Top positive review
72 people found this helpful
Temperamental Italian Genius
on 29 April 2010
You either love it or you hate it. I love mine; others obviously hate theirs. I spent the first two years (yes, two whole years!) making the 'anaemic' shots quoted in another review, punishing myself, guiltily blaming my lack of skill and feeling like I had betrayed my wife by not really liking the machine she had so carefully saved and bought for me.
I had progressed from a very cheap pseudo-machine, via an automatic pumped one to this gloriously vain peacock of an espresso-maker. It had seemed so easy with the others - switch on, wander off, come back, pop the cup under the portafilter, press the button and wait until it was full. Then, in about 20 seconds, would be a thick-crema'd espresso. Lovely, but somehow unfulfilling.
The continental inefficiency of the machine was brought home when I first unpacked it - there were no video instructions, as were promised; no paper instructions, as were promised - just a beautiful machine with a little patch of damaged chrome under the drip tray - already a failing in the world of time and motion and efficiency that we currently inhabit. I made all of the mistakes that the other reviews are talking about - exploding coffee, scalded hands, drips everywhere, milk everywhere, anaemic shots, double-pulls, no crema, nothing but crema...I asked a barista for advice, he laughed, and talked about 'be careful, it might blow a hole in the ceiling!'
However, this machine is so simple in its construction, just a boiler, a thermostat and a portafilter, that I have finally realised it does exactly what you want it to do! However, in the same way you wouldn't try to build a house out of pillows, it can't make good espresso without good coffee (buy good beans, grind them fine yourself, use an expensive grinder); it can't make the right temperature espresso without being warmed up (let it warm a while, release pressure when the green light is on via the steam wand, warm the portafilter with a blank shot); it can't make endless repetitive identical shots (pressure goes up and goes down - treat each shot as a new one, let it warm, release pressure, let it cool and reset itself - apologise for the inconsistency at dinner parties - guests will forgive you when they see you working the machine); it can't create crema without fresh beans (grind yourself)...you get the picture - there's a lot it can't do...but, what it can do is make very very good espresso - I have just had one.
Buy the Pavoni, but think carefully - realise that this is more Rossi than Rooney and will be with you a lifetime if you are prepared to, during which you may never fully understand it!