Before anything else: thank you for becoming a part of Lapera DS Founders’ Circle. You made this happen.
This is the quick start guide (draft version 1.1) to installation and use of your new lever machine. Please read it at least once before you start playing 🙂
- Please note that this device, like sharp knives and hot stoves, can be dangerous if misused. Do not let anyone unfamiliar with its operation use it without prior instruction. The spring in the lever group is very powerful, using the lever incorrectly could lead to serious injury. ALWAYS keep your body and face out of the path of the lever’s travel. If you wish to use the lever without the portafilter or with no coffee in the portafilter (i.e. to flush water through the group) you must make sure to keep a firm grip on the lever handle at all times during operation.
- The surfaces of the group and the steam and water taps are hot – make sure not to touch them once the machine reaches operating temperature.
1 – Plumbing. The water inlet is 3/8 G thread (also known as 3/8 BSPP) and is under the drip tray on the left side (all descriptions are from the barista’s point of view). Most machines are also fitted with a 1/4″ or 3/8″ John Guest push-fit adapter for use with potable water polyethylene tubing. The water line to the machine must have it’s own dedicated shut-off valve. In addition to being a good idea, this is also happens plumbing code. You knew this of course.
2 – Drain. The sump under the drip tray requires a connection to a drain. But you knew this also. A flexible hose with an approximately 17mm (5/8″) interior diameter and a hose clamp (neither of which are in the box, sorry) are ideal for this purpose.
3 – Electricity. Electrical code in North America mandates the use of GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) receptacles in areas where appliances are used in close proximity to water. European code mandates the use of circuit breaker GFCIs in the electrical panel. Wherever you are, this would definitely qualify as an “appliance in close proximity to water” and you should definitely use a GFCI. Even good coffee isn’t worth the risk of not doing so. Please consult a qualified electrician if you are unsure.
The machine is supplied with either an 18AWG (1.0mm2) for operation on single phase 220-240V or a 14AWG (2.5 mm2) cable for use on single phase 120V respectively. Use only the cable that was shipped with the machine or a cable with a larger cross section / wire gauge if you are replacing it. The receptacle for the plug is underneath the machine at the back right hand corner. Locate the cable and the receptacle and plug it in. Don’t don’t turn it on yet though. Note that the 220V machine is NOT designed to run on two-phase 220-240V and it is dangerous to do so.
Presumably this goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: the cup warmer is like the hood of a car, once it is removed there are lots of potentially dangerous bits exposed if you really go looking for them. After you plug in the machine, don’t touch anything inside other than the control interface.
4 – I know that you have already opened the box and screwed the lever handle in place before reading any of this, but if you didn’t, now would be a good time to do so. Close both the steam and hot water valves (if they are open) by turning them to clockwise. Also TURN OFF the boiler drain valve located to the left of the sump under the drip tray. The valve is off when the handle is pointing down. You might now wish to put the portafilter and drip tray in place. You can leave the cup warmer aside for the moment.
5 – You are done. Whew. Beer?
First Time Startup:
1 – Locate the switches – there are two: a “soft” power button on the left front panel and a “hard” power rocker switch just above the frame under the cover at the back right corner.
2 – With the cup warmer removed, locate the three-button control interface at the top of the machine on the front left of the interior compartment. The interface tips upwards for easier viewing.
3 – Turn on the main “hard” power switch at the back right hand corner of the machine. The controller will boot and show the Lapera logo, followed by the firmware version and then the current day, time, temperature, boiler set point and mode on the screen. The screen saver will shut off the display after a short period of inactivity. If the screen goes blank, press any key to wake the display.
4 – Press the right hand button repeatedly to enter the menu mode and navigate through the menus until you reach “Autofill Timeout”. The Autofill Timeout is the maximum length of time that the valve that controls the flow of water to the boiler will stay open before the machine goes into error mode and shuts down. Ninety seconds should be long enough to completely fill the boiler from empty if the flow rate of the water supply is adequate. However, certain filtration or water conditioning systems may reduce the flow rate. Press the center button once (briefly) to edit the setting (the value will start to flash to indicate that it is ready to edit). Press the left button twice (or the right button a whole bunch of times) until the setting reads “90 secs” (i.e. ninety seconds). Press the center button once again to confirm the change. The value will stop flashing to indicate that it has been confirmed.
5 – Press the “soft” power button on the front of the machine – it will latch in position. You should hear the solenoid open and the water begin to fill the boiler. It should run continuously for about a minute and then click on and off slowly a few times while the water level settles in the boiler. If the flow rate is too slow and it takes more than ninety seconds, the machine will go into error mode (indicated on the controller screen and by a series of 3 blinks on the LED status light on the front panel. If this happens, soft power-cycle the machine (i.e. press the button on the front panel to turn it off, wait a couple of seconds, and then turn the machine back on). The fill cycle will begin again and should complete successfully.
6 – If at this point there is water on the floor or the machine keeps going into error mode, throw it away and order a new one. Otherwise, it should now be heating up and the front panel status light will start glowing from off to full.
7 – Edit the Autofill Timeout value again to return it to a low value. 15 seconds is recommended, but you can make it longer if required.
8 – Keep an eye on it for a half hour or so while it builds its first head of steam – its had a long journey after all. You can monitor the boiler temperature with the controller interface – just navigate forward through the menus till you reach the “Exit” option and then press the middle button once – this will return you to the operating display.
9 – In about an hour, once the cover of the group is hot to the touch, you are ready to make your first coffee 🙂
Or just get in touch and I’ll talk you through it…