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Thread: La Pavoni Europiccola or Professional?

  1. #1
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    La Pavoni Europiccola or Professional?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Everyone,
    I had been looking at a whole heap of different machines for different prices, trying to find that perfect machine (for me, anyway). Lever machines hadn't really come up in my searches, so I didn't really understand them that well or factor them in. They also don't often get mentioned.

    Now that I've stumbled across them though, I've got a La Pavoni Europiccola or Professional at the top of the list. They seem to be great value for money, make a great coffee, and are nice eye candy. I usually only make 1 espresso per day, on the weekends. Occasionally it might be 2 or more, or a milk coffee, but not regularly.

    I've done a fair bit of reading and understand the complexities and limitations of levers, especially the La Pavoni's, but have a few questions about the 2 machines I've mentioned...

    Is there any difference between the Europiccola and the Professional, besides the larger boiler size and pressure guage on the pro?

    What are the approximate warm-up times for both?

    Is there a low-water cut-off to stop them from boiling dry?

    Are the boilers copper/brass, or stainless?

    Sorry if the answers are already out there, I find it a bit hard to determine which year/version people are talking about when they post, and haven't come across the specifics for both.


    I had also posted about getting a grinder previously, as i was thinking I would be going down the path of an E61... But now that I'm looking at a lever machine, would a Eureka Atom still be a wise purchase? I see alot of people with lever machines have used Lido's - would a Lido-E produce a better grind for use with a lever than an Atom? I'm not phased by hand grinding if it makes a nicer coffee.


    Thanks for your help guys,
    Witherz

  2. #2
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    Can't answer your questions on La Pavoni - sorry.
    But if you're only making one espresso a day it may be worth considering a Flair Espresso Maker.
    A cheaper but equally high quality way of getting into lever coffee.
    Bonus is you can take it with you when you travel. Would match well with a Lido.
    Otago likes this.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by saeco_user View Post
    Can't answer your questions on La Pavoni - sorry.
    But if you're only making one espresso a day it may be worth considering a Flair Espresso Maker.
    A cheaper but equally high quality way of getting into lever coffee.
    Bonus is you can take it with you when you travel. Would match well with a Lido.
    Canít steam milk though :-)

  4. #4
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    La Pavoni Europiccola or Professional?

    Quote Originally Posted by witherz View Post
    Hi Everyone,
    I had been looking at a whole heap of different machines for different prices, trying to find that perfect machine (for me, anyway). Lever machines hadn't really come up in my searches, so I didn't really understand them that well or factor them in. They also don't often get mentioned.

    Now that I've stumbled across them though, I've got a La Pavoni Europiccola or Professional at the top of the list. They seem to be great value for money, make a great coffee, and are nice eye candy. I usually only make 1 espresso per day, on the weekends. Occasionally it might be 2 or more, or a milk coffee, but not regularly.

    I've done a fair bit of reading and understand the complexities and limitations of levers, especially the La Pavoni's, but have a few questions about the 2 machines I've mentioned...

    Is there any difference between the Europiccola and the Professional, besides the larger boiler size and pressure guage on the pro?

    What are the approximate warm-up times for both?

    Is there a low-water cut-off to stop them from boiling dry?

    Are the boilers copper/brass, or stainless?

    Sorry if the answers are already out there, I find it a bit hard to determine which year/version people are talking about when they post, and haven't come across the specifics for both.


    I had also posted about getting a grinder previously, as i was thinking I would be going down the path of an E61... But now that I'm looking at a lever machine, would a Eureka Atom still be a wise purchase? I see alot of people with lever machines have used Lido's - would a Lido-E produce a better grind for use with a lever than an Atom? I'm not phased by hand grinding if it makes a nicer coffee.


    Thanks for your help guys,
    Witherz
    Hi!

    So, I currently own a La Pavoni Europiccola year 2012 (millennium, 51mm group).

    Before that I was using a V60 almost exclusively, sometimes I would go for a mokka. Before that, I had a Profitec Pro-700, and before that, I had a Gaggia Classic. This goes back a few years!

    Grinder wise, I currently own a Feldgrind2, 38mm burrs. MBK has now announced a 47mm version. I also have a Niche Zero waiting to be delivered. Before that I had a Kinu M68, and before that a Profitec T64 and before that an Eureka Mignon.

    So you may think: ďThis guy is nuts!Ē.

