La Pavoni Europiccola (EPC-8)
This machine is the go-to workhorse of manual espresso making for the hungry masses. Once you mastered pulling the shots the right way, you will go a long way with this genuine Italian artifact. A sureshot hit since 1950.
Unlike the Elektras, this is a direct lever machine, so you need to operate the lever in both directions (push up and then pull down). Some consider this an advantage, because this mechanism gives you total control. With the Europiccola it is not the spring that times the extraction process but you. It is easier to adjust your pulling style to different types of coffee with a direct lever type machine, once you get the hang of it. The Europiccola is a fairly small unit. With the lever down you can easily put it on a shelf when not in use if you are short of counter space.
This model comes equipped with a single thermostat, so you can either only steam or brew. An easy way out is just doing one after the other, which is what people usually do anyhow. Some complain that due to its small weight the unit is somewhat unstable, but remember that you need to extract force only when pulling the level down. The Europiccola heats pretty up fast, 4-5 minutes when fully filled.A trusty small and sturdy machine for your morning coffee ritual.
dimensions with lever up: (hwd) 17.25″ x 7.75″ x 11.5″ · net weight: 14 pounds
Check out the Europiccola in action. This guy uses a long prefusion technique, he waits almost ten seconds with the lever up before he pulls the shot.
La Pavoni Professional (PPG-16)
This model still available today is the living and approachable deity that has provided the humble and eager with heavenly espresso shots for decades since 1970. Exaggeration? Maybe enthusiasm.
La Pavoni has perfected this model’s design even after the millennium. The Professional can brew and steam at the same time thanks to the heat-sink design of its group head and make up to 16 cups of espresso with a full boiler. Even features a Capuccino Automatic extension but many users seem to be using its old-school steam jet instead.
Due to the volume it can produce, this is a good buy if you are making more espressos, as in a party or a small office. Still, if you are looking to pull shots consecutively, bare in mind you need to turn the machine off after around 25 minutes. The major challenge in this situation is the metal parts heating up too much while no effective heat dissipation is taking place. La Pavoni does not see this as not a design flaw, it is a compromise that was needed to be made to make this machine powerful enough. Almost all lever machines suffer from the problem of overheating when in constant use.
dimensions with lever up: same as Europiccola · net weight: 15.3 pounds ·
Observe the la Pavoni Professional in action in this superb jazzy video:
This is a spectacular and powerful machine. To be fair, it needs to be said that it helps if you are tallish and willing to exert force to make this potent model operate optimally.
La Pavoni Stradivari
These are La Pavoni’s most recent products, the precious fruits of their know-how, hard work and experience in the field. These aesthetic pieces, released in 2005, already have a large fanbase among lever lovers. You can easily discover the likeness to the famous violin in the unique design. La Pavoni prides itself on this piece, in a way it is a celebration of their 100th anniversary.
These two new models are essentially similar to the Europiccola and the Professional. Now they are called called simply Stradivari and Stradivari Professional. Their looks and inside have both evolved.
The smaller machine, Stradivari is capable of making up to 8 cups of espresso. The new counterpart of Europiccola.
The Stradivari Professional can produce twice as much coffee as its smaller sister plus brew and steam and the same time. As you can see, they are also available with wood handles and knobs. Only the Professional comes with a thermometer on top in all series.