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La Pavoni PGB or C - QK Law's Review
Posted: May 6, 2011, 8:04am
review rating: 7.0
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 58,610 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

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.4
Manufacturer: Pavoni PGC Quality: 5
Average Price: $319.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $120.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Ebay Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 2 months Overall 7
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Capresso Infinity, Mazzer SJ
Bottom Line: Acceptable grind quality for espresso but is super loud. Not suitable if you're doing espresso and other brewing methods.
Positive Product Points

i) Tres spade conical burr
ii) Stepless adjustment
iii) Low ground retention with some effort
iv)acceptable ground quality
v) Looks pretty good aesthetically
vi)Small foot print
vii) Mild clumping

Negative Product Points

i)Super noisy
ii) Useless ground container, static
iii) Default scale was too wide
iv) Cheap feeling
v) Stuck ground in the chute
vi) Tiresome to switch form espresso to press grind

Detailed Commentary

First of all, this is a conical burr, not flat burr as stated by the description. And it's rebadged as Maximo grinder that used to sell for about $110 but isn't available anymore.

Let's talk about the positive of the grinder. Due to the quality Tre Spade burr, the grind quality is considerably acceptable for espresso. However, there's a trade-off in using this Tre Spade burr which I will talk later on. In addition to the burr, La Pavoni PGC also has a worm-driven gear adjustment for fine tuning extraction times. This is a great feature in tuning your extraction time to ~25 sec or to your liking. Another positive about PGC is the coffee retention. With the design of the chute, I could use a brush to get most of the grounds out with some tappings. I could put in 16.2g and get 16g out easily most of the time. When I first receive this grinder, I was impressed by the compact design. It's a tad smaller than the Capresso Infinity than I owned. And the chrome painting made it looks shiny(attracts fingerprint though). Lastly, there's not much clumping with this grinder in my experience but could use some WDT for distribution.

Though it seems to be great in doing its job, there are some issues which I personally dislike. First of all, because of the Tre Spade burr, it's giving out very loud noise when it's in action. It's near impossible to have conversation while having this thing grinding coffee. But it's probably not as loud for the neighbour to hear it. Next, the ground container is basically useless because of static. I usually grind into another container that I can easily weigh and then transfer into the basket. If you're not weighing the ground, it's possible to grind straight into portafilter. The scale for ground fineness that it came with is too wide and inaccurate for reproducible results. It could easily be swapped with a ruler or measuring tape, no biggies. Sometimes(most) in the process of grinding, the ground coffee tends to get stucked in the chute, I think this is a design flaw in this grinder(and many others) due to the almost-horizontal exit chute.As usual, this could be solved by brushing. Lastly, which is one of my main concern, is the build quality. Though it has a much higher price tag than Capresso Infinity and supposedly better grind quality, the cheap feeling to this grinder is overwhelming. Apparently, the Capresso Infinity seems to have a better feel to it when you hold them both in hand.

Overall, I feel that this is a grinder that focuses more on functionality but not in other departments. It's doing its job very well in grinding coffee for espresso. However, don't buy this if  you're wanting to switch in between two grinds(press and espresso). The reason being it takes bazillions turns of the adjustments screw from one end to another end,again,great for micro-tuning for espresso but not so for switching grinds. The grind is probably slightly more consistent than Capresso Infinity; but as for the taste in the cup, I personally don't feel it's any better than Capresso Infinity modded stepless. At this time, I've received my Super Jolly and felt that the results are much better than these two. I missed the low grind retention in both Capresso and PGC though. The Super Jolly seems to get some significant ground retention (near 1g after cleaning and I thought 0.2-0.4g is alot in Capresso) with sweeper mod. I digress. Anyway, my thought on this grinder is that, unless you can get it cheap (~100), don't even bother with it for the noise that it produces and some other minor issues it has. With the retail price, you could probably get other grinder such as preciso or innova with better build quality.

Buying Experience

Ebay buying varies from sellers to sellers. Mine went smoothly this time.

Three Month Followup

I have since sold this grinder to a fellow coffeegeekers after using it about 2 months. In my opinion, this grinder is designed to perform but has a terrible weakness- loud operational noise. Also, it has a cheaper quality feel in the hand when compared to Capresso Infinity. I am not sure about the durability in the long term as I only had it for a brief 2 months. On the bright side, it looks shiny and is definitely counter friendly. The espresso it produces is definitely acceptable. One caveat though, at the retail price of 300+, it just doesn't worth it. Look elsewhere, honestly. But if you could find one for about $100 or even under, it's worth a shot for using it with espresso, as long as the noise level isn't a concern. In short, it's a performer but not exactly user friendly with the noise.

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review rating: 7.0
Posted: May 6, 2011, 8:04am
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