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Thread: La Cimbali M21 Steam Wand/Tip question

  1. #1
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    La Cimbali M21 Steam Wand/Tip question

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Guys,

    I have a 2 group Cimbali M21, and have reached the end of my tether with the steam wand and tip. The steam wand is infuriatingly short, and I absolutely loathe the tip.

    However I am completely at a loss as to what to replace it with, as there seems to be very little information on compatible replacements (save for a thread here which involved some cutting and bending, which I don't want to do).

    I have tried contacting Coffeeparts, but they have been worse than no help at all. I tried calling, but they said they couldn't help me over the phone and to just send an email..which I did, and they didnt respond. I've sent about 3 followups asking for a response, and they have just ignored every single one.

    In any event, I originally ordered part no. 703844 from Coffeeparts (Coffee Parts | Spare Parts for Espresso Coffee Machines - 2 hole and 4 hole Steam Tips) , but its not long enough to screw all the way up the male thread on the steam wand, so it doesn't seal, and steam leaks out around the steam tip rendering it unusable.

    My questions are:-

    1. Will part no. 404662 solve this problem (http://www.coffeeparts.com.au/cimbal...pare-parts-3)?
    2. Will any of the other steam tips work instead?
    3. Will any steam wand for any other machine work? (such as the 225mm one from the La San Marco Coffee Parts | San Marco Spare Parts - Steam Valves Lever ....i used to have one of these and absolutely love it).


    Thanks guys,

  2. #2
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    I can't offer any help, but I'm keen to see how you go.

    The wands on my m20 have lost their chrome, and like you say, they're a bit short.

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    Never good form to rant against sponsors when there's an unresolved issue..........

    The best way to get help is to put those things aside and just ask for the help that you want.

    I was going to put you onto a guy that custom makes awesome steam tips here in Melbourne but wouldn't

    want even the remote possibility of exposing him to an 'on air' rant like the above.

    I think most people here would have nothing but good things to say about CoffeeParts, so buying into your problem may be difficult.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    Never good form to rant against sponsors when there's an unresolved issue..........

    The best way to get help is to put those things aside and just ask for the help that you want.

    I was going to put you onto a guy that custom makes awesome steam tips here in Melbourne but wouldn't

    want even the remote possibility of exposing him to an 'on air' rant like the above.

    I think most people here would have nothing but good things to say about CoffeeParts, so buying into your problem may be difficult.
    Okay...what should I have done? Called them? Sent them an email? ...hmm I wonder if there's a hint in my original post as to whether I tried any of those things first....

    In any event, this is only a recent issue I've had....in the past I have had nothing but good things to say about CoffeeParts either. They had always been brilliant.

    However, the purpose of my "rant" was not to whip up a frenzy of discontent against CoffeeParts, it was to try and head off any responses along the lines of "contact CoffeeParts, they'll help you out".

    I've often responded to posts like that before, but this time, I've already tried that numerous times over the last 3 months to no avail.

    So if anyone knows of a steam wand or tip that will fit the M21, that would be great.

    I am trying to get a hold of the 225mm steam wand from a La San Marco to see if that fits, so if theres no other responses Timbosaurus, I'll let you know how I go with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    Never good form to rant against sponsors when there's an unresolved issue..........

    The best way to get help is to put those things aside and just ask for the help that you want.

    I was going to put you onto a guy that custom makes awesome steam tips here in Melbourne but wouldn't

    want even the remote possibility of exposing him to an 'on air' rant like the above.

    I think most people here would have nothing but good things to say about CoffeeParts, so buying into your problem may be difficult.
    Perhaps, but then again, sponsorship shouldn't buy immunity from complaints if there is a legitimate problem. There's usually plenty of gushing praise of sponsors of this forum, so I don't see harm in some balance (if it's justified). I didn't see the OP's post as a rant and it sounds like they tried on a number of occasions to ask for the help just as you yourself suggested.

    Shutting down or stifling such comments won't help much in resolving the issue. Perhaps the sponsor may take the opportunity to help try to resolve here.

    As to the question re steam tips, there are some aftermarket 3 hole tips as used on the Cimbali Junior "Casa" version that seem to get good reviews. Can't say about a replacement (longer) arm though. Best bet is to measure and identify all fittings so you can ask specific information from suppliers.

