La Pavoni Professional Espresso Machine review

La Pavoni Professional Espresso Machine review


If you have ever fallen in love with the rich and aromatic essence of espresso, chances are you’ve dreamed of owning a magnificent espresso machine like the La Pavoni Professional. With its glorious classic copper and brass construction, this lever machine exudes an Art Deco-meets-steampunk vibe that adds a touch of sophistication to any kitchen.

In this comprehensive La Pavoni Professional Espresso Machine review, we’ll delve into the design, brewing capability, cleaning & maintenance, build quality, and overall value for money of the La Pavoni Professional Espresso Machine. So, let’s embark on this coffee journey together and discover if this iconic espresso maker can deliver the perfect shot of espresso, we all crave!

La Pavoni Professional Espresso Machine review

Brewing Capability: The Art of Manual Espresso Making

The La Pavoni Professional PC 16 keeps the brewing process refreshingly simple. Fill the filter basket with your preferred coffee grounds, tamp them down to ensure a level surface, insert the portafilter into the group head, and pull the lever to extract a shot of espresso. However, mastering the art of pulling a perfect shot may require a bit of practice.

The machine’s 38 oz boiler capacity enables you to produce 16 2-oz shots of espresso. The small filter basket can hold 9g of ground coffee, while the larger one accommodates 13g (or 14g with proper tamping). For a classic 2:1 extraction ratio, expect about 1 ounce (28g) of espresso. However, with a yield between 30 and 45g, you can create exquisite espresso.

Preinfusion is a critical step in achieving optimal extraction. With the La Pavoni Professional, it’s a manual process without any lights or buzzers. Raise the lever until you feel it catches, wait for about six seconds, and when a few drops of “free run” espresso emerge from the portafilter, Preinfusion is complete, and you can proceed with pulling your shot.

Steaming Milk: Options Galore

La Pavoni Professional comes with two ways of steaming milk: an auto-frothing attachment and a classic steam wand. The auto-frother is straightforward to use and produces delightful frothy milk perfect for cappuccinos or lattes. The process involves immersing the end of the supply tube into cold milk, positioning the cup under the frother, and opening the steam valve. Within seconds, frothy, milky goodness graces your cup, ready to blend with your espresso.

On the other hand, the classic steam wand, while adequately functional, is equipped with a three-hole tip that may result in looser foam. However, with some practice and possibly a one-hole tip upgrade, you can achieve a luscious, creamy micro foam. Whether you prefer the ease of the auto-frother or the challenge of mastering latte art with the steam wand, the La Pavoni Professional offers flexibility to cater to your steaming preferences.

Design: A Shimmering Monument

The La Pavoni Professional lever machine is a sight to behold. Crafted from gleaming copper and polished brass, it exudes a timeless elegance that captures the essence of a bygone era. Its striking appearance, reminiscent of a saxophone or French horn, combined with various tubes and levers, is sure to elicit admiration and “Wow!” reactions from anyone who lays eyes on it.

Cleaning & Maintenance: A Hands-On Approach

As a manual espresso machine, the La Pavoni Professional requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Unlike modern super-automatics with reminder lights and descaling apps, this machine relies on you to keep it in top shape. Descaling with a simple solution of water and white vinegar is recommended periodically, especially if you have hard water.

The machine’s brass and copper components are protected with a coat of jewellery varnish, preventing tarnishing and eliminating the need for abrasive cleaners or metal polish. Cleaning the steam wand after frothing milk and ensuring no milk residue remains inside its steam holes are essential steps to maintain optimal performance.

The portafilter and filter baskets should be soaked in hot water and dish soap solution at the end of the day to prevent any stale coffee film from clinging to the equipment. Additionally, a cotton swab or soft brush is useful for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, such as the recess where the portafilter fits.

Build Quality: A Timeless Investment

The La Pavoni Professional PC 16 boasts impressive build quality, with a durable construction that stands the test of time. The application of jewellery varnish over the brass and copper components ensures that the machine retains its original allure for years to come. Seals and gaskets may require replacement over time, but these components are readily available and easy to replace.

