The Espresso Machine Restoration site
A non-commercial site for those interested in espresso equipment repair and restoration.
|Made in Taiwan - Kedge Klub
|I recently had the chance to use some commercial machines that are made in Taiwan. But wait for this, not only
are they making machines in Taiwan they also have the most bizarre name in the business - and that includes the
now abandoned Trueh brand! The brand name is Kedge which to me sounds like the sort of brand name a moist
tissue would have. Anyway funny names aside I was able to have a good go on one of these machines at a trade
show and between you and me it was not bad.
|The history behind the machines
I was told by their export manager that the manufacturer used to import CMA machine into Taiwan and that they
then decided to start making their own machines using some parts from CMA. That was in the late 1990's and then
the first machines were ready for the public around 2001. The background of the company is in the electronics
business which I will come to later.
As far as I am aware, they have one current production model, the Klub t. The previous madoel was the Klub T
(big T). To keep things simple they only have automatic models.
|Basic overview of the machines
The machines come in 1, 2 and 3 groups. No 4 group machines because as was explained to me their primary
market at the moment is mainland China.
All machines come with the automatic volumetric dosing controls - no simple on/off brewing methods here.
Single boiler (stainless steel) HX thermosyphon machines with internal rotary pumps.
Frame, boilers and tubing made in Taiwan.
Essential components (flowmeters, switches, valves, pumps) from the usual sources (Gicar, Sirai, Procon)
The electronic controls are in-house by Kedge and have some self-diagnostic error messages.
|My first impressions of the machine
Obviously a trade show is the not an ideal place to test a machine since you have people coming up to the booth
all the time, but I did have a good 2 hours looking at them and poking around. Let me get this off my chest first -
the Kedge Klub bears a very striking resemblance to the Astoria Divina by CMA which is one of the finest machines
I have ever used.
Alright perhaps I am being a bit unfair here. Besides most coffee machines use the same components, have the
same layout and pretty much the standard box shape.
But the machine was well constructed. The electrical wiring was neat and tidy and the copper pipe work was ok.
The main difference between this an a CMA machine is that they use stainless steel boiler which are slightly larger
and the elements are beefed up considerably. Let us compare the CMA Astoria, the Kedge and a Linea.
|What was inside?
The steam valves looked like they were from CMA. The double scale pressure gauge was your standard Italian
one. The flowmeters were from Gicar and had the LED on them. The pressure switch was the Sirai. The pump
was from Procon etc.....
I have to say that this lot took me by surprise as I was expecting some new suppliers thrown in there somewhere
otherwise all we have really is an "assembled in Taiwan" not made in Taiwan. But the groups I were assured were
their own casting and the boilers were made by themselves. In fact my only criticism of the machine - if you can call
it that - was that the welding on the boiler was not as neat and tidy as you would expect from say La Marzocco. In
fact you would be surprised at how much pride Marzocco, in particular Roberto who runs the production and R+D in
Florence, LM put into things that the end-user will never see. A slightly funny story is that we (Roberto and I) were
discussing some parts they had welded up outside Italy. He picks up the two same things one which his boys in
Florence did and one which was done outside. Even to someone like me who has a fetish for metal finishing
couldn't really see much difference but he was talking for well over 5 mins about the differences between the
neatness of the welding his boys can do and the part that was done by another company!
Anyway back to the components. I was slightly disappointed the see that "the usual suspects" were inside but I can
understand their thinking. The export mgr. explained to me that they do have a complete machine with all
components from Asia but at the moment their distributors want some reassurance with tried and tested parts
before jumping in at the deep end.
The electronic features
Anyway that just leaves the electronic controls which I understand are made by the shareholder's sister company in
Taiwan. The main circuit board and the keypads are all in-house. If you look at the keypad picture above you will
see it has a single digit LED display. This has two functions. The first is that after each shot it tells you the
extraction time. 25 secs will flash "2" then "5". But it also serves as a diagnostic display. According to the number
displayed it will warn you about:
Water level problems, Group delivery problems, PC problem, Boiler temp problems
The machine also has a toggle switch to switch between mains filtered water and pure distilled water. It also has a
"stealth" mode that turns the motor off when filling the boiler so as not to affect the brew pressure if it was brewing
at that time.
I have to say that it was a good machine and due to the fact that it has tried and tested components it should be as
reliable as any other machine out there. My only disappointment is the finishing was not as good as other
machines and also that they didn't go "all out" and have all Asian made components - but they say that the next
generation of machine in 2005 will have some even more unique electronic features.
|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.
|Separated at birth?? Divina and the Kedge Klub.
Common components (some actually from CMA)
Almost exact component layout with the panels off.