Carimali Uno, Wega Antares two group, G3 Ferrari Cremosa
Sturdy high class tool for the addicted coffee afficionado
Positive Product Points
The machine is built like a rock internally. Good ability to steam and produce shots at the same time. Produces great shots if fed with fresh roasted espresso at the right level of grind and tamp. If ever needed spare parts are available at all known "ricambi" sources (being a Bezzera inside). Nice stainless steel finish. Version with volumetric dosing available (Livia 90 SE).
Negative Product Points
The drip tray is definitely too small. You need to place the Livia on top of a (drawer) base to be able to steam easily. No visible control over pump pressure. Quite loud when vibratory pump is on.
I bought the Livia 90 SE version with volumetric dosing about 2 years ago after having used a G3 Ferrari for about 8 years. I use the Livia alongside a used professional Carimali M1 flat burr grinder and a Solis 166 grinder.
The Livia ist so far the most professional tool in the semi-professional world of espresso I encountered. It is built extremely solid, the required safety features like water sensors in tank and boiler or automatic refill, and delivers high performance for the sub 50 shots per day user. Steaming power is excellent for up to two big latte machiati and temperature stability is ok after some 20 minutes of heating (even if it does not live up to David Schomer's standards). The big tank provides enough water for subsequent shots at larger events.
A good grinder is prerequisite to using the Livia. With commercially available preground espresso the results are very poor (due to the coarseness of grind). In my home the Livia fits perfectly with the two grinders setup and consistently produces very good shots (if espresso is fresh and ground/tamped to the spot).
Even if the Technika/Giotto looks better with its E61 group head in my opinion the quality and consistency of shots is better with the Livia. The Livia even stands tall if compared to my rebuilt professional Carimali Uno one group (using a rotary pump). Would be exciting to see a Livia equipped with a procon and directly plumbed ... this would solve the small issue with the noise when the vibratory pump is running.
Bought it in a German speciality coffee store at a fair price