A La Peppina Appreciation Post

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#1: Post by pham »

Hey all,

I just spent about a week with a Peppina that I got up and running after a lot of fussing... the boiler was a PITA to get off the base and I had to drill one out and retap. But now it's up and running, and here we are. It has exceeded my expectations. So far, I've tried about 3 coffees from Sey, a natural ethiopian from Square Mile, and now a washed ethiopian from April coffee, it is a pleasure to use and has a distinct flavor profile. Turn on, boil in 3-5 minutes, flush some water through, turn off the machine, paper filter on top of the puck, pull my shot 1:3 after 1 fellini. The shot profile is super clean with great complexity and acid structure. I can't believe that such an old design can be so well-suited to "modern espresso". The Faemina I have can do just as good as a job, but I don't think I've ever had an experience like this where I have a machine pissing out god-shots at this wide of a range of flow rates. I don't know, maybe I'm just tricking myself.

If someone were to do this machine like Paul did with the Robot... I dunno, making the boiler threaded to a SS base with a gasket instead of friction fit, upside down bosco spring, 49/51mm grouphead... I know where I'd put my money :wink:

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#2: Post by Nate42 »

There's plenty of La Peppina fans on this forum, it really is a nice machine. I have pulled some of my best shots on mine. I have also found it capable of nice ristrettos of modern light roasted coffee. I need to give it some love it's been sitting in my office unused ever since Covid hit.

I'm with you, as much as I like my robot, if someone made a modern improved take on the peppina I would be right there.

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#3: Post by truemagellen »

shhh dont tell anyone. I used to buy them for $150 in pristine condition and $75 for a broken down 220v model. Most recent was a brand new in box wedding present one I paid a lot for.

they surprise me every time i use them. so glad you found the best deal in espresso...i'd take one over almost all machines new and used under $600 any day.

i'd be interested in making one. the steaming mechanism is the only thing to write off on these

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#4: Post by pizzaman383 »

How similar in results are they compared to a Strietman? They seem to share a lot of design fundamentals.
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#5: Post by LObin »

You said it perfectly, those La Peppina piss liquid gold no matter what you feed them.

I've also had some of my most memorable shot ever on mine although I really don't use it that much. I need the steaming capacities for the morning routines so it sits in a box for now.

But you know what, I think I might give it a run for my after work espressos, thanks to this thread. I just needed to be reminded how awesome of a machine they are.


Here's mine:
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pham (original poster)

#6: Post by pham (original poster) »

L0bin; mine looks just like yours, it's the same brown. Looks great!
How similar in results are they compared to a Strietman? They seem to share a lot of design fundamentals.
I think they are similar in how they handle temperature stability, but I think the baskets are markedly different. I am grinding really quite coarse on the 45mm Peppina baskets which I think contributes to its flavor profile. On the Faema I'm running an IMS basket that's vaguely similar to the 49mm Strietman baskets, and I get a bit more intensity and texture to those shots.

if someone made a modern improved take on the peppina I would be right there.

Considering the success of the Robot and the Flair Signature/Signature Pro/58, I don't think I'm off base when I say that there's room in the market for an electric open boiler, especially a spring lever. I see a lot of new lever machines on kickstarter, but they're all minor variations on what Flair and Paul re-popularized. I really do think that the Robot and Flair are good enough at what they do for me not to get excited for new products looking to compete with them. Surely though, there is an gap between the Flair 58 and the hotly-anticipated Argos? Or at the very least, some room between the Flair and the Strietman. I would argue that the Peppina doesn't even need any large engineering changes. It just needs to be made of safe materials and be easier to service.

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#7: Post by yakster »

I used to have mine in my cubicle, drank lots of afternoon espresso during that period.

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#8: Post by beer&mathematics »

Nice to hear you love you Peppina Pham!

It's my first lever and really kicked off my addiction. Maybe tomorrow I'll put it out and use it and take a photo to add to the thread.

I agree with all above that it's a forgiving machine that has such a large sweet spot. A true treasure. It would be rad if Paul remade it with SS of better materials. But, I do think nothing will beat the beautiful original pitcher design.
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#9: Post by redbone »

The Peppina can turn out a VG espresso shot. Owned and refurbished many vintage lever espresso machines including a few La Peppina machines. It's achilles heel is the boiler material namely Zamac that was used vs brass, copper or S.S. The Zamac version that was used became brittle and pitted. It would have been a different machine and keeper in brass or S.S. imo.
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#10: Post by kropoffee »

I gotta throw my peppina in here 8)