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    Not sure how different is your Cimbali M21. Mine is Cimbali Junior S1 and I have managed to fit the part no 633430 with no problem. It'd be interesting to know if other tips (especially any better steam tips) can be retrofitted too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by samuellaw178 View Post
    Not sure how different is your Cimbali M21. Mine is Cimbali Junior S1 and I have managed to fit the part no 633430 with no problem. It'd be interesting to know if other tips (especially any better steam tips) can be retrofitted too.
    Yep, I intend on giving that one a try as well.

    In fact, if I can't figure out a new steam wand entirely, I suspect I will order the following:

    633430 (Coffee Parts | La Cimbali Spare Parts - Steam and Water Inlet Valves)
    404662 (Coffee Parts | La Cimbali Spare Parts - Steam and Water Inlet Valves)
    700528 (Coffee Parts | Spare Parts for Espresso Coffee Machines - 2 hole and 4 hole Steam Tips)
    Maybe even 703472 (Coffee Parts | Spare Parts for Espresso Coffee Machines - 2 hole and 4 hole Steam Tips)

    The latter two look much longer than 703844 which I can confirm does NOT work. That is, unless of course 404662 is not in fact a "steam nozzle" as the description suggests, but rather some sort of spacer. Unfortunately, I have not been successful in obtaining an answer to that question either as yet, so I may just have to buy it and see how it goes. I wouldn't be surprised if the description is wrong actually, because its also listed in the diagram as being 1/8" in diameter, which is obviously a mistake. So hopefully its a spacer designed to allow a seal between smaller tips and the top of the stock steam wand thread.

    Any Cimbali owners ordered part no. 404662 before?

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    Actually, just a further update on this:

    CoffeeGeek - All the "Tips" of the Puzzle, Part Two
    This seems very helpful. I.e. if we can get a Stainless Steel tip, the holes are better placed and the stainless steel tip fits the non-stainless wand.

    This won't solve the overly short steam wand problem, but it will address the horrible steam tip issue. Baby steps.

    Perhaps the 700667/10 (Coffee Parts | Faema Spare Parts - e91/e98/Due Steam and Hot Water Valves) would help. The e98 and Cimbali M21 seem to have interchangeable parts.

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    Yeah, the 700243 steam wand is listed as both an e98 and M20-30 spare part, so one would assume the tips would be interchangeable.

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    This may be of interest to you as well, if you haven't seen it already...

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...onversion.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbosaurus View Post
    This may be of interest to you as well, if you haven't seen it already...

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...onversion.html
    Hmm yeah I had seen that, though I had only skimmed it before. Upon reading it in further detail I see the issue is not as complicated as I first thought. I thought the pipe bending was a part of the conversion...its not. Its just something he did for aesthetics. I really don't care about that, so in short, the La Spaziale one fits. However I don't know how he got the nut off the Cimbali/Faema steam wand. The bend on mine is too tight to get the nut off. I thought I read that he had to saw the steam wand to get it off, but I must have read that somewhere else...and I really don't want to do that.

    Further, I'm no so sure there is a point to it. If that article I posted above is correct about the stainless steel steam wand being so much better, then it would be simpler to just buy part no. 700243-X from CoffeeParts. Plus, CoffeeParts dont sell a La Spaziale steam wand anyway, and from a very quick search, I can't find it readily for sale either. So thats a further point in favour of just getting the stainless one. The fact that its $75 is a point against. haha.

    Of course neither really fixes our other issue with the stupid short steam wand. More about that below.

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    Okay, I did some testing last night using the stock La San Marco steam wand (700447 from Coffee Parts | San Marco Spare Parts - Steam Valves Lever).

    It ALMOST fits. So frustrating. The Cimbali is 16mm thread, the LSM is 17mm. So it goes on, it works, but leaks steam, and if you knock it, it can drop off the thread a bit and leak lots of steam. In short, its too haphazard to be functional.

    Aside from the nut, it works, but as I said above, I can't get the nut off my Cimbali wand, and unlike the LSM, you cannot buy the steam wand nut separately.


