James Hoffmann Review: The Olympia Cremina - Page 6

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Boldjava

#51: Post by Boldjava »

Something about the tone of HB has shifted in this thread which I haven't experienced by HB folks over the years.

Let me draw an analogy. Guy across the street has a '57 Buick that fluctuates in value. I would have sold it off and placed the proceeds into a long term investment with a more consistent path of appreciation. He on the other hand, enjoys it. I don't go across the street telling him that it is an overvalued toy which he needs to move on from. "Grow up, bud."

Another guy I do volunteer work with vets with has 3 muscle cars (here I really am lost). He has no clue that I think that is the craziest use of money I have ever seen. It frankly is none of my business and my choices in the use of discretionary income are not superior to his -- they are only choices, they are not superior. I can keep my views to myself.

What gives guys? Do we really need some of the tone in this thread? Let's pause a bit, eh? Can we just acknowledge that we may just value an object differently?
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LMWDP #339

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HB
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#52: Post by HB »

elbertfunkleberg wrote:Use your common sense, people. The Cremina isn't made of solid gold, or even gold plated... This is not a place where opinions are always allowed to flow freely and not a place that you can take product reviews at face value.
civ wrote:I take great exception to what you are saying and I am absolutely convinced that everyone reading this thread opines the same way.
Boldjava wrote:What gives guys? Do we really need some of the tone in this thread?
What one person considers overpaying, another considers money well spent. I don't [publicly] weigh in on how others spend their money -- that's their business. Of course, I might mention that I believe XYZ is overpriced or ABC is a great value, but I'm careful not to imply someone who disagrees with me has bad judgement.

Comments like "Use your common sense, people" is easily interpreted as "Anyone who disagrees with my judgement has no common sense", which goes against at least two or three of the site's Guidelines for productive online discussion. It's not ban-worthy offense, but it's enough to warranty closing this thread for awhile since such assertions predictably lead to criticisms and counter-criticisms.
Dan Kehn

davidhunternyc

#53: Post by davidhunternyc »

I am considering purchasing an Olympia Cremina and I need to read as many user reviews as possible. I live in NYC and I also need to find a way to take this machine for a test drive before I make a purchase decision. There are a couple of concerns that I have and perhaps you can help me. First, I've read that the grouphead gets too hot after just two pulls. In your review you've suggested to cool down the grouphead with a cold wet cloth. This seems to me a rather inconvenient way of cooling down the group head, especially on a machine as expensive as this. Isn't there a quicker and more accurate way to cool the grouphead? Also, has anyone used the Smart Espresso Profiler that was on the YouTube Olympia Cremina review by James Hoffman? If so, what are your thoughts about the Smart Profiler and about the temperature strip on the grouphead? Finally, the Cremina comes with a 49.5mm portafilter. As you said, it's an odd size, but have you found a quality calibrated tamper that work well with the portafilter? For instance, I found a 49mm calibrated tamper by LuxHaus on Amazon but it has got mixed reviews. Any thoughts?

drH

#54: Post by drH » replying to davidhunternyc »

If you use a temperature strip you will have a better idea of how hot it's running. I generally just operate by feel- for medium or lighter roasts I flush a bit to run the temperature up. For darker roasts I lock in a cold portafilter while I'm preparing my puck. This usually gets me into the right ballpark. You won't be able to avoid spending a bit of time to dial in a new bean and you are certainly buying a new hobby with a Cremina. Go to Cerini Coffee in NYC to try one live. If you really want temperature precision consider a PID controlled machine like an ECM Classika.

davidhunternyc

#55: Post by davidhunternyc » replying to drH »

Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, Cerini Coffee is not too far from me and I plan on visiting. After the pandemic, hopefully they'll be open this next coming week.

drH

#56: Post by drH » replying to davidhunternyc »

Ah, I see you have a robot: so you are already familiar with playing with temperature and grind and extraction. I would think you'll be impressed with the Cremina but definitely try one.
I have been interested lately in finding a Maximatic as a supplementary machine for when I pull lots of shots. In my imagination it's easier to control the temperature there because the flush routine would make it more predictable.
If you really want a lever with super easy temp management, have you considered a bigger spring lever like an Izzo leva or Pro800?

