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La Pavoni Pro Lever - Taylor Nunley's Review
Posted: June 30, 2010, 2:23pm
review rating: 7.5
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 224,665 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

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.4
Manufacturer: La Pavoni Quality: 10
Average Price: $999.00 Usability: 6
Price Paid: $200.00 Cost vs. Value 7
Where Bought: Ebay Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 1 month Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Mypressi TWIST
Bottom Line: Sexy hunk of chrome and barista zen. Buying this machine ensures that the only way to improve your coffee is by your own skill.
Positive Product Points

Great espresso (with a great grinder)
Simple, quiet operation
Instant, durable steam
Awesome good looks
Built to last
High resale value
Easily repairable, when the time comes

Negative Product Points

Light, flimsy base, with useless drip tray
Common features lacking (3way solenoid, hot water tap)
Temp stability???
Keep out of children's reach!
Parts are expensive and often rare
Weird grouphead/gasket setup (hard to replace)

Detailed Commentary

The first time I saw James Bond making coffee with one of these in Live and Let die, I HAD to have one.

As a geek searching Ebay at 2 in the morning one day, finding a used La Pavoni pro for $200 on Ebay was my dream. I hit the buy it now auction and the package arrived in about a week. No portafilter (That is what the auction said). So, after ordering a portafilter from orphanespresso, then an elektra double basket from 1st line ($100 for a portafilter! And they didn't send a basket! But that's the price you pay...) I was in business!

I fired up the hand grinder (GzzZzzZzz!!!), lock and load'd and..............uhhh...aahhh....hmm.
...It Choked.

This machine apparently takes a grind slightly coarser than the mypressi TWIST. So I sloooowly....wwwiggled the poooortafilter....and staaaarted too-
...It Sneezes.

As the coffee gods took pleasure in my humiliation, and after cleaning the fumey, smoldering coffee crap off my counter, the machine, the group, etc., I tried again.
And after preinfusing for~3 seconds, behold!.. A deliciously gloppy, golden syrupy substance emerges from the filter into my shot glass!
I vaguely remember volatile flavors and sensations dancing upon my palate, but I mostly remember my vocal chords involuntarily emitting moaning sounds at an intonation I had previously thought unattainable by the human body.
Or in other words, a durn tasty cuppa joe.
My experience since then, aside from a few niggles, has been identical, really. =D

Do NOT believe any of those BS testimonials that say you'll need weeks/months/a degree in cranial remodeling and a $X,000 grinder before you can pull a good shot. With my mediocre coordination and sleep deprived state, I can use:

-a $30.00 hand grinder (hario slim! =))
-$12.00 beans (freshly roasted from longview coffee)
-basic knowledge of espresso preparation (read the guides on coffeegeek/home barista, and Mark Prince's pavoni review!) http://coffeegeek.com/proreviews/detailed/pavoniprofessional
-weak, 220v clunker peacock that I can somehow still run on 110v
 and still make some damn tasty coffee!

-Get a good tamper. Not plastic. It really does help.
-Towels. Lots of them. Espresso is frickin messy.
-Some kind of base. Lack of a cup warmer is awkward, but part of the aesthetics, I guess. =/
-One-hole steam tip. (Note: some may not need this. With my fussy european machine, it is a MUST!)
-Friends. Please don't stay inside all day with your pet dragon. Get some sun. =)

Closing thoughts:
-Most sane people will never feel the NEED to upgrade. Just the other day, I ordered a nice electric grinder, but really I don't think I need a Cremina (get your pitchforks!). I like to buy things like...gas, or...clothes. Y'know, normal people stuff. ;-D
This is the benchmark machine where the only thing that can improve your coffee is your skill.

-This machine WILL overheat after a couple of shots (note: there are some workarounds: Click Here (www.home-barista.com)) If you're having a party, most people really like french press coffee. If that won't do, get an aeropress and use the Pavoni for steaming your milky drinks. You could just get new friends, I guess, but that gets old fast.

-This thing is a chick magnet. Invite women over frequently, and stun them with your coffee dragon (*gasp* "What's that!?")
Learn how to write bad poetry. Now you're artistic! Hi-five =D

Buying Experience

Orphanespresso is wonderful, family owned, and is the only place I have found a brooklynshot 1 hole steam tip.
I have a love/hate relationship with Ebay. I love to buy things for myself. I hate overdrawn checking accounts. Cheers!

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review rating: 7.5
Posted: June 30, 2010, 2:23pm
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