag and won't give you good results.
LMWDP #647