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 😉



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 :

IMGP6521 IMGP6522 IMGP6527

Drip tray cup holder :


Steam/water Taps :

IMGP6529 IMGP6535 IMGP6536 IMGP6534

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 :

IMGP6524 IMGP6533

Because Vincent sometime mistakes… 😆



Reneka Major 2 groups


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

> Here <

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.

Reneka Major 2 groupes

Reneka Euro Major

Reneka coffee machine Machine a cafe ancienne Reneka machine à café ancienne, modèle Major Reneka




Used spare parts or remanufactured for sale…


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!


Decorative brass column for Faema Mercurio 1st generationFront Decorative column for Faema Mercurio first generation. Exact copy of original, it is cast brass in a foundry. which I then give the grinding, sanding and polishing needed for original finish





Faema plexiglass for front decorative brass column of Mercurio 1st generation Faema” plexiglass, “front nose for Faema Mercurio first generation. Carved and engraved on digital table. Then I apply the gilding and white by hand for a finish according to the original.





Piston rod gasket for Marte groupPiston rod seal 24x16x5.5x7mm NBR 120 ° C for Faema lever group saturated. The legendary group for Mercurio, Marte and very first Urania. The splendid “curved” group.



Faema President 1 group


Started late last year a Faema President one group.

A few problems, the group is one of those  high-volume groups of which there are no more seals, and not recommended for the quality of the coffee they produce.

Faema President Faema President Percolateur ancien achete Percolateur à vendre

 Furthermore the head of the group is broken, once more…

Faema President

I will replace the entire group. Another important thing missing … the complete steam valve, I had an idea to replace it.

Short tour of the machine before start the restore:

Faema President Faema President Faema President Faema President Faema President Faema President Faema PresidentPowder coating main frame :

Chassis Faema President

Aluminums are repolished by me, and I entrust the elements of the frame to re-chroming a professional collaborator.

Polissage machine à cafe ancienne Polissage machine à cafe ancienne


The valve will consist of a water inlet valve e61 which I added an elbow and group handle (e61 too) modified and polished.

Restauration percolateur ancien Faema President restaure Faema President

Only remain for me to remanufacture steam wand.

I replaced group and its top halve is brand new :

Faema President planete cafe

Still work, the heating system, find a way to fix nicely the new rear glass was missing. Filling the boiler, control seals. Cleaning polishing the body, plexiglass etc. … I’ll talk.

One last thing that I am always the same effect when I open a Faema, the boiler plate with “data” not specified … Can not know exactly when it was made.

Restauration machine a café ancienne


Gaggia Internazionale, restoration on the French Expresso forum


Recently acquired, a splendid Gaggia Internazionale.

Gaggia Internazionale Gaggia Internazionale

Installed for some time on the coffee forum Expresso, forum specialized in all specialties and materials for coffee. I decided to present the restoration there. I expect you with pleasure to share this good moment.