It’s really a lot simpler than I expected – a pump and a boiler. The pump (to the bottom right under the pipes) fills the boiler with water and (I suspect) the hot overflow goes down into the cup. Steam is released from the top of the boiler with a valve. And that’s it. The water is directed through a mesh screen in an attempt to spread it more evenly. But even this simple machine creates the treasured “crema”.
Getting it to this stage was pretty easy with the help of a T20 screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver and a knife to help prise the decorative caps from the top. The steam knob prises off with a flat screwdriver, and there is a clip at the back holding the lid in place. I’ve resisted the temptation to take the boiler apart to clean it, I’m just running vinegary water through it instead. Seems to have made a difference to the water flow already!