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La Pavoni PGB or C - Carl S Lau's Review
Posted: February 7, 2000, 4:20pm
review rating: 8.3
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
La Pavoni PGB or C Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The La Pavoni PGB or C has 13 Reviews
Arrow The La Pavoni PGB or C has been rated 6.31 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow La Pavoni PGB or C reviews have been viewed 56,561 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Eric Bice 10.00
J.R. Terrell 9.00
Carl S Lau 8.33
Jim Robins 8.00
Chef Juke 7.00

Previous Review  
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.4
Manufacturer: Pavoni Quality: 8
Average Price: $319.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $0.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Zabar's & Peete's Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 4+ years Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I like coffee Would Buy Again: Maybe
Similar Items Owned: De Longhi burr grinder, Pasquini Moka grinder
Bottom Line: There are less expensive alternatives for French Press grinding.
Positive Product Points

Very even grind

Negative Product Points

durability?
pricey?
static electricity

Detailed Commentary

I have both PGB & C.  "B" and "C" just refer to either a brass look or a chrome look and has no effect on function.  It is just the metallic trim.   One bought from Zabar's cost about $135.  Second one bought, while waiting for the first one to be fixed, cost $100, on sale at Peet's.  Both units have had to be serviced about a year after use. It seems as if the units directly out of the factory are not all that tight.  There were spurious sounds while grinding that disappeared after it was serviced.  As the service person said, you can get anything fixed with the question being the cost.  Each service, when out of the one year warranty, cost about $40.  Just a replacement of some part with the bulk of the repair cost going to labor.  I only do French Press, but was willing to pay more the usual amount for a grinder just for that purpose.  As it was, spending more than $100 for a French Press grinder might seem to be excessive and probably is for most.  I do think that the results were worthwhile, but probably wouldn't do it again.  As it is, the coarsest setting on the dial is probably not coarse enough for French Press, at least when comparing it to the suggested grind from Peet's for FP.  My previous grinder was a DeLonghi bur grinder (about one year's use, then gave it away, cost about $100) that the Pavoni just outright trounced.  The difference was not subtle.  Not too surprisingly, the DeLonghi trounced the standard $20 whirly-blade "grinder."  

This grinder is one to consider in its price range.  It clearly isn't worth the retail $179(?).  At that level I would pay a little more and get a Rocky.  But that is easier said now than doing way back when.  $100+ was a big enough price barrier.  $200+ seemed unthinkable at the time.  After all, it is just an inexpensive French Press!  I use the Pavoni grinder everyday.

For a more detailed analysis of the Pavoni grinder see Dave Bayer's espresso website:

     http://www.math.columbia.edu/~bayer/coffee.html

There you can find out how to tweak the grinder, if you are willing to disassemble it.  Not being into espresso, I didn't see any particular reason to do so.  

It is surprising that no one has taken a bunch of grinders and then subjected their outputs to microscopic analysis to see just how even the grind is or is not.

12/19/01: Given its price and its durability (needing to be fixed multiple times over the years), I would opt for something else.  Remember that my usage is strictly for French Press and there are less expensive alternatives.  Whether or not they are better in terms of evenness of the grind waits to be seen.  I have already replaced the burrs on both of the units, but one of the motors is going or perhaps the bearings.  Probably, this is the unit for those with a La Pavoni espresso machine, although one would think that it would be best to spend more and buy a better unit.  Still I have to commend Pavoni for this unit, in spite of a review to the contrary (Kenneth Davids).  It produces a very even grind for French Press in which the dust issue is non-existent.  The coarseness or fineness of the grind is settable internally to tweak, aside from the obvious numerical dial.  If one did espresso, you could grind directly into the PF.  There are two ways to activate the unit: an on-off switch and also one of those engage the "switch" and cause the unit to grind and then stop once one lets go of it.

Buying Experience

Easy to buy, but somewhat difficult to get fixed because some of the parts have to come from the East coast and may have to be back ordered.

Previous Review  
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review rating: 8.3
Posted: February 7, 2000, 4:20pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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