Late 1970’s Gaggia Orione Single Group


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May 17, 2023
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Hello everyone, I am fairly new to the espresso game but have immediately dove straight into the deep end.

I have recently got my hands on a vintage Gaggia spring lever, given to me from my grandfather. After pulling shots for the past two weeks, I have only been able to make one or two good espresso. I have been taking notes and trying to dial in, but there are some things that make me think I should rebuild the group head.

Occasionally if I grind (Gaggia MDF that I just cleaned and put back together) at the finest setting, and give it a harder I can hear gurgling of what sounds like the water going back into the reservoir. Almost all my shots taste sour and I cannot make the lever come up slower than ~10s.

If I grind fine enough or add enough of a dose, then the lever will pop up immediately, finding another place for the water to go, occasionally out the sides of the portafilter.

My best attempts from reading online are a 17g dose at the second to finest grind setting, then ~30lb tamp. I hold down lever until first drips then let it go. This yields slightly sour espresso still. Beans are fresh and have a beautiful crema.

Basically, I am asking if anyone could share the “recipe” they use on a similar machine. If that does not yield the results I want, I was hoping someone may be able to link a good website for parts for the undertaking of rebuilding/cleaning the group.

Would love to hear your experiences!!



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