What's so great about an Olympia Cremina? - Page 2

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.

#11: Post by zin1953 »

TUS172 wrote:...The Cremina is a much more practical choice than a Pavoni because its design is more stable, it is safer to use (Potential of 2nd degree burns on the Pavoni)...
That, too! :wink:

Speaking from personal experience, I burned myself more than once on the Pavoni, and when I choked the pf (and didn't know enough to stop, toss it out and re-load), I tipped the damned thing over a couple of times, too!
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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#12: Post by KarlSchneider »

bobcraige wrote:
We as a group are enamored of lever machines. They celebrate getting back to basics and making the user totally immersed in the process. The Cremina exemplifies this form follows function simplicity. Indeed, it is the pinnacle of manual lever machines. The machine is designed for extreme quality and simplicity and to last a lifetime. Part and parcel to this is to avoid all unnecessary complication. Every part is needed and nothing extra. It's beauty lies in the simple elegance and superb results that it is capable in the hands of a skilled owner. We enjoy using our hands to craft that special pull even using the feedback of the lever feel to involve us with the process. <snip> The user involvement is what these machines are about.
I find this passage from Bob Craige to answer your question as eloquently as any I have heard. A Cremina is the pinnacle of manual lever machines, designed for extreme quality, simplicity, lasting a lifetime. If you enjoy using your hands (or would) in crafting a special pull nothing compares to a Cremina as the best tool for this.

A Pavoni is not designed for extreme quality (as a machine) but for good quality. It is also a simple machine. It is not intended to last a lifetime. One can craft fine espresso by hand with a Pavoni. The differences are transparent. Involvement in this making of espresso includes reverence for the machine and great skill in the process and appreciation of the results.

LMWDP # 008


#13: Post by arrow »

I have both machines including some early model Pavoni's. The Olympia is better for several reasons the main one being its easier to make good coffee with. Pavoni Machine suffer from getting too hot. If you leave them on for slightly too long before making your cuppa the heat builds up in the metal and has the potential to burn your coffee. You can prevent this by venting steam being and being careful not to leave the machine on in between cups.
The olympia seems to have a better quality heat regulator than the Pavoni. Its a chunky little box on the side of the boiler.
Early pavonis are steam valve regulated with the addition of a manual switch maximum and minimum heat (maximo minimo) you have to wait for the steam value to pop and then switch the machine to minimum to manually adjust the pressure. These machines are great and make an excellent cuppa, they really have a hands on feel like you are driving a train and waiting for the pressure to build so you can egress in your mighty machine. With the olympia you don't need to be so careful, so its easier and you get in wrong less often and then its down to tamping your coffee correctly.

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#14: Post by danno »

I had a Europiccola for many years, but once I got a Cremina, there was no going back. The Cremina is made with significantly higher grade materials throughout and everything is more precisely engineered and assembled. Although a La Pavoni heats up quicker, the Olympia maintains much more stable temperature. There is no need to dance around the grouphead heat issue that La Pavonis experience with Creminas. The lever action and steaming quality are superior with the Cremina, too.

Both machines are essentially the same in basic design. The details, though, are very different. I get absolutely consistent results with the Cremina, period. If there is a problem, it is me not the machine. I could get nearly equal shots with the Europiccola, but that was a hit-or-miss affair.

I prefer the La Pavoni's aesthetics a bit more than the Olympia's look, but the Cremina's functionality and stability trump everything. Think of it this way: You can get a Nissan and it will be a very good car, or you can get an Infiniti and smile knowing that the extra money bought something better made.