A bad decision

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#1: Post by bill »

I bought my first lever machine, a La Pavoni Ambassador, about 20 years ago. Since then I've bought and restored many espresso machines, mostly all levers. In November, 2021, I made a decision to sell my Conti Prestina and get another machine. At that time my thinking was I needed to get something easier to operate and not requiring a rebuild. After all I'm almost 80 and it was getting harder to work on these old espresso machines.
So I sold the Prestina and ended up buying a brand new Breville Dual Boiler. It was fun for a while; easy to operate and had the ability to adjust about anything necessary to get excellent espresso. I can't complain about its performance. But, making an espresso by pushing a button just didn't seem right. Yesterday I got a vintage La Pavoni out of the garage, put it on the coffee bar, pulled a couple shots, and was hooked on lever machines once again!

I wasn't born in Texas, but got here as fast as I could!


#2: Post by mikel »

Hello Bill,
I will be direct. I will not return your former Prestina to you.


(Thanks again for your excellent machine, I have one at home and one in the office now. Love the Prestinas)
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#3: Post by Primacog »

Once a lever head, always a lever head )
LMWDP #729

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#4: Post by chopinhauer »

I 'upgraded' from a 1980 Pavoni Europiccola to a Rancilio Silvia back in 2005. Lasted 3 months. Realised the error of my ways, sold the Silvia to a very happy friend and joyfully went back to my 'beloved' Pavoni until I discovered Creminas in 2006 which is where my espresso story ends as I haven't shifted since then and can't see myself ever doing so. (But I must say improvement in grinder technology has helped make the Cremina perfect...for me).
LMWDP #027


#5: Post by Paolo »

Have to say that a Conti Prestina is an extremely hard act to follow!

All the best with your renewed quest, Bill.

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#6: Post by mrgnomer »

With my daily e61 HX down for over a year my go to's were a 67 Cremina and a Europiccola. Before using them daily I just used them every now and again.

Fixed the e61 but replaced it anyway with a Bezzera Strega. The lever is so much better to use and control. Getting the best extractions ever. Don't see myself ever going back.
Primacog wrote:Once a lever head, always a lever head )
I agree.
LMWDP #116
professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love

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#7: Post by Shakespeare »

It was a Bad decision for me also.... I'm 73 an I would so enjoy that Conti Prestina and it's crazy sideways boiler.
And no one even gave me a hint that one was on the market. Anyone else selling a Prestina ? :)

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#8: Post by drgary »

Bill, I think it's time to get another Prestina and admit that you're hooked (and mine isn't for sale).

If you can't find an old one, Conti makes a new machine with a single Prestina group.

Conti CC 1 group!

I'm still enjoying my pidded Prestina. And for the lever heads and Cremina lovers out there, I often use my 1964 La Pavoni Europiccola. Those were the basis for the first Creminas and have the same solid feel as the boxy Creminas and great steaming power with the brew/steam switch. Francesco Ceccarelli was once quoted as saying that you don't need anything more than those 1st gen Europiccolas.

And, I have and love a vintage Cremina, a version 1.0 Arrarex Caravel, the very first known Europiccola, a 1973 Europiccola, a Lady Duchessa that I've double springed, and a Cafelat Robot. Luckily we have a large house and I've shifted my main interest to coffee roasting.

BTW I'm about to review the La Marzocco Linea Micra and will be comparing its shots to the Prestina. Stay tuned to the Micra review thread.

La Marzocco Linea Micra Espresso Machine Review

The Odyssey Argos also looks interesting and is in production but not yet out in the wild. The last 70 first production units go on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. MST, even though the site currently lists them as sold out. https://www.odysseyespresso.com/shop

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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#9: Post by peacecup »


You have at least a well-polished, chrome-plated Pavoni in front of you. Now you just need another old Riveria to come full circle, although I have to put in a word for my little Lusso, which miraculously boils down the commercial spring lever to a domestic-kitchen scale while preserving all of the design essentials required for achieving espresso nirvana.

80 years young!

LMWDP #049
Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

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#10: Post by peacecup »

And just for the heck of it, while we're reminiscing, here's a video of the ol' PeDe in action, paired with the inestimable Sama Lusso:
The "cut corner" thread was locked years ago, but the PeDe, with a lineage stretching back before OE was on HB, will live forever!
LMWDP #049
Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."