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Custom Conti Prestina  -- Sold!

Actually, this should be titled, Custom Conti Prestina "Redux." 


It's not often you get a second chance at a "one of a kind" machine. 


A friend who bought this totally restored Prestina from us a while ago, and then decided the body panels should be left off (after we'd spent hours powder coating them!)  and had the brasswork polished (in an hommage the legendary espresso "machiniste" Pascal Bourret, who created the "original") has decided to get rid of his entire collection, and left most of his espresso gear with us. 


Yeah, we think it's a little crazy, too.  But one person's impulse, can be another's opportunity!  


The machine is still as wonderful as when we first sold it, because it still has basically zero hours on it since then!  It was never used as a daily driver, and ended up being conceptual art.  So the new owner will get to finally liberate the espresso out of a fresh rebuild! 


That means all the parts and custom restoration we did (installing a Sirai pressurestat, new relief valve, adding a vacuum valve, rebuilding the group, cleaning the boiler,  changing the heating element, etc.) are all still pretty much in a "new" state.  They may be sporting a little dust here and there, and the brass has developed a bit of sexy mature "patina" where it was crazy shiney before, but overall we think the look is even better, and more "appropriate" aesthetically than before, given this IS a vintage machine.)


Of course the original body panels will come with it if someone wants to return it to original.  (Sold here in SF by Cara, Ltd. in the late 70s.)   


The panels were newly powder coated, as mentioned, and the base was been touched up a bit here and there, but the cool industrial "Conti green" frame is original.

Also available is a lower wood "backsplash" we made with a piece of antique Mahogany, that covers the lower area at the back of the drip tray, including the heating element.  We'll try to post of picture of it on, but email if you don't see it and want to.  The previoius owner wanted it stripped down as much as possible and never used it. 


A few things to note:  Despite the relatively "small" size, these were made as full-on "commercial" levers, not "home" espresso machines, so it will require a water supply line.  (The little silver handle on the front left of the lower panel is for operating the fill valve.  Keeping water in the boiler with machines like these is something you need to be ready to make a committment to! ) 


You can make do without a dedicated drain line, by using a collection bowl under the drip tray, but theoretically the drip tray could can be plumbed as well.


Another thing to keep in mind, is that with the original "box" off the outside, there a fewer places to grab with your "off" hand to steady yourself and the machine as you pull the handle.  We haven't had a problem with balancing it as we've enjoyed pulling shots with it the last few mornings, but the frame could be bolted down to a counter if you want to eliminate the fear of this being "top heavy."  There's a lot of leverage happening with a Prestina group when you pull on the handle!


The original steam wand is from the "olden days," and has a weird sized (8mm with fine threads) tip that has four holes on the larger side.  This makes it's harder to get microfoam using a small pitcher of milk.  It wants a larger shop production sized pitcher.  With a "home" sized pitcher it's easy to end up with old school "frothy" foam.   We're trying to figure out a "custom" alternative tip with smaller holes, but the original is what we have at this point.  (And the look of the original swoopy wand is pretty awesome!)  


We sorta know "the secret" for getting yummy shots out of a Prestina group.  A device some people seem to have had extraction problems with.  We promise to divulge it.  But only to the new owners, ha!  (Most vintage levers have some "learning curves" that can just take time to master.  Or you can cheat a bit and ask somebody whose put in the time!) 


Shipping this will be a bit of a drag, and we'd rather not (it's suprisingly heavy, and will be pushing 100 pounds in a crate!) so please contact us before clicking, so we can talk about ways to get it to you other than FedEx freight!  


Comes with a modern bottomless portafilter, and a stainless tamper!



Custom Conti Prestina -- Sold!

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