Jump to content
gravelmonkey

Portability over performance

Recommended Posts

Hi all! I'm finally registering after lurking for a while.
I'm a fan of all hot drinks (tea, hot-chocolate, and, obviously, coffee)

I travel a fair amount for work and as such, am mostly interested in portability over perfection.

Current stable includes an aeropress, french press(s), stovetop Moka pots, V60 dripper. Up until very recently, grinder was Hario Skerton, now replaced with a Made By Knock Feld47 Travel.

First espresso machine is on the horizon, I'm inexplicably drawn to the lever machines such as the La pavonis: I think it's the combination of smallish footprint, great intriguing design and manually pulling the shot sounds more romantic than a manky  electric motor doing all the work. Anyone have anything bad to say about lever machines before I pull the trigger?

Flair espresso machines look quite good too, however, I don't like the naff fake copper finish they use.

Any suggestions for other reasonably portable coffee gear appreciated!

Thanks!

 

Edited by gravelmonkey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

La pavs have a big following on here and have almost made a resurgence of late. They are nice to use, but do require some practise. However, once you get the hang of it they are simple and effective. As you've already mentioned they also have a small footprint which is beneficial in a lot of settings.

I don't think you'd regret it. I've had one for a while and although I only occasionally use it. I still enjoy it when I do.

Sent from my LYA-L09 using Tapatalk

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Machine - Currently a Londinium R. Grinder - Niche. Tamper/distributor - Puqpress and Pullman Distribution and Big Step Palm Tamper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m a recent convert to the la pavoni and totally in love. Definitely a pleasure to use and will easily travel if that’s what you need it to do.

You could even get yourself a small travel case and tool kit for taking the lever on and off so it’s nice and compact


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 2

Home - Nuova Simonelli MAC2000 V, La Pavoni, Compak e8, Niche Zero, IMS & VST baskets, IMS shower screen, skateboard torr, MildredM bar towels

 

@SkateReclaimCreate

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you going to be making a few coffees for friends, or just one shot and then another later. 

  • Like 1

2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / 1998 La Pavoni / Monolith Titan Flat & Conical, MAX Flat on order  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely husband 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Planter said:

La pavs have a big following on here and have almost made a resurgence of late. They are nice to use, but do require some practise. However, once you get the hang of it they are simple and effective. As you've already mentioned they also have a small footprint which is beneficial in a lot of settings.

I don't think you'd regret it. I've had one for a while and although I only occasionally use it. I still enjoy it when I do.

Sent from my LYA-L09 using Tapatalk
 

I do see the popularity from the amount of traffic on this forum, seems like there's nothing a slight step up before getting into machines for silly money..?

Practice doesn't worry me too much, though, I'm sure there will be plenty of arguments between myself and the girlfriend before we crack it..

Next argument will be how much kitchen work surface I can take up with an electric grinder! Seems like the Niche zero really does fill a niche for a smallish, quality grinder with low retention. Loving the MBK Feld47 at aeropress and Moka pot grinds compared to the two hario ceramic burr grinders I've used previously but espresso grind might be tedious; on the up side, it should reduce the binge drinking of coffee...!

 

5 hours ago, joey24dirt said:

I’m a recent convert to the la pavoni and totally in love. Definitely a pleasure to use and will easily travel if that’s what you need it to do.

You could even get yourself a small travel case and tool kit for taking the lever on and off so it’s nice and compact emoji108.png


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Glad to hear that! Different voltages might be an issue, though?

Is removing the lever an involved affair or pretty easy?

I've been looking at the Flair and portaspresso for ultimate flexibility, but I think these are just a dream for the time being, drip is a lot more packing size/weight and cost efficient...!

I imagine the La Pav (or similar) will be adequate for espresso at home, plus steam function which the two above do not have.

 

5 hours ago, MildredM said:

Are you going to be making a few coffees for friends, or just one shot and then another later. 

That's an excellent question! Probably a maximum of 2 shots in one sitting, I like that the flair comes with an optional additional brew head for this purpose. I don't know what the limits of the La Pav is for multiple shots.

 

Thanks all!

