La Pavoni Europiccola prospective buyer questions

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#1: Post by chunkylover53 »

Hi all,

New here to the wonderful world of home espresso machines. I've been wanting to buy an espresso maker for years and am finally working towards pulling the trigger on it. I know there are a lot of styles out there and I've used / tried a few of them but am pretty certain I want to go with lever machine because of the old school manual control and beautiful simplicity of their construction.

I found a listing for a used Europiccola and went over to check it out today. It seems great, made good espresso and the steam wand worked well. The seller said it's from 1973 and has recently done a seal and heating element replacement on it. He's asking $600 for the unit which seems a bit steep to me but not too unreasonable (recent ebay sales for used Europiccola are ranging from $400 - $500 with a refurbished outlier at $650). Couple of things I noticed about this Europiccola is that once it hit about 1bar (he had installed a boiler pressure gauge) it would start to release some steam from the pressure relief valve, the seller would then reduce the heating element load (it has a little switch on the side that ranges from high to low) and when at low it would maintain that boiler pressure but not release steam as when on max. I assume that's normal?

Couple questions I have for folks familiar with the Europiccola are the following:

1. how many shots can one pull with the 0.8L reservoir assuming no steaming?
2. how does one manage temperature of the group head when pulling multiple shots? I'd likely want to pull a couple shots back to back. Do you just wait in between pulls etc. I've seen some aftermarket options like the coffee sensor bong isolator and heat exchangers around the group head.
3. On paper it looks like the Professional is nearly the same as the Europiccola except for a 1.6L reservoir capacity, is that true? Any other big benefits for the professional compared to the europiccola?

Jury is still out on which machine I'll pull the trigger on and open to suggestions to look at as well but fairly excited about getting a lever machine and opening the pandoras box that comes along with it :D



#2: Post by ojt »

I think the early 70s La Pavonis are probably about the best ones. Sturdier build than later and still have the water heated grouphead and a "sleeve" to isolate the brew water.

It should look something like this: ... 10_eng.htm

In function these earlier, 1st generation, machines are just like the new 3rd generation machines. In fact I would skip the 2nd generation (1975 - 2000). Except the new ones have a pressurestat for the boiler, lack of which is the reason for the hissing from the pressure relief valve that keeps the pressure in a safe range. So yep, normal. The boiler pressure gauge is a good addition. I would also suggest adding a thermometer on the grouphead for temperature management.

1. I don't know.. I think it's supposed to be about 8 cups but I would just top up the tank after each session. On my pro I think I've made max 6 coffees per session.

2. The easiest way to drop temperature quickly is to take a cup / small bowl of cold water and "dip" the grouphead in it. I also have the isolator and it helps a lot especially when it gets hot here. You'll just need to try and see how it works in your ambient. Do get a thermometer for the grouphead.

3. I'm not aware of any significant differences other than the size. I have a feeling the pro may run a bit hotter overall because of more hot water mass.