Olympia Cremina vs. La Pavoni Europiccola - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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#11: Post by lassepavoni »

Bobby G wrote:The quirky things about the Pavoni I could do without would be tendency to tip when pulling a shot and the Side to side play in the lever.
I don't have a Cremina, but here's what I did to counter the side play in the lever of the Pavoni: Added two red flat seals to one side of the lever. They work like washers and take most of the slack, without being too thick to impart the motion of the lever. Don't know what they are made of, some kind of vulcanized paper maybe, but they're heat resistant, pretty tough and don't scratch the chrome.

Regards, Lasse
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#12: Post by sympa »

Slightly off-topic: the Cremina is not going to burn my children but the Pavoni wins on aesthetics (less boxy). Could a manufacturer encase the boiler in a vacuum, so you get the boiler shape but without the burn risk?

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#13: Post by Bobby G (original poster) »

That video is fantastic. Very comprehensive. Confirmed my thinking that a Pavoni is capable of producing (almost) similar quality shots but is not the precision machine that a Cremina is. For my workflow the Pavoni is sufficient. I will probably head up to Cerini Coffee at some point to test drive a Cremina. The Strietman CT2 looks perfect for my work flow but I don't think my wife would like the look of it on the counter. Thanks for all the input. I know I will eventually succumb to the pull of the Cremina......

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#14: Post by baldheadracing »

sympa wrote:Slightly off-topic: the Cremina is not going to burn my children but the Pavoni wins on aesthetics (less boxy). Could a manufacturer encase the boiler in a vacuum, so you get the boiler shape but without the burn risk?
The ACS Ventus had a case shaped like its boiler but not in a vacuum.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

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#15: Post by mrgnomer »

My Cremina is old and that's testament, I think, to its engineering. The piston and lever is solid and moves smoothly where the Europiccola feels lighter can be too freely moving and jittery. I can ease my weight onto the Cremina and bend the lever more for an almost choking shot than with the Europiccola without feeling something is going to give.

The freer moving lever of the Europiccola does have an advantage. When the Cremina piston lube is gone there's a lot of resistance. I end up lifting the machine trying to get it up. Not so much with the Europiccola I find. But if you keep the piston seals in good condition and everything lubed the Cremina is smooth like butter.
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#16: Post by Sw1ssdude »

Body by Pavoni, badge by Olympia....

Lean Mean Caffeine Machine

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#17: Post by tsamisa »

I had a post-mil la pavoni pro and a few years back i decided to get the cremina. I was hesitant a bit since the cost difference is rather big. And unfortunately the difference in the actual coffee is not better in similar proportions. But after a while leaving with the cremina i gave my pavoni as a gift to a friend since it was just sitting there giving angry glares to my cremina. I never regretted buying the cremina.
Lets take the actual build of the machine. Its really ahead of the pavoni in almost every aspect. The lever of the cremina its really solid and well made with little play, while on the la pavoni is just a curved metal piece with the cylindrical part just pressed on it. After a few years it becomes loose. There are some "remedies" going around but nothing lasting. The stability!!! If you already own a pavoni you know that you have to hold the boiler cap or the whole machine may end up in your espresso. The base. A finicky chome plated plastic base with a plastic drip tray in comparison with the heavy solid metal one of the cremina, looks kind of toyish.
Now about the actual espresso quality. There isn't as i said before, and many others, such a big difference in the first shot -when you actually learn the two machines- that justifies the price (if thats your only concern). But from that point onwards is all the difference. On both machines i had two portafilters to alternate between shots. Pavoni becomes really hot (even with the teflon insert) while cremina is more forgiving and gives great second and third cup. Pavoni may be able to give good results after the first but needs a bit of extras on your workflow to bring the temp down.
Milk frothing. For the pavoni to give a decent micro foam i had to change the wands tip for a single hole while on the cremina it just works quite well.
All in all its up to you if you thing that all these justifies the considerable price .difference. For me just taking it out of the box and looking at the craftsmanship and the details on these beautiful tank , it was worth it. An after the first shots. Oh man i thought that i got excited when i went from my gaggia to my pavoni. This was a complete new level of caffeine happiness. One thing that i would personally advice you to get (if you have the extra cash) its the piston pressure kit. It speeds up you progress a lot and helps when you change beans and grinds.

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#18: Post by drgary »

Let's distinguish pre-mill in 1st and 2nd gen La Pavoni. The 1st gens have a water heated group and lots of metal mass with a screw-in brass cylinder. Those were converted into 1st Creminas. Build quality is very solid.

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#19: Post by flyingtoaster »

I have a year 2000 pre-mil Europiccola with the brass sleeve, single power switch, pressurestat, and thermostat. It pulls excellent 2nd and 3rd shots. I could see how older or newer models are less desirable.