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  • Faema Carisma S1?

    Just snapped up an unused Faema Carisma S1 locally at a very reasonable price. seems to have all the bells and whistles (PID, LCD display, E61 brew head) and looks shiny. however i could only find very few reviews online.

    Has anyone had any experience with it? How does it stack up to the other HX machine like VBM junior, expobar leva etc?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    I am in the same vote, last year I picked up one at a great price second hand but new in box. It was part of a Vittoria coffee competition prize.

    It is a great machine and has some real nice touches. However, I haven't had any experience with other HX or E61 machines. Only real issue is the OPV wasn't set to the right pressure. I have read this is because they have an ECE pod capability and the high pressure is required for that. Therefore, I still need to set the OPV pressure.

    Most articles I found in HomeBarista forum from America, as they were mostly sold in America I think (Chris' Coffee sold these machines and did a video/youtube review). I did however find online a presentation for what seems meant for dealers I think.
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Thanks AlastairMcG, I did notice the machine come with a pod basket, which explains why the higher pressure.

      Another nice thing about the machine is the boiler has special coating to prevent the water from coming into contact with heavy metals...

      There's a resettable high limit switch underneath the drip tray, Is that the OPV?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by symphonie View Post
        Thanks AlastairMcG, I did notice the machine come with a pod basket, which explains why the higher pressure.

        Another nice thing about the machine is the boiler has special coating to prevent the water from coming into contact with heavy metals...

        There's a resettable high limit switch underneath the drip tray, Is that the OPV?

        The switch underneath the drip tray is to reset the Boiler safety thermostat if it activates to shut down the heating element or machine to prevent heating without water.

        OPV is inside the machine, will need to pull off the covers etc. Hence I haven't rushed into it quite yet. I found these pics recently on HomeBarista or CoffeeGeek. These might be of the Casadio Dafne which is nearly the same machine, but some elements aren't as good as the Faema Carisma.

        The only two niggles I mainly have with the machine (besides the fixable OPV issue) is that the water tank could be bigger and the height of the tray to brew group is short and can't fit tall mugs.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AlastairMcG View Post
          The switch underneath the drip tray is to reset the Boiler safety thermostat if it activates to shut down the heating element or machine to prevent heating without water.

          OPV is inside the machine, will need to pull off the covers etc. Hence I haven't rushed into it quite yet. I found these pics recently on HomeBarista or CoffeeGeek. These might be of the Casadio Dafne which is nearly the same machine, but some elements aren't as good as the Faema Carisma.

          The only two niggles I mainly have with the machine (besides the fixable OPV issue) is that the water tank could be bigger and the height of the tray to brew group is short and can't fit tall mugs.
          My concern about this machine is should it unfortunately breaks, It'd be hard to get the parts or get it serviced.

          I find the water tank on Carisma is a tad small as well, My other HX machine expobar has a 2.7L water tank and I still need to refill every 2-3 days.

          And may i ask what boiler temperature/pressure did you set with the PID?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by symphonie View Post
            My concern about this machine is should it unfortunately breaks, It'd be hard to get the parts or get it serviced.

            I find the water tank on Carisma is a tad small as well, My other HX machine expobar has a 2.7L water tank and I still need to refill every 2-3 days.

            And may i ask what boiler temperature/pressure did you set with the PID?

            Yeah it is a bit of concern about any specific parts, but some of the general parts should be able to be interchanged with similar ones.

            For a while I had the boiler temp as it came at 122deg I think and a little while back turned it up to 124deg. No big defining reason or noticeable difference, will help the steam pressure, but have to take the higher temp into account when doing the cooling flush for brewing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AlastairMcG View Post
              Yeah it is a bit of concern about any specific parts, but some of the general parts should be able to be interchanged with similar ones.

              For a while I had the boiler temp as it came at 122deg I think and a little while back turned it up to 124deg. No big defining reason or noticeable difference, will help the steam pressure, but have to take the higher temp into account when doing the cooling flush for brewing.
              Thanks, Let us know when you get to that OPV part, to be honest I am not sure if its even adjustable. on my expobar the OPV is connected to a silicon tubing to return the excess water back into the water tank and I do not see such thing on the Carisma water tank.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by symphonie View Post
                Thanks, Let us know when you get to that OPV part, to be honest I am not sure if its even adjustable. on my expobar the OPV is connected to a silicon tubing to return the excess water back into the water tank and I do not see such thing on the Carisma water tank.
                I believe the OPV returns excess into the drip tray where the little spout is at the back of the drip tray. I'm guessing they didn't return it back to the tank as (maybe mainly for the US) they were designed for certain food grade levels of approval to meet a certain standard and returning to the tank might not meet this. From the way they mention this approval a fair bit it seems it isn't common in the more prosumer machines to have this approval.

