La Cimbali Espresso Machine Help

tlowing

New member
Jan 19, 2008
118
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Cocoa Beach, FL
Can somone identify this model and give their opinion on using it as a learner machine?

Thanks.


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ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
Don't know which model it is, but Cimbali makes good machine.....But if you don't t have any experience, I don't think you want to start with a semi automatic machine. By the way dirty steam wand = dirty boiler, make sure the person selling it agrees to have it professional refurbish first or don't pay a lot for it.
 

CCafe

New member
Aug 11, 2004
1,557
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Des Moines, Iowa
Looks like an old M27. As a learner machine why not. I wouldn't pay more then a $1,000 for it though and only if it is in great working order.

I don't agree with ElPugDiablo, dirty steam wand doesn't always = dirty boiler. Just because someone trashed the steam arms doesn't make the boiler dirty. There are really only three ways to trash the boiler.

1st would be not to filter and or no soft water. Sediment will build up rather quick in either case.

2nd way would happen if you had a boiler failure resulting in a cool down, then the vacuum valve would also have to fail and be stuck in the closed position. Then you would require a poorly trained barista to not evacuate the steam arm of condensation and to just insert wand in to milk and start to steam. Thus turning wand in to giant milk straw.

3rd would be a low water scenario, the safety's in place failed causing your element to go critical and explode. Tums in the boiler....tasty.
 
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tlowing

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Jan 19, 2008
118
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Cocoa Beach, FL
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Guy's asking $300. Or should I keep looking? I'm opening a new shop but money is tight. Six to ten months after opening I should have the cash for a new espresso machine. I have decent mazzer grinders already.
 

CCafe

New member
Aug 11, 2004
1,557
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Des Moines, Iowa
For $300 its probably worth it. Call CNA over in Tampa (813) 855-1200 they should be able to help you out with parts and service. Tell them Brook from Espressoworks in Iowa sent you over. They'll love that!
 

morrisn

New member
Mar 27, 2006
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You might want to look at leasing a machine to help the budget., you shouldn't skimp on the espresso machine in a new shop. It should be a show piece as it is the center of what you do. Also the down time on a used machine can kill you.
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
tlowing said:
Guy's asking $300. Or should I keep looking? I'm opening a new shop but money is tight. Six to ten months after opening I should have the cash for a new espresso machine. I have decent mazzer grinders already.
You are opening on a tight budget then forget about roasting for now. Do the coffee right then think about roasting.
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
CCafe said:
2nd way would happen if you had a boiler failure resulting in a cool down, then the vacuum valve would also have to fail and be stuck in the closed position. Then you would require a poorly trained barista to not evacuate the steam arm of condensation and to just insert wand in to milk and start to steam. Thus turning wand in to giant milk straw.
CCafe, here is my understanding of how milk gets into the boiler. Am I incorrect? If someone does not purge the steam wand (presumably if someone does not clean the steam wand he or she is a poorly trained barista, and there are tons of them, he or she does not purge the milk either) then the milk inside the steam wand stay there and if there is no back flow preventer, the dirty milk gets suck into the boiler.
 

CCafe

New member
Aug 11, 2004
1,557
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Des Moines, Iowa
As long as your boiler is pressurized then it will act as a backflow preventer. Even when the gaskets in the steam valve begin to fail it will push out any milk left behind.

Now if you shut off your machine and your vacuum valve (gravity valve, anti-suction valve they are all the same thing) is stuck in the closed position this could lead to milk being introduced to the boiler. This is one of the reasons why you shouldn't soak your steam arms in water overnight. If your steam valve has even a small leak then the boiler will try to equalize itself using the valve and sucking up the water until the boiler pressure equalized to the ambient pressure.

Now there are a few espresso makers out there that have some sort of backflow preventer built in to the steam valve. Most of the time I encounter them they are already broken and I just remove them from the system.

Let me reiterate something. The vacuum valve is really the key issue to milk being drawn in to the boiler. The purpose of the valve is to equalize the pressure in the boiler after the machine has turned off. If the valve is stuck closed the boiler has no way do draw outside air back in to itself. Therefore the steam the boiler created will turn back in to water. Thus creating a vacuum in your boiler.

You get the same effect when you open canned goods. That air sound you hear is air rushing in to the can. The contents were put in the can hot and then sealed. When the can cooled it created a small vacuum.

This is where bad barista skills will wreck the machine.
 
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