Coffee Appreciation

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  • Sod it. When I'm back in London I'm going to immerse some raw copper in 10% citric acid and see what happens.

  • My father-in-law put two spoons of citric acid instead of sugar in his coffee. His pipes were fine.

  • I’ve bathed stuff for days in cold solution when restoring machines without a problem, and left it in a hot machine for a full working day when doing an in-situ descale. I think the acidity weakens a lot when you start dissolving kilos of calcium into it.

    Good excuse to show off my shiny pipes.

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  • I think the acidity weakens a lot when you start dissolving kilos of calcium into it.

    I've definitely observed this when descaling stuff. It had always surprised me how little limescale it takes to neutralise a quite strong acid solution.

  • Where do you learn about restoring a coffee machine? What sort of machine do you start from? It's not something I have plans on doing just general interest

  • The only way I could afford a nice machine for home was to buy a non runner and do it up. You just figure it out as you go along. Self sufficiency wrt equipment maintenance is an underrated thing amongst coffee business owners. There’s always something needs mending, we’d never make a penny if we had to pay labour for breakdowns.

  • Paul Pratt, the guy behind the Robot is well known for restoring machines, you might take a look at his work too, or even get in touch if your mild interest deepens.

  • My local roastery have turned this into a nice little sideline, the boss man does all the repairs... Still waiting on a quote for my Vario, it seems parts cannot be had and international distributors aren't picking up their phones! 🙄

  • Yeah it would be great business, I have some experience of it from my time at Bella Barista. Customers often ask if we’ll fix their stuff but you put yourself at risk of it turning into a complete nightmare when it’s not a proper full time workshop setup. These machines are either peoples pride and joy and they’re super precious about them or they’ve been neglected and the job escalates, the customer won’t accept the extent of work required and you’ve lost a regular coffee customer. We don’t have time, space or patience for it.

  • Nice work! What's the machine?

    I restored a little series 1 La Pavoni Europiccola I found cheap over here. It was therapeutic. I've just got a Faema Faemina to do next...I'd love to do a big, 2 group like a Faema President or Urania if I ever get a big enough kitchen to keep one in....I like the lever machines.


    Another option for pour over fans?
    Not for me anyway, I’m happy with my coffee situation.

    Been out for over half a year, I expect most of you were aware.

  • Looks like my Mahlkonig Vario is toast, I've already changed the front LCD panel and matey thinks it needs a new motor and control board before it'll work again... So probably best to cut my losses and get something else... My local place sells the Quamar Q50 and I've been looking at the Baratza Sette, Mazzer Mini, Eureka Mignon Specialita and the Fiorenzato F4E V2...

    Anything else I should be looking at? It'll be a single dose espresso grinder, won't be used for more than two to three shots per day...

  • I have a Mazzer Mini - it’s ancient and built like a tank. Bought it cheap off Craigs. It was filthy when I got it but after disassembly and a deep clean, it functions perfectly. Didn’t even need to change the burrs. The doser is a little messy but works fine. The infinitely variable grind is very handy.

  • I've had a mini mazzer for a decade now and it's never missed a beat. If you can stretch to the timed doser it's worth it. Never having to bother with weighing (once it's dialled in) or clearing out stale grinds is wonderful. The fine grind control on it isn't the best but apart from that it's 💯

  • Nice. Most of the machines I’ve done were levers. The one in the pic of the pipe work is a La San Marco Model 80 with mechanical groups. It’s now in a nightclub in Jordan.

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  • What were the costs to restore something like that?

  • Dunno, I sort of did it for the fun of it, I think I just about covered my costs when I sold it. I think blasting and powder coating of the frame and body was about £200, parts were probably £300, most of that was a new pump and motor, another £100 on sundry bits. Those LSM machines are still in production so parts are cheap and available. I paid about £350 for the non running machine from Hungary. That will probably be a lot more now. I have an account with LF Ricambi but if you need a washer or a seal you tend to have to buy 50 of them. If you pick something more rare or exotic then sourcing parts gets difficult snd there will be some bits you’ll have to adapt from other machines or manufacture yourself.

  • And at the end of all that you’ll have a machine that’s too big for your house and too antiquated to run a business on.

  • You'll get some hydrogen maybe?

  • Don't worry Dad, I'll wear my lab coat and goggles when I insert the lit splint

  • I was only going to suggest you collect it in a balloon and fire a blazing arrow at it.

    (Our zinc plus acid experiment at scho resulted in an explosion in class. My mate and I weren't communicating. He was trying to light a bubble, I was trying to lift the tube out, flame, tube, explosion)

  • Right, remind me to get a beaker out when I get to work. Taking in some citric acid and an older, all-copper 2 Pence piece.

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  • I predict a very bright pinkish penny

  • Just maybe don't pour the liquid into your aquarium when your experiment is finished

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  • Indeed. Approx 10% solution by weight in hot water. Within seconds, the copper oxide dissolved off. Now going to leave it all day and see if it dissolves the copper itself.

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Coffee Appreciation

Posted by Avatar for justMouse @justMouse