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Pasquini Livia 90 - Glen Kahn's Review
Posted: December 22, 2011, 4:52pm
review rating: 0.0
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Pasquini Livia 90
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More About This Product
Arrow The Pasquini Livia 90 has 48 Reviews
Arrow The Pasquini Livia 90 has been rated 8.76 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Pasquini Livia 90 reviews have been viewed 344,793 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Sandy Andina 8.33
Rich C 8.33
Peter H. 8.25
Michael Nelson 8.17
Rai - 8.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.0
Manufacturer: Pasquini Quality: 8
Average Price: $1,250.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $975.00 Cost vs. Value 7
Where Bought: Craigslist - used Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 2 years Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Bottom Line: Small, compact, attractive, reliable, competent machine with slightly dated, but functional technology.
Positive Product Points

Great look, design and aesthetics.  Compact size.  Good, quality, consistent performance.  Trouble-free and reliable.  Easy to maintain.

Negative Product Points

Needs a modified, metal two-hole, small aperture steam tip (from ChrisCoffee) for easy microfoaming.  Four hole tip is impossible for steaming.  I had two nylon, turbo steam tips.  One works great and very easily; the other cannot produce microfoam.  Maybe the Livia should be updated with a no-burn steam wand.

Detailed Commentary

I bought a lightly used, Livia 90 Automatic through Craigslist.  ( I also had a Livia 90 semi-auto that made even better espressos, but I could never figure out why).  I made one small, easy modificaton to the Livia Auto.  The insulation between the circuit board and the boiler may be perfectly adequate.  To me, the insulation looked thin.  So I added another piece of insulation to further isolate heat (heat shortens the life of electrical components).  I replaced the gasket in the grouphead, and replaced the front panel, gauge which was not working.  That's it.

IMPORTANT:  Several recent posts state that parts are no longer available and that the Livia is no longer supported by Pasquini.  I became alarmed at this mis-information.  So, I called Pasquini to see if it is true (on Dec., 22, 2011).  Emphatically, it is untrue (false) and those posts are misinformed.  As an aside, I have absolutely no ties or association to Pasquini.

As to reliability, it is my observation regarding much mechanical equipment, that many people simply do not understand best practices.  I have been advised by numerous service departments and technicians who service and repair espresso machines, that the most problems they see are from over-use of cleaning chemicals and de-scaling too frequently.  I keep my Livia clean, back-flush every day with water, clean the shower weekly and de-scale maybe once a year.  I have been advised to use chemicals such as Urnex Cafiza or Puro Caff only several times a year--certainly no more than monthly if for very heavy use.  I make two to three double shots per day.  That is my usage.

Regarding de-scaling, we can maintain our machines (any brand) just by using correct water--and using aggressive water such as distilled or RO with small amounts of tap water for electrolytes for a period, to re-absorb scale.  Water chemistry is another discussion.

Finally, I also have a fairly new, La Spaziale dual boiler, with electronically controlled or stabilized temperature.  Yes, a dual-boiler, PID machine is very consistent and very easy.  Nevertheless, I suppose because I like the looks of the Pasquini and because it fits on the kitchen counter better at the house where I spend most time, I find I use the Pasquini much more than the La Spaziale.  HX or dual-boiler doesn't make much difference to me.  A little more work to surf the temperature with the Livia--but it is consistently good.

Buying Experience

Easy on Craigslist.

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Posted: December 22, 2011, 4:52pm
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