Today Coffee Project: Disassembling the La Riviera!

June 22, 2012

Saturday is my favorite day of the week because it is the beginning of the weekend and usually I have the most time during this day. It is even better this saturday as I was stocked with Roaste's coffee. Because I'm feeling well cafeinated and I feel that I can tackle some project today. The recent arrival of the ebay Olympia Cremina is stealing the spot light of most other coffee projects that I have in the pipeline. However, this machine have been calling me to work on it; currently it is sitting in a shipping box in the corner of my living room. 

 

This is the boiler can cover of the La Riviera:

The La Riviera is a unique home lever espresso machine. It is very well build and really only need new set of gaskets and probably a good boiler descale. It also have some unique features not seen in other home lever machine such as the ability to plumb directly into the water line! Additionally, it is a beauty and is quite attractive and might compete really well with the likes such as the Elketra Microcasa A Leva (sadly no longer for sale on Roaste)

This is the group head dissassembled from the machine: Identical to the Ponte Vecchio group head to be exact! I did not expect this at all; but if this is any indication, it means that the capability of the La Riviera to produce excellent espresso should be the same as the Ponte Vecchio Lusso!

The group head is bolted directly to the boiler by 4 bolts and can be easily undo; in between the grouphead and the boiler is a silicone gasket. All other components are easily taken aparts too such as the steam arm (same hole pattern as the Ponte Vecchio Lusso so steaming performance should be the same there: which is excellent!) Additionally, the machine has a nice looking pressure guage which is a much needed upgrade over the base model of the La Pavoni Europicolla or the Olympia Cremina!

Here is a peak under the base of this beauty:

The design and electronic is pretty simple: there is a pressurestat and looks to be adjustable. As it seem, the base is also made of brass which mean no corrosion due to water unlike the La Pavoni Euripicola; the age of the machine causes a little bit of tarnish of the brass finish but I believe a good brass polish should restore its shine (although I do not which kind to use; and any input regard this would be much appreciated!)

This probably is pretty good progress for today; tomorrow, I will commence to dissassembling the grouphead. This will be a challenging excersise because it is spring loaded and I must figure out a way to disasseble it without damaging the grouphead. Stay tuned! 



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