faema faemina

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I'd love to touch base with any experienced users of the Faema "Faemina" (c.1950- 1960). It has an unusual "hollow" piston design, i.e., in the "input" stroke of the piston the piston actually "opens" before it moves, allowing water to enter the chamber. I'm having a little trouble getting really comfortable with this machine and coffee grinds seem to get sucked up into the piston; the expresso is good, with a good crema, but the machine requires a lot of rinsing afterwards, to get the grinds out of the piston (if you don't do this the machine will eventually drip water during the next warmup. Am I perhaps missing a fine screen mesh to drop over the basket before affixing the portafilter to the machine? Thank you. Steven

-- Steven Immel (immels@panix.com), April 28, 2004


Hi, I have one love it used to use it lots, I now have a seal problem that prevents me from using it, will get it fixed one day no doubt.

There is no screen to go on the basket of the portafilter but there is one that is at the base of the piston, It does not move but just sitts there. The hot water flows through it into the basket. This must be missing on your machine as I have never had the situation you describe occuring.


-- (cubicsc@tpg.com.au), July 15, 2004.

If the clip-on screen is missing from the bottom of the machine, find a screen disc to put on top of the coffee in the portafilter. That's what I've had to do since my clip-on was stolen by a repairman.

You might be able to get parts from Home Espresso Repair work (206) 789-9513 other www.espressorepair.com in Seattle. These are not the people who took my filter!

-- Charles Shere (charlesshere@earthlink.net), August 12, 2004.

I just have my 2nd generation model (black smooth kettle cover, black&white handles) completely refurbished with new heating elements (one had broken down) and a set of new o-rings. It runs nicely again and hopefully it will for the next 40 years or so.... Only trouble I have is that the wire with which the lid is secured is worn a little, and the plastic of the handles seems to be desintegrating. But hey, what do you expect from a forty year old household machine, hey? I have a very interesting contact in Italy through which I received the parts. I can give the adress by special request only, for I don't want this poor man to be overblown by all your questions.......As for your hollow piston,Steven, I think that is one of the most interesting features of this machine, as it indeeed allows the water to flow in freely at upward piston movement and the water is locked inside once the pressure is on the piston. As for grinds inside the piston,I never had that problem, indeed if you would place a filter where it should be that problem would be solved in my opinion.

-- kees van schoten (info@vanschoten.net), October 25, 2004.

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