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mini gaggia lever machine

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:43 am
by joe
Hello, I found a really nice looking lever espresso machine in a flea market in spain.It's called a mini gaggia from the 70's or 80's and it uses a spring that pushes a piston down as the lever rises back up.

However I think the piston needs new seals as water drips slowly into the filter after i fill the tank. also I'm pretty sure it should have some kind of shower plate which could be missing from mine as some coffee gets sucked into the tank when you press down the lever and the piston rises although there's no obvious place where it would fit.

Does anyone know where I could get spares?, or have one of these machines and be able to verify if I'm missing something? The machine is really solid and the boiler etc seems to work perfectly so I reckon its probably worth getting working properly.
Any help or info on the machine would be greatly appreciated,

Cheers Joe.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:54 am
by Bertie_Doe
Well done, the Gaggia seems highly collectable. I suspect you'll have to contact Gaggia direct on this one. By 'mini', I assume this means a domestic model ? Have you seen any pictures on the web, of similar models ?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:15 pm
by joe
Thanks for the quick reply, I've googled the machine and found only a few mentions of it on the web one of them is here it seems to be quite rare! I've hopefully included some pics of my machine including one where I think the shower plate should be. I've checked the gaggia website and haven't found any mention of the mini so don't know if they would be able to supply spares I'll drop them an e-mail.

Thanks again for the quick reply, Joe

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:26 pm
by Mathias
HV in this forum has played around with one of those. As I'm not sure you can send a PM I've done it for you.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:39 pm
by Mathias
Also have a look here to see a missing part (in bad condition).

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:22 pm
by HV
Hello Joe,

Congrats with the find!

As Mathias already said, I've a Mini Gaggia as well. These machines were manufactured between 1970 and 1990, AFAIK by MiniMoka. Not sure how many units were made. Machines were sold both as Mini Gaggia, and MiniMoka M-400 series"Palanca". Later models had a steam attachment.

WRT the machines as such - the Mini G' is a cute little machine, certainly nice for the collection, perhaps a bit inconvenient for daily use. The espresso quality is maybe ok-ish - I think the claims in the CG threads were (as usual) a bit out of touch with reality.

joe wrote: .. I've hopefully included some pics of my machine including one where I think the shower plate should be. I've checked the gaggia website and haven't found any mention of the mini so don't know if they would be able to supply spares I'll drop them an e-mail.

Spare parts for these machines are difficult to find. Ascaso has some in their catalogue (see diagram below), but I'm not sure people at Ascaso are overly happy handling consumers orders...
WRT the shower screen, I think the screens on current day MiniMoka machines are similar (if not identical), and probably will fit.

If you need any help refurbing the machines, let me know. I'd be glad to help out.



PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 2:45 pm
by Joe
Wow! thanks Matthias and HV! I really want to get this machine up and running and appreciate the trouble you've gone to.
HV, your help refurbing the machine would be fantastic,
Would you (or anyone else) know where I could get a minimoka showerplate? I've searched the web but not turned up much, I live in Scotland but I'm willing to pay postage from anywhere in Europe or further. I think I also need a new 'O' ring to stop water dripping past the piston. I suppose the best thing to do would be to dismantle the machine and measure whats left of the ring thats there, then try to find a similar one? what would you reckon? I'm a bit wary in case the spring flys out but I don't think it's under pressure when the handle is up.

I eagerly anticipate getting a decent coffee from this machine and can't thank you guys enough for the help you've already given,
cheers Joe,

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:06 pm
by HV
Hello Joe,

Taking the machine apart is a good idea. Also gives you the opportunity to give the machine a good scrub, and it will probably need that.

