La Peppina - issues with machine

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#1: Post by dingbat74 »

Hi All,

I just got a new La Peppina Lever machine and I noticed a couple of things and trying to determine if these are issues or normal.

1) When I put cold water into the boiler, it takes 15 minutes for it to reach and uncomfortable touching temp, maybe 25 minutes to get it to boil. And this is when I am only filling the boiler to 1/4 full. The manual says it should take about 10 minutes to boil.

2) My machine comes with the steam attachment but it never seems to be get to a high enough boil so I cant see it being useful. Does anyone use this attachment?

3) When I pull a shot, I noticed that the water in the boiler become tainted with coffee stains /coloring. Is this an issue with the gasket /o-ring or is this normal?

Thanks in advance for your help.


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#2: Post by yakster »

Your first "issue" sounds like you're running a La Peppina with a 220 V heating element on 120 Volts. If so, this is normal as you'll only get 1/4 of the power operating that way.

Secondly, I do have the steamer hat, which was something that an importer to the US added to boost sales. I tried it once or twice, and it does steam milk with the 120 V element, but it's gimmicky and I didn't want to operate it at that high a temp for that long so I didn't use it.

Finally, water leaking back into the kettle does sound like you need to check the rubber flapper washer above the cylinder to make sure that it's installed properly (not too tight) and in good shape. This rebuild guide should help. Sometimes flipping the washer over can help. ... tions.html

Also check out this threads for help on the flapper washers:

La Peppina purchase

Troubleshooting la Peppina double basket fit

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#3: Post by Blernsball »

Drawing coffee back into the boiler can also be caused by pumping the lever. The flapper washer won't close properly and water can be drawn back in. The rebuild guide can help understand the mechanics involved.

Push down the lever, then let it go until it 'catches'. You can then let the spring do the work.
If you find you need more water, one more push down once the lever is halfway up and then let it go again.

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#4: Post by yakster »

Yes, also making quick instead of gradual movements with the lever helps snap the flapper washers into place and makes a better seal.

The washers perform best at temperature, you won't see the same performance with room temp water.

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#5: Post by LObin »

If you using a regular kettle to boil the water first and then pour it inside the La Peppina Kettle, it'll dramatically speed up things. My heating element is 700W/220v which is just not strong enough on a 120v outlet to go from room temperature to boil in a decent time lapse.

Check both flapper washers. There's a large one inside the piston the may need to be changed or fine tuned.
The group inlet washer is hard to calibrate properly. I explained in details how I did it on my machine. If both of these work well, you shouldn't get any coffee back inside the kettle and should be able to yield 40-45g with a few lever pumps and a low lever grab.

From my experience, pumping too aggressively or doing a Fellini (lowering the lever again, during or at the end of the extraction) can unseat the puck which is bad news.

With a fine tuned machine and a coffee bed that creates good enough resistance, you need 3 to 4 lever pulls in order to get the largest volume of water available for the extraction and a low lever grab meaning that the spring is fully compressed.

In this video here, the group flapper washer (not the on above the piston but the small one behind the shower screen) is not perfectly tuned. It's not terrible but I still need to 5-6 pumps in order to get a low lever catch and then have a 40-45g yield available.

In that video, the group washer is working perfectly. 3-4 pulls is enough to get a full spring compression.
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