Nice machine but costly. But then again, what decent espresso machine is not over priced?
Positive Product Points
It looks like a show piece fit for a museum. It delivers quality steam manually and with the auto steamer attachment. Regardless of what others say, with good bean a great grinder and a little practice the la pavoni will deliver a good cup of espresso.
Negative Product Points
Weak component parts and costly annual repairs are now standard. The gaskets and o-rings require annual replacement, while the machine must be coddled in order to remain operable. I am constantly replacing the o-ring that secures the shower filter to the group-head.
As mentioned, the machine is a remarkable sight. Yet, the quality I am afraid has diminished with the introduction of the millennium edition. The base is too light, which causes the machine to easily tip when pulling a shot. This is actually an old problem that has not gone away. The unit becomes so hot that I am afraid it may melt my countertop. The plastic drip tray is too small and is cheap, which detracts from the otherwise stellar good looks. You must, and I stress the must, have a good grinder, ex rocky, mazzer, if you hope to pull adequate espresso shots. Read the reviews, determine if you want to put up with problematic gaskets, o-rings, and demanding maintenance procedures. The filter is an unusually small size at 52mm, which makes finding a decent tamper hard. The plastic one that ships with the unit fits the older styles and is thus too small for the millennium. I ended up special ordering a RB, with a 51mm tamper head. The 52mm will not fit. I tried it. The temperature/pressure regulator on the millennium is not adjustable, contrary to previous models. It operates at a little over 1 bar, which I have read you can make a modification to the thermostat, but thus far, I have been unable to locate the tool needed to remove the screw in the base of the unit to access the thermostat. In conclusion, this machine is a beauty to look at, but may not BE worth the money.
My buying experince was very good.
Three Month Followup
after some trying times the machine is satisfactory, and is improving
One Year Followup
I have now owned the machine for a little over two years. I use the machine daily. My original opinion remains unchanged. However, less the gasket repairs there have been no quality failures. I find this to be remarkable given the tendency for espresso machines to fail. The Pavoni Pro is a work of art and will produce good coffee. The temperature remains the biggest concern. It is just too hot, causing the coffee to burn. However, I have been using a work around that I learned from one the Guru Pavoni folks at the Chrome Peacock. I warm the machine up. I then pull a couple of shots worth of water with out the portafilter. Using this water I fill my espresso cup, and then further warm the water to boiling w/ the steam wand. Leaving the water in the cup to heat it, I bleed off steam for approx 15 seconds. After the boiler has recovered, i.e. turned off, I power the machine down. I then grind, tamp, and "pull" the shot. Preparation of the grounds takes approximately 1 minute to complete. I believe that this time allows the machine to cool sufficiently, so the coffee does not burn. The results have been very good, allowing me to experience the higher fruit notes and the chocolate and wine under tones that my home roasted blends afford. Obviously, the results are prone to inherent variance, but the standard deviation is becoming increasingly smaller with practice. If you choose to buy the Pavoni and really give yourself time to learn the machine it produces some really good shots w/ tiger striping and sufficient crema