    Well, after a while I just wanted to make a cup of coffee, thatís all. I didnít want to wait for 45 minutes to have the machine heated up; I didnít want to worry about retention in my grinders; I didnít want the kitchen to be taken over by espresso machines and coffee equipment, and I was the only coffee drinker on the household as my wife kind of gave up on the faff.

    Before buying the Pavoni, second hand, in good condition, I was considering the Flair Espresso or a small Lellit. Do I enjoy milk drinks? Oh yeah, so for almost the same price, I bought a second hand Pavoni instead.

    The Pavoni is great. It heats up fast, under 10 minutes. Once it says itís ready, warm the group with a few half pumps, warm the PF with hot water and you are good to go. I make 2 drinks daily.

    I found however that I had to increase the pressure on my europiccola , and swap the steam tip for a single hole one. I made a pressure gauge adapter myself to check it, but la Pavoni makes the adjustment of the p-stat very difficult by putting glue on the adjustment screw. For that reason alone, I would buy a Professional, so you know exactly whatís going on. The maintenance on the Pavoni is affordable, straight forward and simple. I like that. You do however need to understand very well how the machine behaves, its capabilities and its limits. Failure to understand and learn will make you so frustrated that youíll be blaming the machine for all sorts and it will end up on eBay or back here in no time.

    Now, you make espressos at the weekend only, and only 1 per day, sometimes 2.

    Two things to consider: donít bother with a coffee machine. Youíll find the Pavoni frustrating as you wonít make enough coffee to learn from it. Stick to filter / mokka Pot, aeropress or whatever as things are much simpler, as you donít need to worry about dialling in, etc etc. And, when you are out and about, visit your favourite coffee shop and get a drink from there.

    Or buy a Pavoni and a grinder. You might find yourself making coffee far more often than you initially anticipated though!

    Ps: sorry for any mistakes. I typed all of that on my phone.
    pavonipuller likes this.

  5. #5
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    I recently got a Romantica (basically a fancy looking professional), the La Pavoni levers are certainly beautiful machines! I have experience with E61 machines so knew the basics before using the lever. I think without this experience the pavoni may have been a bit frustrating at first as the above post alludes to - but as long as you do some basic research on how to use it properly (there are some terrible examples of using them on youtube, don't go searching there, although this one is actually pretty good and funny: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8Drc064TvQ)

    As far as I know there isn't a low water cut off, but there is a sight glass, which is much easier to see the water level than the E61 machines I've used!
    10-15 minute warm up
    Boiler of mine appears to be copper

    I have read that they tend to get a bit hot after a couple of shots. I've only pulled shots for myself so far so am not sure how big of a problem this is yet. I think newer models have a teflon sleeve to help with this, and you can just try using a cold portafilter among other solutions.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    Buy the Pav. If you can afford it buy an Elektra Leva which is a superior, more consistent machine but the Pavoni will do just fine.

    Steams a treat too :-)

  7. #7
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    La Pavoni Europiccola or Professional?

    We import the La Pavoni range.

    There are certainly some things to consider with the La Pavoni.

    A few little quirks but when you get it right they are excellent.

    Feel free to give me a call and i can try to steer you in the right direction

    We can also help you out with the Atom or alternative grinder

    Regards

    Antony
    (03) 9530 8992
    www.casaespresso.com.au
    Last edited by Casa Espresso; 19th July 2018 at 11:24 AM.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the suggesting the Flair saeco_user, but I think I would only use something like that for camping or travelling as suggested Ė for on the bench at home I would prefer something with the ability to steam milk - I like a cappuccino every now and then and my wife does enjoy the occasional hot chocolate).

    MRS, thanks for the info. Good to hear that youíve had all those different machines, but still happy with the output of the Pavoni. The info about the pressure stat adjustment and gauge is very handy, will possibly swing my decision towards the pro.

    Agrajag, thanks for info, definitely helps with comparison. It looks like the europiccola takes about 5-10 mins to warm up and the pro takes about 10-15.

    JMC, I think the Elektra might be more than I would want to pay Ė a small part of the attraction with the Pavís is the price for what you can achieve.

    Antony, Iíll definitely be in touch. Do you currently have the europiccola and professional on display? And do you get any in with the wooden handles/knobs? If I have the time I might try to drop in on Saturday (itís a bit of a drive as I live in the west).

