I know there has been a lot of rave reviews about how good Cremina is and how great the shots it makes. You probably don’t need another post to convince you that it is indeed an excellent machine or to raise the demand for the machine. However, it also holds true that the “best” isn’t the same for everyone, depending what that person is looking for. For my case, after trying quite a few espresso machines, I've really grown to appreciate my Cremina even more. I would go a step further and say Cremina is the best ultimate espresso machine that I ever need. I don't think it’s not an exaggeration at all!

Here, I am going to list out a few attributes of Cremina that makes it the perfect machine for me.

Simple, but durable tank-liked built Quality
After using quite a few machines such as Mr Coffee, Gaggia, CC1, Oscar, I definitely would say the Cremina is truly built like a tank. The feel and the quality is really light years ahead of others. It is very simple in the inside and there’s almost no part to fail. Every small details in the machine were designed meticulously. With minimal proper care and respect from the user, I can’t imagine what could go wrong with the Cremina. Build quality and durability is an important aspect for me because of my unique situation. I am looking for a machine to bring back to my home country after graduation. This is similar to the commonly cited scenario where if you were to be stranded on an isolated island with electricity and water, which espresso machine would you bring? For me, Cremina won my top list hands down. Moreover, in case of failure if it should, the parts are easily available, accessible and replaceable,at a reasonable price.

Shot quality
Durability would be pointless without a good cup result. Amazingly, Cremina is able to deliver one of the best shots among the top tiers, which is agreed by countless users. It was described to give an ample amount of crema comparable to pump machine, great body, clarity, nuances and etc. All are true in my experience. On top of that, the manual pressure profile could give you infinite control over the possible outcome. In my experience, no matter what pressure profile that I stick to, as long as the flow rate,temperature and coffee is correct, the taste will always blow your mind off albeit being slightly different from cup to cup, depending on what technique you use. They're all surprisingly delicious and  you won’t get boring same taste every single time, that is if you wish. It’s like opening a mystery box of shots, only that it has all the goods and none of the bad. Also, as compared to CC1 with precise PID temperature control, I actually still much prefer the shots from Cremina with low tech temp management. The shots were better in almost every criteria in my opinion. Not that CC1 shot is inferior though, the Cremina is just better!

Machine size/counterspace requirement
Compared to CC1, NS Oscar and Gaggia Carezza, this Cremina is the smallest and most compact machine among them. I am so impressed by how much quality and thoughts have been compacted by Olympia into this little magical box.

Pictures: An idea how big(or small) it is

 

Heat up time
Most of the espresso machine out there require at least 30 or so minutes of warm up time. This is important to stabilize the grouphead and the system temperature. This is very similar with the Cremina, except that you need to get the grouphead up to certain temp range to pull a shot, but not too hot. And it only takes within 10 minutes(+-5) to heat up depending on the water level.  With a pump or HX machine, you would need to flush a copious amount of water through the group if you want a quicker heat up time. Because of the unique water delivery method of the Cremina grouphead, you could accelerate the heat up process by doing partial flushes. And what’s the best part? You don’t even waste any water!

Forgiveness factor
There is a impression going around that lever is harder to use than a pump machine. I find that it is not true at all, at least not with Cremina. In fact, Cremina in my experience, is much more easier to use. It is very forgiving with a huge range of doses. I realized that some people have to updose on their machine to get better shots. With Cremina, a 8g single shot tastes as good as one of 15g double. Also, grind setting is also not as important as with a pump machine. From my experience, pump machine would easily qualify a tight or loose shot as sink shot. With a manual lever, it isn’t so. You can vary the pressure to control proper flow rate. It might not be ideal but still, they’re totally drinkable. Of course, I think a good grinder makes a difference here too.

