Espresso machines come in all different shapes and sizes these days. It is not exactly surprising considering how everyone has very different requirements. However, there is something satisfying about a classic manual espresso machine. Knowing that you can get your espresso exactly the way you want is a huge bonus for any coffee lover. That is what La Pavoni prides itself in. They have been producing espresso machines for more than a hundred years. What makes their machines so good? Well, this La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola review aims to give you some answers.
This review will give you a closer look at the La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola’s design, features, pros, and cons. We will also go over some frequently asked questions about the machine. Hence, you’ll learn every tiny detail of this espresso machine by the end of this review.
Overview of the La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola
La Pavoni has been making espresso coffee machines since 1905. That fact in itself clearly states that they know what they are doing. For well over a century, they have put quality first in the production of their classic Italian espresso machines. The EPC-8 Europiccola is no different. La Pavoni first put this classic lever espresso machine into production in 1961. Since then, the design has evolved to make it the stunning, sleek, and capable machine that it is today. Currently, La Pavoni is considered one of the top lever espresso machine makers globally, mainly for its exceptional quality standards.
The EPC-8 Europiccola gets its name from its capabilities. It can brew eight cups of espresso. Moreover, it has classic design similarities to other La Pavoni lever machines. Besides, the EPC-8 Europiccola has a modern chrome finish. The machine is not bulky and can easily fit on any countertop. Thankfully, its sleek design easily fits into most kitchens without looking too jarring. You can move it around easily as well. The only thing you should be careful of is that it heats up when in use. Therefore, you must wait for it to cool down before moving or cleaning the machine after use.
- Hand-crafted in Italy and quality tested
- No plastic parts on the machine
- Compact size and design fits any kitchen and makes it easy to move around
- The lever gives you complete control over espresso making
- The safety valve and internal thermal fuse ensures that the machine does not overheat or build up too much pressure
- Easy to use and no complicated settings
- Large boiler
- Instructional video included with the machine
- You need to purchase a separate coffee grinder if you prefer freshly ground coffee
- If you are planning to make more than eight espresso shots, you have to wait for the machine to cool down slightly before you can refill the water
Preparing your espresso using this machine is an art form. Not because it’s difficult, but rather it is a process you will enjoy and savor. The experience provides a unique satisfaction that’s unlikely of any other machine.
However, since it’s not an automatic espresso machine, you need to know the right way to make a good espresso. For that, you’ll have to get acquainted with getting the pressure, temperature, and lever pulled just right. The machine has a milk frothing wand as well, making it even easier.
To be honest, though, the whole process is quite exciting for any coffee lover. This also gives you a chance to show off your barista skills to your friends or guests.
The maintenance of this machine is also pretty easy. The only downside is, you will have to learn how often to clean the EPC-8 Europiccola. It is not like other automatic espresso machines with a reminder or warning for when the machine requires cleaning. However, you will learn the tell-tale signs and tastes that indicate it over time. The instruction manual also gives recommendations, but it all comes down to how often you use the machine.
One of the things that people love about all La Pavoni machines is that they are built to last. Unlike most espresso machines, they don’t only last the usual three to five years but way longer. People have been using the same La Pavoni machine for decades. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should not care for it appropriately. In fact, for the Europiccola to last that long it has to be used and maintained correctly.
The EPC-8 Europiccola is among the affordable lever machines in La Pavoni’s range. However, this does not mean that they have skimped on quality. It is just as durable and capable as the more expensive ranges. On the contrary, it does mean that the EPC-8 Europiccola is excellent value for money.
Overall Design of the La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola
The La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola is similar to the Professional range. It is handcrafted from triple plated chrome, contributing to its durability and longevity. The finish is high polished chrome which means you can clearly see your fingerprints on the machine. Although, you can’t really avoid that. The good news is that you can easily wipe it off with a cloth.
The machine comes with two stainless steel filter baskets, a milk frothing wand, a portafilter, a scoop, a tamper, and an instructional video. It comes with a choice of chrome or black base.
The EPC-8 Europiccola is only 12 x 7 x 11 inches (HxWxD). So you don’t have to worry about it taking a lot of space. The machine’s weight is 14 pounds, which isn’t unexpected given the brass it is made with. The machine only has one switch, which is the power switch, and an indicator light. The indicator light is to inform you that the water has reached the desired temperature. The time taken for the water to get to temperature is usually around ten minutes. The Europiccola holds approximately 20 ounces of water, and you can check the water level using the sight glass on the side of the machine. It can produce either single or double cups of espresso at a time.
Pulling a shot involves raising the lever, allowing water into the machine, and then lowering the lever to push the coffee out into your cup. Depending on how you like your espresso, the time needed to lower the lever, the temperature of the water, and the pressure within the machine may vary. Hence, the EPC-8 Europiccola is elegant and straightforward to use with no complications.
La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola Features
Now that you know the basics of the machine, it is time to look at the individual features that stand out on the La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola.
