Olympia Express «Cremina»

50 years of perfection.


50 years of perfection.

The Cremina is a classic lever-operated espresso machine; no ifs, no buts.

  • Classical Swiss Design
  • Only premium materials

A masterpiece of Swiss engineering

It works with the proven pre-infusion piston system: lifting the lever draws a small amount of water into the piston chamber and forces it into the pressed ground coffee, allowing it to expand. Lowering the lever forces the hot water through the ground coffee.

Brewing group, chromed brass

This tried and tested extraction procedure, coupled with the continually increasing experience of the individual Cremina owner, guarantees a perfect espresso, a composition of crema, smell and taste — a harmonious pleasure for the senses. Even your ears will be delighted: the only noise produced by your Cremina is the singing, when the boiler heats the water.



Appreciated worldwide

Not only the “New York Times” and the “Neue Zurcher Zeitung” have considered the Cremina to be “the best espresso machine in the world”; for more than 40 years, we have been receiving fan mail from all around the world. This is not just an honour for us, but also for every owner, who knows how to create the perfect espresso. It does require some practice, however, but once you have reached the perfect espresso, it will always be just that: your very own espresso. A minor, yet subtle distinction and a true event for every espresso lover.

Built for a small eternity

Have a look at her inner qualities. You’ll find stainless steel, chrome and brass, and perfect manufacturing.

The brew group, consisting of group head and portafilter, as well as the steam wand and the steam nozzle, are made of brass—and are of course chromed and polished to a high gloss. This increases the longevity of the machine and facilitates the cleaning. The electric boiler, made of chrome steel is filled by opening the top and has a capacity of 3.8 pints—enough for 20 cups of classic espresso.

The high performance tubular heating element has a thermal protection against overheating of the boiler. In order to guarantee a perfect result and longevity, the high-tech gaskets used in the Cremina. The default pressure is adjusted to between 0.7 and 0.8 bars and the brewing temperature to 198 °F. The Cremina leaves it to the skill of the barista to find the required nine bar pressure onto the portafilter by lowering the lever at just the right time.

Assembling the brewing group

Technical Specifications Cremina

Width 7.87 in

Depth 10.63 in

Height 12.99 in

Weight 24 lb.

Current supply 230–240 V / 50 Hz¹

Cable length 5.25 ft.

Power input 1000 Watt

¹ Also available with 120 V / 60 Hz / 1000 W

Available colours

Interveiw with Cremina
Interveiw with Cremina

Are you completely handmade? How long does it take for you to look the way you do now? Four and a half hours. Then I am switched on and put under pressure for 15–20 hours, checked for tightness and electrical safety. Finally, I am cleaned and put in a box.

Which of your parts is exchanged most often? My brewing unit seal.

Excuse me. Thank you. Otherwise, I am indestructible.

What else have you got going for you? You want me to talk about how great I am? That’s not very becoming.

I know, but who could do it better than you? Okay, then. I am (hisses somewhat embarrassedly) simple and I am great. One of my siblings has been in Bhutan for eight weeks and is making fresh espresso in a coffee bar there.

Is the simplicity and consistency your Swiss side showing? The precision, to be precise. We Swiss make use of characteristics like reliability, thoroughness, precision, creativity. So it’s no wonder that big contemporary architects from Switzerland, like Peter Zumthor and Kurt Hauenstein, use my sister, the Maximatic.

Yes, you are Swiss. So here’s a question from your compatriot MaxFrisch’s Fragebogen: “How old do you want to become?”100 years old. At least.

How realistic is that? If we’re talking about materials, there’s no question. All my materials are future-proof, as they are solid and sustainable.

Is anything about you going to change in the near future? Just something small. In the summer I will be getting a shutdown button. That means I switch myself off after one hour. The EU wants it. And they’re going to get it.

Anything else? Different colours? For my 50th birthday, there will be a special model of me in marone–golden brown – and a plaque.

Where do you see yourself in 50 years? I still belong to my family, the Schättis. And I’m available in a few more countries. That’s the only way our business can grow. We definitely want that.

What was your childhood like?

Cremina: It couldn’t have been nicer! I spent it in Chiasso, Ticino– the most Italian part of Switzerland. Barely 50 km from Milan, where the best espresso machines are built.

Your father? Luigi Bresaola. A great man, a tinkerer and inventor. He designed my prototype and started building it in1967 in Morbio Inferiore.

Large company? 100 employees. In the 1970s and1980s, 5,000 of my siblings came out yearly. We were pretty much only sold in the USA and Switzerland.

What about Italy? Nothing. In Italy it’s all about un caffé in un – Italians don’t make espresso at home.

In 1992 your development was suddenly halted. Yeah, tough times. Let’s skip past that– if people want to know about it, they can ask me in private.

What year shall I set the time machine to? Late 2007. That was when the company Olympia Express was reestablished.

It can’t have been easy to switch families like that? Yes, and no. It definitely saved me. I ended up in the canton of Glarus, at Schätti, which had been one of our former suppliers. It’s a metal processing business: turning, milling, stamping, powder-coating, welding. That kind of stuff. The people there can do everything I need to bring me to life.

What does a move from Ticino to Glarus entail? A lot. The people there cultivate Italian cultura, together with Swiss thoroughness and reliability. Glarus is 70 km south of Zurich, in a valley just before the Klausen Pass.

You’re not worried you’ll lose your italianità? I did briefly, but it was totally unfounded. My people managed to transfer it to Glarus. That’s Swiss thoroughness!

You have cult object status. Do you enjoy this role?

Cremina: Yes, a lot. It helps me in every respect.

Can’t say much more about that. Of course not – I can only try to meet those expectations. It’s mainly my American friends who won me that status.

To what do you owe your popularity over there? I think it’s about my Britishness, my Swiss understatement.

And when you ask your American friends what they like so much about you? They mostly say “I’ve had my Cremina for 40 years. I love you and I would never give you away”.

Sounds like you’re a member of the family. Yes. Particularly in the 1970s and1980s, I was sold a lot in New York; I was presented as a wedding and birthday gift.

What classically makes your family stick? They love beautiful things, good music, new design, special architecture.

And they own things that last. Yes. Like me, for instance.

Do you get a lot of post? Yes.

That’s unusual for a coffee machine. You think?

What’s the most common topic? Mostly the perfect way to prepare an espresso. So I often reply, “It’s not me! Buy decent coffee, buy a decent grinder!”. Or, “Descale me, then you’ll get a proper milk foam!”.

But a lot of people write to you for no reason. That’s right. They get in contact for the pure joy of it. Stuff like “I’ve had my Cremina since 1981. We bought it in New York and we like it so much!”.

What’s your life motto? “Perfect espresso since 1967.”

What are you most proud of, in retrospect? That I have retained my youthful looks.

And what are you less proud of? In the words of an Italian diva: nothing!