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Arrarex Caravel, early '60s version 1.2

This Caravel has seen a lot of love in it's 50+ years.  Hard to tell if it was originally green, and the silver base coat is showing through, or the reverse!  Regardless, we love the "beauty and the beast" vibe with this one.  Caravels are so "pretty," it's kind of cool to see one with a little street cred.  Fully rebuilt with new gaskets and seals, and 120 volt heating element, and working as well as any Caravel we've had!  


These are legendary for pulling small but perfect little shots of espresso, and this one upholds that rep.  


They're also known for their elegant and ridiculously simple design.  One of the few open boiler espresso machines made.  (Non pressureized boiler.)   And the heating element is UNDER the tank the stainless steel tank!  The tank, lid, piston assembly, lever, and heating element can all be disassembled without tools!  


The primitive bi-metal strip thermostat "works," turning the heating element off after reaching a modest rolling boil.  The temp range can wander a bit, but the beauty of the open boiler is that it can never get hotter than boiling water (212 degrees in the tank!)  By the time the water reaches the puck, it's justa bout the perfect extraction temp.  Which may be the "secret" behind the legendary shot quality of these machines.  We have the thermostat adjusted to where we like it, but you can turn it "up" or "down" with the tiny silver screw protruding from the back.


Obviously there is no steam wand on these!   So if you want a "latte" you'll have to figure out another way to froth!


There's a typical chip out of the bakelite lever handle, but other than the paintwork, there's nothing really "wrong" with this Caravel. 


One of the biggest appeals to us with these is that you could take it camping/off the grid, pour boiling water directly into the open tank, and pull a shot you could only dream about with any modern "portable espresso maker."


The drip collection tray under the cup tray is missing on this (the second time we've had on that has been missing, so watch out for us!)   So we're "discounting" it a little for that.  The cup tray does sit nicely in place thanks to the design casting of the base.  You'll just have to clean out the spills from the base rather than the stainless tray on this one.   

Arrarex Caravel, early '60s version 1.2

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