The espresso thing has not been without it’s challenges. Nevertheless, I am winning. The first machine to arrive was the Estro Vapore. It came from a “technical” company in California. They told me it was working but I think they meant to say “it was working when we put in the storage cabinet a few years ago”. I had to disassemble quite a bit of it and give it a thorough cleaning but that is somewhat expected when buying a used kitchen appliance.
It did not come with any instructions but I was able to figure out how to make it go. So far I have made a half dozen shots of espresso and steamed some milk too. I would rate the espresso shots around a 3 or 4 out of 10, ie. pretty nasty. I decided I had better go up to the local coffee shop and have them pull me a shot off their machine so I had some idea of what I am striving for. I definitely have a ways to go!
The second machine, a Gaggia Coffee, got delayed in shipping and just arrived yesterday. It is actually the better of the two (theoretically). It too was pretty grungy. I cleaned it up then tried to run some water through it. I got about a half a cup of water pumped through it and the pump quit! Arrghghhh! Whats up with this? The pump runs but nothing comes out.
Back to the Internet and research on the coffeegeek forums. Hmmm…. it seems that some people have successfuly taken their pump apart, cleaned it, and restored it to operational condition. So, today I did that too and it worked! Whoohooo! In fact it is pumping all kinds of “yuck” out of the brew head. I had to take the shower head out and let it pour straight out. To help it along I ran some lemon juice through it and then went up to the local Starbucks and bummed a cleaning tablet from them. I think I now have most all the gunk out of it and will soon try a shot.