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Thread: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

  1. #1
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    Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

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

    A few weeks ago I was asking advice here on what budget buy machine to get. Ive been in a confused state of over-researching since then and had my heart set on a new Gaggia Classic, but last night I saw the Isomac Napolissima on the web at a price that was definitely more my level. I see that theres a coffee snob (Ray C) here who has one, although in general it seems theyre not very commonly sold/ used in Australia.
    Anyway, Ive only just paid for it. Hopefully itll be delivered by the weekend and I can start playing - cant wait!
    Cant afford a grinder for now, but I live round the corner from a coffee shop which roasts and blends their own so Ill make do with that for now.
    Anyway, thanks for everyones help and advice. Im sure Ill be back here very soon asking for more! Ill let you know how it goes.

    Cheers, Emma



  2. #2
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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    Quote Originally Posted by ejbab link=1182897432/0#0 date=1182897432
    Hi everyone

    A few weeks ago I was asking advice here on what budget buy machine to get. Ive been in a confused state of over-researching since then and had my heart set on a new Gaggia Classic, but last night I saw the Isomac Napolissima on the web at a price that was definitely more my level. I see that theres a coffee snob (Ray C) here who has one, although in general it seems theyre not very commonly sold/ used in Australia.
    Anyway, Ive only just paid for it. Hopefully itll be delivered by the weekend and I can start playing - cant wait!
    Cant afford a grinder for now, but I live round the corner from a coffee shop which roasts and blends their own so Ill make do with that for now.
    Anyway, thanks for everyones help and advice. Im sure Ill be back here very soon asking for more! Ill let you know how it goes.

    Cheers, Emma
    Congrats Emma!

    Hope you enjoy the new machine.

    I suspect that you may become very good friends with the mob around the corner...

    Keep in mind that once ground, you have around 1/2 hour before your coffee will be stale...Alternately, you could just wander around, group handle in hand every time you feel like a coffee ;D

    Start saving again and grab the best grinder you can afford as soon as possible ;)

    2mcm

  3. #3
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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    Hi Emma,

    Was that the one on eBay that sold in Sydney for $130 or thereabouts?
    If it is used, I humbly advise a thorough clean and many hot water runs before testing with coffee.

    If not, enjoy your shiny new machine! :)

    Either way, congratulations on your purchase! *8-)

  4. #4
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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    Thanks for the advice.
    Yes, it was the one on ebay which I got for $130. The seller said its a brand new machine so fingers crossed its okay.
    The last time I used an expresso machine was in 1993 when I was working as a waitress so Im sure Ill need to do a lot of practising!

  5. #5
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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    Hi Emma I sent you a pm as well........ you should enjoy this machine it is quite user friendly no real quirks about it, although the pid is a peach..
    The dollar value is out of this world I also paid $125 for one brand new.

    Ray....

  6. #6
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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    Hey Emma Andy just informed me that I accidentally sent this to him, so here it is copy and pasted to you now... sorry... Hi Emma, regarding the micro foam you should get half a 600 ml jug on one charge of the steam function I find this works great for me unless you over heat the milk and kill the foam so a finger resting on the bottom of the jug until it gets too hot to touch works for me. So you obviously hold the bottom button in until the middle light goes out and then you open the steam valve to heat the milk dont you. This is fully charged, I guess the limitations of a $130 machine is a boiler thats not real huge therefore the lack of an abundance of steam. I make my milk coffees individually works well for me, and having the pid controller tells me exactly where the temperatures of the boiler and group head are.



    The crema thing is directly relative to your coffee and then water temp after that.

    So having said that; are you grinding your own coffee, if so what grinder are you using and is it fresh. Anything over about 3 minutes once ground and its going stale... My rule of thumb is: green beans if kept well will last approx 3 years, once roasted also if kept well will last 3 weeks and need to be rested approx 3 days and finally once ground 3 minutes preferably use instantly.



    So if your coffee is fresh (by coffee snobs standard) and correctly ground (by coffee snobs standard) then the water temp would be the next port of call hence completely and utterly solved by a pid controller...



    I hope this has been of some help to you, please let me know how you go with it.....



    Ray.

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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    Thanks Ray.
    After reading your instructions I realised I wasnt holding down the bottom (steam function) button til the middle one went out so this morning I had another go.
    However..... I pressed it down for quite a while, maybe 50 seconds, but the middle light didnt go out and then a little steam started coming out of the machine from the steam wand (even though it was closed) and the coffee filter bit (sorry dont have all the proper names down yet!) so I got worried I was going to overheat the whole thing. As a result when I started steaming the milk it ran out of steam before the milk was hot. So I was back to the pressing of the bottom button while steaming and then opening up the steam valve bit by bit. I guess Ive not quite mastered it!
    How long do you find you have to press the bottom button before the middle light goes off?
    And does the steam wand make a very loud screechy noise when you open it up fully?
    Sorry for yet more questions!
    On the up side, the actual coffee bit is going great. Have been getting lovely crema even though Im not yet grinding my own (saving up for a grinder and buying fresh every few days :()
    Emma

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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    Emma, Yes the screechy noise does happen if you open it up fully... Dont panic about "blowing it up" by over pressurising it, it is quite common to get a little steam escaping from the wand when building up pressure, you can turn it off a little bit tighter to fix that and I too have a small amount of water flush through the group head while building steam as well, I put this down to the fact that the boiler is bolted directly to the top of the group head.

