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Need help and advice to use a San Marino Lisa 3 Group

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  • Need help and advice to use a San Marino Lisa 3 Group

    Hi folks,

    I am a novice coffee cart owner. Just purchased and set up a second-hand San Marino Lisa 3 Group machine and had it serviced and set up by an "Expert" who charged me $500 to do it.

    The coffee coming out is not great however. The water comes out too quickly. My understanding is that a single shot espresso (30mil) must take about 30 seconds to fuse through the coffee. In my case, it's more like 12 seconds. So, it's not properly brewed.

    The user manual suggested reducing the boiler pressure which I did but no visible effect. When I use finer ground, the time increases but the amount then reduces to about 18-20mil and the coffee ground remains too wet (watery in fact with some excess water above the coffee ground).

    Any expert advice out there please. I will much appreciate it.


  • #2
    hi Mombino and welcome to CS,

    With a post like that you're bound to get some interesting replies! ;-)

    With respect, it sounds like you're a complete novice, ...... yes?

    You will need to provide more info about the coffee you're using, the dose and dosing method, the tamp pressure and which size pf basket
    you're using for a single shot.

    Did the user manual say anything else about a pour that is too fast? Have you been able to adjust your grind so the shot chokes?
    What is the boiler pressure, before and after, the adjustment?

    If you get it right you stand to make some good money, if you can get some good locations and events. If you don't get it right, your competition will prosper!

    My advice is to source a consultant, respected in the industry and get them to teach you before you unleash yourself upon the general public.

    p.s. I'm no 'expert'. :=)


    • #3
      Welcome to CS.

      General assumption: You paid someone to set it up for (the machine) is set up properly. No? Why then did you adjust the boiler pressure.....or anything?

      No need to answer that.

      Don't touch anything if you do not know what you are doing.

      We don't know if you are using a double filter but only filling it with 1 portion worth of grinds? So maybe you are significantly under dosing, in which case it would do what you've described despite that it may be correctly set up.

      Or, you could be using some o f the nastier coffee brands imported from Italy, which are well and truly stale, and will also do what you describe.

      We don't know what your coffee making expertise is. We dont know how you made the coffee. We dont know if you understand how to set up a grinder to a machine.

      Source a local coffee supplier or roaster for your venture, & ask them to help you. They will....

      Otherwise, we will be chasing our tails in here trying to help, which is extremely difficult, when we don't have the equipment and coffee in front of us to check.

      A word of warning. Your coffee machine will run hot...these models always do, and no amount of boiler pressure adjustment will help. Seek advice from those who know....

      Hope that helps
      Last edited by TOK; 17 March 2014, 05:34 PM.


      • #4
        +1 to the above, Agreed TOK, doesn't look like much research went into the pre purchase phase??

        Where are you located Mombino?

        Seems you have paid money to have the machine serviced, you could put it back on the 'bay', sell it and get some advice on which machine
        would be worthwhile, then buy something decent.... ??


        • #5
          How did you go with this machine? I too am looking at getting one of these for a good price but are wondering if it's worth it? I would be looking at getting someone else to set it up but from what I have read here that they are very hard machines to use and make a good coffee... has anyone got a good story about these machines?


          • #6
            Honestly, if you care about coffee, buy a better machine.

            These machines sell as "bargains" on the usual sites because people who understand good coffee will not touch them. Will they produce acceptable coffee? Yes, but not without big expense to modify them and great barista skills.

            If you're just starting out, why make the task any harder than it need be?


            • #7
              Hi moreadon and welcome to CS.

              +1 to Chris' comments above.

              Are you intending on going into a commercial venture?


              • #8
                Thanks so much guys!

                As for a commercial venture, kind of. Business isn't based around cafe/coffee but we would really like to serve great coffee!

                What machines are recommended for good coffee with small learning curves?


                • #9
                  what kind of coffee do you use and how old ist it?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rolf View Post
                    what kind of coffee do you use and how old is it?
                    G'day Rolf. If you're responding to the OP in this thread, he visited once back in March when he posted his question. It would seem that he didn't care enough to return to check on on the responses he received.


                    • #11
                      Hi moreadon,

                      Honestly, if it's a fixerupper, I don't think it should be used for any sort of venture which is related to generating income. There are some terrific new 2 group machines at around $6k and if you have an A.B.N, you can use mobs like GoGetta or Silverchef to finance a purchase of this size at about $80/week (n.b due diligence involving your accountant!).

                      There are some good used machines at times, but the the good stuff will sell quickly and at a high proportion of brand new price. Ex cafe stuff is frequently clapped out (which is why it got replaced) and should only be used for a hobby IMHO. Ex Cafe San Marino- scrap value as far as I'm concerned.

                      If it has to be used, look for something from a reputable manufacturer, low use and from a place which has gone belly up. Then allow $$$ for checks and any repairs required for the inevitable surprises. If you're in Melbourne, site sponsor Rick Bond aka The Coffee Machinist is your man.


                      • #12
                        The San Marino I could pick up for around $1000 AUD. It's ex government (parmiment) less than a few years old and would seem in very good condition. But if it doesn't make coffee what's the point if it doesn't make good coffee?


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by moreadon View Post
                          The San Marino I could pick up for around $1000 AUD. It's ex government (parmiment) less than a few years old and would seem in very good condition. But if it doesn't make coffee what's the point if it doesn't make good coffee?
                          In all likelihood, a sub-committee of individuals who had NFI about coffee was appointed to oversee the purchase of a machine. They chose the cheapest tender and got what they paid for. 3 years in Parliament- probably clapped out. It's not a 10 person office after all.

                          All I can advise is that we all know that parliament is all about spin- which probably extends to old coffee machines that the sub-committee now need to sell. I'd be leaving it for an independent :P


                          • #14
                            Lol well said! I'm glad I thought to research a little before committing. What manufacturers should I keep my eye out for? I missed out on a wega that relailed for $10,000 a few months ago. It went for $1500 from a new cafe that went under. Less than 6 months old.


                            • #15
                              What is your budget?

                              It'll be hard going getting a decent machine for the sums you have mentioned so far.

                              Which manufacturers? Depends on your budget..... but I would struggle to recommend anything cheap.

                              Unless you find a well respected machine whose owner has no idea of it's value.