Nothing particular to say so, pictures !
The beauty of this machine isn’t in his chrome sure. But I find it so beautiful… When espresso produced is so great what would you like more ?!
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 :
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!
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.
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.
Not easy to fit a false steam/vacuum breaker valve with the OPV, not too much space…
Awesome this group, love it.
Nice Sunday, I try to come back very soon to talk about the end of this restoration.
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.
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 …
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.
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 …
To be followed…
Became quite rare this espresso coffee machine is for sale.
It would be interesting to follow the restoration of a Conti Prestina isn’t it ?
Contact me there
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.
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.
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 Luciani” served by François close the meal with so much class that most people want more.
François Oromato with his new machine :
And there with André Luciani of coffee rosters “Cafés Luciani” :
Nice meeting, nice place,
La Stazione 39 Avenue Victor Hugo 13260 Cassis, one might meet around a good meal one day 😉
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.
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.
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.
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 ?
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 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 :
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 :
Drip tray cup holder :
Steam/water Taps :
Gas furnace :
Because Vincent sometime mistakes… 😆
A fairly particular machine to earn a little photo shoot, a great French manufacturer whose history is very well traced by Sebastien / Pootoogoo on the site of Vincent
Unfairly called “European“ after misreading the archives of the brand this model is actually called “Major“. And here we are dealing with a model of a rare mounting “two groups in one” very interesting, the width of a small machine with the convenience of using a large. Integration of the two groups is made by the use of a base two in one to connect them to the boiler. And in the use of portafilters with custom bayonets to a different angle from those normally used in this group for clamping the front of the operator. I’m not particularly lover of this brand, or this group, but I admit that there technical implementation pleases me very much.
Some parts of our machines are no longer sold anywhere I happen to be making small batches for my needs. I have some stuff like this for sale, I will tell you now on this page, if anything you are interested contact me!