Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Espresso Machine Mayhem

A couple of weeks ago, my mom and dad (and sister) visited to celebrate my birthday. As a gift, my dad offered to help install my refurbished La Marzocco 4 Group AV Linea in my house, just for kicks. You see, I am a coffee freak; as if you hadn't noticed the ENTIRE BLOG devoted to my ridiculously intense coffee passion. So, he went and purchased some low-end necessary parts like a dryer plug connection cable, garden hose (for waste water), and a small water filter. We spent an hour or so hooking it up, filling the boilers, and working out the kinks in our technical knowledge. I've installed a Linea before, but it had been at least 7 or 8 months since.

The first step was hooking up the water hose to the existing laundry water outlets:
This was such a good time. The water pump, if not given enough water pressure, as to by syphoned to actually start working. Luckily for us, where I live has VERY sufficient water pressure- nearly making the pump unnecessary.  As you can see this was a low-cost job, performed as basically as possible. The next step was connecting the existing 220 V power cord to the new dryer connection cable
(costing roughly $6 compared to the usual $25 for a real machine plug). This went on easily enough since my dad is a do-it-all electrician extraordinaire.

Then came the real eventful stage of running water into the boilers. We had initially forgotten to close off the water pressure relieve valve in the waste water tray, so, water came blasting out of it at first. Quickly shutting off the water supply allowed us to close that valve and get back to it. After that shock everything filled fairly smoothly. It took about 10 minutes to get everything filled and adjusted to the correct pressures- adjusting the pump to obtain the desired 9 bars for the front 2 extraction boilers was the most difficult (there are actually 3 boilers in the 4 group machines, 1 "front" boiler for two group heads and the "rear" boiler for the steam wands).

Unfortunately, after starting the machine for 15 minutes and allowing the boilers to heat up and drain energy, the breaker in my residential breaker box tripped and that showed us that this little project had hit its limits. There are "ways" to get around this problem, but all of these ways are illegal- at the very least they are against "code."So, we called it quits for this particular adventure. I promptly drained the water out of the machine and it is now stored, propped up on paint cans, in my laundry room, again waiting for its chance to shine.

Oh, my beloved, how long do I have to wait for thee? How long before we can frolic in the meadow of espresso bliss? I know I'm ridiculous, but still. This machine was a significant investment. All I'm saying is using it would be nice. The picture doesn't show it, but I did replace the drip tray, grates, etc, so no worries about abuse and neglect.

Lord, thank you for the learning experience. I pray You bless Charlie for all his help with, and tolerance of this crazy interest of mine. Keep my head deflated and on straight. Here we go.

No comments:

Post a Comment