Rebuilding the Olympia Cremina Group Head

The Ebay Cremina that I received a few weeks was in excellent condition cosmetically yet it proved to be quite a challange to pull good shots with it. It did not matter how much I vary coffee type used, the dosage or the grind setting, the coffee was lacking, crema was lacking and while some shot taste okay, they did not blow my mind. Honestly, my La Pavoni Euripicolla pulls much better shots than this. However, I was not about the throw in the towel. Last week,  I decided that I should not be trusting the group head rebuild to the previous owner and decided to break the Cremina down and see what I could do.


The Cremina proved to be a pleasure to work on, all the components are of extremely high quality and it was easy enough to take off the grouphead with just the allen key.


As you can see from the above picture, the group head is attached to the boiler directly, what not show is the ruber gasket in between.


Unfortunately, the gasket was damaged when I took the group head out. I have not order the gasket kit from Orphan Espresso so I decided to find a similar size from my part box and fortunately it works and no leaks happens. However, when I have the kit from OE, I will replace this gasket with the proper one.

The underside of the group head looks pretty dirty isn't it? Not to worry, I will have it sparkling clean when I'm done with it!

So I disassembled the group head and these are all the components that the group head is composed of. Rather simple I may say and the quality of the component again is excellent. Disassembling the group head reveal what might have been the cause of my espresso grief. There were ton of tan and sticky substance; I think these are the greese that the previous owner used to lube the piston. The problem is it might not have been foodsafe greese and he have applied way too much of it. Some of it might have even make it into the boiler I'm afraid.

So after thorough cleaning especially removing the nasty greese, I put back the machine together; however, I have not have a chance to pull any shot through it. I plan to do so tonight to see if there are any improvement! 

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