14 October 2007 | Javadom
Hideko and I were very happy with our little drip coffee maker (see blog from a year ago). Then, about a month back, Fred made us lattes with his La Pavoni infusion espresso machine. Our world crumbled and a vicious espresso machine envy set in.
We stood strong though. No snap decisions, right Hideko?, Right! We'll just go on enjoying our lives. Heck, we hardly ever even make coffee anymore unless guest are aboard or we're on passage... darn it, here comes Fred with another Latte.
It wouldn't have been so bad but the La Pavoni, which incidentally Fred selected after 3 months of online research, is like having an Italian Cafe in your galley. Every cup Fred made for us was fantastic. You pull the shots yourself so you never have to worry about a failed pump (I hate pumps) and you can create infinite variations. No two shots are ever the same. The machine circulates the water constantly keeping the boiler at 2 atmospheres (as a dive instructor I love anything with a pressure gague). It is also easy to clean and take care of.
Fred's experience and ours have this to recommend: Get the La Pavoni Romantica Professional. It is hard to come by but if you look around you can find it online. (try: http://www.1st-line.net) It has the large boiler which heats up as fast as the small one but lets you make five or six good sized lattes without a refill. It also has the pressure gauge which is cool, but also helpful. The finish is a beautiful golden bronze with rose wood handles (I've heard complaints about the plastic ones breaking). It is also worth considering the La Pavoni bur grinder. We love ours and it allows you to make espresso grind coffee anywhere (blade grinders don't work for espresso). You may have a tough time getting espresso grind in out of the way places but you can get coffee just about anywhere.
In the end, efficiency and minimal material possessions gave way to awesome coffee. I rationalize this as a critical preparation for our South Pacific journey where good coffee will ensure alert watch keeping on our various passages. Yeah right...