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Nuova Simonelli Elli

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  • Nuova Simonelli Elli

    For anybody interested who may come across one of these themselves, I thought I would document my experience with this machine.

    I recently became the owner of a small HX espresso machine of unknown origin and unknown condition.
    It was labelled both in the manual and screen printed on the machine a "Coffex La Cappuccina", on which the internet turned up zero information.
    As I don't have a HX machine (currently a single boiler) I though it might be interesting to play with and, at worst, there may be some parts worth scavenging.

    It turns out the machine is a version of a Nuova Simonelli Elli.
    I haven't unearthed much information locally but there are a few discussed at Coffeegeek and HomeBarista.
    Seems to be about 30 years old. It is the precursor to the Oscar and fairly decently put together.

    Admittedly it is butt-ugly but in a kind of retro-endearing way (so I keep telling myself - hasn't made an appearance in the kitchen yet).
    Hopefully I can get it working and if the tiny water tank, PITA drip tray, ridiculously low group clearance, and manual boiler fill, are equally endearing it could be a bargain, entry level HX machine.

    Will update the thread as I progress with testing.
    Click image for larger version

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    ps - not sure if this is the right forum for this machine. Please move if not appropriate.

  • #2
    Apart from the steam knob which is cracked in two everything looks in rather good condition.
    A little dirty but no other obvious damage. This goes for the internals too.

    First test.
    Before plugging it in I opened it up and disconnected the heater element.
    (didn't want it burning out before the boiler filled with water).

    Plugged it in and turned on. Pump makes all the right noises but no water flow.
    Removed connection from pump outlet and tried again.
    Still no water flow out, however I can see an air bubble in the inlet hose slowly progressing.
    Switching the pump on and off over about 5 minutes eventually caused some black sludge to be expelled from the pump itself (a bit of a worry) and water started to flow.
    All the water flowing out now seems clean.

    Connected the pump back up and am able to fill the boiler.
    Boy it holds a lot of water! (compared with my 250ml single boiler).

    Hit the brew switch and water flows through the group head.
    So far so good.

    Now to check for leaks at steaming temperature.
    Reconnect boiler, switch back on - earth leakage trips.
    A crack (or worse) in the boiler element casing.
    To be expected really I guess.

    Now the fun begins as I have to remove the boiler for better access.
    It will give me a chance to check the internals while inspecting the heater element.
    At least it is a two piece boiler with relatively good access.
    To be continued....