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Thread: "ATOMIC" Stove-Top Coffee Maker.....

  1. #1
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    "ATOMIC" Stove-Top Coffee Maker.....

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Any one got a 1950s-60s-70s Atomic Coffee Maker? How many cups does it make? Does it make a good Brew? Is it worth having one? Or is it just a talking piece sitting in the corner collecting dust. Or maybe keeping the the Bread Maker company out in the Tool Shed. Appreciate any comments Thanks in advance...... :)

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    Re: "ATOMIC" Stove-Top Coffee Maker.....

    Lovely looking piece for the mantle shelf, next to the other old coffee equipment (hand grinders, old brewers etc).

    Nothing more than a stove top espresso machine, approximately 4 cup size (thats espresso not mugs).

    Beware "collector" prices which are more than highly inflated for no apparent reason.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  3. #3
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    Re: "ATOMIC" Stove-Top Coffee Maker.....

    Some people swear by this machine. They say it makes very good coffee. I have seen them sell on ebay for $200+

    Personally, I cant see from a coffee viewpoint how that can fetch $200. From a collectors viewpoint possibly ... but anyone know why they have become collectors items?

  4. #4
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: "ATOMIC" Stove-Top Coffee Maker.....

    I dont know for sure... but the whole "art deco" thing is still trendy in some circles add to that the fact that the same circle is the "yuppie cafe set" and Im not surprised that people are getting way over the odds for them on ebay.

    I have never tried the coffee from an atomic but would expect that the coffee would be average at best. I used to think that my stove top made a good coffee but was comparing it to instant and not espresso. A stove-top boils the water to make it rise and the accepted temp for espresso is 90-92c (not boiling).

    Just my second crack worth.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: "ATOMIC" Stove-Top Coffee Maker.....

    I seem to recall reading some place that this coffee maker had been inducted into the Museum of Modern Art or some such place. This could account for the unresonably high prices they fetch.

    Java "Quality before Collectability" phile

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    Re: "ATOMIC" Stove-Top Coffee Maker.....

    Ive got a couple of them that I picked up for $5 each at garage sales.

    I havent tried to make coffee in them for a while but I could never get them to go as well as the traditional mocha pots. The steaming side of things was pretty woeful. I guess I should fire one up again to have a play. Ive certainly learnt a bit about coffee since I last tried.

    One other possible concern was that, due to the casting process, the internal surface is very rough. This oxidises with white scale. It is not uncommon to have the scale appear on the top of the puck. This may or may not concern you.

    As for their collectable value, they definately have a certain style in the flesh. So much so that I havent been tempted to dump mine on ebay.

  7. #7
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    Re: "ATOMIC" Stove-Top Coffee Maker.....

    I have a few in my collection, aluminium, orange and brown.
    Years ago I used to use one regularly.
    If you get the variables right, they make a pretty good cup of coffee. The steaming is not that bad either.
    If you buy one, before using it MAKE SURE that the pressure relief valve is not blocked!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, strongly suggest a descale and a thorough rinse.

    The prices are a bit over the top, but then again rmember that they are a collectors item.

    PS: they have a tendency to scale up pretty quickly.

  8. #8
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    Re: "ATOMIC" Stove-Top Coffee Maker.....

    those who store them (between uses) with the knob in place in the machine, are those that quickly end up with a machine that produces aluminium oxide instead of coffee, and a blocked safety/pressure valve. In addition and just for "fun", the knob "welds" itself into the body of the machine (corrosion), never to be removed again.

    These machines should NEVER be put away after use (& therefore wet inside) with the knob in.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  9. #9
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I recently bought an old Atomic that had been used in a camp fire, and later obviously left stored somewhere. The advert said the owner had not been able to free the filler knob - apparently a common problem with old Atomics. I watched a few youtube videos and read a few discussions and all suggested using multi-grips or even wrapping the knob in a cloth, putting it in a vice and turning the body of the Atomic.

    I tried carefully with long multi-grips, but it was obvious the knob would break before the threads and seal let go.

    So I have a little think about it. It seems the problem happens sometimes when the Atomic is allowed to cool with the knob screwed in and the cooling aluminium clamps itself to the bakelite.
    Then maybe twenty years in a shed seals the tomb.

    My reasoning was that applying heat again might expand the alloy and shock the threads into releasing a bit - so I sank the Atomic in boiling water and tried again. Still no luck but I thought a tighter grip on the multi-grips would crack the bakelite knob as I had seen in videos online.

    Then I had one of the sideways thinking moments I'm sort of infamous for. I can;t show you because the 'Insert an Image' button wants a URL, but most Aussies are familiar with the tool I used.

    I got an Oil Filter Tool out of my toolbox that uses a webbing strap. Then I heated the Atomic in boiling water again and carefully (the aluminium was really hot) wound the strap tight on the knob, inserted a 1/2 inch socket bar into the tool, and applied pressure.

    Now I have a fully functioning Atomic - even though it looks horrible.
    I had to beat it about a little with a hammer to remove about half a coffee mug of whitish sandy powder from the inside. It looked like calcium scale, but in vinegar a lot of it turned dark grey.

    I washed the inside out with vinegar, then soap and hot water. Because I haven't been able to undo one of the screws in the brew head I back flushed that section as well as I could and a lot of dirty looking gunk came out after I thought the inside was clean.

    Took about 4 brews before I got an espresso type coffee that tastes similar to the espresson in my Krups 871, and better than my Breville BES80o.

    So if you have a stuck knob and don;t want to wreck it with pliers of a vice, it is worth trying the boiling water and webbing oil filter tool.

    Cheers,

    RossD
    trentski and mulquemi like this.



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