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Thread: Saeco group handle

  1. #1
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    Saeco group handle

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi everyone ;D

    I have a Saeco Via Venezia
    Just wondering if any one knows if you can a non pressurised portafilter for the machine.
    The machine is great! but if I can get a commerial or non pressurised portfilter for the machine it would be perfect.
    I rang up Saeco Aus they said the have not even heard about it.
    I have read in coffeegeeks.com users can get one.

    If any one could help it would be great



  2. #2
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Hi there,
    You might want to check out the coffeeparts website.
    www.coffeeparts.com.au

    I used to have a La Pavoni Espresso machine a while back, and noticed that the portafilter was the same as the Saeco ones.

    It was pressurised as well. So you might want to take some measurements of your portafilter, and check out the coffeeparts site, the la pavoni ones might fit.

    Far better to try and get these things locally, not worth it to order them from the USA. Shipping costs are just not worth it.

    Just out of curiousity, why would you want a non-pressurised portafilter? When i was using the La Pavoni, I did not have to pay too much attention to the grind, and tamping, its a very forgiving way to get your espresso shots. Only problem was the ocassional "explosion" when the basket was overfilled, or tamped too hard.




  3. #3
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Hi thomas_cho

    Thanks for your help!!

    I want a non-pressurised portafilter because I find sometimes the coffee comes out too bitter. Also I heard the portafilters can get quite dirty after a while. Also you get more control of the expresso that comes out of the machine.

  4. #4
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Hmm I am not too sure about the bitter part. Perhaps other more knowledgeble people here can comment on that.

    As for the portafilter getting dirty, I believe you can take the basket out and give it a good scrub. Unless you are referring to the insides of the pressurised portafilter.

    You can take that apart as well, I used to unscrew the three screws and take apart the whole portafilter, which brilliantly reminds me that I "converted" the pressurised to non-pressurised by simply removing the spring that controls the pressure.

    Please only take it apart if you are confident. When I first took it apart, I experienced a lot of difficulty putting it back together, due to my large clumsy fingers.

    I unscrewed the three screw holding the base, and that would expose the interiors. You can use a small toothbrush to clean the inside( I used my Braun electric toothbrush), but take note of what is connected to what and where. I think when you look at the whole construction you will understand how the pressure build up forces open the valve and allows the coffee to come out.

    What you need to be careful of is when putting it all back together again. It has to be put back in the exact orientation. You know how the portafilter has a spring loaded action (when you twist the handle, it returns to the orginal position?), if you put in the wrong orientation (which I did), and you twist the handle, you will snap off the catch holding the spring, which I did. I had to use a solder iron to attach the little plastic catch back on, it was not a good experience, considering my clumsy hands.

    If you are adventurous enuf to try this, I think this will give you a better idea of whether the non-pressurised portafilter will give you a better shot or not, rather than spending the 75-90 for a new portafilter.

    Good luck and try this at your own risk okak? I really dont want to ruin your coffee machine, especially if its new!!

  5. #5
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Thanks for the help Thomas_cho

    I went to coffeegeeks.com and in the US they can get one
    so I will be still looking I just want to compare which is better.

    Cheers


  6. #6
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    ;D ;D ;D ;D
    I found the non-ppf in Sydney!!!!!!!!!

    It is a Saeco themselves in Greenacre. The ppf cost $47 which is pretty good.

    Cheers

  7. #7
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Hi gar118,

    Im having the same problem, just a question, what is the construction of the non-ppf like? i.e. Is it S/Steel or Aluminium? Good quality?

    Thanks,
    Prashant.

  8. #8
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Just a quick word gentelmen.

    Suggest you do not attempt to pull the "new" style (been around say about three years now) saeco pressurised spring loaded group handle apart or you may be looking to buy a complete replacement afterwards....They are not user serviceable.

    The older ones ( the ones that werent spring loaded) were much better, made a much better coffee, and you could even disassemble if you wished...but alas they are gone.

    The saeco people dont have a listing for the old conventional non pressurised group handle and no one that works there would remember them as they have been gone possibly 10 years now...obsolete in their system. You have to get them from people who "used to" deal in Saeco and who still may have some old stock.

