What's so great about an Olympia Cremina?

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zubinpatrick

#1: Post by zubinpatrick »

Looking at a Cremina it appears to have the same basic design as a Pavoni. A boiler using steam pressure to force water to the head...etc.. I presume it has generally the same failings as a Pavoni. I am interested in knowing what about it makes it so sought after (other than rarity which does nothing for me). Is the stroke of the piston somehow longer/better? Is it just better looking? I have no idea but am interested in some info to chew on.

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HB
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#2: Post by HB »

Steve explains some of the Cremina's distinctions in the Bench review Olympia Cremina 2002: The evolution of design. In a nutshell, it's very well designed in terms of use and maintenance and finely constructed. How many of these distinctions translate to better espresso than other manual levers is a subject of regular debate. Karl offers an interesting comparison of the Elektra Microcasa a Leva, Ponte Vecchio Lusso, and Olympia Cremina in the Lever Espresso Machines Smackdown.
Dan Kehn

zubinpatrick

#3: Post by zubinpatrick »

yeah, I've been all over the site reading reviews/comparisons etc...what i can't really work out is if the basic idea/dimensions are the same why is the cremina seen as so much better? Don't get me wrong, if it's better I probably want one, just want to know what I'm getting.

caeffe

#4: Post by caeffe »

zubinpatrick wrote: ...what i can't really work out is if the basic idea/dimensions are the same why is the cremina seen as so much better? Don't get me wrong, if it's better I probably want one, just want to know what I'm getting.
Don't forget the difference between want & need :D
A lot of us lever maniacs want a Cremina - me included. For some of us that want borders on obsessive need.
I too wonder what the difference would be. You & I can read someone's testament about it. In the end, you & I will want to taste & experience for ourselves. Maybe to confirm, maybe to deny.

As espresso/coffee is an individual experience, not sure if we'll ever know based on someone else's experience.
LMWDP #162

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TUS172

#5: Post by TUS172 »

zubinpatrick wrote:Looking at a Cremina it appears to have the same basic design as a Pavoni. A boiler using steam pressure to force water to the head...etc.. I presume it has generally the same failings as a Pavoni. I am interested in knowing what about it makes it so sought after (other than rarity which does nothing for me). Is the stroke of the piston somehow longer/better? Is it just better looking? I have no idea but am interested in some info to chew on.
I have made espressos that are comparable from both machines. The pistons and seals are very close and the grouphead mass is not that different. So you are going to get very similar results using the same espresso roast and grind. My Pavonis are great machines and if just wanting a great espresso from a lever 'turned my key' then a Pavoni is my solution. But as you mentioned the Cremina grabbed my attention and I had to have 1...2 of them. But I will tell you that I would never get rid of my Pavonis either.
Bob C.
(No longer a lever purist!)
LMWDP #012

zin1953

#6: Post by zin1953 »

OK, so I had a Pavoni Europiccola . . . got rid of it after some five years, and never looked back.

Now I have an Olympia Cafferex, and the quality of the espresso is excellent! If anything made me curious about getting a lever-model again, it was this Olympia. Now, let me hasten to add the obvious: it's a Cafferex, not a Cremina; an HX pump, not a lever. But still -- the quality of the coffee is the key, and it's got me thinking . . . and not about a Pavoni! :wink:

I know. This explains absolutely nothing. But I just felt like I should toss in my own 2¢; it's worth far less, and you may keep the change.

Cheers,
Jason
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

zubinpatrick

#7: Post by zubinpatrick »

TUS172 wrote:I have made espressos that are comparable from both machines. The pistons and seals are very close and the grouphead mass is not that different. So you are going to get very similar results using the same espresso roast and grind. My Pavonis are great machines and if just wanting a great espresso from a lever 'turned my key' then a Pavoni is my solution. But as you mentioned the Cremina grabbed my attention and I had to have 1...2 of them. But I will tell you that I would never get rid of my Pavonis either.
So I guess the whole cremina thing is just a sickness then??? A used Pav for $250 a used Cremina (with $$$$ hard to procure replacement parts) starting at probably $650 if you're lucky. And the sky is the limit after that.
I guess if I want something fancy at those prices i can buy a used 1 or 2 group commercial unit, maybe even an old spring lever. Have to brew in the basement though to get the 220 and space.
Frankly I think the market is wide open for someone to bring out a better lever machine. Something pretty but priced right (new euri is like $650)...who knows..I'm still interested in everyone's 2 cents on this, 'cause I think the Cremina sure is pretty.....and I need a reason to get one.

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HB
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#8: Post by HB »

zubinpatrick wrote:I'm still interested in everyone's 2 cents on this, 'cause I think the Cremina sure is pretty.....and I need a reason to get one.
Some people will pay a few thousand dollars for a wristwatch. My best wristwatch cost a few hundred dollars. Does that mean the people paying 10x as much as me are fools? No, they just value exceptional quality among wristwatches more than I do.
Dan Kehn

zin1953

#9: Post by zin1953 »

zubinpatrick wrote:.....and I need a reason to get one.
No. You don't.

At some point, quality gives way to aesthetics. I know -- in my head -- that the La Spaziale Vivaldi II is a great machine, but my heart can't get past the fact I think it's -- well, I think it's not very good looking (how's that?), and that I can't see it in my kitchen. The same goes for the La Cimbali Junior, for example, if one compares to the beauty of an Elektra A3/T1. Both are great machines, and although the Cimbali has much to recommend it, I can't get the beauty of the Elektra out of my mind . . . uh, heart.

As Caesar has already said above, "Don't forget the difference between 'want" and 'need'." There is nothing wrong with "wanting"; just don't confuse it for "needing."

The reason to get an Olympia Cremina is because you want one. Trust me: nobody needs one. Nobody needs an espresso machine, period. But a number of us WANT them . . . :wink:

Cheers,
Jason
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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TUS172

#10: Post by TUS172 »

zubinpatrick wrote:So I guess the whole cremina thing is just a sickness then??? A used Pav for $250 a used Cremina (with $$$$ hard to procure replacement parts) starting at probably $650 if you're lucky. And the sky is the limit after that.
Nope no sickness... I bought my 1st Cremina for $400.00 and the 2nd ended up costing $440.00... (Ebay). I invested a portafilter and drip tray into the 1st one and the 2nd needed some repair work... My point was that the espresso won't be markedly better... The Cremina is a much more practical choice than a Pavoni because its design is more stable, it is safer to use (Potential of 2nd degree burns on the Pavoni), It is a very precisely made machine with high quality materials and it will literally last a lifetime if taken care of. But if the only reason you are buying it is because of better espresso you are not buying for the right reason. As Dan Kehn expressed it is all in 'taste'... some people like Corvettes others like Porsches...
Bob C.
(No longer a lever purist!)
LMWDP #012