Disassembly is pretty easy, but, if you have a digicam, it helps to take pix (plus it's fun for others ;-)
1) You start by removing the bolts on the either side of the group, and take off the upper part of the front. Remove the wire clamps from the switch. Take note which wire goes where, or just label them.
2) Next, the machine on its "back", and remove its feet - the metal exteriors of the rubber feet are bolted to the frame. You may have to use pliers if the bolts are really tightened.
3) When that's done, you can remove the lower part of the front (which holds the drip tray", and just slide the entire machine out of its plastic shell. With the machine's halfway out of the shell, remove the wire clamps from the power cord. Again, use labels, or something.
4) Now you can remove the top of the boiler, with the lever group, from the container. Easy, just four screws in the corners.
5) Lastly, if the frame (two steel "L"-shapes with a cross bar) is a bit rusty (not stainless steel, alas), you might want to remove this from the container, and give it a paint jobbie (Hammerite, or some such). Again, four screws.

The Mini Gaggia is an espresso-only machine, so the boiler doesn't have to be pressurized. IOW, the group is fed by gravity alone. One downside of that is that on the downstroke of the lever (= upstroke of the piston), some crud gets sucked into the boiler. Not much, but if the machine has been used for years without cleaning, the boiler isn't a pretty sight (see pic below).
The Mini Gaggia's setup isn't unique, and other machines with gravity fed groups usually suffer the same problem.
Use an espresso cleaner that isn't corrosive to aluminium, and let it soak for a few hours. A scouring pad afterwards does a nice job.

Regarding spare parts - I hope you don't have to change the piston gasket, because it's damn hard to find. If it looks any bit decent (not dented or torn, or anything), and the rubber is still pliable, just leave it on the piston and just give it a bit of a clean. It'll probably seal better after a uses. If necessary, wrap a little teflon tape around it - work wonders.

The shower screen - I know the Mini Gaggia screen is also used by one or more other mfr's, but the name(s) escapes me at the mo. If the screen of its identical twin, the MiniMoka M-400, is the same as on current date MiniMoka models, I could just drop by the Dutch importer (they have a shop basically around the corner), pick one up & put it in the mail for you. Best is to contact MiniMoka first though. Their email addie is: I found their customer service first rate.
While your at it, ask if they know a source for the pf gasket and the piston seal.

If anyone's interested, I've put some more pix up at: - check out the Mini Gaggia folder.



Re: mini gaggia lever machine

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:44 pm
by HV
joe wrote:...
Does anyone know where I could get spares?, or have one of these machines and be able to verify if I'm missing something? ...
Cheers Joe.

Hello Joe, hope you're still reading this forum. Anyway, I can probably get you the parts you needed - the showerscreen, group gasket, and piston seal.
It's a one-time offer from a parts supplier, so don't wait too long with your reaction. You can reach me via this addie: (will check this the next couple of days, but it's basically a spam catcher)



PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:26 pm
by Guest
I most certainly am please check your E-mail!

Cheers, Joe

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:55 pm
by Guest
HV, it turns out that my E-mail has without my knowledge not been working for 11 days So I don't even know if you replied to me. I'll send you a new one from my gmail account now. I'm still very much interested in getting the parts mentioned above, I hope its not too late!
Cheers Joe

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 12:18 pm
by guest
What metal is this MiniGaggia boiler made of (pictured in this topic). Does the boiler corrode with time?

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 12:24 pm
by Guest
Ah, never mind about what metal. I see that the advice is to use a cleaner that is non-corrosive to aluminum.

Mini gaggia

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:19 am
by aga110767
It has been very nice for me to find a picture of my coffee machine while "saling" in the web. I own the same mini gaggia model in white and my parentsĀ“ve got it in marron, same as the one in the picture. It is such a good coffee maker than we have been it repaired twice. There is a repair store in my home town, but I think any official gaggia repair contact would use for spare pieces or repairing.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:27 am
by Guest
We are Mokaexpres,S.A., we were the manufacturers of M-400 lever machine but we stop of manufacture it ten years ago.
If you need some information, you can contact with us at Also you can see our new models at www. (in short time, we will include other languages different of Spanish )
We can supply some pieces to repair your machine (but not all)
About material of boiler, as per the photo you are including, it is brass. But by reason of cost, last machines we manufactured were in aluminium.