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La Pavoni Pro Lever - Steven Smith's Review
Posted: April 19, 2001, 10:19am
review rating: 4.6
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
La Pavoni Professional
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More About This Product
Arrow The La Pavoni Pro Lever has 41 Reviews
Arrow The La Pavoni Pro Lever has been rated 8.19 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow La Pavoni Pro Lever reviews have been viewed 223,620 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Josh Kempthorne 9.20
Paul Alter 8.80
Pal Cabral 8.25
Bernard Murphy 8.00
Taylor Nunley 7.50

Previous Review Next Review
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.8
Manufacturer: Pavoni Quality: 10
Average Price: $999.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $0.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 1 month Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: Aficionado Would Buy Again: n/a
Similar Items Owned: Not entered
Bottom Line: Beautiful Chrome Espressonitrix
Positive Product Points

Espresso Quality, Aesthetics, Hands-On Experience

Negative Product Points

Steep Learning Curve

Detailed Commentary

Truth be told, I've wanted a Pavoni for years after looking at them in store windows all over Italy. When I decided to purchase a quality espresso machine, I found this site and strongly considered Mark's advice about automatic versus hand operated machines.  I'm a hands-on person who enjoys learning to master difficult tools, so I decided to go with what I always wanted.  Besides, this thing is a beautiful sculpture next to shoebox-like automatic machines.

I found a discounted Professional for ITL1232500 at www.best-of-italy.com and purchased a Rancillio Rocky for US$210 at whole-latte-love, both of whom I recommend.

My experience so far has been reflected elsewhere on the web: I am able to make exquisite espresso, but after 6 weeks, am highly inconsistent. I find that the experience is somewhat like mastering a horseback riding maneuver, or (dare I say it?) getting a bowling ball in the strike zone.  When you've done it right, the process feels perfect and you know your cup will be excellent.  It's just that it takes so many tries to get it right!  The spirits that live down my sink are very well caffienated.

I believe that my mixed results have everything to do with my ability to tamp consistently. Perhaps this is newbie wisdom and will change with more experience, but I've found that the most important factors (rank ordered) are coffee/grind/tamp.  Coffee and grind are easy -- buy good coffee, and grind it so that neither tamping at > 50 lbs produces a 15-20 second shot, nor tamping at any pressure produces a > 35 second pull; these extremes are within plus or minus one or two notches on the Rocky.  Tamp is difficult -- because there's a delay between tamping and the feedback you get while pulling, it's really hard to get this right all the time, especially if you're trying to limit yourself to two shots a day.

My current hypothesis is that it doesn't really matter what machine you use -- if you've tamped well, you'll get a great shot.  The Pavoni's great strength is that it allows me to feel when I've accomplished this. My bottom line is that I love the Pavoni and am happy with my purchase.

Like many other worthwhile pursuits, life with the Pavoni is captured by this grook by Piet Hein:

       The road to wisdom? - Well, it's plain
       and simple to express:
       and err
       and err again
       but less
       and less
       and less.

Buying Experience

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review rating: 4.6
Posted: April 19, 2001, 10:19am
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