Before considering the Pavoni, take a look at some other semi-automatic machines that make a great cup of espresso with only half the work and skill.
Positive Product Points
Gorgeous machine, a real work of art.
Operator can easily see how much water is in the boiler.
Negative Product Points
The Pavoni lever machine is hard to learn. It's definitely not for everyone.
It's not made to produce more than a couple of espressos at a time.
It's too particular.
There is practically no room in the drip tray...very small, and plastic.
It takes too long to prepare espresso. I don't have this kind of time in the morning.
As I stated above in the positive points, this machine is gorgeous! I have wanted one for years, just on looks alone. I love antique-ish items, and espresso. So why wouldn't I love this machine....
Everything that went wrong during my espresso brewing efforts with the Pavoni was due to my own inexperience and lack of knowledge about the machine.
One thing did go wrong with the machine however. During the first couple of days after we got it, when I filled the machine with water and turned it on, steam just poured from the safety valve, and never stopped until I turned the machine off. I called tech support and the guy told me to bang on the top of the huge nut on the right side of the machine. We didn't think this was a good long term solution answer at all. One shouldn't have to bang on a 1K machine to get it to work. But...my husband took a rubber mallet and pecked on it just a bit and it hasn't happened again. Go figure.
I can't figure out where I've gone wrong with the Pavoni. There are too many variables to consider. Everything has to be too perfectly done, every time.
One thing that's probably good about the machine is that it would be easy to work on, and would last for years and years. That's one reason we chose it.
We are in the process of obtaining a return authorization number from 1st in Coffee to get a full refund for the Pavoni and Capresso Infinity grinder. We're going with the Quick Mill Anita and Rancilio Rocky grinder from Chris' Coffee.
I have not enjoyed my experience with this machine. I've been humbled by it :). If it wasn't so expensive, I would like to keep it around to play with on the weekends. I need something that's a little more user friendly. I'm sure it makes wonderful espresso in the right hands.
1st in Coffee was fine. We got the machine in 3 days, communication was great, a real person actually answers the phone. Impressive!
They have a 30 day return policy, which is nice...especially in this case. We haven't gotten the return authorization number from them yet, since this is a holiday weekend. However, I don't expect to have any problems returning the machines.