    I am confident that if you hold the steam button in until the middle light goes out then you will have plenty of steam, I know I do.

    What also happens is that once you have pulled a shot of coffee the boiler temperature drops dramatically so the size of shot will determine the amount of temp loss... so having said that a single shot is 30mls and a double is 60mls any more than this is over extracting and will result in bitter coffee and increase your steam heating time quite substantially.

    Im saying this because 50 seconds should do the job after pulling a 60ml double shot.
    Let me know how you go Im always willing to be of help if I can.

    Ray.

  9. #9
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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    Thanks Ray, for all your help - I really appreciate it. Its great to have someone with experience of this machine here when its seemingly such a rare item in Australia!


  10. #10
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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    So Emma have you sussed it out yet? have you got the steam thing sorted? Let us know how you go with it.....

    Ray.

  11. #11
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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    I am sitting here drinking my first proper cup of coffee made on my machine and Im in heaven.
    Thank you Ray for sorting me out with how to use the steam wand. I only have milky coffee in the morning so waited until just now to try out the correct way to team using the Isomac and hey presto, it worked! :)
    In fact it only took about 40 seconds to heat up half my 600 ml jug and there was even a little bit of microfoam. Now I just need to figure out how to make the milk even creamier (cant figure out if its an up down motion or just surfing the top from the beginning that will do it) and Ill be even happier.
    Is it wrong to get this excited about coffee?
    Think I need to go get myself a life.......

  12. #12
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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    Great stuff Emma, good for you, you go girl.... Excitement and good coffee go together they cant be separated its quite a natural occurance when one has partaken of a far better than usual espresso. Its refered to as the quest for espresso nirvana, the more obsessed you get with it, the closer you get to it, its quite exciting really...

    The up and down style of frothing milk is not recommended, if you hold your jug on a slight angle to cause the milk to swirl slowly and have the nozzle just under the surface and a finger under the jug reguarly touching the bottom and once too hot to touch you should be done with more than enough micro foam and steam left, of course its all technique and you will develope your own and it will work for you. Im so pleased for you, I cant believe it another excited napolissima owner...

    The next thing is a good grinder, do yourself a favour and check out the grinder section of the forums here on coffee snobs before wasting your money and buying something which is quite useless... A poor quality grinder will never produce good coffee no matter what espresso machine you have. It is the most important piece of coffee equipment you will buy.

    Ray.
    Ray.

  13. #13
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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    Its been 3 months Emma, hows it going, have you got a grinder yet, has upgraditis bitten you or are you still quite happy with it... Ray.

  14. #14
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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    Hi Ray
    Sorry I havent got back to you til now. Yes, Im still lovin the isomac. Its such a great little machine and for me, performs brilliantly. Over the weeks Ive gotten to know its little foibles (and actually there arent many) and can figure out how long it needs to warm up before pulling a shot and how often a second shot is better than the first (have no idea why/ how).
    My only complaint is that its not brilliant for multiple shots and its not brilliant at warming up large amounts of milk at once. But thats okay. As long as Ive had my flat white, Ill put up with that just for the reactions from friends which are usually, wow, yum, where did you get this machine? and what, it only cost $160?.
    I still havent got round to buying a grinder, because I want to be able to get more than just a basic one, and just dont have the money at the moment.
    Although I have to admit to a bit of envy when I see my friends machine (forgotten the name but its a really gorgeous $2000 piece of almost professional kit) and think, hmm, wouldnt it be nice; but I will never be able to justify spending that much when my little Isomac performs so beautifully.
    So, as long as it doesnt conk out, I think well be very happy together for some time!
    How is yours going? Still happy?

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    Re: Just bought an Isomac Napolissima

    Yes Emma, Im still quite happy with mine as well, I can probably tell you why the second shot is better than the first after heating up the machine. The "overrun" on the boiler thermostat is quite high, they all do it, the preset thermostat cuts out at about 99 degrees but the element has been pumping heat into it right up to the cut out point and therefore shoots right past it up to about 113 degrees or so, which is very hot and therefore scorches the coffee and the second shot is at a more stable boiler / group temperature, this is completely solved by fitting a pid controller to it which by the way most machines really need because they all cut in and out late. Failing that you can allow an extra 15 minutes warm up time for the machine to stabilise or "purge" the group before pulling your first shot, by that I mean pull a shot of water through it into your cup and swirl it around this will help stabilise your boiler / group as well as pre heat your cup at the same time. As for making multiple cups, you need to do all of the espressing in one hit and then the milk in one hit, if you want to do a large jug of milk you need to press and hold the steam button in during frothing. ie. Do the normal thing and then at about half way through push and hold it until you are done.

    By the way just a thought; you are refilling your boiler after you steam arent you?

    I hope this helps you Emma, feel free to ask anything, Im happy to help if I can... Ray.



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