FE-AR La Peppina

Equipment, technique, or just drinking the stuff

Moderators: CakeBoy, GreenBean, Gouezeri, bruceb

Postby espressomattic » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:27 pm

Francescos' site is really good.

Well much to Bruce's no doubt dismay, I have purchased the La Peppina. What put me off the LP was the group head heating up really. Where as the Pep being open boiler does seem to report being a lot more temperature stable.

What I do know is that this has been fully restored by a lever enthusiast and it works well. Just the person pulling the lever that might need some fine tuning.

Oh and it does look awfully nice ;)
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Postby GreenBean » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:04 am

espressomattic wrote:Francescos' site is really good.

Well much to Bruce's no doubt dismay, I have purchased the La Peppina. What put me off the LP was the group head heating up really. Where as the Pep being open boiler does seem to report being a lot more temperature stable.

What I do know is that this has been fully restored by a lever enthusiast and it works well. Just the person pulling the lever that might need some fine tuning.

Oh and it does look awfully nice ;)

Please let us know what you think of it after you have completed your fine tuning. 8)
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Postby espressomattic » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:45 am

Oh I don't intend even unpacking it - you know my history ;) :oops: And as for the fine tuning...best see the missus

Should be here on Wednesday - will provide photos and a shot by shot report. Have some amazing SO Ethiopian beans waiting to be roasted for it. They scream Red Cherry flavours all the way...
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Postby Danomar » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:07 pm

Sorry to be late to the thread. Been busy...

Among many other devices, I've owned a pre-Millennium Europiccola and still have a Conti Comocafé (nearly identical to the La Peppina) in storage. I also have played with more than one La Peppina.

I would rate the La Pavoni only slightly higher than the La Peppina for outright potential in the cup, but believe it or not, the La Peppina will be provide more consistent results. It has much to do with the previously-mentioned La Pavoni group. With practice and a good grinder, the La Peppina can make very good shots. Remember that you can hold or push the lever to slow down or speed up the shot. The La Peppina is very simple to use and service.

Your example is one of later (or was that earlier?) small-kettle models. I think they look nicer than the others. Yellow is a somewhat rare color, so congratulate yourself on finding a very nice, somewhat rare La Peppina!
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Postby espressomattic » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:11 pm

Hi Danomar

It was an earlier one 1963 -1968. Thanks for the tips - appreciated.
I will be getting a custom made hard wood tamper to finish this off from my father in law. The only thing I will look to replace is the plastic lid which has a crack in it.
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Postby espressomattic » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:48 am

Well I unpacked it some five hours ago. Simply stunned by the beauty of the machine and condition considering it to be 50 years old. Quick run down and a fuller review to follow.

Simple to use. Fill ceramic kettle, boil, turn off, fill portFilter, light tamp, pull downriver, two small pumps and release.

So what did I notice? Well there is the usual hassle of dialling in the grinder. The portafter is to tony and holds around 14 grams. I pulled a blind shot to per hear th group. The shot looked as most users described. Pale cream which didn't look good.

But the taste...oh wow. The coffee mouthfeel is thinner but the flavours are just so much more fuller. It seems that for some reason this method extracts a lot of flavour and gives a very clean cup.

You have to get things ready to make a shot with this machine and have things all lined up, such as the coffee grounds, boiler just off the boil etc. now to some it could seem a very faffy process, but I have fallen for it. It is tactile and very hands on.

To sum it up, it is. Simple and beautiful machine to make simple and beautiful coffee.

Now I did make a couple of duff shots, but hey.

Even in this short time I can say that I am totally converted to spring lever machines. I post pics of my efforts in due time. It is like no machine I have owned.
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Postby espressomattic » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:48 am

Well I unpacked it some five hours ago. Simply stunned by the beauty of the machine and condition considering it to be 50 years old. Quick run down and a fuller review to follow.

Simple to use. Fill ceramic kettle, boil, turn off, fill portFilter, light tamp, pull downriver, two small pumps and release.

