This machine has helped me produce great coffee from the Pavoni Europiccola every time.
Positive Product Points
Solid, reliable, sturdy, consistent grind. Fresh ground coffee on demand, not stagnating in a dosing hopper. Stepless adjustment of grind. Stepless adjuestment of single and double dose size. Attractive.
Negative Product Points
Coffee bean container too large for domestic use and also the most plasticky part of the grinder. The ground coffee gets stuck if ground too fine, for example when grinding for a Turkish coffee.
This looks like, and feels like, a real professional bit of kit. It weighs a lot. It is solid and sturdy. It is either carved out of solid steel, loaded with lead weight, or packed with carefully assembled machinary.
A little setup is required out of the box. Firstly I needed to change the plug as it was supplied with an European plug and I live in the UK. Next the coffee bean container needs to be fixed in place. Easy really, and the instruction manual is good too (if you read those things before starting.)
I have read elsewhere about the grinding adjustment, and this is the most important part of setup. I would say that it takes a while to get this right. Do not fill the machine with beans, as the adjustment seems to work best when there is nothing between the blades. Also you might want to check the zero point first. The grind adjustment wheel comes with a sticky label on which indicates finer/coarser direction and is also said to point forward for a good starting point for an espresso grind. I would not argue with this, I have moved my grinder a little to the finer side of this mark with excellent results. Adjusting the dose fo coffee requires a flat-head screwdriver near to the machine. The dose is delivered in time, not mass of coffee. This means that an adjustment of coffee grind will cause a difference of coffee delivered.
Once set up, and this took me about 1kg of coffee maximum, the machine is great. Firstly it is quieter than the cheap machine I had previously, this is because the burr grinder is slower speed though the larger burrs mean that it does not take ages to deliver a dose of grind. Secondly it delivers a very consistent size of grind, I found with my previous grinder that the grind size was very variable and the Pavoni machine is not forgiving in this.
A search on the internet led me to purchase this machine from Holland. Espresso Service West http://www.esw.nl were very good to deal with. They called me on the phone to discuss too. Payment was via paypal, and despatch was immediate. They were also cheaper than any other company I could find in Europe. The price, including delivery and sales tax, was a little over EUR530 or GBP380. The different AC power supply prohibited me from buying from the US. The USD700 price listed above is a reflection of the weak US Dollar at the moment.
Three Month Followup
I'm still loving it.
Local expert tells me that I'll need to replace the burrs after about 100-200kg of coffee. That's another 20+ years away! lol.
One Year Followup
It's a beauty.
I've got it set up a treat now. I was forced by my better half to buy a shorter hopper from wholelattelove so that it would fit in the space under the kitchen wall units. Thanks to them for sorting out an international order.
I have all three dials set up just right:
The grind is set up at a point a little to the finer side of the factory setting. This works for me. Ideally it should be adjusted every few days, but I just get rid of the beans after a couple of weeks when they are getting *too* old. This is a reasonable sacrifice, rather than opening up new packs of coffee every few days or even roasting my own...
The single and double dose buttons are set, albeit a little on the short side -- it is easy to top up the basket with the manual button.
She is a solid machine that purrs beautifully when in operation. Being doserless the coffee is freshly ground to order and not getting stale in a doser unit.
I love the black colour -- looks very sinister, 'don't mess with me'.
One gripe -- the plastic tray to catch mess broke. It would have been nice to have had a sturdier metal tray. The mess created.......