Portafilter locking

This is probably a very minor detail, but Olympia's design has taken it into consideration (or by accident, I dunno).With all the machines (yes, all) I have used, Olympia Cremina has the easiest locking portafilter that doesn't leak. All other machines I've used, required a certain amount of torque to turn the pf to seal properly. And you have to keep the seal insanely clean to prevent any potential leaking "accidents". It happens with CC1 and that has killed my $10 weighing scale. With Cremina, a three-finger strength push is enough to seal it nicely. And on my machine, the water goes side way a little when you flush through  the showerscreen. So the pf gasket is basically self cleaning. On Oscar, Gaggia and CC1, I would find myself in trouble if I don't do these properly.

There are still many positive features of Cremina that I have not listed, but the above are the main ones that I’ve really come to appreciate after handling many other espresso machines. Would I trade a Cremina for GS3 or speedster? Definitely no! .........Wait a second, maybe yes... but I would turn around and sell the GS3 to get the new 2011 Cremina. =P It's really that good of a machine.

 

 

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Comments

Submitted by avaserfi on
I've always wanted to play with a Cremina and your review just made me want to do it more! Sounds like a fun and compact machine.

Submitted by jbviau on
About its profile, do you have to store the machine with the lever down? That makes it stick out quite a bit and is within reach of the kids! Could be a problem in my house...

Hahaha, I am glad it did! Definitely, if you have a chance, go try it out! Beware though, you could be a convert after trying it. Many did. :P

If you let it cool down without venting the vacuum created, the lever will go up, just like how the other spring lever machines are. There's another way also, you can just unscrew the lever handle. It can be unscrewed and screwed back easily. But it can be troublesome after a while..

Excellent little machine, wish I had a chance to try one out, however, I am not so sure I would want to as I might be tempted to put down the money for a new one.

I have always wanted to have a cremina for the longest time but the price keep me from getting it. However, the price has been going up considerable. I will stick with the Pavoni in the mean while

Submitted by wakeknot on
you have one of the most sought after machines in the world! I am jealous as I think this machine has a cult following for a reason!

Why Cremina?

| by

I know there has been a lot of rave reviews about how good Cremina is and how great the shots it makes. You probably don’t need another post to convince you that it is indeed an excellent machine or to raise the demand for the machine. However, it also holds true that the “best” isn’t the same for everyone, depending what that person is looking for. For my case, after trying quite a few espresso machines, I've really grown to appreciate my Cremina even more. I would go a step further and say Cremina is the best ultimate espresso machine that I ever need. I don't think it’s not an exaggeration at all!

Here, I am going to list out a few attributes of Cremina that makes it the perfect machine for me.

Simple, but durable tank-liked built Quality
After using quite a few machines such as Mr Coffee, Gaggia, CC1, Oscar, I definitely would say the Cremina is truly built like a tank. The feel and the quality is really light years ahead of others. It is very simple in the inside and there’s almost no part to fail. Every small details in the machine were designed meticulously. With minimal proper care and respect from the user, I can’t imagine what could go wrong with the Cremina. Build quality and durability is an important aspect for me because of my unique situation. I am looking for a machine to bring back to my home country after graduation. This is similar to the commonly cited scenario where if you were to be stranded on an isolated island with electricity and water, which espresso machine would you bring? For me, Cremina won my top list hands down. Moreover, in case of failure if it should, the parts are easily available, accessible and replaceable,at a reasonable price.

Shot quality
Durability would be pointless without a good cup result. Amazingly, Cremina is able to deliver one of the best shots among the top tiers, which is agreed by countless users. It was described to give an ample amount of crema comparable to pump machine, great body, clarity, nuances and etc. All are true in my experience. On top of that, the manual pressure profile could give you infinite control over the possible outcome. In my experience, no matter what pressure profile that I stick to, as long as the flow rate,temperature and coffee is correct, the taste will always blow your mind off albeit being slightly different from cup to cup, depending on what technique you use. They're all surprisingly delicious and  you won’t get boring same taste every single time, that is if you wish. It’s like opening a mystery box of shots, only that it has all the goods and none of the bad. Also, as compared to CC1 with precise PID temperature control, I actually still much prefer the shots from Cremina with low tech temp management. The shots were better in almost every criteria in my opinion. Not that CC1 shot is inferior though, the Cremina is just better!