It Is a Manual Machine
You may think it strange to highlight this as a feature, but it is what makes La Pavoni machines stand out in general. The fact that you have total control over every aspect of your espresso is somewhat empowering. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with perfecting the lever pull.
Moreover, the feeling of making coffee the way the Italians have been doing it for more than a century has a separate fan base. That is what you will miss with the more popular automatic machines.
The internal structure is made from stainless steel in addition to the triple cast brass that the espresso machine is made with. The elements that heat up are all made up of high-quality steel to make them last longer. This is the main reason that La Pavoni machines are super durable. The stainless steel can withstand the heating and cooling of the machine without decaying like other materials. The craftsman put together each machine in Italy with proper quality checks to always maintain the La Pavoni standards.
The boiler of the EPC-8 Europiccola can hold 20 ounces of water and thus can produce 8 cups of espresso. Given the size of the machine, this is quite impressive. The large boiler is brass, but the coating inside is food-safe nickel.
You don’t have to ever worry about the EPC-8 Europiccola overheating. An internal thermal fuse shuts the machine off if it reaches 225°F. In addition, if the boiler reaches a certain pressure, a safety valve automatically opens to release it. All this ensures the safety of the machine as well as the user.
This espresso machine has a green indicator light situated below the power switch. This light is to let you know when the machine is at the right temperature for you to start brewing.
You can create all your favorite coffee drinks with the help of the milk frothing steam wand. The additional cappuccino attachment is highly effective in giving you frothy milk suitable for the best cappuccinos. It is easy to use and clean.
You receive a handy instructional video when you purchase a La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola. The video explains everything about the machine’s components, including their purpose and use. It also describes the maintenance process in detail, making it a lot easier.
How to Use the La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola
The EPC-8 Europiccola may seem intimidating if you have never used a lever machine before. However, this is not entirely true. The fact that there are no buttons or settings to fiddle around with actually makes it quite easy.
The only thing you will need to get used to is adjusting your pull to achieve an espresso shot according to your liking. This means it differs between users and their preferences. In general, though, there are a few steps to follow.
First, you have to ensure that you fill the machine with water. Once you do this, you can then switch on the machine. Now, fill your ground coffee into the portafilter and lock it into place while the machine is heating up. When the green indicator light goes off, it will signal that the machine is at the correct temperature to begin making your coffee. You can also open the steam valve to remove any excess steam in the wand at this point.
Once you have done this, you can pick the lever all the way up. This raises the piston and allows water to infuse with the coffee. That’s when you have to experiment with the lever. You need to lower it gently, lowering the piston and pressing the water through the coffee. Depending on how you like your espresso shot, you can vary your lever pull. A single espresso shot would be a single pull. Likewise, a double would be a double pull.
If you want to use the steam wand, add milk to a container and open the steam wand to release the steam. The wand is not adjustable, and therefore, you must ensure that you get an appropriate container.
1. How often do I have to clean the La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola?
Cleaning the Europiccola is not really difficult. Using a paper towel or a soft sponge, you can wipe down the exterior chrome with warm, soapy water. You can then wipe the machine using a soft microfibre cloth. To clean the internal bits, you can add a descaling solution to the water tank and let it sit for a while. You can then pull the lever to release the liquid. Once the machine is free of the descaling liquid, you can repeat the process with distilled water to rinse.
2. How do you know when it is time to descale the Europiccola?
LA Pavoni recommends that you descale at least twice a year. However, it also depends on the water quality in your area. The best option is to check your machine monthly. You can check whether there is a scale build-up in the machine. It is a white, calcified substance that clings to the element, usually the bottom. If the scale is left too long inside the machine, it will influence the taste of your coffee and pose a threat to the internal thermostat. In case the scale builds up on the thermostat, it will lead to incorrect readings.
3. Is the La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola difficult to use?
No, it is not; in fact, the EPC-8 is very easy to use. All you have to do is fill the water, put your coffee ground in the tamper, and pull the lever. The only bit of experimenting you need to do is with the lever pull. A slower lever pull will result in a stronger espresso.
4. Who should buy a La Pavoni machine?
You might hear people say that La Pavoni machines are only for the purists. But that’s not entirely true. Any coffee lover can enjoy the pleasure of a La Pavoni machine. The only people who will not enjoy a La Pavoni lever machine are those who want a quick espresso and prefer to press a button. So make sure you have your requirements cleared before you opt for a coffee machine like La Pavoni EPC-8.
We tried to cover every aspect of the machine in this La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola review. Surely, there is much to love about this espresso machine. It is excellent value for money and has all the great features of a classic La Pavoni machine. No one can deny the quality of this handcrafted espresso maker. It is easy to use and has pretty straightforward settings.
From the triple plated chrome finish to its brass boiler, La Pavoni has put quality first. Every aspect of its design contributes to its durability and longevity. This machine can last for decades while still producing great espresso with every single pull. It is because of this that La Pavoni’s reputation in the coffee world is unbeatable. They know that great espresso starts with a great machine.
Overall, the quality of your espresso with this machine largely dependents on your choice of coffee beans and lever control.