Phooey to all the prosumer/home, technique critical machines- give me the commercial quality easy to use La Pavoni Pub
Positive Product Points
Commercial one group machine that makes a great shot without having to be a super barista. Heats up within 15-20 mins to stable full operating temperature. Volumetric dosing can be adjusted, or use manual dosing. Makes as much steam, hot water as any home would usually need. Plumbed in model- never have to fill resevoir or empty drain pan.
Negative Product Points
Large, very tall, will not fit under some cabinets. Can't use tall cups under head, even with spouts off portafilter. On-off switch not in as easy to reach or visible as I would like.
I bought this machine, Pavoni grinder and water softener for $50 from a hotel that changed their restaurant style and had put it in storage for a couple of years. I didn't get a pump/motor or portafilters with it. So after about another $150 in plumbing pieces, used pump/motor, etc. I got an working commercial espresso machine. (I sold the grinder for $200 because I already had a San Marco SM90 that I liked better- so net cost is $0.00 -LOL.)
I had been using a Via Veneto with a non-pressurized portafilter as my learning machine. The Pub is SO MUCH EASIER to use. I think besides the full sized group head, boiler and everything else the single best thing is that having the machine plumbed in makes it such a joy to use. The second best thing is I get a very good espresso without having to minutely paying attention to every little detail of grind dosing and tamping. Just being in the ball park gives good results.
I can't see myself ever needing to replace this machine (especially since I found another working machine exactly like it for $150).
I bought knowing this was probably a fixer-upper and would problably have to spend 2-300 dollars on parts. It was worth it.