and another view:
I thought I would start a thread about collecting vintage coffee machines.
As a keen collector of (mostly) small Italian domestic coffee makers I am always on the lookout for the next wonderful little machine. *
I hope this thread will be a place where people can share images, ideas and opinions on the very best of vintage coffee making machinery. I will get started with a few images from of one of my favourite machines:
the first one to kick of this thread is the ultra-rare Baby Faemina- this little gem is the mother of the modern Presso machine. Mine is complete but unfortunately the main piston seal has shrunk a little and I can not test it out. If anyone has any idea about how to make my own seal- or source one- send me a message. The original is very specific to this machine- I can post images of the piston and seal- I was wondering if I could mould one in silicon from the original?
The machine lacks the clever valve system of the modern Presso- on the Baby you fill the Porta Filter with coffee: then boiling water on top (separated by a small filter/tamper plate)- tricky at best- but for sheer atomic age style- it is an absolute classic-:
Here it is:
"The Baby Faemina"
and another view:
Thats a gem.
Nice machine Jack :)
I just missed out on this one on fleabay, curse my limited budget ;) It is an Australian made item my guess is it is late 50s early 60s looking at the electrical plug. I supose you would call it an electric atomic of sorts?
Neat. I really do like the Faemina and I like the idea of this thread. I also am keen on vintage coffee machines. By the way some of the earliest coffee espresso machines (1903 Bezerra) would now be antiques (> 100 years old).
(Good discussion of antique vs vintage http://kb.rubylane.com/question.php?ID=142)
Hey- I like that machine flying bean! very eccentric looking...
I have never seen that one before- and made in Australia you say? It kind of looks like a coffee maker crossed with an iron... the plaited cord doesnt help...
to me it is not quite an electronic Atomic- It looks more like the popular "Vesuviana" line of machines. The Vesuviana line was manufactured using the same sand casting methods as the atomic type machines. I have an electric Vesuviana in my collection- with the steamer- and it looks just like this Australian machine- albeit somewhat more beautiful and perfectly refined as only the Italians know how:
and with the jug removed:
If I was looking for an electronic Atomic:
I really dont think that even in my wildest fantasies I could come up with the following machine. It is not from my collection- and all I know about it is the following images. If anyone has ever heard of a name- or any info at all about this fantastic, gloroius, must-have piece of pure whacky genius: Let me know! Please.
A Double Lever Atomic? And perfectly styled for the Rec room on the Starship Enterprise (the 60s version)?
here it is "The Electronic Atomic" (so called until I find the true name for this fine machine).
the side view:
and the other side (this one is worth an extra image):
Very cool too,
bottom and rear view of the Aussie one, back when we used to make appliences here :)
Hmm, well it seems that there are not as many coffee machine collecting fanatics as I though there may be...
I guess I thought it was normal to have over 65 coffee machines to choose from every morning... But then normal is just a setting on washing machines, right?
ah, well. I will continue the thread with the centerpiece of my own collection- a coffee maker that I believe is extremely rare. I cannot find ANY information about this machine- and in all the years I have been collecting have only ever heard of two units. If anyone has ever seen one of these before- please post here and let me know. I am researching the history of the atomic type coffee makers and this Martian is somewhat of a missing link in the convoluted story...
One look at it and you will easily be able to see where it originated from: the very same factory that produced the Italian made atomics. Many of the parts are modified atomic parts. Here it is-
the Ultra Rare- Electric atomic:
and here is the rear view:
Im loving this thread...just sorry I dont have anything to contribute...maybe one day.
Please keep em coming!
This one surfaced on feralbay last week. Went for more $$ than I could afford. Nice German square lines and functionallity from the 40s notice the lack of whimsey and style of the Italian machines of the time ;)
Description: Manufactured by the famous WMF ( Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik, Geislingen-Steige ). Features a water level sight on the right side indicating 7 large or 8 smaller cups serving. Can be attached to a permanent water line or just filled up on top of the black bakelite pressure release valve/filling spout. The twist-off filter has two different attachements. The espresso cups or thermos can be placed on an adjustable round holder below the spout. On the left side you can see a magic red eye indicating operating temparature has reached and a chrome lever releasing the pressure. Every single detail from this machine is beautifully accented with chromed metal geometrical ornaments and black bakelite making an awesome contrast. Even in the time manufactured this eyecharmer was rare, very expensive!! and very few have survived in this mint condition!!
Interesting machine Beanflying...
I cant help seeing a face on it- with half a mustache...
the portafilter looks enormous... I am guessing it is not a true espresso machine (no pump)- just boiler driven.
It is interesting to see the differences in the design aesthetics a various nations: here is another interesting non-Italian lever machine with a very Germanic squared functional form. The Gravity Fed NeoWatt:
Well there is always the La Marzocco GS refurbished by retroman ( http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1182951021 ). Not quite as fiddly looking as some of these but equally rare.
