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La Pavoni 2A Pump ?

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  • La Pavoni 2A Pump ?

    A friend has a machine she estimates at being about seven years -- a La Pavoni 2A pump-lever unit, v. smart looking and seems in good nick.
    She doesnt use it at all; too much trouble. I have been holding out till I can afford a Rancilio Silvia, but that could be some time off ... is this a reasonable compromise? Is build quality ok and coffee results from home-roasted home-ground beans ok?
    What would you think is a reasonable price for a seven year old machine like that? Neither of us have the slightest idea. Is this a machine worth pursuing? Solid build etc? I cant find much in the way of positive vetting on the net. It looks great, but its beauty could be just skin-deep....

  • #2
    Re: La Pavoni 2A Pump ?

    Greetings Anthony,

    I am not sure about the code "2A" but it sounds as if your friend has a La Pavoni "europiccola" or "professional" manual lever machine.

    My company sells both the current derivative of the above and the silvia, so I hope any comments I make in comparing one to the other are not looked upon as sounding unprofessional or as a personal slight on anyones choice of personal coffee machine but....

    If you have had your heart set on a silvia and the question you are asking is, how does the la pavoni compare to the silvia, I am sorry but there is no comparison, and it would not be a "reasonable compromise" as the two models are worlds apart in the coffee they each produce.

    In terms of straight comparison,

    New RRP of La Pavoni manual lever machine in Chrome off the top of the head around $1300.00 ( not at work & cant check);

    New RRP of for Silvia recently went to $770.00;

    La Pavoni does not make espresso like commercial style, while
    Silvia does;

    La Pavoni looks fantastic, while
    Silvia is a box;

    La Pavoni can only be used to entertain very small groups of people ( eg if you have a dinner party) because it has a small finite capacity in the boiler with no water reservoir, while
    Silvia can be used to entertain and has infinitely larger capacity.

    Many people swear by their La Pavoni manual lever machine, while
    many swear by their Silvia.

    The La Pavoni has changed very little in the last 7 years, and your friends machine if in good nik, will be very representative of the current model.

    The right price, is whatever your friend is prepared to accept for a  machine that she does not use and simply takes up space at her place.

    It is quite solid, and very simple.

    I am afraid then, that you have to make the choice according to your own individual requirements.

    Hope this has been of some help,


    • #3
      Re: La Pavoni 2A Pump ?

      Thanks for words ... just wondering if you could go somewhere towards defining the diff. between the Rancilio commercial style result, and the Pavoni .. and what do you think a fair offer would be for a seven year old Pavoni?


      • #4
        Re: La Pavoni 2A Pump ?

        Anthony- Id recommend that you have a good long play with the LaPavoni before you consider buying one. I agree that they look terrific but its tough to get a good espresso out of them...and I reckon you can pretty much forget milk with them.

        I had a guy at the academy who bought one in for a play. We found it struggled with anything approaching a commercial grind or extraction rate. In addition the portafilter is non-standard (52mm??) and way too small.

        In the words of the wise man, caveat emptor....youd be buying more for looks than performance....



        • #5
          Re: La Pavoni 2A Pump ?

          Altho we havent agreed on price, we HAVE agreed that I should get the machine soon to play around with for a few days to see if it suits.
          And if it cant do decent milk, Ill forget it .. .though I go for espresso or macchiato, my wifes firmly a latte gal......


          • #6
            Re: La Pavoni 2A Pump ?


            My folks have a La Pavoni europiccola from the mid-late 70s that I use whenever I visit. I find it takes the same very fine grind as my Silvia (often finer at times) and can do better ristrettos than regular espressos. It is quite difficult to get the Europiccola to extract good espresso in a single 25 second lever pull. Because they dont have a grinder the coffee I take there is usually about 2 hours post-grind, which results in beautifully viscous crema pours, but the crema dissipates rather more quickly. I dont know exactly how much the europiccola has changed in design in the last 30 years, but the one I use requires a bit of experimentation in the temp-surfing department (this model has no temp or pressure gauge). I havent been able to produce microfoam with it - I dont think theres enough water left in the boiler after pulling a double for optimum steam, and I havent tried steaming before the shot.

            I like both machines, but for different reasons:

            The Pavoni looks great in a kitchen and theres a certain tactile joy that comes with using it. Because its more finicky than the Silvia, theres a greater feeling of satisfaction when you get it right. I also like how you can make adjustments to the pressure (ie your arm pulling down) during the very pour itself. You also get greater insight into whats happening inside the portafilter because you have the kinaesthetic feedback of how much resistance you can feel from the puck and not simply the visual clues of how fast the coffees extracting (this is especially useful for diagnosing grind/dose/tamp issues).

            In contrast the Silvia does much better steam and can produce multiple shots more quickly. Unlike the La Pavoni I dont think the Silvia group gets too hot to work with (this happens with the europiccola after a few consecutive shots) and can be left on for long periods, ready to go at a moments notice.

            In terms of taste, Ive had wonderful coffee from both. The europiccola Im talking about has had a life of neglect - coffee residue inside the portafilter spouting that no amount of soaking in espresso machine detergent seems able to dissolve; I doubt its ever been descaled - and this taints the flavour a bit but Im sure it wouldnt happen with a clean unit.

            Im tempted to say its easier to pour consistently good shots with the Silvia, but perhaps this is simply because Ive pulled thousands of shots with Silvia and only dozens of shots with the europiccola. Its possible a greater percentage of europiccola shots (than Silvia shots) may miss the exact 8-9 bar pressure window (because our triceps and biceps arent set at 9 bar in the factory), but I imagine with some sort of pressure gauge it wouldnt be too hard to figure out how hard a pull 9 bar is.

            I would love to have both. With my current disparity in operating practice of these 2 machines I would turn to the Europiccola when its the journey I want, and to the Silvia when Im more concerned about the destination.

            Hope this helps.