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Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

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  • Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

    Hi,
    does anyone here use an Olympia Cremina?
    I am really fascinated by this machine and was hoping that you give me some advice.

    I was wondering the following:
    1. How many espressos can you make before you run out of water and have to refill the tank?
    2. Does it tend to over heat like a La Pavoni lever if left on for a while?
    3. How long does it take to overheat (if at all)?
    4. How long does it take to cool down in order to refill the boiler with water?

    Cheers
    Rob

  • #2
    Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

    Hi there

    I have a Cremina.

    1. The manual reckons you can make about 20 espressos before you need to refill the tank. But the Cremina is not about making a lot of espressos. Its about making one fabulous espresso.

    I make two lattes each morning and with warming the group, steaming and a few cleaning flushes each day, i top up the boiler daily.

    2 & 3. Yes it will overheat, but it does take a while. Probably more than an hour. I use a temp strip from orphanespresso on the group to monitor the temp.

    4. The manual suggests you can place a damp cloth over the group to help it to cool down. But the reality is this is not a machine for pumping out espresso after espresso - its for making a nice double, and maybe another one after that. If you want to make more, you should use a different machine

    Cheers

    Sniff

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

      The overheating thing shouldnt come into it too much because you wouldnt leave the machine on needlessly when you are not making coffee ie switch on in the morning, make your coffees and switch off until later.

      If for instance you were "entertaining" and wanted to refill and keep going (ie when hot), let all the steam out, and if you want to short circuit the wait for cool water to heat up, use pre heated water from the kettle (that came from your water conditioning unit first of course ie no scale please).

      Hope that helps,
      Attilio.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

        Thanks for that Sniff and Atillio

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

          The new model with the stainless boiler idles at a lower temperature once warmed up. Its capacity is also about 400mls more than the 67 Creminas brass boiler....so more pulls before getting low.

          I also have a temperature strip on the boiler of my 67.
          It shows that the idle temp. is constant once warmed up. It has never given me a burnt espresso and the most I have done in the one sitting is 6 doubles.

          To lower this grouphead temperature to pull a shot with a lower temp. you can turn turn the power off for 10 minutes or lock a room temp. portafilter into the grouphead and using it as a heatsink, lower the grouphead temp by several degrees whilst you are grinding for the next shot.

          Alternatively you can use one of these babies:-
          http://www.orphanespresso.com/OE-3rd-Shot-Group-Heat-Sink_p_4387.html


          I agree in essence with Sniffs comments:-

          "But the Cremina is not about making a lot of espressos. Its about making one fabulous espresso."

          If you need to make more in a row and you dont have another machine, you can turn the machine off, vent steam until no more comes out, carefully open the filling lid....add some hot water from a kettle...lid on...turn on...and you are ready for more!

          A truly great machine!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

            Ok,so now I am considering this machine. Is worthwhile going for an old unit and giving it the beauty treatment or does the newer model have improvements worth paying extra for?

            My main consideration in looking at this machine is....

            Quality of build
            Quality of coffee
            Lifetime value
            Modest coffee drinking requirements in terms of volume, high expectations in terms of coffee quality
            Small form factor
            Lever interest

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

              Hi Claraflo,
              You can see both an original (working) 67 Cremina actually made in 1967 sitting alongside the current Cremina at Coffee Parts in Sydney. You will probably even be able to pour a shot on both to compare them and what they can do.

              I have one of each and find myself going to the newer one more frequently than my other one, which was made in 1987.

              I just made a long black half an hour ago on my 2011 model Cremina and it was truly divine!

              The build quality on both is superb.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

                Ok so now Im intrigued. If you already had one youre in love with what made you buy the new one? Did you just get bitten by the collecting bug or some other reason? I do intend to give Coffee Parts a call this week as Ive done my preliminary groundwork and am ready to start seeing the machines in the flesh.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

                  Hi Claraflo,
                  All is revealed in this thread:-

                  http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1315273519/14#14

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

                    Hi,

                    I am also one of those who has an old Cremina and a new one. (Well, not quite, my new one has been ordered from Coffeeparts but not yet delivered). My current Cremina is truly an oldie, 1973 model, but runs perfectly and will do so for generations to come with the appropriate care and maintenance.

                    So, if my oldie is so good, why get a new one? Curiosity I suppose and the desire to own a top class lever machine from scratch as opposed to always buying second hand. (I also own a 1980 Europiccola and 1995 Micro casa a leva).

                    Am a collector? Certainly not. My Pavoni is at my mother-in-laws doing good service, and my Elektra is to be ebayed later this year. If funds run short then I will have to ebay my 1973 Cremina sometime as well. (I recently saw a vastly inferior example sell on Aussie ebay for $1090 so selling mine will help me recoup some of the massive $3650 outlay on the new one).

