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Faema E98 making terrible coffee- help!

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  • Faema E98 making terrible coffee- help!

    I've come from a Grimac Mini manual, E61-style, vibe pump machine used with a Sunbeam EM480 grinder. Could pull great shots, got the bottomless PF, thought I had my technique down; I mention this as background to the following tale of woe.
    So I've just bought a 1998 Faema E98 volumetric w/rotary pump from the evilbay. And I just cannot pull a decent shot; I'm getting thin, pale shots no matter what I try. I've tried dialling in the grind again, start coarse, too-quick, too-quick, too-quick, then suddenly blocked or reeealy slow, oily and burnt. No grind sweet spot. No rich, syrupy shots like the Grimac.
    Brew temp seems fine, btw; probably a little cooler than the Grimac after an initial flush.
    The shots pour oddly, too; there's an initial rush of maybe a second or two, then it slows right down. I'm guessing there's no pre-infusion with this machine.
    Anybody have experience with these machines? Any of this sound familiar?
    The change in machines was prompted by a renovation, allowing plumbing-in. I COULD modify the Grimac to cope with mains pressure supply, but it's not trivial; the point of changing machines was so I didn't have to do that.
    Looking forward to your responses, TIA.

  • #2
    Crisis over, mystery solved! I'd been overdosing. Backed off the dose, upped the grind (ie. finer), a cooling flush, a second or two of manual pre-infusion. Shot was a P.B.- delighted. Thick, rich, balanced, crema has good colour now, not pale any more. Using Proud Mary's Eagle Vision blend. Sorry for panicking, I got the machine fairly cheap & was worrying it was a lemon.
    Next problem to solve is the milk. Steam tip has 4 holes, I can't seem to get a good rolling swirl happening to make a good microfoam. Much more steam than previous machine, so things happen faster. Perhaps a different tip, fewer holes, so more unidirectional?

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    • #3
      Good that you worked out a modus operandi for your "new machine".

      I believe however that you are wasting your time if not actually degrading your coffee by doing a so called "manual preinfusion", in that all you are doing is wetting up the puk, then dumping that infusion out the exhaust port when you hit the off button, losing that first part of the infusion. A "pre infusion" is where the puk is wetted up but that infusion is NOT dumped out. That is, the exhaust port is NOT activated in a real preinfusion when the pump stops for a couple of secs.

      The machine should have a *programmable* pre infusion. By programmable I dont mean you can jiggle how it works......What I mean is that you can switch the preinfusion On or OFF. If the machine is not doing a preinfusion of its own accord, it will mean that the preinfusion cycle has been programmed / switched OFF. You dont have to have it running.....

      I cant tell you how to switch it back on and you will have to source an owner booklet or wait for some kind soul here to tell you the "how to".

      If you cant work out how to switch it back on, my suggestion is not to worry and NOT to try and do it manually, because that doesnt do anything for you and may even be degrading your brew (by dumping out that first infusion as mentioned earlier).

      Hope that helps,
      Attilio
      very first CS site sponsor.

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      • #4
        Good advice, thanks. Anybody here can point me to a manual? Google is not being at all helpful.
        Not sure how preinfusion would work on this model, water is drawn from a mains-google filled tank, so it isn't as simple as just opening the valve without switching on the pump.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Strangerover View Post
          Good advice, thanks. Anybody here can point me to a manual? Google is not being at all helpful.
          Not sure how preinfusion would work on this model, water is drawn from a mains-google filled tank, so it isn't as simple as just opening the valve without switching on the pump.
          Give artman a PM. I'd help but since selling my Faema E98 I can't find the manual that artman sent me.

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          • #6
            Also try searching for the La Cimbali Junior which im pretty sure is the exact same machine with a different badge on it. Faema is owned by La Cimbali
            My E98 Compact is completely manual so i dont think theres any provision for pre infusion, but it runs on a vibe pump which ramps up the pressure a little slower than a rotary. Good luck

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            • #7
              Which E98 model do you have? PM me your email address.

              Do they come with pre infusion? I didn't think they did, well mine doesn't appear to have it (E98 Compact A1).

              Cheers

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              • #8
                No they don't have pre-infusion.

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                • #9
                  Well that makes it pretty simple then.

                  Done wurry, make coffee regardless and enjoy!

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