Machine size/counterspace requirement
Compared to CC1, NS Oscar and Gaggia Carezza, this Cremina is the smallest and most compact machine among them. I am so impressed by how much quality and thoughts have been compacted by Olympia into this little magical box.

Pictures: An idea how big(or small) it is

 

Heat up time
Most of the espresso machine out there require at least 30 or so minutes of warm up time. This is important to stabilize the grouphead and the system temperature. This is very similar with the Cremina, except that you need to get the grouphead up to certain temp range to pull a shot, but not too hot. And it only takes within 10 minutes(+-5) to heat up depending on the water level.  With a pump or HX machine, you would need to flush a copious amount of water through the group if you want a quicker heat up time. Because of the unique water delivery method of the Cremina grouphead, you could accelerate the heat up process by doing partial flushes. And what’s the best part? You don’t even waste any water!

Forgiveness factor
There is a impression going around that lever is harder to use than a pump machine. I find that it is not true at all, at least not with Cremina. In fact, Cremina in my experience, is much more easier to use. It is very forgiving with a huge range of doses. I realized that some people have to updose on their machine to get better shots. With Cremina, a 8g single shot tastes as good as one of 15g double. Also, grind setting is also not as important as with a pump machine. From my experience, pump machine would easily qualify a tight or loose shot as sink shot. With a manual lever, it isn’t so. You can vary the pressure to control proper flow rate. It might not be ideal but still, they’re totally drinkable. Of course, I think a good grinder makes a difference here too.

Portafilter locking

This is probably a very minor detail, but Olympia's design has taken it into consideration (or by accident, I dunno).With all the machines (yes, all) I have used, Olympia Cremina has the easiest locking portafilter that doesn't leak. All other machines I've used, required a certain amount of torque to turn the pf to seal properly. And you have to keep the seal insanely clean to prevent any potential leaking "accidents". It happens with CC1 and that has killed my $10 weighing scale. With Cremina, a three-finger strength push is enough to seal it nicely. And on my machine, the water goes side way a little when you flush through  the showerscreen. So the pf gasket is basically self cleaning. On Oscar, Gaggia and CC1, I would find myself in trouble if I don't do these properly.

There are still many positive features of Cremina that I have not listed, but the above are the main ones that I’ve really come to appreciate after handling many other espresso machines. Would I trade a Cremina for GS3 or speedster? Definitely no! .........Wait a second, maybe yes... but I would turn around and sell the GS3 to get the new 2011 Cremina. =P It's really that good of a machine.

 

 

Category: BLOG

you are a lucky guy

February 22, 2012 | by wakeknot

you have one of the most sought after machines in the world! I am jealous as I think this machine has a cult following for a reason!

nice!

February 16, 2012 | by sontondaman

I have always wanted to have a cremina for the longest time but the price keep me from getting it. However, the price has been going up considerable. I will stick with the Pavoni in the mean while

It sounds like a great

February 15, 2012 | by hoonchul@hotmail.com

It sounds like a great machine that makes great espresso as well as cappuccino. My cup has never looked that good.

Excellent little machine,

February 15, 2012 | by intrepid510

Excellent little machine, wish I had a chance to try one out, however, I am not so sure I would want to as I might be tempted to put down the money for a new one.

@Jbviau

February 14, 2012 | by samuellaw178

If you let it cool down without venting the vacuum created, the lever will go up, just like how the other spring lever machines are. There's another way also, you can just unscrew the lever handle. It can be unscrewed and screwed back easily. But it can be troublesome after a while..

@avaserfi

February 14, 2012 | by samuellaw178

Hahaha, I am glad it did! Definitely, if you have a chance, go try it out! Beware though, you could be a convert after trying it. Many did. :P

Thanks for the review

February 14, 2012 | by jbviau

About its profile, do you have to store the machine with the lever down? That makes it stick out quite a bit and is within reach of the kids! Could be a problem in my house...

Try it out

February 14, 2012 | by avaserfi

I've always wanted to play with a Cremina and your review just made me want to do it more! Sounds like a fun and compact machine.

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