                    Finally, why a Cremina if they cost so much? Well, this question has been covered here and in numerous forums, especially home-barista.com so I wont address this right now. Suffice it to say, my 39 year old Cremina smacks my other lever machines in everyway. And these other machines, especially the Pavoni, smacks the likes of a Rancilio Silvia which I did own for a while some years back. I cant compare the Cremina directly to a top end prosumer machine since I have never owned one. But I can say that a Cremina suits my usage patterns better than the HX or double boiler machines, with their long warm up times, and maintenance and service issues. I love being able to entirely service my machines myself, for there is virtually no problem that cant be fixed even by a hopeless handyman like myself.

                    Anyway, I intend to do a comparison here or on home-barista of the my 1973 Cremina to the 2011 Cremina in  few weeks when I have both on the counter.

                    Robert

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

                      Hi Robert,

                      Thanks for that information. The more I think about my preferences (in general) and my coffee drinking habits (just two cups a day but want them to be great cups) I am beginning to think that maybe going straight to the top of the lever tree is an appropriate move for me.

                      I have no interest in a pump/\/HX machine. I find my Gaggia uniquely unsatsifying to use, although it produces a nice cup. I think what I am looking for is a bit of ritual and magic around my morning brew, which pushing a button just doesnt do.

                      I use a hand grinder and am about to purchase a high-end hand grinder. I love grinding coffee by hand, its almost like meditation in the morning for me. Buying a motor grinder hasnt even entered my head.

                      Ive ruled out the europic now as I do think its something I will want to upgrade very quickly. A lovely machine but more of an entry level lever. The only other machine I am still considering is the Elektra Micro Casa Leva. Its build quality and many happy owners indicate to me this is a wonderful machine and since you own one and the cremina Id like to ask.

                      Do you find the cremina (even your old one) vastly superior or more usable than your Micro Casa? And is that the reason why you intend to move the Micro Casa on?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

                        Put simply I prefer domestic manual lever machines over spring lever machines. (That means I even prefer my Europiccola over the MCal). Manual levers, especially a brilliantly designed one like the Cremina, give you more pressure and therefore more options. They allow you to correct a shot as you go, whereas you are at the mercy of the spring with the MCal. Ive read that many commercial and semi commercial levers (like the Strega) do give you some mid shot control) but with manual levers you have TOTAL control.

                        On the build quality side, it is true the Elektra is far superior to the Pavoni, but even so it is far inferior to the Cremina. The hype is true, the build quality of the Cremina is almost unbeatable....But if you havent tried lever machines before, then going right to a new Cremina is a big step (financially). These machines do have their limitations vis a vis prosumer machines (as well as advantages over them). So just be sure that youve done the cost benefit analysis in advance, especially if money is an issue. In some respects beginning with a second hand Pavoni for around $400 paired with a decent grinder is a good way to get a feel for this type of machine before taking the big plunge. MCals are much harder to find used on the market so it is harder to try before you buy them.

                        R

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

                          Well Im off on wednesday to see the Cremina at coffee parts. I might just decide that nothing less than cremina will do and buy it off the bat... At this stage Im thinking so but Ive yet to see the machines so who knows. :-/

                          One of these (1982 model I think) just sold on the bay for $600 tonight. I did bid for it but as its an unknown quantity my bid was fairly low and I breathed a sigh of relief when I didnt get it. I think this one was likely to have an asbestos tank. And from my research you can easily spend $1,000 on a simple restore. Could be a bargain or a headache. I wasnt willing to risk a lot if it was a dead loss.

                          The new ones command a premium but you get a lot for that, not least of which is a 3yr warranty and the likelihood of it lasting a lifetime is extremely high. Still it was fun to watch an older one sell.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

                            Despite what I suggested in my previous post you have made the RIGHT decision. In the long term you will not be disappointed and since you will be the first owner and take care of it will form a valuable asset in your estate when you pass away some 50 or so years hence. Just note, when you first see the machine it looks rather humble. But if you examine it inside and outside you will get a feel for the quality. Also it is as heavy as a tank because of the steel they use. There is no plastic or weak link (which is where the other levers from Pavoni, Elektra and Ponte Vecchio fall down).

                            As for the colour, they only have the anthracite and white in stock, so if you want red (as I did) they will have to order it from Switzerland. (Olympia actually make the machines to order. Pedro at Coffeeparts orders from them. They make the machine and send it out. It takes about 2 weeks for the whole process).

                            So enjoy your trip to Coffeeparts. It is a great place with heaps of machines and grinders to salivate over. The good thing though, is that a new Cemina might just put an end to upgradeitis, especially if you dont need a machine to make more than 4 coffees in a row. Say Hi to Pedro from me.

                            Oh, and that leaves the last piece of the puzzle, the grinder. Whether now or down the track youll need a good one to get the best of your Cremina, but which one you choose is a whole different kettle of fish.

                            Robert

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Olympia Cremina owners.......some advice needed

                              After a disappointing visit to coffee parts today I wont be buying the Cremina from them. I will however visit a Cremina dealer when I get my next Europe trip through work though. I really think this is the machine for me but for that money I need to see it actually work.

                              Comment

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