Zenith Express, from A to Infusia


Zenith Express Infusia.

Long ago that David told me to come and see this machine. “it is so beautiful”, “it looks like an aircraft’s dashboard”, I had to see that.


I have never found so beautiful previous creations of Francis Ravinetti, Meteor 2nd generation or the Magic did not have a very imaginative design, it was more like a technical object optimized for productivity, soulless without beauty. What happened to our entrepreneur who could suddenly push out such a beautiful object? Both technical and aesthetic?

February 19, 1960, the date of the patent application, one of the first claimants for automatic groups. 4 years after Daniel Jaques Lafitte or Vittorio Cimbali, besides Elektra would have made his first auto group in 1950 even if no patent is findable.

auto1 auto2 auto3


A patent obtained in 1960, and a production very similar to the drawings provided for the application. But a notable difference from the patent, setting on top that would address the assay. Would Zenith Express have had problems in developing its automatic machine? Mrs. Ravinetti seemed hated this machine, it would be responsible for the death of the manufacturer, cost too much for research and development. I‘ll try to get more information from one of my sources in Marseilles but the machine of the photos seems to be of 1974, in any case its heating element, which seems very far from the patent application.

IMGP6909IMGP6927IMGP6912 A comprehensive system for the time, setting the number of doses, the size of these doses. And this system “Infusia”? It regulates the flow passage between two pipes entering and leaving the group, we see the valve on the photo of the group above. Could it be a work water flow control of the large piston that would vary the time of pre-infusion? Infusia” in addition it sounds good, insinuates anyway.

IMGP6918 IMGP6922 Some details that I love, the manometer, an extraordinarily well integrated hot water nozzle, these joysticks that were even not buttons. Would the lever at this point marked the spirits that even in the era of automation manufacturers struggled to break free, as Valente also commanding the coffee brewing with a small lever on the e61 group ?

IMGP6920 IMGP6923 IMGP6924A view of the control panel:


And finally, a whole view of this beautiful Zenith Express Infusia 3 groups:


I love it thank you David for getting me so kindly received, and revealed the machine.



Zenith Express, before BB was…

Zenith Express steam machine

I wait for this since the beginning I collect the Zenith Express brand. I knew Carlo Ravinetti had made some steam express coffee machines before his “Idrocompresso”. But if I had already seen some drawing of water bath percolators in a 1938 French patent :

Brevet Zenith Express

I had never seen any Express machine, even not as a drawing.

Friendly founded for me by my friend Olivier, this is how I received it.

The group :

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Drip tray cup holder :


Steam/water Taps :

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Gas furnace :


Manometer :

IMGP6531The Gallic rooster would make a good meal for the Eagle of the dome, is it really original ? A heavy and solid bronze, we try to compare to others that one is sure of the origin :

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Because Vincent sometime mistakes… 😆