La Pavoni ELH -Europiccola
When it comes to making coffee, it’s important to strike a balance between appearance and functionality. It needs to look good sitting on your counter, but it also needs to do the job well. All at a reasonable price tag- phew! This Espresso machine, however, does strike a balance between all three of these factors. Not only does it look like the pinnacle of all top-class, retro kitchenware -it is also made by a genuine Italian company. Call me stereotypical, but Italy = beautiful coffee. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good coffee machine, must be in want of a cup. If you managed to catch the references, you’ll agree that that was corny.
Established in 1905 Milan, the company has been studying new ideas since the mid-eighties! Utilising the company’s innovative minds, La Pavoni started creating panels in thermoplastic materials. As a result, they have sped up their rate of production thus producing top quality products at a fraction of the time, energy and fuel used prior to their newest advancements. They pay great attention to ergonomics (ensuring their products are easily handled and a pleasure to use), as well as to research keenly into new technological developments to place their products within the top range of coffee machines. This is something they’ve successfully achieved too -it is a well known company and they specialise in their retro machines.
Leaders in domestic machines, the Europiccola and Professional represent an alluring mixture of elegance, quality and reliability. Not only do they look fantastic sitting on your counter, they do their job really well! The company first manufactured these in 1961 (with improvements being made constantly -all in quest of making the perfect machine). Although retro, their style will never go out of fashion. In fact, the Professional is exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York! That’s new -not to mention impressive.
- Stainless Steel: Being a highly durable and strong material, stainless steel is the top choice for any coffee machine. It’s so popular, that most companies don’t even bother producing plastic machines any more. With the growing popularity of the green movement, companies who produce plastic products are being slammed. La Pavoni is always up to date with latest technological advancements, so they made sure that their Europiccola is both a visual and environmental delight.
- Tamper: This mechanism is used to push the ground coffee beans into a solid, compressed state. Not only does this make the coffee-making process a lot more mess-free, it also ensures that the correct strength and consistency is achieved when making the final brew. We wouldn’t want too bitter or weak of a cup!
- Water Level Indicator
- Illuminated On/Off Switch
- 1 Central Spout: Having one central spout through which the coffee leaves, this machine is very simplistic. This isn’t a bad thing; the overall cup yield is still a good 8 cups (which is mighty for a compact machine like this!). The image below shows the process of boiling water being poured into the cup; this will be in proportion to the coffee grounds, so rest assured you’ll still get a delicious cup of coffee.
- Suitable for pre-ground beans: The Europiccola is best suited for pre-ground coffee beans. I personally do not enjoy grinding them myself because of the mess and time consumption, but when the grounds are used, this machine gives you the richest blend you’ve tasted. It’s like drinking an expensive cup of coffee in a Selfridge’s café! When the pr-ground beans are inserted into the machine, the final brew is this creamy, rich, dark brown blend, as seen below:
- Beautiful Appearance: With some wooden constituents and others made of stainless steel, this espresso machine surely will make your kitchen charming. It looks like the type of coffee machine you would find on a riverside café, with striped table-shades, petite tables and fresh pastries. It is sleek and compact, and the overall design screams “retro”!
- Lightweight: Weighing only 5.0 kg, this espresso machine is portable, can be easily carried between rooms, transported to events, boxed up and sent through air -whatever you like. Many coffee machines aren’t able to give this benefit, so the Europiccola surely sells itself here.
- Steam Wand: One of my favourite features about this device is the steam wand; once activated, the steam wand should be entered into the milk within a milk jug, and it instantly starts frothing up the milk. It leaves you with a silky, almost paint-like version of your original watery, flat milk! Having this texture of milk allows you to achieve that full froth at the top of the cup as well as allow you to create some beautiful latte art.
As for the specifics of the machine:
Power: 1850 Watts
Capacity: 0.8 Litres
Cup yield: 8 cups
Dimensions: 20 x 29 x 32 cm
Weight: 5.0 kg
- Doesn’t accommodate Whole Beans: For those of us, including myself, who hate grinding beans due to the mess and complexity, this machine doesn’t really help us. We will still have to grind the beans ourself in order to reap the benefits of this machine. Some buyers would see this as an advantage though, because essentially you are adding to the authenticity and freshness of the coffee by doing part of it yourself. This can be seen as a satisfaction on its own, but it’s just not an advantage in my case! I prefer machines which have built in grinders, they just make my life a lot easier.
- No display: For beginners, this may unfold a challenge when becoming accustomed to the machine. I am aware that there aren’t many tutorials online which will help you get the hang of it, but in order to figure this machine out, a good idea would be to search for videos under the search “La Pavoni”. A lot of their Espresso machines follow this procedure of making the coffee, so it would help to watch them. I found myself in a small dilemma when I couldn’t figure out how to use it, but when I did, boy was I pleased with the results!
The Final Verdict
This machine is ideal for all the coffee lovers out there. If you love grinding your own beans, this machine will be an absolute delight for you to use. In terms of busy people who are always on the go, it may not be the best purchase, as grinding beans can be a lengthy process. If however, you have pre-ground beans already (perhaps you may like to buy them, or you grind large batches yourself in advance) the Europiccola may be the machine you’ve been looking for. With a beautiful appearance, excellent build quality, barista style coffee and value for money, this machine is worth the purchase. Once the method of use has been well acquainted with and mastered, you’ll never want to go back to another Starbucks drive-through ever again.