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Custom '92 Pavoni Pre-Millennium

The mid '90s were the last years of the dual element Europiccola, with it's steaming pressure relief valve.  Pavoni went to the "cleaner" single higher watt element and pressurestat control (like the Professonals models use) by about '97 for all the Europiccolas.  So this machine is near the end of the "hi/low" dual element era.  We're not used to seeing those now 20 plus year old machines look "new" at this point, but check out this chrome on this one.


The base wasn't as pristine, so we decided to completely disassemble the machine and powder coat it.

At that point, it was looking so good we thought, "What the heck!" and topped it off with a pressure gauge.  (Something Pavoni made you buy the Professionals to get.)


As usual, it's totally rebuilt with all new seals, cleaned, lubed, adjusted, etc.  And since the heating element was removed during during powder coating, it was easy getting inside the boiler for a really thorough de-scale.  

The result is kind of fabulous.  For a lowly old "hi/lo" Europiccola.


Pavoni would almost certainly say that going with the single elements was an "advance" in Europiccola technology, but there ARE people who make the case for the classic dual elements versions.  Especially folks who tend to drink straight shots, and don't care about the hotter temps required for steaming. 


Those users can take advantage of the lower and "flatter" overall temperature the "minimo" setting allows, because pressurestat controlled machines have a "dead band" (a phenomena where the temperature ranges up and down as the boiler pressure rises and falls, to activate and de-activate the switch) while the older machines with the pressure relief valve will idle at a stable temperature.   As long as you don't boil all the water out!


The Achille's heal of La Pavoni levers has always been how hot they can get.  Especially the smaller Europiccola.  So the simple pressure relief valve and high/low element configuration was actually an elegant engineering solution.  It's simple, it's cheap, and it provides good thermal stability.  Until you run out of water.


Of course, Americans want steam!  They want their lattes.  So the "advantage" dual elements offered was kind of moot for most Pavoni users in the US, once they flipped the high switch.

Dual element machines depend on their relief valves to open at the "right" pressure, and this one basically runs exactly where it should, "temperaturewise," based on the manometer reading!  About 1 BAR on high, and .7 BAR on low.  So this should pull nice shots for most people at the lower end. 


You can heat these up on "low" if you're patient and willing to wait a while.  A long while.  It just seems forever, compared to "cheating" with the high setting.  Which, of course, most people in a hurry to get their morning beverage naturally do.  And that's where the added pressure gauge can actually be useful. 


Because we all tend to "overheat" these on high, before switching to low, the manometer can guide your decision about when to flip the switch.  Instead of flying blind, or relying on animal instincts honed from hours of Pavoni experience, you can now get Scientific!  


It's probable the "real" reason Pavoni went to the single element on the Europiccola (aside from cost lowering) is that "modern" sensibilties were offended by the constantly hissing and sputtering untidiness of the dual element pressure relief valve models.  It just seemed so "old fashioned" by the 90s.  There is a very different vibe with a Pavoni is that is actually "talking to you" the entire time it's on, as opposed to the virtual silence of the "modern" models.  And that's something to consider before buying one. 


So with the gauge, this machine is a little bit "old school" meets "new school."  


Comes with a single and double basket. 


(We're out of tampers as of this listing, but if we get them in before it sells, we'll adjust the sale.) 


Hope everybody gets vaccinated soon!  

Custom '92 Pavoni Pre-Millennium

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