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1999 Zacconi "Baby Lusso" -- Sold!

For the unfamilar, the Zacconi Baby Lusso is a lot like the La Pavoni Professional (15 cup boiler) with the "deluxe" extras of a pressure gauge, and pressurestat for automatic heating element control.  While it's better known brother is the classic spring driven Zaconni Riviera, the Baby Lusso has the same direct "push" style piston the Pavonis do. 


The main difference between the Baby Lusso and the Pavoni Professional, other than the obvious styling, is that the Zacconi quite arguably has better build quality.  Especially from this era.


As Pavonis got "lighter" over the years (thiner stamped steel bases, with less chrome plating, especially in the post 2000 "Millennium" era) Zacconi actually stayed much the same, or got even better, as the brilliant chrome plating on this Baby Lusso will attest.  The levers and pins, the larger solid brass piston, and even the heavier duty pressurestat, are all features that separate the two.  Even something as simple as their nifty "dimpled" portafilter baskets, which won't fall out when you knock your spent puck, is a cool difference from Pavoni baskets you're used to fishing out of the compost pile. 


In short, Zacconi pretty much kept going with the old tradition, while Pavoni concentrated on lowering costs.  


Which is probably why Pavoni is a huge company with products sold around the world.  And why you seldom see a Zacconi, even in Europe, where they are still built in their small factory in Caravaggio, Italy.


Whether anyone can "taste" the build quality in the cup is impossible to predict.  And people obviously just love the La Pavoni look.  The brand has the advantage of iconic stature now, even if they haven't lived up to the quality of the 70s and 80s machines that made them famous.  


That just means you get a little more "value" in a Zacconi for less money.  Perhaps it's a classic example of style over substance, but there should be little argument that Zacconi levers can pull shots equal to a Pavoni.


So here you go.  A "Baby" for a husband who didn't really want one!  (A familiar story?)  Bought in '99 by his lovely wife at the legendary Thomas Cara, Ltd. shop, here in San Francisco's North Beach, then brought back to the East Coast where it mostly sat on a counter for twenty years!   


Instead of calling Child  Protective Services, she called us.  So "Baby" is now safe in a loving environment. 


We even have copies of the original "instructions" and "recipes" Cara gave out with this machine.  They not only explain how use a Baby Lusso to make a "caffe espresso," but even how to "coddle an egg" with your steam wand! 


Even though she was pretty cute when we got her into the orphanage, we went ahead and put new piston seals in Baby, and cleaned her up a bit.  We also changed the steam valve seal, descaled, lubed, and put her back together.  Now she's ready to go out into the world and take on a La Pavoni Professional.  Just at a better price.  



1999 Zacconi "Baby Lusso" -- Sold!

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