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Thread: Vintage Espresso machines. Worth the effort?

  1. #1
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    Vintage Espresso machines. Worth the effort?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Guys,
    Im just new to the forum (i bet you hate hearing that), and Im looking at getting a Circa 60s/70s La Pavoni Europiccola. I know about the voltage and what can be done to get them up to 240v. but Im not sure if these older machines are any good and worth the effort. *Thoughts?
    Ive also found a beautiful Italianstyle CE12 (brass). Does anyone know anything about these as it will need some parts. Any feedback would be hugely appreciated.
    Thanks
    Simon


  2. #2
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    Re: Vintage Espresso machines. Worth the effort?

    Hi Simon and welcome,

    Older Pavonis are easy to get bits for and with practice will produce a really good coffee. Plenty of local 220-240V options in Oz or even out of Italy from the bay of evil.

    As to the Italian Style if it doesnt have a PF or you dont know where to buy one then its worth $1.50 as parts are going to be scarce and custom bits cost. A search over at Home Barista will get you some more info on it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Vintage Espresso machines. Worth the effort?

    Great. Ill investigate a little more and see what I can come up with.
    Thanks again. :)

  4. #4
    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Espresso machines. Worth the effort?

    Hi Simon

    You wont regret getting a lever machine - its fun.
    I have a 1970s la Pav Europiccola and I regularly use it. Its true that you might sink more shots compared to a E61 grouphead machine but if you get the grind, tamp and pull just right you will have a luscious sweet real espresso. You will feel that you have really "made" the espresso rather than the machine having made the it. There is more "feel" to making it.

    In fact I used it just this weekend as my wife wanted the mother-in-law to see the elaborate ritual of grinding, tamping, infusing, pulling and cleaning up afterwards for just one pull on the Europiccola :-) And yes, one good shot and thats it.

    Its a great machine. Look for the James Bond pulling a shot on the La Pav lever.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgiilZY0eac

    Mike

  5. #5
    A_M
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    Re: Vintage Espresso machines. Worth the effort?

    Update ya profile..

    Could be experienced CSér just around the corner..

    We often like to help... Errr Touch shiny old things ;)

  6. #6
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    Re: Vintage Espresso machines. Worth the effort?

    I have an Italian style CE12 just like this one - though this is the first I have seen in Australia, I have only seen them in the US (110V) Thats where mine came from.

    The portafilter is absolutely huge (I think 68mm diameter or similar) so while it may be possible to borrow a PF from someone and cast / machine a new one, your also going to need the basket which is going to be tougher to make. Unfortunately the PF is the first thing that gets lost so there are countless posts on Coffee forums for people looking for replacements.
    My machine is waiting patiently for me to finish rebuilding a Rancilio Z11 before it gets its strip down and rebuild. One of the frustrating things about this machine is that there is no sight glass to tell you the water level. Not sure how hard it would be to add one. I guess I can look into that further down the track.
    Let me know if you end up getting this machine and want to look at or measure up a PF.

  7. #7
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    Re: Vintage Espresso machines. Worth the effort?

    Hi Aaaron - Thanks for that. In the end it seemed too hard and I have just received a new Isomac Zaffiro direct from Italy. Ive only run about a dozen shots through it so far, but its fantastic (and very shiny). Next comes a grinder, which Im currently researching. Budget is around $400, either new or second hand, so well see how that goes. Looking forward to The Rocks Coffee Expo on Sunday. :)



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