I like coffee…I even better like it when I have to put some muscle in making my espresso. For this reason I own and have owned several lever espresso machines, like this Arrarex Caravel for instance. So when on one of my thrift shop rounds I stumbled upon a heap of chrome with a big handle sticking out I thought I know what it could be. When I pulled it out between some other stuff I was quite surprised with the size and weight. So when I gave it a quick examination it seemed pretty complete and with the water still in it which could be a good or a very bad sign. But it was the name LaPavoni that told me it was (going to be) all good…. so I took it home. Now keeping my finger crossed that after a good clean and putting it to work, it would be all I hoped for.
What came out of the rubble was a true Italian made LaPavoni lever espresso machine in Professional size and seemed to be a Pre-Millenium edition…on which more later. And it looked like this:
Before I could try it out I had to order a big chunk of metal to press te coffee in the basket. I also checked the internet which told me to look under te drip tray. This should give me a good indication of how well it had been used. It was as you can see corrosion free, so that was a very good sign.
The machine is still being produced today but in a little changed design around the year 2000. The only reall design difference was the size of the cup below the handle (from a 44 to 50 mm diameter). So the new models have a larger piston, portafiller (the separate thing with the handle) and the metal baskets that fit in their. All parts for these pre-millenium series can also still be found online with dealers and of course second hand. But I had all that, so no worries. Zooming in a little more on the details like the pressure gauge and covered on/off switch it seemed my model was from the 1980’s..so pretty old nevertheless but looking great!
The machine was heating pretty slow but hey it is almost 1000cc water it had to heat to reach the right pressure. But it was not quite where I needed it to be in the pressure gauge. I also got the distinct feeling it could do with a deep clean before I could sell it so I send it off for a full maintenance and had all the gaskets changed out. I also stumbled on this very interesting read on maintenance and regulating pressure (German) from inside of the machine, which is easy enough with proper screw drivers.
This is a beautiful machine and after a few tries I also got a decent espresso. But it was taking up a lot of space besides my other coffee making stuff so with a heavy heart it was time to sell it on (including guarantee)!