Current models have been enhanced with more effective electrical and thermal overload devices compared to older ones. Remarkably, even La Pavoni machines from the 1970s continue to brew exceptional espressos, a testament to the brand’s commitment to quality and longevity.

One important consideration is the machine’s top-heavy design, especially when the water reservoir is full. To prevent tipping, it’s advisable to support the front of the base with one hand while lifting the lever and to place another hand on the filler knob when pulling a shot.

Value For Money: An Iconic Investment

The La Pavoni Professional Espresso Machine certainly commands a premium price tag, but its unique steampunk design and ability to craft cafe-quality espresso make it a worthy investment. Controlling every aspect of your coffee preparation adds to the satisfaction of owning this machine, and its enduring build quality ensures that it will serve you for decades.

Pros and cons of La Pavoni Professional Espresso Machine


  1. Timeless Design: The gleaming copper and polished brass construction exudes elegance and a unique steampunk charm, making it a visually striking addition to any kitchen.
  2. Exceptional Espresso Quality: With practice, the La Pavoni Professional consistently produces cafe-quality espresso, allowing users to savor rich, aromatic shots at home.
  3. Versatile Steaming Options: The machine offers both a classic steam wand and an auto-frother, catering to different preferences for milk steaming.
  4. Impressive Build Quality: Built to last, the application of jewelry varnish protects the brass and copper components, ensuring enduring allure and performance.
  5. Longevity: La Pavoni machines have a reputation for longevity, and even older models continue to deliver excellent espresso.


  1. Learning Curve: Operating a manual lever machine may require practice and patience to achieve consistent results.
  2. Small Filter Basket: The smaller filter basket may limit the capacity for a true double shot of espresso.
  3. No Automated Cleaning: The machine lacks reminder lights or descaling apps, necessitating user monitoring and maintenance.
  4. Top-Heavy Design: The machine can be slightly top-heavy, requiring extra care while using the lever.

The Verdict: A Steampunk Masterpiece

The La Pavoni Professional Espresso Machine is a work of art that not only brews exceptional espresso but also adorns your kitchen with timeless elegance. Though it requires some practice and hands-on maintenance, the rewards are well worth the effort. Whether you opt for the classic steam wand or the user-friendly auto-frother, the La Pavoni Professional empowers you to create delicious espresso-based drinks at the comfort of your home.

If you’re a coffee enthusiast with a penchant for steampunk aesthetics and the art of manual espresso-making, the La Pavoni Professional is the perfect machine to satiate your passion for extraordinary coffee experiences.

La Pavoni Professional Espresso Machine review

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

  • Can the La Pavoni Professional Espresso Machine make latte art?

While the machine’s classic steam wand allows for creating frothy milk, its direct delivery into the cup might not be ideal for intricate latte art. However, with a skilful technique, users can achieve latte art by manually pouring frothed milk onto their espresso shots.

  • How often should I descale the La Pavoni Professional?

The frequency of descaling depends on the hardness of your water and the frequency of usage. As a general guideline, descaling every 2-3 months is recommended for average use, but you may need to descale more frequently if your water is particularly hard.

  • Are replacement parts readily available for the La Pavoni Professional?

Yes, replacement parts for the La Pavoni Professional are easily accessible. From seals and gaskets to steam wand attachments, the brand ensures that owners can maintain and repair their machines conveniently.

  • Can I use pods or capsules with the La Pavoni Professional?

No, the La Pavoni Professional is a manual espresso machine designed for use with ground coffee. It does not support the use of pods or capsules.

  • Does the La Pavoni Professional come with a warranty?

The warranty coverage may vary depending on the retailer and region. It’s essential to check with the seller or manufacturer for specific warranty details.

Conclusion on the La Pavoni Professional Espresso Machine

The La Pavoni Professional Espresso Machine stands as a testament to the artistry of manual espresso-making, combining aesthetics, craftsmanship, and exceptional coffee quality. Whether you are a coffee enthusiast with a passion for the steampunk style or simply someone who appreciates the joy of mastering the art of brewing espresso, this machine is a valuable investment. With its timeless allure and the ability to produce cafe-quality espresso, the La Pavoni Professional remains a true icon among espresso enthusiasts worldwide.