My name is Salvatore. I started drinking coffee in my twenties as a mean to stay awake during a series of lectures I used to have just after lunchtime, when at university.
Then I got hooked.
While in Italy, I never felt the need to own any coffee machine; I preferred scouting for the best bar where to have your cappuccino for breakfast and your espresso after lunch (or any other break) during working and not working days.
I love, served in a white ceramic cups (no paper please):
Short espresso, heavy roasted blend, with crema, no sugar.
Cappuccino, with half teaspoon of sugar (I need to wake up), no visible bubbles, the foam must persist till the last sip, not too warm (I don’t have time to wait for it to cool down), the foam must arrive to the top of the cup, no spillage, and preferably latte art. No cocoa powder unless 1) I ask for it (once in a while) 2) it is added to the cup before the milk.
Then I moved to Stockholm first and then to London and there was no bar, just cafe’, and - even assuming to be able to find the same quality - it is not at the same price, the whole experience takes too long, and you often need to travel to find a nice place.
I needed to buy something. Currently I own a broken De Longhi bean to cup, which served me well, and an Aeropress (not a big fan of big cups of coffee, but good for a little change every now and then). I want to upgrade to an espresso machine that, in order of importance:
Makes great espresso
Makes great cappuccino
Is made in Italy
And I want to learn how to be quick, so I may use a scale and a thermometer just while learning. I don’t like the quiet hipster cafe’ when it takes 10 minutes to prepare an espresso. No real and rational reasons, it’s just that I want to re-create the feeling of the Italian bar.
I gave a used La Pavoni a try but it arrived damaged and instead of risking to change all the gaskets I returned it to the eBay seller. I am not sure whether a new La Pavoni is a good value for money. Then I considered some HX machines but I’m not sure, it looks to me that I would not have real control over the temperature. So it may be a dual boiler. Any reason why I should prefer a Lelit Bianca over a much cheaper and still great ACS minima (apart from not being out of stock on bella barista)?