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Thread:  Elect Mic Casa or La Pavoni Pro or Gaggia A

  1. #1
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     Elect Mic Casa or La Pavoni Pro or Gaggia A

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Im interested in purchasing a lever type Electra Micro Casa, La Pavoni Professional or Stradivarius(probably the same thing but different cosmetics) or Gaggia Achille.
    Love my lattes, I dont want a press a button wonder, dont want something with a big footprint, eg. ECM etc.
    Have heard issues of build quality on the La Pavoni, rust buildup etc.
    Anybody out there with any experience?
    Thanks,
    Latte Lover

  2. #2
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    Re:  *Elect Mic Casa or La Pavoni Pro or Gagg

    Hi Latte Lover,

    I have a La Pavoni Europiccola circa 1973, it still works perfectly and I use it daily. I love my lever machine and if you are looking at one I would suggest doing a bit of research. Levers are not for everyone as they have a very long learning curve mainly due to the fact that it takes time to heat up, followed by a 4 shot window, then time to cool. Your results change from shot to shot as they are notoriously temp UNstable. If you are interested in learning the art of the lever machine than I do reccomend it, but if you are impatient I would say steer clear.

  3. #3
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    Re:  *Elect Mic Casa or La Pavoni Pro or Gagg

    Thanks! I am patient, understand about the learning curve, and will continue researching
    the various machines available until my curiosity is satisfied.
    Cheers,
    Latte Lover

  4. #4
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    Re:  *Elect Mic Casa or La Pavoni Pro or Gagg

    Unfortunately I can only comment on the LP. I have used some spring lever machines and must say I think the appeal of the lever is in the direct types. I say go for any and you will learn to love them, Even though I have a host of commercial machines at hand I still would rather pull a shot on my Pavoni Lever.

  5. #5
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    Re: **Elect Mic Casa or La Pavoni Pro or Gagg

    Weve sold a few of the La Pavs and Elektra Micro Casas over the years (used to import the Elektras direct), but cant speak for the other machine mentioned.

    I think it comes down to you deciding whether you as an individual want a "commercial" type coffee as in that made with a pump driven machine of certain standard, or the type of coffee made by the lever / boiler machines such as those mentioned.

    The character of the coffee produced by boiler / lever machines VS "pump drivens" is different, the capacity of the 2 machine types is different, the operator usability (as described admirably by Pioneer Roaster above) is different, *the long time reliability is different, as you have noted the aesthetics and size are different, and the ease of service when it is eventually required is different etc.

    If you want a modern commercial type coffee from a lever / boiler type machine then I fear that is not achievable.

    Ive personally never seen any issues with rust or corrosion in the La Pav or Micro Casa except in older or very well used machines where you "might excuse" this. and there is a very large difference in the price between these two. For my money, if I were going to outlay the purchase price of a Micro Casa, then for a similar amount I would instead and without question go for a pump driven machine which will give me the style of coffee I prefer. The La Pav is a lot less pricey, *so the decision is more difficult when based upon price.

    I dont have any adverse comment on the build quality and they all look fantastic when theyre new. But they also look really really tired as they age if they have not been well looked after, particularly the brass / copper models. Speaking with machine repairer hat on however, I have to say the design of these manual lever style machines comes back to haunt later down the track when you have to dismantle them to repair. It is a lot quicker and easier to dismantle modern type machinery and therefore this is reflected in the cost of labour to the client.

    I hope this gives some more food for thought, and you have to weigh up several aspects to the discussion.

    Regards,
    Attilio (real name)
    aka FC, first / original CS commercial site sponsor.

  6. #6
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    Re:  *Elect Mic Casa or La Pavoni Pro or Gagg

    Ah yes forgot to mention.

    The very fact of the lever machines being small with a small footprint & light construction means a couple of extra things for you to consider:

    a) Light in weight and small footprint means the machines are easily pushed around on the bench when you insert the group handle.

    b) This means you instinctively go to steady the machine with your other hand and

    c) you can, atleast initially when you are learning your new machine, burn yourself on the hot exposed boiler/body.

    All things that you learn to live with, if you choose to go with one of these.

    Regards,
    Attilio.

  7. #7
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    Re:  *Elect Mic Casa or La Pavoni Pro or Gagg

    Thanks for the information.
    I really want to go for the lever type and will continue to research.
    Will keep you posted.
    Many thanks,
    Latte Lover

  8. #8
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    Re:  *Elect Mic Casa or La Pavoni Pro or Gagg

    After having had an espresso stove top especially after coming back from having lived in Europe for 2 years we have left it up at Byron and now back in Sydney have become interested in the lever press?(am a novice still )any more information would be appreciated. WE travel around a bit and like to take our own coffee making devices.

  9. #9
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    Re:  *Elect Mic Casa or La Pavoni Pro or Gagg

    Im in town most days, where did you leave your machine. I can pick it up and send it for you if you like.

    Regards,
    Cameron
    (Byron Bay)

  10. #10
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    Re:  *Elect Mic Casa or La Pavoni Pro or Gagg

    Hi Latte Lover

    I acquired an Elektra MCAL about four weeks ago. It replaced a Faema Family (a vaugely-Silvia-level machine) which had served me faithfully for twenty years. When I decided to upgrade, I finally settled on either an Isomac Zaffiro or the Elektra, which were roughly at the same ~$1600 price point. I saw both machines as meeting my needs, which are 2-3 non-milk coffees per day. I chose the Elektra. Why? Good reviews, appearance, silence, and the fact that I would learn something different about coffee via a hands-on approach. In making my choice, I was fully aware of the limitations, and the fact that I was paying a premium for some kitchen bling.

    What have I learnt in four weeks?

    1. The coffee is either very much better, or somewhat worse, than I could achieve with my Faema.
    2. Dosage size is critical. Its easy to over-extract.
    3. You dont get as much crema.
    4. The instant feedback you get from observing how quickly the lever "erects" once you let go (and consequently, the pour) tells me a lot about grind/tamp/dose that I never got by just watching a pour that happened after pressing a button. I get a real sense of water under pressure pushing through that thing Ive just packed. In this way, I can link failure or success to what Ive just done. I imagine this "learning through fun-failure" process would be even more pronounced with a direct lever machine like the La Pavoni, where one has the additional variable of direct pressure control.
    5. Milk frothing is brilliant.

    There were some niggling issues - the manual is poor (there is a better one on-line I can point anyone to), and I had to access a dedicated Coffeegeek lever forum for help with some key issues. The tamper supplied is very poor - I got a custom made one from Greg Pullman. The clip spring on the the PF doesnt work, so the baskets just fall out. Doing a PF wiggle to clean it after a shot is hazardous. You have to fill it with water far more often (like, after every session). You have to put up with people asking you "how much did that cost?" and "can you make coffees for all ten of us?" and "why does it have an eagle on top" etc. etc.

    I hope that helps.

  11. #11
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    Re:  *Elect Mic Casa or La Pavoni Pro or Gagg

    As with most Lever machine owners I come across, we all find joy and satisfaction in the process. It does add another level of frustration sometimes but when you get it right, you know about it. Yes, they are overpriced, under-performing, unpracticle and a pain in the a$$, but I still use mine everyday despite having equipment worth 20 times it at work.



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