When it rains, it pours sometimes. We lucked into another La Graziella. This one with the "real" name on it from the MARCFI company (rather than the re-branded "La Cara" from Cara, Ltd.)
Won't wax too poetic about this one since we just basically went through it all. See the previous MARCFI for a description and history. It's basically an early '70s Spanish La Pavoni hybrid, part Europicccola part Professional, and all La Graziella.
The pressure relief valve is in the cap, which leads to kind of crazy hissing and steam venting coming from the center of the machine rather than the right side, as with the early Pavonis. But otherwise users employ the same tactics as the dual element "high/low" Europiccolas.
The lower switch is "on/off." The upper switch pushed towards the front is "Massimo," towards the rear is "Minimo." So forward to heat up or steam, than back to pull shots.
Lot's steam from these guys, who use the same 6mm fittings on the wand that Pavoni does, so you can use any tip a Pavoni would use.
Was asked today if these are "better in any way" than the La Pavoni levers, and my quick thought was, "probably better than Europiccolas, but maybe not Professionals."
But we all know how subjective this stuff is. The truth is you can make pretty much the same cup of espresso with one of these as you can with any early La Pavoni.
But these also get points around here for NOT being La Pavonis. We see so many Pavonis, the "novelty" (and quality) of MARCFI's Pavoni clones never ceases to delight. And this one is no exception.
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