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'67 (?) 67 Olympia Cremina!

Conventional wisdom says you can date a Cremina with the first two digits of the serial number. 


We're gonna go with that for now, in the absence of proven evidence to the contrary.  Olympia seems to have little interest in documenting it's own past, and has been little help with the "history" of their older machines.  


(But we're working on a hunch theory that the original distributor here in San Francisco, the legendary Thomas Cara, Ltd., had a stash of number plates THEY put on the Olympia machines they sold after they were converted to 110 volts for the US market.  You can see the "110" stamped over the European 220 voltage on this plate, which is typical of machines sold in the US during this era.  And the Cara sticker on the bottom, where the "updates" and maintenance over the years were undoubtedly done.  If there's any truth to this theory, more than one year of the early machines sold by Cara could have had "67" as the first two digits, regardless of the actual year of production.  At this point, it's just a wild theory though!  So, this is a "1967!")


Regardless, it's clearly an early model.  The cool  "orangey brown copperish" color paint was standard for the first few years.  And the case on this is really nice, with only a couple of small chips, and the usual "wear" around the upper edges where the stainless steel top fits down.  Aside from those minor blemishes, the paint job is still striking, and the original logo plate in perfect shape.  The stainless facia panel is as clean as we've ever seen on a Cremina (with the obvious exception of the "new old stock" machine we sold to a Professor at Cal Tech a few years ago!)  


As mentioned, this has an updated stainless steel heating element (1982 era, which is a good thing) with a re-settable overheat button, and a new style steam valve.

The original power switch, like everything on this Cremina, is solid, and works flawlessly.


For a half century old espresso machine, it's pretty much in "Wow!" condition.  


Which is what your espresso geek friends will say when they see it in your kitchen.


So we'll let the pictures speak, and shut up, other than to say, yes, of course, we rebuilt the group with all new seals as usual.  And we "de-asbestosized" and descaled the boiler (still all brass this era.)  And set up the Olympia pressurestat using a gauge (right about 1.2 BAR, with a very narrow deadband.)  And cleaned and lubed everything that moves. 


We ended up paying a fortune for this one, so whoever gets it will too, ha!  But we decided we had to have it.  Creminas in this condition just aren't showing up anymore ("sigh.")  The days of patiently waiting to find a "bargain" are basically over.  Like finding an affordable house in San Francisco.  It's more likely you'll hit the lottery.  


The "flip side" of this dark situation is that Cremina owners can probabaly "get their money back," should they ever decide to sell.  Or the way things are going, even come out ahead!  But, why would they sell???  


We seem to have reached the vintage espresso machine as "investment" stage in the US.  Like a '67 Mustang.  Gonna take some getting used to.  But it is what it is.  Maybe it's time to get over "Cremina lust" and buy a... ?  What?  We know.  For those who have to have a Cremina, there's no subsitute.   


(So buy this one.) 


Comes with a double portafilter basket, and we'll throw in a pair of our vintage 1958 SF coffee house espresso cup and saucer sets.


(FYI, the basket size for Creminas are about .5mm smaller than a Pavoni, so be careful when buying a tamper!  You really need something like "48.5mm.")    Cheers!



'67 (?) 67 Olympia Cremina!

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