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Our Espresso Machine Repair and Maintenance Program: Giving Old Machines a Second Life

Think for a minute about your favorite coffee shop. Imagine the way it smells, the sound of the baristas working, and the sight of that flash of happiness that overcomes a person’s face when the first sip of fresh espresso hits their lips. Coffee shops are places of familiarity, friends, and good conversation.

Of course, this magical environment we all love would not be possible without the crafting ability of the barista and the well-maintained equipment they use to make our coffee dreams come true! It’s easy to take for granted, but without well-working machinery, baristas would have a difficult time executing their craft at the highest level and the conversations in the coffee shop would definitely not be as lively.

This is why we’re proud to have a maintenance and restoration program that not only guarantees newer espresso machines are well kept in order to ensure longevity, but can also bring older machines back to life. We don’t ever want to a see a machine go to the scrapyard when there is an opportunity to give it a second life! Imagine the countless stories that can be added onto the history of machine with a little TLC.

Remember our team member Lorenzo? He is the genius behind our complete machine restoration projects!

Here is a little reminder of Lorenzo’s background and how he became intrigued with all things repair. Lorenzo has always hada knack for this kind of work. He grew up building computers in high school, then cars, and even drones later on. His passion seemed to develop organically, jumping from one interesting rabbit hole to the next. When Lorenzo first started volunteering for La Terza, he realized that there were many pieces of equipment that needed maintenance and he volunteered himself to try to fix them. As time went on, he began fixing things with higher levels of complexity. He even took the roaster apart and cleaned the entire thing (despite the fact that everyone else on the team was freaking out!). He saw a real opportunity to help, which has translated into the creation of a program solely for maintenance and equipment repair.

Restoring worn down machines isn’t quite as simple as Lorenzo makes it look though. The complexity and range of problems that surround each piece of equipment can vary widely, requiring a different approach each time. Lorenzo remarked, “It is sometimes overwhelming to see machines in such disrepair without thinking ‘there’s no hope’. I often 

have to force myself to take a step back and tackle each problem one by one instead of worrying about the whole machine. This makes the process more digestible and approachable. The end result is typically a fully functioning machine that get’s a second go at making great coffee.”

So what does Lorenzo actually do when he refurbishes the machines? Put simply, he takes everything apart, down to the bolt, restores or replaces anything that isn’t working, and descales all of the plumbing and boiler(s) in an acid bath. Once the internals are finished, he repaints panels, removes all rust off the machine frame, and then reassembles the machine to manufacturer specification. At the end of this process, he is left with a machine that’s essentially new!

Although the process of a complete restoration is complicated, there are also many simple maintenance jobs that Lorenzo does on a regular basis, which prevent machines from going down the slippery slope of decay. “Even though I see it all the time, sending a machine to the junkyard shouldn’t have to be part of the equipment’s lifecycle. In fact, it’s completely avoidable with simple service and preventative maintenance. Complete restorations don’t always make economic sense, but the cost of preventative maintenance is simply a “no brainer.”

This resource is not only available to coffee shops and restaurants, but to the public as well! Anyone who is having problems with their machines can call or stop into the Roasterie for assistance with equipment that’s not working properly or needs a tune up. We are here for you and are excited to serve as a local resource for all your espresso maintenance and repair needs!

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