davidhunternyc

#57: Post by davidhunternyc »

drH wrote: If you really want a lever with super easy temp management, have you considered a bigger spring lever like an Izzo leva or Pro800?
If I got a big lever machine I would probably get a Londinium R thought I heard Reiss is coming out with a Londinium Compact. It will be like a Cremina but with a spring lever. The Pro800 is fine. : )

cpreston

#58: Post by cpreston »

davidhunternyc wrote:....First, I've read that the grouphead gets too hot after just two pulls. In your review you've suggested to cool down the grouphead with a cold wet cloth. This seems to me a rather inconvenient way of cooling down the group head, especially on a machine as expensive as this. Isn't there a quicker and more accurate way to cool the grouphead? Also, has anyone used the Smart Espresso Profiler that was on the YouTube Olympia Cremina review by James Hoffman? If so, what are your thoughts about the Smart Profiler and about the temperature strip on the grouphead? Finally, the Cremina comes with a 49.5mm portafilter. As you said, it's an odd size, but have you found a quality calibrated tamper that work well with the portafilter? For instance, I found a 49mm calibrated tamper by LuxHaus on Amazon but it has got mixed reviews. Any thoughts?
I'm pretty finicky about consistency and I came from a PID double boiler, so here's what I do to get similar consistency with my Cremina.

- Use group thermometer- very useful and much more accurate than temp strip. In combination with nanometer reading, can allow very repeatable temp. I use a very standard inexpensive Taylor thermometer. See

Olympia Cremina Temperature Study, Part 1

and

Adding Thermometry to a La Pavoni Europiccola

which is way too much info, but you'll get the idea.

- Head overheating is only an issue with consecutive shots with little time between. More often, I am pulling partial flushes to heat group temp back up to target instead. But a very easy way to cool is a quick squirt of water up into the group with a nalgene lab-type squeeze bottle. Orphan Espresso used to sell a nice sized one. Easy to predict its effect with some practice.

-I can't comment on the Smart Profiler but I just temporarily put my Cremina in a spring scale so I could learn to feel for the 30 lb pull it takes to get 9 bar at the group.

- Re calibrated tamper - are you're sure you need that? Many say if that you tamp on the firm side, minor variations in pressure are not critical.

I'm more than happy with the Cremina 6 years later.

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naked-portafilter

#59: Post by naked-portafilter »

There have been some rumors, wheelchair guessing about this... Just a short clarification of how it came to this review. I think I can make it a bit more transparent maybe.

Our first contact/encounter with James dates back to 2014 as we released our first coffee-related short film (The secrets of the moka pot - How to video). He's been following our http://www.vimeo.com/showcase/3948432 since then.

Still in the pre-Patreon period, Flair asked me to send Flair Classics to some European coffee guys. James received one too, and some months later reviewed it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZV-tnx6BN8 it. He explicitly said in the review that it was a free sample from the producer. Some months later I received an order from him for the SEP (still no Patreon).

We met the next time at our booth at WOC Berlin. We chatted about coffee, the meaning of life and he admitted that he can't find his Flair Classic anymore. Got lost during moving his roastery... He planned to test SEP on the Flair. Nevertheless, he pulled a shot with our custom Strietman CT1 in Berlin:
Months have passed again. We met at our booth at HOST Milano last October next time. He was a bit disappointed that he couldn't pull a shot with the CT1 but was pretty happy to test the ROBOT with the SEP (he was already working on the ROBOT review but released it just 1-2 weeks later). He asked me to deliver another SEP (for Patreon) and if he should buy a Strietman for the test. I said that I like the machine a lot but Wouter isn't very happy with our custom made lever for the CT1 and I will ask him about James' idea. Wouter was in trouble (a bit at least) but after a short consideration, he declined. I'm pretty happy with the Cremina, too (It's not a secret that I'm retailer for Olympia here in Hungary) and James was keen to try the small red Swiss cube. I connected him with Olympia. He bought the machine and our piston pressure kit from Olympia directly. Some months later he released this his review. That's all. It's really funny if somebody thinks more about this. Yes, no question the Cremina is a very expensive small lever :-). But today's breaking news is this: the Cremina SL is coming... A Club revival...

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★★ Quite Helpful

drH

#60: Post by drH »

naked-portafilter wrote: the Cremina SL is coming... A Club revival...

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Wait! You can't just leave it there??! Where can we find more information?