So what did I notice? Well there is the usual hassle of dialling in the grinder. The portafter is to tony and holds around 14 grams. I pulled a blind shot to per hear th group. The shot looked as most users described. Pale cream which didn't look good.

But the taste...oh wow. The coffee mouthfeel is thinner but the flavours are just so much more fuller. It seems that for some reason this method extracts a lot of flavour and gives a very clean cup.

You have to get things ready to make a shot with this machine and have things all lined up, such as the coffee grounds, boiler just off the boil etc. now to some it could seem a very faffy process, but I have fallen for it. It is tactile and very hands on.

To sum it up, it is. Simple and beautiful machine to make simple and beautiful coffee.

Now I did make a couple of duff shots, but hey.

Even in this short time I can say that I am totally converted to spring lever machines. I post pics of my efforts in due time. It is like no machine I have owned.
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Postby espressomattic » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:53 am

Oh good grief a double post of I phone typos...so sorry
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Postby GreenBean » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:59 pm

espressomattic wrote:....To sum it up, it is. Simple and beautiful machine to make simple and beautiful coffee.....

What more could you ask for? I am looking forward to photos and further information. 8)
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Postby espressomattic » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:45 pm

Right here are a couple of pics from this mornings effort. It is tricky working out the pull on the lever and how often to pump to get the pre-infusion. However this is just a pure experience thing and will improve.

As for heat stability - get the kettle boiling, pull a blank into your cup to warm it then pull a shot through the portafilter and everything is now warm.

It really is a lot more involved than simply load the portafilter, tamp lock and press a button.

Yes, the shots are thinner, but the mouth feel is very different and the taste really is more full. Hard to define really.

Does it matter that the crema is pale? Not in my book as I find the crema adds bitterness anyway (An old observation by James Hoffman).

All in all at this point in time I would give it a firm 8 out of 10 for looks, 7/10 for ease of use and 8/10 for fiddleyness!!!

Happy chappy.
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Postby GreenBean » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:10 am

It looks great, Matt 8) Is the heating element in the kettle or the group?
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Izzo Alex Duetto | Gaggia XD 2 Group | Mazzer Super Jolly | La Cimbali Max | Solis 166 | Dalian 1 kg roaster | Hottop P | Hottop B | French Press (several) | Kettle modded, no really, added digital thermometer |
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Postby espressomattic » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:19 am

The element is in the kettle, just where the sticker is, so no overheating and cold wet rags 8)

It really is magic to use - I am besotted...how sad is that! :lol:
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Postby GreenBean » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:38 am

Pretty sad, but that is why you fit in so well on TMC. :D
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Postby espressomattic » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:02 am

Well almost a week in and some thoughts:

It is a female machine. Why? Well as soon as you get the variables all sorted and things are running smoothly, and all of a sudden for no reason it all changes. Back to the beginning.

as for the shots, I cannot really quantify why the coffee is better. The shots are far thinner than a pump machine, but the flavour extraction is so much more, well flavoursome. You get a lot more of the subtle flavours in the cup and I think it is very well suited to single origins. as I have said the crèmes are sucky, but for me that adds to the quality flavours.

It really is a completely different way of brewing coffee. It is immersive and a very absorbing method.

It does have drawbacks though, like getting the dose just right and the tamp just right. it isn't as forgiving as a pump machine. It is light (3KG), but this is also a benefit as it slides back and forward on the work bench.

The lack of steam is now an issue as the wife has taken an interest in coffee again with the 'other woman' coming onto the scene...typical see what I mean about the rules changing! Now looking for cheap lo tech milk frothing solution ;)
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Postby bruceb » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:30 am

Matt, I'm impressed that you are getting along with this machine. I wonder whether the one I had was possibly defective as the coffee always came out at about 80°C no matter what I did.
Someone gave me a gadget that whips and heats milk to a rather nice foam (see picture)
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Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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