No other machine can be as much fun and teach you as much about espresso
Positive Product Points
Makes a great espresso Looks beautiful Plenty of steam Involves the user
Negative Product Points
2 cup limit if you like milk based drinks Ouch! Will bite you if not careful. Very hot. Must use 2 hands for pulling shots. Portafilter can be bigger
I have owned my Europiccola for over 20 years. This should say something about its value to me. Beside looking at my wife in the morning, the only other thing of beauty for me is my La Pavoni! Over 20 years and still going strong. This is one of the few machines being sold that actually teaches you more about espresso as you use it. Because you have to participate at every step of the way, you learn how to make a great espresso and what it takes to do so. Starting with the coffee, Graffeo, from S.F., the best coffee I've ever had anywhere!, you must get the grind and tamp right. This takes experimentation and practice. But, a word of warning. Crema is hard to come by. I think it is the nature of this particular model. I've read everything and talked to many users about crema with the Europiccola, and the most knowledgeable tell me that the machine is not powerful enough to get the kind of crema you see with a commercial E61 machine. This by no means takes away from the great shots you can get. Steaming milk is a snap. My only real beef with the Europiccola is the limitation in the amount of shots you can pull without running out of water. It is supposed to be an 8 cup machine. This is impossible. 2 is more like it, especially if you want steamed milk. This is fine for me, but, if I have friends over, it is too much of a hassle to prepare for a group of 4 or more. The portafilter is a bit small in size. 49mm. Commercial machines are 58mm. You get more coffee with a bigger filter. Not such a big deal.
Be careful, the machine is very hot to the touch. 2 hands are needed to pull a shot. 1 on the lever, 1 holding the drip tray base for stability. No big deal. No other machine can be this much fun. Every morning, I am still as fascinated as I was over 20 years ago!
Thomas Cara in San Francisco has been around forever. They sell and service these machines and know them like their children.