aphroditeatlas Senior Member Joined: 8 Sep 2010 Posts: 11 Location: GMT-6 Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Tue Jun 18, 2013, 7:15pm Subject: Should I go back?
I spotted an Isomac Cappuccina at a thrift store today. It was complete with the portafilter handle and a double basket. I was able to test it *briefly* - the pump came on when I flipped the brew switch, and the boiler started to warm up during the 30 seconds I had the machine plugged in. The little I could find via my phone suggests this is a fairly low-end machine despite the brand. I'd keep it as a backup, or return it during the thrift shop's 3-day electrical/electronics warranty window if it does not in fact work correctly.
So, should I go back in the morning to see if the machine is still there?
Posted Tue Jun 18, 2013, 7:34pm Subject: Re: Should I go back?
It is a very basic single-boiler, dual-use machine. From what I can find (Schematic here), there's no OPV, so brew pressure will be high. Also no 3-way solenoid. But the boiler is mounted directly above the group so you might be able to do some decent temperature management with a PID.
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
Posted Tue Jun 18, 2013, 11:41pm Subject: Re: Should I go back?
Actually these non-OPV machines have a mushroom valve and spring restricting flow between where the water leaves the boiler and enters the shower screen for dispersion, so flow is restricted - partially opening the steam valve will restrict pressure further if needed - other than that these are basic machines and the price would be the deciding factor for me.
I have a Starbucks Proteo Grande that is similar in design (same portafilter even as this Isomac but no dial guage on the front) that came cheap from Goodwill and can make a decent shot with some tweaking, temp surfing, and of course a quality grind.
If you buy it, remember to prime the system by opening the steam valve all the way and run the pump till water comes out of the steam wand.
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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