Faema Mercurio restoration

Long time no talk about my work, today I start a particular machine. A Faema Mercurio last generation with a second development coupled group. I therefore propose the story of its restoration, I hope you enjoy it.

This is a machine found in France, as often it was putted out of service since many years, but life is less harsh for the beautiful, she found someone to save from recycling. A photo of the machine as it will be proposed to me.

Faema Mercurio for sale

I conclude the deal and the seller bring me personally, this is the day of his arrival.

Faema Mercurio restoration Restauration d'une Faema Mercurio

One is immediately seduced, the Faema Mercurio is truly a beautiful machine.

The first thing to do is to dismount and prepare items to be chrome again. There are a few dents and scratches, I’m not going to describe every of them but I took a couple of pictures.


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The top of the machine has some bad dents, you have to straighten and also sand shallow scratches.



To see the defects must remove the chrome and polish a little to the bright put them forward. Here we can see the extent of damage.

Preparation before chroming

The technique is the same as for a car body, I straighten from behind. But unlike a car, then there will be no possible mastic to delete the last imperfections. No choice but to straighten up perfectly.

Here it is well advanced, sanding it almost lefts nothing of the main bad dent.


But closely still see well impact.


From dent removal to sanding I end up getting a very good result, my chrome craftsman will only have to complete polishing after etching.

The lever fork was very marked, when gaps are very deep there is no choice but to replenish with solder.


Sanding and then polishing, it’s perfect.



Here it is for the first record, everything’s ready to go for chrome plating. Three days work…


(Français) Achat ancienne machine a cafe

Sorry, this entry is not yet translated, it is available in French.

Two groups Faema Marte, a dream machine for sale

This Faema Marte is for sale, it will be fully restored as always.

For all your questions  click there

Faema Marte for sale Faema Marte for sale Faema Marte for sale Faema Marte for sale Faema Marte for sale Faema Marte for sale Faema Marte for sale Faema Marte for sale

Conti Prestina

Definitely not easy posting through here now, here are some details of ongoing work. Today the machine makes coffee, It only remains me to polish the stainless steel skins, reassemble the body, and it will be over. But you understand, I’m late here.

During reassembly of the water inlet tap I made some pictures. I really love this assembly. It is as firmly and intelligently designed as a tap at Unic. Except that in addition ergonomics for assembler has been very well thought out. No need to pick a hidden O-ring in a small hidden deep throat of a well … Here everything has been designed to be very accessible.

Here is the main button controlling the opening of the valve :

Water inlet tap details, Conti Prestina Water inlet tap details, Conti Prestina Water inlet tap details, Conti Prestina

The O-ring guiding the piston of the tappet is first placed in a groove cut into the body. Once placed the copper washer maintain it. Just over, the v-seal makes the sealing of the piston, and everything is maintained by the cover. So obvious!

Water inlet tap details, Conti Prestina Water inlet tap details, Conti Prestina

As often with the manufacturers, a gasket is used for many purposes. The valve O-ring above is the same as that necessary to seal the two bases of the water level tube. Fortunately I had ordered several.

Seal on level slight connection of a Prestina

The heating element comes from the catalog La Spaziale, “Professional” model. Big advantage for all since Conti doesn’t produce it any more. And big advantage for our American friends, as it also comes in 110v. Details of the seals I used and  hot water draw-off.

Hot water pipe in the boiler of a Prestina

Not easy to fit a false steam/vacuum breaker valve with the OPV, not too much space…

Steam valve on Prestina

Awesome this group, love it.

Conti Prestina lever group

Nice Sunday, I try to come back very soon to talk about the end of this restoration.


Conti Prestina

The time has come to start the restoration of a machine as I still never had redone, a Conti Prestina.

It is a 70’s lever machine, by the famous manufacturer Conti. The design of some point is quite simple, a welded steel frame, the quality is the same as for the Empress, the welds are not too nice. And also it probably could be more, as in design of the boiler cover, which brings together all the necessary connections to the operation of a machine in a small space.
I will do more comprehensive pictures of the assembly when I finish the beauty cover-up but it is really a very nice casting and machining.

Conti Prestina restoration, main frame

Level connection to Conti Prestina boiler cover

The group design is very similar to that of Cimbali Eleva. It is composed of several pieces, brass, cast iron and steel. It is also a beautiful production, and an interesting design. I’m not surprised, moreover, that it is still produced by Conti, as is also the latest Faema lever group via the Spanish manufacturer Quality Espresso. It is connected to the boiler, but the long and airy link could give him closer characteristics to a thermosiphon, can not wait to try it to know. Machining treated, bearing assembly, it is already superb, but the ultimate luxury is really the sleeve with its hard chrome plating. I’m not always very fond of Conti but there, there is no doubt, it’s very beautiful. The bottom of the group, the female bayonet who carries the filter holder is removable. Well… use it til you need to replace would take a few decades of use …

Conti Prestina, group link to boiler Conti Prestina group Groupe Conti PrestinaBas de groupe Conti Prestina

The boiler is made of copper in one piece solderless, I think they were extruded, or maybe pushed back, not sure, but in any case here too there is no compromise on quality, this is beautiful material.

Conti Prestina boiler

Once again this machine shows the poor interest of aluminum in coffee makers. The slightest leak, and more generally moisture, almost constant prevailing in that environment, always ends to weld the screws into the holes and makes very complicated disassembly, most often impossible without breakage. The flange is broken, I will have to find a replacement …

Conti Prestina Conti Prestina

To be followed…


Faema President at restaurant “La Stazione” Cassis, south France


There are some weeks I have had great pleasure to meet François Oromato, restaurant owner of “La Stazione“. Renowned Italian restaurant of the equally famous French city Cassis. With a Faema e61 these past years he wanted to change back to a model of lever machine he already knew, a President from the same manufacturer.

La Stazione Cassis

Arrived around 9:00 am in full preparation of a sunny lunch of November 1 service, the installation will be a bit chaotic, a lot of people expected and as I do not usually install machines, more accustomed to my workshop, I had forgotten a few things. Fortunately André Luciani, who introduced me to François was there and gave me a helping hand. André I must speak to you one day, is the master roaster, and boss of the oldest coffee roasting company of Marseille.

Finally, funny thing, while the machine gently awaiting the return of Andre on the terrace of the restaurant I could once again check the irresistible attraction that these old objects could have on the public, a lot of people stopped to admire it.


ancienne machine café faema president Machine cafe ancienne faema president

Once installed and started, I could taste espresso crafted by the owner. And the least we can say is that he knows how. High quality espresso at the end of a great meal, it’s so rare that it must be said. Too often the coffee served is shabby, there, the blend Planteur” from “Cafes Lucianiserved by François close the meal with so much class that most people want more.

François Oromato with his new machine :

François Oromato

And there with André Luciani of coffee rosters “Cafés Luciani” :

Cafés Luciani Marseille

Nice meeting, nice place,

La Stazione 39 Avenue Victor Hugo 13260 Cassis, one might meet around a good meal one day 😉