Not very consistent temperature control Group overheats Portafilter sneeze Base should be heavier
The Europiccola was my first foray into a real espresso machine in 1995, moving up from a cheap Krups and DeLonghi. I bought it mostly because I recognized it as the same machine James Bond uses to make M a coffee at the beginning of Live and Let Die. I was a graduate student at the time and maxed my credit card to own it, but it was worthwhile. I got a deal (I think it was listed for $600) because the La Pavoni had been languishing at this particular shop for a long time.
The Europiccola is a good espresso machine. It is limited by thermal instability, but a wet cloth can help the group cool down when drawing multiple shots. The Millennium model ameliorates this issue with an insulating gasket between the group and boiler. I never had a single problem with the machine after all those years and just last year rebuilt it when the piston seals began leaking. My machine had the brass, not plastic piston. The only flaw was some chrome flaking near the steam wand. And yes, steam. The Europiccola does a decent but not great steam job, but it quickly depletes its small reservoir. I would recommend the Professional model if you want to make milk drinks.
As with most lever machines, the Europiccola is very sensitive to grind and basket cleanliness. Keep everything clean, especially the portafilter gasket, and it should provide hassle-free service.
I sold my little Europiccola a few months ago. I got an Olympia Cremina 2002 several years ago and it is everything the La Pavoni wants to be except sexy. I kept the Europiccola to look at and play with, but the two machines are in completely different leagues. The price tags for each are also in completely different strata. One definitely gets what one pays.
I would hearken back to my original premise for buying the Europiccola. The La Pavoni is similar to Roger Moore as James Bond: Does a good job, but as experience grows, it becomes clear that Sean Connery (in my case the Cremina) is the best player. Still, the Europiccola can be a fun machine to own and will provide a nice accent to most homes' dιcor. I am very glad I got it and learned the art of finessing good extractions with a lever machine.