    I currently have a small breville, got it about 2004 for $150, itís just their very basic thermoblock machine. The reason I only use that on the weekends is we have a wega 2-group and san remo 1-group at work, so I just use them Mon-Fri. As for dialling in, Iím aware it will be a bit of a process, but also something I am familiar with as Iím the one that dials in our grinders at work to try and get the best coffee from cheap beans. We have a Mazzer SJ and mini-e, and Fiorenzato nano.

    Iím sure it will take me a while with the Pav to get everything working nicely, but itís also part of the fun too I think.

    Anyone have an opinion on whether I would be better with a Lido-E or Atom grinder to go with the Pav?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by witherz View Post
    Thanks for the suggesting the Flair saeco_user, but I think I would only use something like that for camping or travelling as suggested – for on the bench at home I would prefer something with the ability to steam milk - I like a cappuccino every now and then and my wife does enjoy the occasional hot chocolate).
    Understandable.

    Quote Originally Posted by witherz View Post
    Anyone have an opinion on whether I would be better with a Lido-E or Atom grinder to go with the Pav?
    I have a Lido-E and it does a great job with a much more consistent grind than my old commercial grinder that needs new burrs.
    The one thing I would say is that even with the antistatic collection jar there is still often static build-up and I grind 5 mins or so before use.
    Grinding for one (a double) shot is easy. Doing it routinely for multiple shots may become tedious.

  10. #10
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    I recently purchased a Europiccola myself after reading up on the price vs. performance and looks..

    In no way am I knocking the Pav, but unless you have a very strict process for using the machine your results for your one coffee per day may vary wildly for better or worse. I was in love with the process myself but must admit I grow tired of it now, for me there are simply too many things that need to be managed in order to coax a nice brew.

    The biggest quirk I have noticed which I never read about is how much of a difference the speed in which you engage the lever to your desired pressure will affect flow. This tricked me numerous times into thinking my grind was off leading me to run in circles adjusting both - this would not be a problem for someone who understands flow and pressure however its something that still irks me should my timing be off. Other minor stuff like output being different every time even if you think you have bled the group, managing the temp of the group (temp strips really help here), having to raise the lever partially on insertion of the portafilter to prevent the puck being disturbed etc and some days it can all be a bit much.

    I've had some awesome shots from this machine, though I believe it is best suited to those who want to perfect every step of the process as I'm sure you have read over and over in your research.
    JMcCee likes this.

  11. #11
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    Although I love the Pav this is why I always recommend potential buyers consider the Microcasa Leva as well. The spring Elektra really does take a lot of guess work and frustration out of the process, especially for non-geek types who may still have a chrome-junkie streak..
    timothyp likes this.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by timothyp View Post
    I recently purchased a Europiccola myself after reading up on the price vs. performance and looks..

    In no way am I knocking the Pav, but unless you have a very strict process for using the machine your results for your one coffee per day may vary wildly for better or worse.
    I agree. However, I found the same with my e61 Pro-700 and Kinu or T64. Iíd say that the first shot was always somewhat different than the subsequent ones, and this was after leaving the machine heating up for 45 mins and purging the grinder etc.

    After a few years of some degree of OCD I went back to basics (see my previous post). I now just enjoy the coffee, whatever the output might be. I know it is unlikely it will be the same, but I must admit I havenít yet had a bad cup of coffee from my Pav. Have I had a god shot? Yes, but not all the time. :-)
    timothyp likes this.

  13. #13
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    So I ended up getting a Europiccola in the end. I liked the look of it better (personal preference, but I felt things were a bit better in proportion than the larger boiler on the Pro). I also didn't need a larger boiler given it was mostly just for 1 coffee, and the warm up time is a little bit quicker for the euro.
    I've now got this teamed up with a Eureka Mignon Specialita grinder, and am getting some great shots. In all, very glad I got a lever, it's so much fun tinkering to get things right, and when you do its amazing.

    The bug has definitely bitten me... I've also got a behmor and roasting my own beans, I've got a flair for the camping kit (It makes amazing shots too), a couple of Lidos (for at work and decaf/camping), a single bialetti stovetop, and a tuttocrema for the camp kit too.
    To say I'm really enjoying all things coffee right now would be an understatement. Thanks for all the help and info on here, it really is a great resource for all things coffee.
    Javaphile, magnafunk and ovonate like this.



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