"Caravel" by ARRAREX MILAN Lever Espresso Machine~Grey MODEL~Fully RESTORED
As you can see in the images: this machine is in superb condition. We rate it as 8 out of 10. This machine seems to date from the 1960’s and is one of the earlier Caravel models (as a rule: the earlier the Caravel- the better). Cosmetically there are some marks here and there and signs of light us but these are minor.
Functionally the Caravel has been completely restored and tested: a brand new group head seal has been fitted in the head. The piston has been completely disassembled, thoroughly cleaned and the original seals lubricated. The boiler has been carefully cleaned and descaled. The alloy base has been removed and the edge polished to a mirror like shine. The machine has been fitted with an Australian plug.
The electrics have been checked and the adjustable thermostat set at the perfect level. The machine has been tested and produced two perfect shots of espresso. In all over 4 hours of restoration went into making this machine functionally as new and ready to use straight out of the box.
The red on light fires up and the machine is ready to pull shots in 5 minutes with a full tank. This is the 240 volt Italian model- and comes fitted with an earthed Australian 3 prong plug. The original portafilter, filter basket, stainless drip tray and grate are all intact and included.
This Caravel has the most desirable features: stainless steel piston (some were alloy), htis piston also has a one way valve built into it- which is better than the earlier VAM design that lacked such a valve) adjustable thermostat (some are not adjustable), quick release piston lock mechanism (some later machines used a simple cotter pin- the original quick release system is amazing, and beautifully engineered- it also makes the boiler lid close more nicely), the portafilter and lever feature Bakelite handles (later machines used plastic). Indeed this is the original Vam/Caravel type portafilter which is beautifully made out of chromed cast brass (?) unlike later handles which were pressed (?) steel with spot welds. The workmanship is reminiscent of jewelry making workmanship... simply stunning. Later machine were still highly functional but lacked the finesse of the earlier Caravels like this one.
Basically this Caravel features all of the best functional features. It is painted in a quality grey Hammertone finish and the paintwork is in fine condition with just a few marks here and there.
The Arrarex Caravel is undoubtedly a design masterpiece. Created by Dr Emidio Salati of Milan around 1960. The design beautifully contains many elements: the dreamy 'Empire State' decoration of Art Deco- the supreme functionality of high modernism- and the sleek lines of the futurists… It truly unites form and function is a spiritual union...
This coffee maker has only one aim: to produce small shots or perfect espresso. The simplicity of the design ensures that that is exactly what it does: time after time. There is no fancy milk frother- or temperature control here: just an open stainless steel boiler, dual arm lever piston, and the most stylish little portafilter ever seen on an espresso machine. The small looking 44.5mm filter basket actually takes around 14 gram of fresh ground coffee. Simply pull the lever to the top: then slowly pull it down to pull a shot of the finest Italian espresso- with a rich layer of Crema.
When mastered this machine produces the most perfect espresso: small, full bodied and very refined- (almost ristretto with a single pull). With two pulls a larger double shot can be produced.
Sgn. Emidio Saladi understood that producing fine coffee is only possibly when the machinery is kept scrupulously clean. Coffee oils go rancid quickly and spoil the flavour of espresso. Many machines cannot produce the best espresso becuase internal parts become dirty with use... For this reason Mr Saladi designed the Caravel to be so easy to disassemble and clean- that anyone can take it apart in a minute – with no tools at all – and easily clean every part that comes into contact with the coffee. The design here is truly incredible- one can only marvel at the genius of it. In addition the boiler, piston chamber, portafilter and filter basket are all made from quality INOX Stainless Steel.
The heating element is below the stainless boiler- because it isn’t submersed it will last for much longer- and the boiler is much easier to keep clean. The elegant design means that the water temperature at the coffee grounds is perfect- and therefore ideal for the production of rich crema.
This is a fine collectible for the serious collector of Mid- Century Modern Design- or the connoisseur of fine Italian espresso- with the greatest of ease this machine really can produce the fabled “God Shot” that modern day baristas waste their lives trying to re-produce on complicated, computer controlled, fandangled, fancy modern machines.
A Cult status Coffee maker…. very hard to find in this condition. Fully restored and ready to use.