    These pressurised "super crema" group handles, if used as intended by the manufacturer, will produce a very mellow, medium bodied brew. They are actually very forgiving of bad operator technique and still produce a "passable" mellow brew even when the operator doesnt have a clue. I am therefore very surprised by the reference to the group handle causing "bitterness" in the wet coffee.

    When pricing conventional old style non pressurised group handles, be aware that the price quoted may only be for the bare group handle. You should specifically ask if the price includes the courier bag if you are "outatown", the single filter and the coffee press (tamper) which in the case of machines sold with a pressurised group handle, are not required or included with the machine, but need to be purchased to use with the non standard group handle. These things may inflate the price to a higher figure than that mentioned.

    Hope this helps.

    Regardez

  9. #9
    ev
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Hi Prashant.
    Until recently, I had a Via Venezia and I had upgraded the PF. The new nonPPF is chromed brass & not as heavy as the original. It was worth upgrading. With a good grinder (Rocky) and 53mm tamper the results were amazing. The other huge advantage is that you can actually knock the puck out after it sits for a couple of minutes. Saeco Melbourne does carry, and is well aware of the replacent PF. It is from a "Saeco Bar 2002" machine. The part no. is: 226550250 and costs $42.62 +GST. Youll also need to order a single & double basket to suit but theyre only a few bucks.
    See Pic below.

    Evan.


  10. #10
    ev
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Oh, just one other thing I forgot to mention,
    the spring loadad PPF can easily be modified and returned back to standard. Im not sure which one Fresh_Coffee is referring to. I had my machine for 2 years and I believe it has the current PF. Stripping and re-assembling is childs play. Remove 3 screws to open, remove the hinged needle in the middle and the large spring that sits under it and re-assemble. Should take about 3 minutes! There is a small spring inside for the spring action of the handle so be careful not to lose it. It can stay where it is.

    Hope this helps.

    Evan.

  11. #11
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Thanks for that info, it appears that someone at S. Melbourne has gone to the trouble of bringing in these old type group handles to cater for this kind of market. There was a time when spares for these older (obsolete, Saeco 2002 has been gone around 10 years) models had dried up and we were sourcing them elsewhere as noted above. It would be interesting to note whether S.Sydney have any.

    Regardez,
    FC.

  12. #12
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Hi Prashant.

    The group handle that I have purchased is exactly the same shown.

    I got it in sydney ;D

  13. #13
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Hi,

    Thanks everyone for their replies, I will try Saeco melbourne. On the whole, the machine itself has a very solid feel to it - is everyone happy with their Via Venezia?

    P

  14. #14
    ev
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    I have to say it is great solid machine. Teamed with a great grinder (Rocky) and the Non-PPF it makes surprisingly good espresso. As long as you keep it clean you should get years of good service out of it. I sold mine after 2 years and it was still like new. It is a major jump into the next class of machine so hang on to it until upgrade fever hits! The only real reason to upgrade (to a HX machine) is to be able to make many milk drinks quickly so if you dont need this, youll be happy with the VV.

    Evan.

  15. #15
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Hi folks, my first post here. Hope it is of use to some.

    I have had a Saeco Via Venezia for ages and have never been 100% happy with the coffee. Good, easy to make, but not great. After reading tons of posts on here, I decided to get a grinder (the sunbeam EM0480 ($170 from the good guys here in Melb.).

    Tried all the grinds, fill levels and all the tamp styles..same result - 7-10 second pulls and varying levels of ok coffee...and some clogs with the grinds under 5.

    Then, i discovered the presurized PF!!! ARGH...it all became clear in a flash! This was the source of my frustration!!! For years that bugger has damned me to average coffees!

    So in under two minutes, I had it off, the spring removed and back together and the result was simple staggering! What a difference! Set the grinder to about 5 (still need more experrimentation here), pre-heated the PF, filled, tamped and puled the best espresso this machine has done - EVER!

    It no longer does 7-10 second pulls, but the propper 25-30 seconds....and the coffee is so different...WOW! What depth, what texture. Before was like a strong plunger, this is a true thick espresso!

