At this level and price it is worthwhile buying an Iberital
Positive Product Points
This is a good quality burr grinder. easy to use and has infinite variations in adjusting grind. It has a large bean hopper and at 4.5 KG is a sturdy home grinder.
Negative Product Points
The calibrations on the hopper a pretty useless and for some reason the direction of the dial for a finer/ coarser grind is back to front. The nobs are cheap plastic. No instruction manual.
I recently bought a Gaggia Factory lever machine which seems to be a 95% copy of the La Pavoni. I read alot of reviews about these machines and learned that the grind is all important. After reading many reviews about grinders I decided I wanted something in the $150.00 (US) to $200.00 price range, sturdy, attractive and with infinite grind settings. I also wanted a machine without a doser. A friend from Melbourne put me onto the Coffee Company after he had inspected an Iberital and he recommended it highly. I also read the two other reviews on this site which were pretty positive. So I decided to take the plunge.
I will start with the negative points.
The first surprise was that the machine came without a manual. Although it is easy to use I was disappointed because a manual should also contain specifications, maintenance and tips. This was especially important as my confusion with the grind settings caused a fair bit of coffee to be wasted.
The hopper has calibrations for fine to coarser grinds, numbered 1 to 7 with seven being the coarsest. First of all the numbers on the hopper do not line up with any reference point (like an arrow) so that you cannot be exact with a numerical setting. Secondly whilst in theory a finer grind is to be obtained by turning the dial anticlockwise (confirmed by the dealer) mine in fact does the opposite. So to get a finer grind I turn clockwise and the numbers get bigger! You need to turn the nob quite a few times to notice a difference. It took me a while and a fair bit of coffee to work this out!
There is a timer rather than a doser on my machine. You push the button once and a set amount of coffee is dispensed. The timer and hence the dose can be regulated by a small dial on the side. However the maximum time and dose obtainable from one push of the button seems barely enough to fill my small single filter basket (51mm).
The nobs are some cheap plastic material.
Despite the above negative points I still believe it to be a very good machine. These negative points have been an annoyance rather than a real problem and are easily outweighed by the good results I have been achieving. I am getting the results I want due to the fine adjustments in grind which are possible and the eveness of the grind. The machine is attractive and sturdy at about 4.5 kg and about 13 inches in height. The machine noise is relatively quiet.
Overall I am pleased with the purchase.
I searched far and wide on the internet and found that The Coffee Company gave excellent service, a good price and friendly advice.