                I will let you know when I finally adjust the OPV or have it serviced and adjusted.

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                • #9
                  I finally adjusted my OPV to lower the pressure from a regular roughly 15bar at the machine's gauge.

                  The results seem good. It seems the crema doesn't dissipate as much or quick and the flavour is a bit more balanced.

                  Also, AndyFaema beat me to it and sent me some detailed instructions that I thought would be good to share (with his permission).

                  AndyFaema's Instructions:
                  0) Remove water tank & unplug.

                  1) remove rear/sides/front cover (few screws but have to loosen small 7mm bolts underneath by carefully tilting machine). Take lots photo's of your own machine, wire colours, tubes etc).

                  2) I removed two front wires so I wouldn't break them.

                  3) Carefully snip off ziptie on bottom silicone tube and pull off bottom tube (mine broke, but just shortened a bit)

                  4) Hold top steel fitting (think 14 mm spanner) whilst loosening whole bottom brass fitting (think 15mm).

                  5) Once brass fitting removed I pulled the brass fitting apart (but did not move the internal screw position just yet) and gently cleaned bypass valve internals.

                  6) Using a flat screwdriver gently turned internal OPV screw position 3/4 of a turn anti-clockwise)

                  6) Reassemble Brass fitting.

                  7) Reattach Brass fitting back to top Steel fitting (holding top again with 14mm spanner. Tighten all firmly but not over-tightened or your stuffed).

                  8) Reattach bottom silicone tube (difficult to push up fully but get there with lots of persistence) and use strong ziptie to securely hold tube on threaded bottom brass fitting (you don't want this to leak or pop-off)

                  9) Reattach front two wires (get them right way around - double check with your own initial photo).

                  10) Make sure all dry within bottom of machine.

                  11) Good idea to test for leaks before putting on outer cover - Replace water tank, arrange machine so can access front and also view OPV and CAREFULLY plug in (don't touch anything internly now).

                  12) Let heat up and make a shot as per normal, checking your new pressure whilst pouring). I had to change coffee grind setting post pressure change. With 3/4 antilock-wise turn (to reduce pressure on internal OPV spring),
                  I got 12 bar that fell slightly during pour to ~11.5 bar and I was more than happy with that as I saw a YouTube clip that said you can't compare high flow rotary pumps (@ 9bar) with low flow domestic vibration pumps which
                  should be set at 11bar). As I'm still playing around with grind settings which may change things a little, this was good enough for me).

                  13) If happy with new machine pressure, turn off power and reinstall outer casing. If not quite right you're going to have to remove power and water & pull off OPV again, change internal screw position and re-test etc.



                  When I did the adjustment myself (AlastairMcG) I unscrewed the OPV to just over 3/4 of a turn and the machine gauge showed 12bar where the pressure cut out. I wanted to get closer to 10bar so I adjusted it a second time another half a turn to 1 1/4 turns anti-clockwise in total. This gave me 11bar peak and drop to sit just under 10.5bar during the bulk of the shot and I was happy with this for now until I check sometime at the portafilter what the actual brew pressure is.

                  Also, I checked the pressure using the blind filter insert to block off the filter basket, as I would to back flush the machine.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Thanks mate, will definitely adjust mine at some point as well. I find mine shows roughly 12bar peak (not 15) at the gauge while pouring.

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                    • #11
                      Hope the info above from AlastairMcG and I helps a little Symphonie. If you ever find a good place in Australia for parts or servicing of this machine could you post it. Thanks Andrew

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AndyFaema View Post
                        Hope the info above from AlastairMcG and I helps a little Symphonie. If you ever find a good place in Australia for parts or servicing of this machine could you post it. Thanks Andrew
                        Thanks Andrew, that helps a lot. I have not found a place in Australia for parts yet will do if I find it.

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                        • #13
                          Here is some info I found a while back, exploded view diagrams, but does not have the parts list with it and haven't found it yet. If anyone has a parts list it would be nice to post it up also.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            The part numbers are included in the exploded views, just not in a list format. Also I've copied your post to the pointy end documentation section so others can find it easily.


                            Java "Number what?" phile
                            Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Javaphile.

                              Yeah I have tried looking up the part numbers to identify/confirm what some of the parts actually are, but with no luck. Someone queried with me on what a couple of parts were and I was making a judgement guess as feedback.

                              It would be nice to have the list as confirmation as to actually saying what the parts are. However, it is good to at least to have the part numbers as per the exploded views.

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