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The Espresso Machine Restoration site
A non-commercial site for those interested in espresso equipment repair and restoration.
CMA Astoria Sibilla custom order
Background information

The Sibilla is made by CMA, one of the largest machine companies in the world.  They manufacture machines
under 3 brands, Wega, Astoria and San Marino.  And they also do the Rio machines sold by ESI in Seattle I
believe.  

The story behind the unique shape of the Sibilla is quite a good one.  Apparently a firm of architects came up with
the design and approached CMA.  The design sat there for a long time and eventually it became a reality.  But I
believe that it was a good few years of debating within CMA on whether to undertake the project.

Obviously the most unique feature of the machine is that the groups and boiler and supposed to float in the air.  
The standard red Sibilla.  The machine has an external pump since basically there really isn't any
free space inside.  The internal components such as flowmeters, the
electronic controls, the main switch etc. are contained in the base.  

In the top half of the machine is just the boiler, the groups, the steam
valves, the safety release valve and the vacuum breaker.  Oh and the
cup-warmer which is controlled by it's own thermostat and element.

The base is made of steel whilst the "red bits" are made in ABS plastic. The
group covers are a bit of a disappointment since they do look a bit
"plasticky".
Cup tray removed and end cap exposing element terminals and steam valve. The end caps are very easy to remove. Right hand end cap rmoved.  Group covers removed. Cover removed from base.
Rear view. Rear cover removed.  So really it is just the boiler in the top. Ms. Sibilla is naked! Naked from the front. Close up from the front.
Why CMA are one of the top espresso companies worldwide

I am not just referring to the Sibilla machine here, but all their machines in general.  They are extremely well
thought-out and designed machines with regards servicing and layout.  Let me just show you a few examples of
how well designed they are by using the Sibilla as a reference.  And remember we are not dealing with a standard
"box shape" machine but one in which space is almost non-existent.
Drain box. If you take time to analyse the picture on the left, the espresso technicians amongst
you will appreciate the work put in by CMA.  

1. The boiler drains directly into the drain tub by opening the ball valve which is
pictured.  2. The solenoids have flexible silicone relief hoses - reinforced with a wire
coil. 3. The steam safety valve, if it blows, has a cover to collect moisture - that again
drains into the drain tub!  4. The flowmeter is in a great position for easy change-out.
This overhead view will again show a few amazing design features.  

1. The pressure switch is very easy to access.  2. The electronic are away from the
water splashes and those that are (main switch) is in a sealed rubber case. 3. The
wiring is very neat and tidy and all of it is protected in heat shield covering.
View of the component layout.
The override brew switches and water switch.  Very classy. Cup warmer thermostat. The flexible solenoid drain hose.  Wow! Look at that neat pipe work!  Rear view of the layout.
The p-stat adjustment hole. A touch of class

Hardly noticeable but if you look carefully there is a feature here that is so simple yet
brilliant and is just sheer class.  The adjustment screw for the pressure switch is
accessible without removing any covers or panels as the hole in the base of the frame
lines up exactly with the adjustment screw.  Perhaps I am just a geek, but what a great
feature!
Hot water solenoid. Vacuum breaker on the rear of the steam valve. The safety valve box and cover. Overhead of the component layout. Boiler elements and pop-out safety fuse.
The group. Group 3 way solenoid.
The customisation job

The client was opening a restaurant with a winter theme.  The decoration of the restaurant was predominantly
white and therefore they requested a metallic white colour.  At the time I was a bit reluctant because the red Sibilla
is just great.  But we went ahead and did it because of course it is their machine and being a small company I can
customise pretty much anything according to requests.
Just finished putting the panels back on. The colour is actually a pearlescant white. The Mazzer looked out of place, so that went to the spray shop too. Actually I think the white looks better than the red! Yeah the Mazzer needs to change colour.
Wow an amazing machine.  I think leaving the base black was a good choice. The boiler end caps are just held in place by that black screw. The group covers.
At the location

Well it was a lot of extra work, but I have to say that it was worth the effort and doing the one-off specials is what I
love doing best.  
Complete with custom Mazzer S-J. The centre piece of the bar area. The matching pair. The podium was swapped for a larger one at my request. Job finsihed!
This website is created by Paul Pratt, Hong Kong 2004. If you would like to use any of the images or text I am
sure I will say yes, but please ask first!  

Email me here.