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Thread: La Pavoni Europiccola questions

  1. #1
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    Feb 2010
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    La Pavoni Europiccola questions

    Hi all,

    Looking at purchasing one of these two for use at work by myself for a single coffee a day. Previously used Sunbeams then used a Gaggia classic but its aluminium boiler is contaminating water and so I bought/returned a 2nd hand Silvia that had the same problem so I had planned to get a new Silvia until I stumbled across the Europiccola.

    The Europiccola looks great and I am intrigued by using a true lever. My concerns are: It uses a 48mm basket which rules out my VST and I only have a sunbeam 480 grinder. I also wonder what its steaming power is like.
    I have one large flat white a day and that's all, so any issues with repeated shots are of no concern. I also like the idea of a simple, long lasting lever.

    The Silvia of course is a tried and true performer, I can use my 58mm VST basket and get some good coffee and it should last a while.

    If the sunbeam grinder is not ideal for the Europiccola I would be interested in a hand grinder down the track, not sure what $ I would be looking at though.

    I realise these two machines are very different, so I am more looking at answers to my questions about the Europiccola to confirm it is suitable for me.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I have the Europicolla and absolutely love it. And I believe it is near ideal for the situation you describe, ie single user willing to take the time to learn how to use it properly making 1 or 2 coffees at a time.

    The steaming power is excellent and can make great microfoam for a latte, flat white or cappuccino. One thing I and many others recommend is to get a single hole steam tip (usually around the $30 mark from eBay or other online stores) as it makes getting microfaom easier, but it certainly is possible from the 3 hole it just takes a little practice.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the Europicolla is terrible for making coffee for more than 2 people at a time. After 2-3 shots it overheats and requires at least 20-30 min to cool to a temp where it wont burn the coffee. No worries in your situation but be careful if coworkers or guests would like one as well. You can manage the heat a bit but the 3rd shot is never as good as the first two - not a problem if you don't know the difference however

    On the grinder - I started with a sunbeam as well and almost immediately upgraded to a Rancillio Rocky, not the worlds best grinder but does a decent job. The problem I found with the sunbeam was the inconsistency and getting the grounds fine enough, as the Europicolla likes a very fine grind, almost turkish coffee like (not quite but you get the picture). A Lido hand grinder would be capable for sure and wouldn't be too much of a pain for 1 coffee a day and keep the sunbeam with some added shims for times you want to make 3 or more coffees in a short space of time.
    applor likes this.

  3. #3
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Hello

    We have been supplying La Pavoni for over 8 years so we know them fairly well.

    They are a unique machine and can produce a fantastic coffee but they are not for everyone.

    The biggest negative is that they will over heat once you get to shot 4 or 5.

    One point you mentioned is the 48mm basket. The Pavonis have either a 49mm basket (pre 2000) or a 51mm for the post 2000. Still wont fit your VST of course.

    Also, they generally require a slightly finer grind then most pump machines so your Sunbeam might struggle. Options depending on budget could be Macap, Eureka or Compak options

    Feel free to call if we can help

    Regards

    Antony
    (03) 9530 8992
    www.casaespresso.com.au

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies and yes I discovered after posting that the millennium models have 51mm group. I think I'd buy a Lido 2 hand grinder if I go with a LP lever.

    Is a naked PF considered to be essential for a lever? I have read many say it is because the manual action lets you see and adjust your force during the shot with instant feedback.

  5. #5
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    I would say yes for a naked portafilter being essential, particularly for a lever. They are a great diagnosis tool and good to keep your form correct. If you (like many of us) switch between beans often it makes it a lot easier to dial in the grind etc.

    I pretty much use mine exclusively now, I find the crema is more stable and I just love seeing it ooze out anyway.

    Are you looking to go brand new? They do pop up from time to time here, ebay and gumtree and they are built like a tank so very little can go wrong as they are such simple machines. You would be looking at least $1K for a new one plus then for a naked PF, grinder, tamper etc.
    applor likes this.

  6. #6
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=applor;615332]Thanks for the replies and yes I discovered after posting that the millennium models have 51mm group. I think I'd buy a Lido 2 hand grinder if I go with a LP lever.

    Is a naked PF considered to be essential for a lever? I have read many say it is because the manual action lets you see and adjust your force during the shot with instant feedback.[/QU

    A naked handle is less forgiving if your grind and tamp is not right. Anyone that has used a naked will be familiar with the "spray" effect when you get it wrong.

    As a tool though they certainly help show any flaws in technique

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au

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