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Thread: Need help finding part!

  1. #1
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    Need help finding part!

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

    Firstly, Id like to say what a great site this is, if only I had stumbled across it before I bought my machine! I have a Saeco Via Venezia which I am quite happy with. I am looking to replace the group handle/portafilter with a non pressurised one. I found a thread on here with some details from people who have done it, but it was from 2004 I think.

    Armed with that information (Apparently the one from the Saeco Bar 2002 part number 226550250 fits the Via
    Venezia) I contacted Saeco here in Melbourne, and they have been next to useless, not returning my calls or emails, except for a "what state are you in" response. Can anyone here help me out or point me in the direction of where to find one?

    More importantly, is the quality of coffee using a non pressurised pf going to be worth the hassle of finding the part?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    With a non pressurised basket you are going to be able to use fresh coffee.
    That will make a world of difference.

  3. #3
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    I am a new CS member...joined today, although Ive been lurking for a few weeks. I obtained a non-pressurised portafilter and single basket for my Saeco Via Venezia from Caffe Bianchi, Leichardt NSW.

    The coffee now tastes great with a better depth of taste. One thing, though. The pump on the Saeco VV seems fairly weak, so I am not able to grind too fine, nor tamp quite hard enough for a very good crema layer.

    My grinder is a Nemox Lux which works very well and grinds nearly as well as the Mini Mazzer which I use in a commerial cafe. *

    N.B. Posting modified to remove information which does not comply with site posting policy.

  4. #4
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Hey Trevorbeans,

    Thanks for the reply. Would you mind me asking how much you paid for the portafilter and basket?

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Hi admiral31,

    I included the prices of each item in my post, but the text was modified by the forum moderator because of a breach of posting policy.

    Lets say between $60.00 and $65.00 total for both, plus postage to Adelaide.

    In my opinion, the change to unpressurised was very worthwhile, as the coffee taste is richer and not bitter.

    Regards

  6. #6
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    I agree about the very poor pump pressure on these units - friends have one, and I was shocked at how easily it gives up. Its virtually impossible to get a really good pour out of these because of that. I hope the non pressurised basket improves things - the self-tamping portafilter is an abomination.

    Having had a Saeco in the past, I also know how bad their build quality and service is too, so dont expect too much from this machine!

  7. #7
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    With respect Phoris I wish to disagree about the Saeco Via Venezia. I have owned one for 4 years with a non -pressurised portafilter and myself and others find it is capable of good quality espresso. I have no issues with the pump pressure as I need to grind on approx. 5 on my Rocky for double shots. The machine has made over 5,000 trouble free shots over this time only ever having to adjust the steam valve ( a simple matter).
    I have always had good service from the Melbourne Saeco agency.
    Herbie.

  8. #8
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Hi Herbie,

    Im very interested in your comment that you disagree with Phoris (and my) observation that the pump pressure on the Saeco VV is fairly weak.

    I do find it very easy to almost gag my machine when pulling shots...it certainly seems to be straining and the pump "throb" almost stops. This happens with a tamp pressure of less than 4Kg, no updosing, and mid-range grind setting of 4.5 of 11 with my Lux grinder.

    In all other respects Ive been quite happy with my machine in the more than 2 years since I bought it new.

    May I ask what effect an adjustment of the steam valve has, and how this is achieved? I would be grateful to receive your comments.

    Thanks.

    Trevorbeans.

  9. #9
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Herbie, I suspect your good experience with your Saeco is unusual - certainly all of the people I know who own or owned Saecos have suffered far less than satisfactory experiences. My own went back to Saeco four times for repairs (at a minimum of $100 each time) over a period of three years, and the repair quality was uniformly abysmal. The last time, internal connections had been bent over, so that every time it was turned on, it arced, something I was not aware of till it finally killed the machine and I took it apart to see why.

    They did me a favour, really, as that is when I discovered what real coffee, and decent espresso machines were about.

    Even my cheapie Breville Ikon, at about a third of the (street) cost of a Saeco Via Venezia, does a vastly superior job.

  10. #10
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Hi Trevorbeans
    As far as I understand, the V/V has the same ULKA pump as the Sylvia. There are 116 consumer reviews of this machine under coffeegeek.com/
    consumer reviews/ Starbucks Barista.
    The reason I had to adjust the steam valve was that a leak developed from the steam wand during shot pouring.
    To fix this, remove the back and top cover, loosen the very small locking screw that holds the steam knob on to the steam valve shaft. Turn the knob a few millimetres anti-clockwise and retighten the screw. Hope this helps. Herbie.