    Soo....what we need is this:

    1. A 16mm (or 5/8") steam nut...with which we can use either of the LSM steam wands (and potentially others)
    2. Another manufacturer's steam wand that also uses a 16mm (5/8") fitting.


    I don't suppose anyone knows of any that fit this description? Or better yet, where I can find a Cimbali steam wand nut (without cutting up my existing ones).


    EDIT: Just found this: http://www.espressoparts.com/parts/e...water-wand-nut ...but at a mere $45 to ship, I'd rather buy a brand new one from coffee parts and hacksaw it off. No thanks.

    However, it does very helpfully say that it will Cimbali, CMA and CFA machines, suggesting they all use the same 16mm nut. I did some searching on the forum and it seems that CMA make a bunch of machines like Astoria, San Marino and Wega, and looking at the CoffeeParts diagrams for each seems to confirm this.

    Which means......ta da! 700742 might be our answer (http://www.coffeeparts.com.au/astori...-spare-parts-4).

    Use that nut to make the LSM 225mm steam wand work.

    However I'm still interested in seeing how the steam tip on the Stainless Steel one works too, so I'm tempted to buy both and try them out. Although I'm kind of put off by the thought that because CoffeeParts wont return my emails, I'm going to buy a whole bunch more stuff off them. Seems counter intuitive. But meh, will probably do it anyway cos I want the answer now, and there seems to be so little information out there about this that this thread may actually be of some assistance of we investigate the issue thoroughly.
    Last edited by Zakal1; 2nd April 2015 at 10:21 AM.

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    Does it work if you use plentiful of teflon tape around the thread?

    Thanks for sharing your results, certainly much appreciated especially if anyone else wants to go down the same route some day. I was looking for the S1 steam arm but doesnt seem to be readily available.

    Also, I think La Marzocco steam tip might work on the La Cimbali Junior. Seen that done before, but I'm not 100% sure though how that translates across different model of LC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by samuellaw178 View Post
    Does it work if you use plentiful of teflon tape around the thread?

    Thanks for sharing your results, certainly much appreciated especially if anyone else wants to go down the same route some day. I was looking for the S1 steam arm but doesnt seem to be readily available.

    Also, I think La Marzocco steam tip might work on the La Cimbali Junior. Seen that done before, but I'm not 100% sure though how that translates across different model of LC.
    I didn't get a chance to test with teflon tape, but thats a good idea. It would probably work that way.

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    Okay, so I received my stuff from CoffeeParts last night, and did some preliminary testing. Here is what I can report:

    1. 700243-X (Coffee Parts | La Cimbali Spare Parts - Steam and Water Inlet Valves) works superbly. Much much better steam tip, and given some more intelligently angled bends in the pipe, is actually slightly longer and with more "reach". It looks like this: http://profzip.com/upload/parts/1449143.jpg . Really really happy with that one.

    2. The steam wand nut from an Astoria (and presumably therefore the Wega and San Marino), 700742 (Coffee Parts | Astoria Spare Parts - Steam, Hot Water and Water Inlet Valves), fits the Cimbali, and when used in a combination with 700447/L (Coffee Parts | San Marco Spare Parts - Steam Valves Lever), which is the 225mm steam wand from a La San Marco, it works great as long as its tightened well. I used the Cimbali spring and gaskets (700240, 700223, 700241 and 529011/3) to make it work.

    So now I have I shortish stainless steel steam arm that does an amazing job, as well as a long steam wand that I'm also very happy with. I have not yet compared the LSM to Cimbali steam wands, but if i had to make an early call, I would say that the S/S Cimbali is better. I completely overheated the milk in my first run (given the smaller holes make a different sound, and I judge temperature based on the sound it makes), but it was still almost perfect microfoam. Second batch was perfect.

    Other things I have confirmed:-

    3. 404662 (Coffee Parts | La Cimbali Spare Parts - Steam and Water Inlet Valves) is a steam tip, but is NOT 1/8" as described, and does NOT fit 700243. Its the same problem as all the other steam tips...female thread is too short to fit on the long male thread on the steam wand.