    Heres some pics to show just how easy this amazing mod. is. TOTALLY transformed this machine for me. I was going to buy a new flashy semi-pro one to get the right coffee (and one day will), but for now this two minute mod just saved me over a grand. Thanks guys!

    And its totally reversable (also in under 2 mins) - just put the spring somewhere safe - like the fourth kitchen drawer :)

    Do it, do it now.





    Just lift off the spring and you are done! No other changes. just screw it back up.


    I lifted out the "valve" just to show it in the photo. No need to do this.





    YAY!!! A "propper" espresso - well, for a learner like me anyway :)

  16. #16
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Sometimes too much technology gets in the way of simplicity. I had no idea a relatively simple chunk of chromed brass such as a portafilter could be elevated to such unnecessary complexity. So many parts.

    But the eye-opening realisation of yours must be now so satisfying because of the superior shots youre producing, Lattelover.

    Robusto

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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Hi all

    Found this forum from a google search. I have a Saeco Via Venizia, and am desperate to change to a non pressurised portafilter. I called Saeco Melbourne and they told me you cannot get one for my model, and they are phasing out the VV. Does anyone know where I can get hold of a non pressurised portafilter for my machine? I am in Melbourne. Or do I just try and track down a #226550250 part, as mentioned in previous posts?

    Thanks for your help!

  18. #18
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Mmmm

    Havent seen this before. Does anyone know if taking the spring out makes it non-pressurised?

  19. #19
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Quote Originally Posted by Sueb link=1091413062/15#17 date=1184134612
    Mmmm

    Havent seen this before. Does anyone know if taking the spring out makes it non-pressurised?
    Yes, I believe it does. I used to have one of these machines. I never got a non-pressurised portafilter so I dont know if that works any better or not, but I did remove the spring from the pressurised one. After removing the spring, the extraction became much faster, so I had to then adjust the grind much finer to achieve the same extraction rate as before. The result was a much darker pour, and darker crema (although I could never get as much crema as before). It seemed to produce a more concentrated, fuller bodied coffee than before. Anyway, just try it. It only takes a minute to remove, and you can always put it back in if you dont like the result.

    Bill

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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Tip from the Saeco rep. (via the Gaggia rep.) was to push the handle to the right (it is spring loaded) while pulling shot. *Works for me, although Im really tempted to convert ours (thanks for the photo instructions).

    Dale

  21. #21
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Quote Originally Posted by dalelarsesn link=1091413062/15#19 date=1192239525
    Tip from the Saeco rep. (via the Gaggia rep.) was to push the handle to the right (it is spring loaded) while pulling shot. *Works for me, although Im really tempted to convert ours (thanks for the photo instructions).

    Dale
    I think that creates even more back-pressure by compressing the spring, which is the opposite of what the people on here are trying to achieve. The aim is to de-pressurise the group handle, not increase the pressurisation.


    Bill

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    Re: Saeco group handle

    I also have the VV. I have heard elsewhere that after making this mod, the handle no longer springs back. Is that so, modders?


  23. #23
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Quote Originally Posted by 2429233F3E3C24500 link=1091413062/21#21 date=1233645493
    I also have the VV. I have heard elsewhere that after making this mod, the handle no longer springs back. Is that so, modders?
    If you remove the complete internals, yes. There should be some way to bolt the handle solidily but I havent seen it done.

    Or you can just remove the spring (like shown above in post #14) instead of the complete internals, and then the handle will still spring back.

    regards,
    Bill

  24. #24
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Yeah, I put it all back together after removing all internals, and no matter wha tI do I cant get it to spring back! :(

    If I align it correctly I get spring back for the first try, but then theres a click and no more spring back.

  25. #25
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    I picked up my new VV yesterday and after making two coffees the handle doesnt spring back anymore. Is there something wrong with it ?

  26. #26
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    well, yeah!

  27. #27
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    Re: Saeco group handle

    Just wanted to say thankyou thankyou thankyou to Lattelover for posting those pictures of the handle.
    Ive been trying to put it back together for the last hour and one look at your picture and I can see how it is supposed to be and ... voila.
    Now I can try it unpressurised for the first time as well.



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