Retromans work on that gorgeous La Marzocco was truly impressive... I replace the odd seal... but dealing with rust like that?
I think I saw a couple of E61 machines on ebay a while back that looked the retro mans work.
Here is a machine I came across today on ebay- a true piece of Milan high coffee art- I only wish I had a spare 5K-8K:
the Faema Idrocompresso
the side view shows an extra steam arm near the base. Is this for pre-warming the cup?
I have an old la peppina lever machine. I have had it for a few years and have a new gasket set for it, but havent gotten around to taking it apart and refurbishing it. When the machine arrived, it was totally white inside and required several acid soakings to dissolve all of the scale.
Gotta love that colour Luca - would go with any decor. Looks to be in very good condition for a 40 odd (?) year old!
Im guessing that the digital thermometer is an add on?
I stupidly missed out on a Peppina just like that at an estate auction recently- there was so much good stuff there I only glanced at it at the viewing and left a bid way to low. It sold for $86- one dollar over my absentee bid.... thing was mint- unused looking... argh.
Great looking machine Luca.
How well would you say the machine works? How does the steam wand/lid work?
That shot looks promising. I love the way you just let the lever go and it pulls the shot all by itself.
There is an OK video of one of these on youtube (be warned-poor editing-bad soundtrack... a tad dull- I love the third comment below the film- be sure to check it ;-) )
here is my favourite machine at the moment- the one I use every day.... I only use my Pavoni Europiccola for frothing milk since I got my Caravel:
Oops- here it is:
and here are the beautiful lines of the top view:
The Ararrex Caravel produces tiny 15-25ml shots- when you get the hang of it they are superb- potent, syrupy, intense, creamy- and mounds of crema.
the entire boiler section can be removed in seconds with no tools- and breaks down completely for cleaning. You can remove the piston, clean everything and reassemble the machine in under a minute. It really is an amazing design. The Stainless steel boiler has an EXTERNAL element- very double lever design, basic gravity feed, non-pressurised boiler- very simple- almost like a toy- the group handle is tiny- but when you start making shots you soon realise it is no toy.
but no steam ability. the only negative.
I like this discussion thread and visit it regularly
Cool machines here
Ok here is a question
If I want to become a collector
What are the best sources to pick up unique machines?
Yes I know evilBay is one source
I am talking about around my city Brisbane
try real world auction houses. but be warned: you wont find machines very easily.
a syphon here- a moka pot there...
Agreed re the real auction houses.
My son has been working for a couple for a few years now and has yet to see anything other than commercial machines.
I love the fitted tamper.Originally Posted by SorrentinaCoffee link=1220240609/20#21 date=1224769489
You need to do that hard yards at Vinnies I reckon. Thats where I got most of mine from. well a few syphons, my Atomic, even olf cafe stuff like ACF cups, Nuova points etc. Vinnies are the goods.
I dont really collect though, just hoard.
finding vintage treasure really is all about the hard yards. I got my first Atomic at a Church sale. It was mint in the box- for the princely sum of $5. I just happened to be there as the old dear placed it on the shelf- it had just come in that morning- and I was up early- a second after I grabbed it a dealer walked past- and nearly feinted when they saw what I had. They offered me 50 for it right away in the carpark....
here it is: The Robbiati Milan Badged Classic Atomic:
Yes, the thermometer is an add-on. *The machine has an open boiler, so I took the lid off and put the thermometer in.
Yes, the machine dates back to the 1970s and is in fairly good condition. *It could benefit from a strip down and rebuild, I think. *I also wonder whether the spring hasnt lost a bit of oomph.
The machine is pretty easy to use, in that it is just a heating element in an open boiler, so its not hard to hit the brew temperature that you want on the head. *However, the machine does tend to produce shots that are pretty thin in body.
The steam wand/lid is pathetic - basically useless. *The lid looks nice, so I removed the steam wand and the digital thermometer probe can hang through the hole that that left.
That caravel looks sensational, but the portafilter must be absolutely tiny. *Like you said, looks like its single shots only! And are those suction cup feet?
Howdy Luca (side note: just spoke to your friend- I am out of syphon filters at the moment- expect a new delivery in 10 days or so- keep an eye on my sight)
I had a feeling the Peppina steamer might be a dud- it doesnt look very good. Shame.
The caravel large filter basket holds around 14 grams fully packed and tamped. The shots with a single pull are tiny and concentrated- a full double pull produces a regular sized shot.
Yes- they are suction cap feet (though with age they dont suction so well). Like a Pavoni the Caravel lever can generate a lot of downward pressure on the whole machine- the suction feet help keep it from escaping. Some user mod the machine with even more feet.