    4. Neither of 703844 or 700528 fit the stock steam tip. (I have not yet tried either of them on the S/S steam tip...but given the performance of the S/S tip, I don't know why you'd bother).

    For the sake of completeness, I may do some testing on the different steam tips on the LSM long steam wand, but I will probably just try and contact coffeeparts to return those additional steam tips. All up I've spent about $45 on steam tips that don't fit, so I'm probably best off returning them if I can.
    samuellaw178 likes this.

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    Great report! Thanks for taking one for the team(feel your pain there)!

    The 700243-X picture didn't work unfortunately. If I understand correctly this 700243-X is a direct retrofit? Do you mind taking a photo how it fits on the machine and the shape of the tips/hole? Sounds like a good upgrade, but I'm wondering if it's possible just to get the tip without the whole assembly.

    Also, what pressure setting are you running your Cimbali at (top pressure)? I find that the higher the pressure, the easier to steam, but risk overheating. I'm at 0.75-0.95 bar.

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    I've taken some crappy pictures (in my defence it was dark):

    SS arm on machine:


    Attempt to show s/s steam tips:


    LSM 225mm arm on machine:



    I have also found some other pics of the steam tip and steam arm to show it better on its own.

    S/S Steam Wand:


    S/S Steam Tip (its the top right one):



    As for boiler pressure, I'm not really sure what range i run at. I suspect its about 0.9-1.5. Its not something I've really paid much attention to previously, though I am now. I will try and keep an eye on the range it works between.

    Speaking of pressure, I noticed my brew pressure was WAY off last night. Was down at 5 bar, and I have to say, that the Cimbali pump adjustment screw is quite possibly the worst I've ever dealt with. What is so easy on the La San Marco is like pulling teeth on the Cimbali. First its really hard to get to. Second, its hopelessly inconsistent. You make some adjustments. Nothing happens. You make some more, and it suddenly makes a massive difference as though its the last two adjustments combining all at once. I set it to 9 bar last night, only to have to jump to 10 because I didn't realise that you are supposed to wait with those coffeeparts pressure guages until water starts flowing through the overflow valve before calling the pressure reading. I've dropped it back now, but was in a rush this morning, so its sitting at about 8 atm.
    samuellaw178 likes this.

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    Thanks Zakal!

    So that's the steam tip that is supposed to be the best for Cimbali as referenced in the past thread. http://coffeesnobs.com.au/milk-froth...li-junior.html

    The SS wand & tips looks perfect on the machine in my opinion.

    On the other hand, the LSM is probably overkill, slightly too long. It's probably an individual preference thing though, I like to be able to tuck the wand into drip tray to purge the condensate before steaming.

    Anyhow, great looking Cimbali there, the pics are alright. ;D

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    Haha thanks.

    Yeah the best looking one is the Cimbali SS. I've used the stock Cimbali tip (which is bottom right in the last picture above), the stock LSM tip, the tip from the 225m LSM wand (above), and the stock Faema No-stop tip, for significant periods of time each, and I have to say that the Cimbali SS tip is THE best by a fair margin. Next is the 225m LSM, then Faema, then stock LSM, then stock Cimbali. With Stock Cimbali being the worst by a much bigger margin than the SS tip is the best. I hate it.

    So performance and looks goto the Cimbali SS.

    The main reason I like having the super long LSM arm (despite the fact it makes the machine look like a drunk on crutches) is that for some reason I often end up making a number of coffees that doesnt QUITE suite any jug size I have. (i.e. 3 flat whites and 1 latte which is too big for my regular 3 cup jug, or 7 coffees which is too big for my 6 cup jug). So rather than go dirty another milk jug, I like to be able to just chuck a bit of "top up" milk into the jug i've just used and top up the shortage.

    So for that, I need to be able to have a really long wand. Personally, the 225mm is way too long....200mm would be plenty...but its the only long wand I've used, and the tip that comes with it from CP is really good.

    Purging the steam wand with the LSM is fun though. 80% chance of getting squirted with semi-hot water.



    I had a read of that link you posted, and must say I find it surprising that anyone could have problems with the SS tip. Its so forgiving of mistakes its ridiculous. You dont even need to get a whirlpool going like you do on tighter angle tips (like the LSM).



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