Posted Mon May 27, 2013, 8:00am Subject: Lever or manual Espresso machine
Hi everybody, my first post here and I would like an opinion on Lever Machines like La Pavoni Europicola de Luxe. I am hesitating between the Europicola and Gagia Classic (or similar manual espresso).
(I have now Delonghi EC155, which is "OK", no big deal:-) and is starting to get tired after 5 years)...
I live in France and can find these 2 machines second hand for similar price-~160euros.
La Pavoni Europicola deLuxe for 160 euros, (about 3 years old) great condition, people are selling it because they don't have the time to operate it in the morning.
My question is what is so good about them?... What is there to learn? Will I make excellent cafe? (I understand "learning a machine", even my Delonghi I had to learn) What makes it difficult? Pressing the handle, etc? Are they reliable and easily repaired? (Net is full of parts)
What are the advantages/disadvantages of La Pavoni compared to a decent manual machine like Gagia classic or similar?
Or do you have another suggestion for a good machine?...The rating part of forum is just too big to digest... Thanx in advance
fwtechwiz Senior Member Joined: 19 Feb 2010 Posts: 530 Location: Fort Wayne, IN Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Gaggia Evolution Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Mon May 27, 2013, 5:10pm Subject: Re: Lever or manual Espresso machine
The Gaggia Classic and the Europiccola are worlds apart in both design and function...which is best depends on what your requirements are.
The Classic (and similar machines) take alot of the manual control off of the user, by way of two thermostats (one for brew and one for steam), and an electric pump to supply the right water pressure.
The Europiccola is a true manual machine, maintaining the boiler at steam temp at all times (takes much longer to warm up than the Classic) and replacing the pump with a hand operated lever to supply the pressure. It takes practice and lots of it to get it just right.
If you are wanting to pull more than two shots in succession, you'll have problems with the Europiccola because the group will overheat and you'll have to let it cool down between shots. The Classic is better at pulling back to back shots, but will eventually overheat as well if you steam milk between shots. You don't have to wait to steam milk with the Euro, so it's a plus if you make only one or two milk based drinks at a time. The Classic has a waiting period between brew and steam, and another waiting period to let the boiler cool back down to pull the second shot. I can't speak for reliability, as I don't own a Euro, but from what I hear, both are pretty stable machines with a reasonably good record for durability. Hope this helps.
frankward Senior Member Joined: 9 Feb 2013 Posts: 39 Location: Massachusetts Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: La Pavoni Professional Gold,... Grinder: Mazzer Mini, OE Pharos Drip: Hario, Chemex Roaster: Hottop
Posted Tue May 28, 2013, 6:05pm Subject: Re: Lever or manual Espresso machine
I have both a La Pavoni Professional (high end Europiccola) and a Gaggia Baby (low end Classic). I used the Gaggia for 10 years before buying La Pavoni. The Gaggia is a great espresso machine and needed only the switches repaired over that period. The Baby had lower quality switches than the Classic. I've had the La Pavoni for a year and a few months and it has really immersed me in espresso love. It has totally raised my barista skills. It is a great machine for the obsessed. That said, the Pavoni recently stopped heating water and I think I am in for a big repair job. It looks like I'll be going back to the Gaggia for awhile. So, if you are an espresso nut, I think the Europiccola will give you a satisfying challenge. If you just want really good espresso, the classic is a classic.
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