"keep an eye on my sight"
Eye<->sight. Worked for me! :)Originally Posted by SorrentinaCoffee link=1220240609/20#33 date=1224852379
HI,IT SURE MAKES THE NEW STYLE MACHINES LOOK PRETTY ORDINARY,DONT YOU THINK? :-XOriginally Posted by SorrentinaCoffee link=1220240609/0#18 date=1222933908
Originally Posted by SorrentinaCoffee link=1220240609/0#17 date=1222933836
my wife wont let me keep a rancillo z8 but i am sure she would let me keep one of these.
Am i mistaken but is this machine based on the mixmaster. ;DOriginally Posted by beanflying link=1220240609/0#3 date=1220267187
Welcome ijz917w.... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
Just edited your posts above. When you type your message under a quoted section of text, you need to type your post after or underneath the code [/QUOTE]...
Otherwise, your post becomes part of the quote and therefore difficult to differentiate. ;)
All the best, :)
I had the pleasure of seeing this little beauty this afternoon, circa 1989...
Ahh- the much loved Rancilio Audrey and my first ever machine. Mine was a black one though.Originally Posted by cuppacoffee link=1220240609/20#39 date=1226752436
These are internally a Silvia but with a ball-joint 2 hole steam wand which is a whole heap better than the one on the Silvia....Dunno why they changed it.
Wish Id kept mine *:(
I use an Audrey everyday. Works great. Need to do the temp surf thing but makes a great shot. Steam is great to. I have the black one. Have not seen many around lately. My Mum had the Audrey in her cupboard for about 10 years or longer and never used it. It was not until I got into coffee that I realized what it was!
that Audreys a real 80s flashback...
but- is that black thing protruding above the switches the water tank knob?
if so why placed right above the electric switches?
hmm, I just added another machine to my collection- it is in the mail on its way from Spain. Before it gets here and I can try it out- is anyone familiar with the "Pierre Cardin" type Mini Gaggia? It is a gravity feed, open boiler- lever type machine:
Hi everyone.....I just purchased a VESUVIANA stove top for a friend as a christmas pressie and have not bean (cant resist the pun) able to find any information about them on the web. Can anyone help with a link for history, instructions etc
Id be most grateful....also ....what a fantastic collection of machines you all have!!
Yep another collector has bean (!) born
thanks very much Thundergod
hello there Vesuviana, welcome to the world of coffee collecting, and congratulations on your user name choice...
There is a vast array of Vesuviana models- they seem to have been produced from the 1930s/40s right up to the mid 1980s. In Milan I think. The basicform remained the same although there are many different sizes and configurations. All of them are made of polished sand cast alluminum- with bakelite fixtures.
there are some very nice electric Vesuvianas- with frothing arms- from towards the end of production.
but perhaps the nicest are the small 1950s models- very cute design. The bakelite boiler cap is fantastic.
There is also a giant version- bigger than an Atomic. The portafilter on this one in massive: 70 grams?
here is my little vesuviana line up: 1950s Small, 1980s Electric with frother, 1950s/60s Giant:
here is my latest addition from Ebay Italy.
Just arrived yesterday in the post. Its in pretty good condition, it even has both the single and double filter basket. I have fired it up and made a couple of coffees but really need to replace all the gaskets to get some back pressure in the group for crema production.
Its great to have a lever again.
Sorry about the sideways pics but they are all correctly orientated in photobucket
Hello there Aaron,
thats a very nice looking Caravel.
You have one of the earliest models there. You can tell by the little switch that holds down the boiler lid- and by the somewhat flattened, streamlined lever arms. I would say your machine dates from the 1960s. In fact I am not even sure if it is a Caravel as such- it is actually an Arrarex VAM machine: it doesnt have the Caravel label on the front- and instead of the little Caravel ship on the side it has a Castle tower. These VAM machines are quite rare- and are identical to the original patent design drawings (see below).
The Caravel/Vams have a lot of different seal set ups on the piston- I have seen at least 4 different piston designs. I would say yours has the two v cross section o-ring seals mounted on the piston. I believe the La Pavoni Europiccola seals will be the perfect replacement but cant be sure. You can also check out www.orphanespresso.com. They are in the US and stock seals for the Caravel. You should grab some DOW food grade lubricant while you are there.
I think you will find- once you get your Caravel seals replaced- that you have possibly the finest lever machine available. I use my Caravel regularly- and it makes the best espresso shots. My La Pavoni simply cannot compete. The Caravel likes a fine grind- the idea is to completely fill the basket- and tamp well- you want a fair amount of resistance on the downward pull. Also jiggling the lever a little at the top of the pull helps to completely fill the piston with water and remove any air at the top (you can hear gurgling as the air is displaced). Personally I like to do two pulls and this makes a standard sized shot. When done perfectly the first pull has mild resistance, the second pull has strong resistance (the coffee grounds have expanded). Some Caravellers prefer the purity of the single pull ristretto shot.
Another trick: you will notice the puck is quite soggy and sloppy after the pull. This is normal for the Caravel. If you make a few little half pumps of the lever at the end- it will dry out the puck for easier disposal ;-)