  11. #11
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Hi Phoris,
    Sorry to hear that you had such a bad run from your Saeco and service.
    I neglected to say that my experiences with the Melbourne Saeco agent
    was only to purchase bits and pieces. I do not blame you for going to a different brand of machine after that. Good luck. Herbie.

  12. #12
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Herbie,

    Thanks for the information. I now recall that I made the same adjustment quite some time ago after the subject came up in a previous post.

    Can I ask how much tamping pressure do you apply, and also, are you able to get a satisfactory crema layer on your shots using your VV.

    Perhaps I am expecting a bit too much of my machine, as I invariably compare the shots with those I produce on a Mazzer/Expobar Elegance commercial combination at the cafe.

    Trevorbeans.

  13. #13
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Hi again Trevorbeans
    I tested my tamp on the bathroom scales - about 15kg. Usually do 3 tamps as I have to grind and tamp twice or 3 times to get a full P/F from the Rocky doserless.
    I think I get quite reasoanble crema provided I preheat the P/F and get grind and dose right to give a 60ml double shot in 30 seconds. I always try to fill the P/F to get a showerscreen screw inpression on the puck.
    Herbie.

  14. #14
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Hi Herbie,

    Thanks again for that. Ill try a coarser grind and increase tamping pressure, and see how that works out.

    Trevorbeans

  15. #15
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Hi All

    Well, thanks to Trevorbeans, I have located a non pressurised PF for my machine. Ordered it from Caffe Bianchi and it arrived last night. It is an Isomac, but it fits the Saeco nicely. The filter basket seems very loose, but that does not seem to be a problem yet. Made my first coffee, and the results were ok. Dont have a grinder, so used coffee ground 5 days ago. Managed to get a little crema, but flow was very quick.

    Looks like my next purchase will be a grinder!

  16. #16
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Hi admiral31,

    Glad to know you obtained the new portafilter, etc., My baskets are loose, too, but I dont think that affects the performance in any way.

    I am sure you will be more happy with your shots once you can fine-tune the grinds with your own grinder. At least the small amount of crema you are obtaining is real crema, not just "stewed coffee fake crema".

    Im far from an expert on grinders, but normally using a mazzer in the cafe, I know what a good grinder performs like.

    The skys the limit on price, $150.00 > $1,000.00 and beyond. Having said that, from my quite a lot of research, it came down to spending at least $300.00 for something half-decent, either an Iberital, or a Nemox Lux, (same burr-set ), both priced at just over $300.00 in Adelaide.

    To me, the Lux was the clear choice, because it is stepped, so you know where you are on settings. Others may, and do prefer, the Iberital because it has infinitely variable settings, over many turns of the setting knob, but no markings exist to know where you are. To me this is a turn-off, but it does allow a finer adjustment which may be liked by some.

    Lets know how you are getting along with your shots. BTW has the coffee taste improved?

    Trevorbeans


  17. #17
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Hi all,

    I have a Saeco Via Venezia, and I have removed the valve from my pressurised portafilter. I am able to get the right flow rate sometimes (30ml, 30sec, single shot), but it is still inconsistent and hard to acheive (requires very finely tuned grind,dose,tamp). I was wondering if anybody had compared the non-pressurised portafilter mentioned in posts above with the original portafilter, valve removed. Basically, I am wondering whether it is worth buying the non-pressurised version?

    thanks
    Chris

  18. #18
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    Re: Need help finding part!

    Hi Chris,

    Ive had my Saeco V/V for two years, and persisted with the pressurised
    portafilter until the last month or two. I purchased a generic non-pressurised portafilter from NSW ( rather than reworking the existing portafilter as you have done ). Results have been mixed, but the flavour has certainly improved a lot.

    Since using the new portafilter I too have found it very tricky to get the grind/tamp just right...sometimes my shots have been gushers, sometimes just a drip or too, nearly gagging the machine.

    Im doing a lot better now, thanks to advice kindly given by Herbie. I now use a tamp pressure of at least 10Kg, maybe more, but in doing so, I needed to adjust my Lux grinder to give me a coarser grind, or risk ruining the pump.

    I think the answer is to use your own grinder and experiment with the settings gradually till you get some consistency in your shots.

    I dont know if this helps.

    Trevorbeans



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