Saturday, March 23, 2013

Making Coffee Wihout Water

I just got a report in about what happens when you put an Atomic on a heat source and leave it there for three hours without water in it. I was asked for an opinion about whether the consequences would be terminal and had to admit I had no idea. I have seen pictures of molten Atomics before, and it isn't a pretty sight, but this one appeared largely unscathed apart from discolouration of the label on top.

My advice was to try a couple of brews without coffee, partly to ameliorate the oxidation effects on the taste, but mostly to reduce the risk of the pressure pot failing catastrophically. I expected the steam seals to have dried out and for there to be an unpleasant taste initially. After that, we were in uncharted waters!

Well, now we can tell you what happens when you make coffee without water and follow my advice:

"I took your advice and had leaks everywhere! I then, on further inspection, found that all of the rubber and silicone washers and gaskets had suffered quite badly. I ordered a full set of new seals from Bon Trading and they arrived in two days. With the new seals fitted the leaks were fixed but the Atomic wasn't performing to its usual standard. (No crema on coffee, couldn't froth the milk very well!) Ten brews later though it has all settled down and once again my Atomic is producing a great coffee. The only problem I had with appearance was that the "Atomic" label on the top had gone dark brown and was unreadable. As I felt I had nothing to lose I took to it with steel wool and after much rubbing I have now returned it to it's original gleaming black and silver appearance.

All in all a lucky escape. I now turn off the gas as soon as I finish frothing the milk!

I think it must have been on a large gas jet on high for about 3 hours after I made a coffee, There would have been water in the pot for I guess only about half that time so I was very lucky it wasn't terminal. If nothing else I hope you can use my experience as a warning for other Atomic users."

Friday, January 18, 2013

Atomic Restoration Service Launched

Today I stumbled across JavaCationS Vintage Espresso machine workshop, based in Brisbane, Australia. I haven't tried them out, but you need a restoration job done on your Atomic, and you don't have the confidence or time to do it yourself, you might like mto contact David at (mobile) 0435876408 or check out his website. They do other machines as well as Atomics. You can find them at 60 Kingsbury Street, Norman Park, Qld 4170, Australia.