Your post caught my attention as I've owned many la Pavoni lever units and sold a few Elektras. Both make excellent machines. la Pavoni machines are solid requiring new head seals and steam wand seals over years of use. A fine espresso grind (not oily), and pre infusion techniques can unlock rich crema flow. This is my wake up ritual. Try to stay away from newer LP's with after-market plastic parts, as the plastic looks odd against polished metal. Elektra lever machines are more expensive and deliver the same great espresso. Also have more parts to replace if problems occur. Elektra makes great machines if your wallet is getting heavy or need to impress company. Also, la Graziella a.k.a. la Cara makes a terrific lever unit that resembles la Pavoni. Mr. Cara is in San Francisco. Hope this helps.
Posted Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:49pm Subject: Re: Pavoni or Elektra
I've owned both, and in my opinion, the Elektra is worth the extra cost. The greatest advantage is is consistency. The spring mechanism gives a repeatable pressure profile that helps in "dialing in" new roasts and varieties of espresso. There's plenty of steam for lattes and you can do your own repairs (if necessary - my MCAL has been as reliable as an anvil). In addition, the MCAL is far more stable during the pull.
NobbyR Senior Member Joined: 10 Jul 2011 Posts: 2,074 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 Sat Sep 15, 2012, 8:18pm Subject: Re: Pavoni or Elektra
The major difference between those two machines is their mechanics: the spring lever of the Elektra makes it much easier to pull consistent shots than the purely manual La Pavoni. Theirfore you'll need less practice. However, that also gives you less control over the extraction process. So apart from budget questions, it all depends on what you want from your lever machine. Maximum convenience or maximum hand craft.
*** "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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