duckdog Senior Member Joined: 10 Aug 2013 Posts: 2 Location: murray Expertise: Just starting
Posted Tue Aug 20, 2013, 8:51pm Subject: La Pavoni 8 or 16 or something else?
Hi guys i am new to the site and so new to espresso that i do not even have a machine yet! I am looking at a lever machine because i like the more hands on approach and old school way of things! I have pretty well ruled out anything but a lever machines because a lot of what i have read says that you can pull some of the best shots that you ever drink off of a lever machine. that is when you do your part of corse! I already have a Rancilio Rocky Grinder so i feel like i am set for now on the grinder. My questions are is having the gage and the extra water volume in the La pavoni 16 worth the extra cost? i would 90% be making one drink at a time, but there might be time i want to make a few at a time. I guess what i am asking is how may drinks(i.e. shots and frothed milk) can you make on the 16 vs. 8 b4 you have to shut it down and refill? also It seems that you can find the 8's used pretty often at a good price but not so much on the 16's which makes the 8's more appealing from a price stand point. however i don't want to get the an 8 and be frustrated because i have to refill it after making two drinks. i would rater spend the money for the 16 then buy an 8 and not be happy. Or are there other lever machines in this 1000 and below price range that are better then the la pavoni? Thanks for any help God bless!
DanoM Senior Member Joined: 20 Mar 2013 Posts: 158 Location: Los Angeles Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: NS Oscar, '84 La Pavoni Pro,... Grinder: Baratza Vario, La Pavoni PGC
Posted Tue Aug 20, 2013, 10:11pm Subject: Re: La Pavoni 8 or 16 or something else?
I'm new to espresso machines, and using them for 6 months.
I started with a Baratza Vario grinder. Has a good reputation and easy to dial in grinds so far.
My first real machine was a used NS Oscar semi-auto. Great machine, easy to use, great espresso and steam. Added a naked portafilter to 'perfect' my extractions. Cost with my repairs and portafilter for about $500, but you can do better sometimes. It was a great learning platform; teaching me what flavors could be produced, crema, etc. I still have it, and break it out when I need great espresso. Took me 2 weeks to be making pretty good espresso regularly doing 3-4 shots daily.
My second machine is a La Pavoni Pro 1984. I'm still learning 2 months in, making the same 3-4 shots daily. If I didn't have the experience with the Oscar first I might have settled for lesser quality espresso. The last 2 weeks I've finally learned this machine well enough to make consistent, good shots; now working on improving overall quality. Again, for me the Oscar experience pays off here.
Personally, I like the pro/16 size Pavoni for boiler size. I'd recommend experience with a semi-auto machine too, but if you know what you're after that's most important. If I have problems with a new coffee bean I fire up the Oscar to run some test shots; still not good enough on the La Pavoni to troubleshoot well there.
If you are interested in a large lever community be sure to check out home-barista.com. Lots and lots of lever opinions and information over there too.
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