La Pavoni is an Italian coffee machine manufacturer that has built its reputation on producing high-quality classic espresso machines.
Their Lever range has become iconic due to their beautiful, classic design and longevity, with many machines produced in the mid-twentieth century still going strong today.
In this guide, I look at a range of machines offered by La Pavoni to help you get to grips with their semi-professional and lever machine range.
The Best La Pavoni Semi-Professional Machines
The La Pavoni Cellini is a classic, manual espresso machine that offers users a high-quality coffee preparation experience.
This La Pavoni model is well equipped with features to give home baristas complete control over their shot of espresso.
A large 1.8-litre copper boiler with a transversal heat exchanger helps to deliver a consistent temperature.
The large, electronically controlled 2.9-litre water tank ensures that the machines water level is always where it should be, along with the manometer for boiler pressure control.
The addition of an anti-burn steam wand and hot water wand lowers the risk of being scolded when working with high-temperature equipment.
The La Pavoni Botticelli is a machine that offers users features that professional baristas would get excited about.
The polished stainless steel casing holds dual boilers with PID temperature control, allowing you to pull a great shot of espresso whilst steaming milk simultaneously.
One of the stand-out features of this machine is its pressure profiling capabilities, which you can use to manipulate the flavours in coffee to find the perfect shot of espresso.
Coffee extracted at lower pressure generally holds more body and low acidity, so by controlling and refining the level of pressure applied to the coffee, you can highlight specific flavours to shine in the cup.
The Best La Pavoni Lever Espresso Machines
The Stradivari drew inspiration from the world-famous violin maker ‘Stradivarius’, with the plinth as the instrument’s body and its lever as the bow.
First Released into the market in 2005; this La Pavoni offering is a beautifully crafted lever espresso machine that creates an all-around classic Italian coffee experience.
The machine can produce an exceptional shot of espresso after around 5 minutes of turning the machine on and can produce steam after 15 minutes.
Its 1.6-litre boiler can be monitored with its pressure gauge and produces around 16 brewed cups of espresso.
The La Pavoni Euripiccola EL is probably the most iconic home lever machine on the market, having been first released in 1950 and then updated with a professional version in 1970.
This coffee machine has stood as the benchmark for all other La Pavoni lever machines since its introduction.
The compact, minimalist design holds a 0.8-litre boiler that thoroughly heats up in around 10 minutes and can produce approximately 8 cups of espresso.
Without a pressure gauge, an indicator light lets users know the machine temperature is at the right level to make a cup of coffee.
The La Pavoni Expo 2015 is one of the most eye-catching releases from the Italian manufacturer, with brass and dark wooden accents highlighting the stunning design of this lever machine.
It offers users the full range of features that are found on the best machines La Pavoni offer.
A 1.6-litre boiler, capable of producing around 16 shots of espresso, can heat up in about 5 minutes for coffee brewing and 15 minutes for the steam and hot water.
Is a Lever Coffee Machine Right for You?
Lever coffee machines have a certain romance attached to them due to their historical significance in Italian coffee culture.
The simplicity of the lever machine can be an appealing quality, and the actions in using this style of a machine can add a hand-crafted feel to espresso preparation.
However, if you’re looking for intricate control over all of the variables that come into play when making a cup of coffee, a lever machine may not be for you.
A lever machine creates its style of pressurised extraction in the coffee basket.
Slowly starting to lower the lever allows the valve to open. The further you lower the lever, the higher the pressure applied to the ground coffee in the basket, moving towards the optimum 15-bars of pressure once the valve is fully open.
Once you have produced the crema and main body of the espresso, you can then gently raise the lever to bring the extraction process to an end, which means you have a lot of manual control when you pull a shot of espresso.
The amount of water the La Pavoni lever machines hold is quite low compared to the semi-professional level units on offer, which means that they will need to be filled up more often if you are making coffee regularly throughout the day.
One of the things modern coffee lovers look for is consistency. Lever machines can be challenging to create an identical, repeatable process, which in turn can make it harder to find the right grind size on your grinder.
The aesthetic qualities offered by a lever machine could play a big part in the decision to invest in one, as it will quickly become a focal point wherever it finds its home.
A Brief History of La Pavoni
La Pavoni is one of the oldest coffee machine manufacturers in the world.
The first espresso machine was built in 1900 by Luigi Bezzera. In 1905, La Pavoni’s founder bought the espresso machine’s patent and started manufacturing espresso machines in Milan.
The historical significance of La Pavoni could be overlooked. Still, since their iconic release of the Euripiccola in 1961, then later in 1970, La Pavoni lever machines have become incredibly sought after on the home coffee machine market.
Since its success in the lever machine market, La Pavoni has added a coffee grinder range to compliment their machines.
La Pavoni Coffee Machine FAQ
Are lever coffee machines good?
Paired with a good coffee grinder, lever machines are more than capable of producing a fantastic cup of coffee.
They are how espresso was first prepared historically and give their own style of flavour to the cup.
Why are lever espresso machines so expensive?
The craftsmanship in precision engineering means that the build quality is usually very high, as they are often hand-built in Italy.
When properly looked after, lever machines can keep producing fantastic coffee for decades of use.
How much is a La Pavoni coffee machine?
La Pavoni offers a range of coffee machines, starting at around $1,200 and going above and beyond $3,000.
Which La Pavoni is best?
Most of the La Pavoni machines on offer are of exceptionally high quality, and it all depends on what you want from an espresso machine.
The La Pavoni PC-16 Professional could be seen as the best balance overall, with many quality-focused features packed into a perfectly compact and stylish structure.
Featured Image: www.lapavoni.com