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SHOULD I BUY LA PAVONI PROFESSIONAL OR EUROPICCOLA ?
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Pavel_Gudkov
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Sep 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Norway
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Sep 10, 2012, 12:58pm
Subject: SHOULD I BUY LA PAVONI PROFESSIONAL OR EUROPICCOLA ?
 

Hello Coffeegeek forumers!

After some research here, i finally decided to go fully manual...and La Pavoni is what i am interested in!
However, i am not sure what model is the right choice, Europiccola or Professional ? How much will i benefit from a "Professional" model?
Ive read that Europiccolas steaming function is not perfect, but is it any better on a more expensive La Pavoni Professional?
The price difference between these two is 130 Euros. It is not a problem for me to pay extra, but is it worth it?

Thank you in advance!

Pavel Gudkov , Norway
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TonyVan
Senior Member


Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 276
Location: Pacific Northwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: GS/3, La Pavoni
Grinder: Macap M7K, Rocky
Drip: Kone
Posted Mon Sep 10, 2012, 8:01pm
Subject: Re: SHOULD I BUY LA PAVONI PROFESSIONAL OR EUROPICCOLA ?
 

The more shots you intend to make in a session, the better the Pro will work, at least in my experience. Having used both versions for decades, and often back-to-back, the Europiccola was great for one-and-done sessions (or maybe two shots), but when doing 3, 4, 5 etc. the Pro always felt more stable and capable of greater consistency (while using, of course, your choice of the many famed techniques to assist the LP's temperature stability).  

Certainly, the larger boiler must bring some additional stability and usability - especially since refilling it is usually unnecessary during any reasonable session, even when requiring lots of steam AND lots of shots.  

But if you're just making a couple shots for yourself in the morning and/or evening, developing (and then sticking to) a consistent routine with the Europiccola can provide terrific espresso.
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uyeasound
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Shetland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 11, 2012, 5:27am
Subject: Re: SHOULD I BUY LA PAVONI PROFESSIONAL OR EUROPICCOLA ?
 

Unless you would wish to serve more than six shots at one time, without suffering a gap of, say, ten minutes rest, then buy the euro.  The pro is only bigger, no more stable or better at steaming.
The temp stability can easily be overcome, and steaming can be improved by replacing the stock tip.
They're both wonderful machines, but one can make only six drinks, the other can make loads.
Spend the saved cash on loads of coffee, or a nice tamper, or a better grinder, or a few spare filter baskets (so you can prep them, then bang the shots out fast).
I have a rocky, but wish i'd bought a pharos.
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,061
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Tue Sep 11, 2012, 5:42am
Subject: Re: SHOULD I BUY LA PAVONI PROFESSIONAL OR EUROPICCOLA ?
 

Before the advent of pumps and the E61 brew group, lever machines used to be the only way of making espresso the way we understand it today. Even though there are still some commercial machines of that kind available (like Kess van der Westen's beautiful Mirage Idrocompresso), nowadays lever machines are more or less exclusively for home use. Making coffee with such an espresso machine is almost a work of art, because unless you have a spring lever machine, it takes a lot of practice to get the brewing pressure right. Here are some typical characteristics of lever machines:

  • usually no waiting for frothing milk, because the boiler is on steaming temperature and pressure;
  • practically no parts subject to regular wear, because they have neither a pump nor a magnetic valve;
  • quiet operating, the grinder being the only thing really making noise;
  • interesting design (i.e. you have to like them);
  • not suitable for continuous use, because the brewgroup tends to overheat after a few shots unless you cool it externally.

This temperature instability is what can make it difficult to pull shots of consistent quality. Each espresso tends to taste (at least a little) differently, and after a few shots it might get burnt and bitter. Those who only brew a couple of shots each time they turn on the machine, who are willing to go through the pains of learning how to handle it, and who are looking for an eye-catcher will fare well with such an espresso machine.

As far as the Europiccola and the Professional are concerned, the major difference is boiler size as already mentioned.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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Pavel_Gudkov
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Sep 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Norway
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Sep 11, 2012, 1:59pm
Subject: Re: SHOULD I BUY LA PAVONI PROFESSIONAL OR EUROPICCOLA ?
 

Ive read that both machines suffer from overheating issues, and that in both cases it is only possible to make a couple of good espresso shots before the brew group becomes too hot.
Also, if i am correct, the pressure can be controlled on europiccola by adding a pressure gauge.
So, if the pro version is not more pressure stable or better in milk steaming, the right investment should be a europicolla !? 8-)

Thank you!

Pavel
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uyeasound
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Shetland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 12, 2012, 12:28am
Subject: Re: SHOULD I BUY LA PAVONI PROFESSIONAL OR EUROPICCOLA ?
 

I'd say it's perfectly possible, with the right method, to make six identical great shots in a row with the euro.  I don't have the pressure gauge, i just trust the pstat, and temp surf the group (by moving the lever a little) while watching my group thermometer.  If it is over my desired brew temp for a moment, I wait twenty seconds.  Repeatability is all you need, which the pstat gives, so i see no need for the pressure gauge: surfing the group temp can allow you to hit any brew temp you want.
Definately place a thermometer on the group somewhere.  Temp strips aren't accurate enough.  I often adjust by .1 or .2 to improve my shot.
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TonyVan
Senior Member


Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 276
Location: Pacific Northwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: GS/3, La Pavoni
Grinder: Macap M7K, Rocky
Drip: Kone
Posted Wed Sep 12, 2012, 10:02pm
Subject: Re: SHOULD I BUY LA PAVONI PROFESSIONAL OR EUROPICCOLA ?
 

I agree - most LP users, whether using the Pro or the Euro, evolve a routine to provide that degree of consistency and repeatability. There are many control techniques, including thermometers, timing, cool portafilters, power-off switching - and the many combinations of these and others.  The more shots pulled in a session, the more important these routines become, but as a group they dispense with the "overheating" concern.

Having used both versions for many years, I still prefer the Pro when making several shots as opposed to just one or two, but there's no question that the Europiccola can get the job done too. And definitely a +1 to the much greater value in putting the savings into a better grinder - and the multi-basket method is definitely a great way to go too - on any machine, not just the LM.  It's one great advantage for the home user that can't be duplicated practically in a professional cafe environment.
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