Edited by gravelmonkey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Removing the lever is really easy and you would likely need just a set of small long nose pliers. Two spring clips to remove and then two pins. Just keep the parts safe


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Thanks 1

Home - Nuova Simonelli MAC2000 V, La Pavoni, Compak e8, Niche Zero, IMS & VST baskets, IMS shower screen, skateboard torr, MildredM bar towels

 

@SkateReclaimCreate

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the look of the Flair and a friend who has one really rates it. No ability to heat/foam milk, of course ;)

I love my Pav and making a couple of consecutive shots is easy enough. I am not so sure I would be keep to use it if friends called round (not that that happens often!)

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Confused 1

2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / 1998 La Pavoni / Monolith Titan Flat & Conical, MAX Flat on order  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely husband 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, MildredM said:

I really like the look of the Flair and a friend who has one really rates it. No ability to heat/foam milk, of course ;)

I love my Pav and making a couple of consecutive shots is easy enough. I am not so sure I would be keep to use it if friends called round (not that that happens often!)

Ian, Ian! There!! She said it's hers!!!

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Hasi said:

Ian, Ian! There!! She said it's hers!!!

Oh NOOOOOOO! I was speaking . . . errr . . . . rhetorically or something!! I WAS!!

Edited by MildredM
  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / 1998 La Pavoni / Monolith Titan Flat & Conical, MAX Flat on order  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely husband 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hasi said:

Ian, Ian! There!! She said it's hers!!!

The Steam Nozzles are definitely Ian’s , they were a birthday present for Ian . I told @MildredM that .. 😂 . Mind you the La Pav was a present 🤔 🙄. Poor Ian ......

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, gravelmonkey said:

Hi all! I'm finally registering after lurking for a while.
I'm a fan of all hot drinks (tea, hot-chocolate, and, obviously, coffee)

 

 

Gravy?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Junglebert said:

Gravy?

That's really pushing the (gravy) boat out.

I should also add, hot water (with or without) a slice of lemon is literally not my cup of tea.

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Removing the lever is really easy and you would likely need just a set of small long nose pliers. Two spring clips to remove and then two pins. Just keep the parts safe


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

You definitely do not need nose pliers. All I ever used to remove the lever is a piece of thin wood to lift the clips out (just be creative). There’s no need for tools for sure.

I think the esperto like lever just screws into a slot so that can be an easier solution for the OP.
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 08/09/2019 at 22:41, gravelmonkey said:

Hi all! I'm finally registering after lurking for a while.
I'm a fan of all hot drinks (tea, hot-chocolate, and, obviously, coffee)

I travel a fair amount for work and as such, am mostly interested in portability over perfection.

Current stable includes an aeropress, french press(s), stovetop Moka pots, V60 dripper. Up until very recently, grinder was Hario Skerton, now replaced with a Made By Knock Feld47 Travel.

First espresso machine is on the horizon, I'm inexplicably drawn to the lever machines such as the La pavonis: I think it's the combination of smallish footprint, great intriguing design and manually pulling the shot sounds more romantic than a manky  electric motor doing all the work. Anyone have anything bad to say about lever machines before I pull the trigger?

Flair espresso machines look quite good too, however, I don't like the naff fake copper finish they use.

Any suggestions for other reasonably portable coffee gear appreciated!

Thanks!

 

If the copper support is the only thing holding you back from the Flair, don’t let it. It is not a thin or cheap coating at all; mine has almost 2 years of daily use under its belt, with no sign of wear, and matches the high quality of the other parts.

If you really want to master the nuances of espresso, this is an excellent way to do so. It is very easy to get a tasty espresso with the Flair & a Knock grinder, but you can also delve much deeper, play with brewing temperature (brewing at 88C, 95C, 98C, etc., & without the brew water temp climbing any hotter than you want it to) to bring out the best of each roast profile, play with preinfusion (& at any pressure) for as little or as long as you like, brew short shots or longer shots, etc. ... there is seemingly no end to how you can experiment with a completely manual device. I cannot think of a better way to acquire a solid foundation in espresso-making. You can always step up to a more automatic machine at some point (if you find your interest in espresso continues, or you want to make multiple shots for a crowd), but you will have learned far more about espresso preparation & customizing the parameters of a brew & its resulting taste by beginning with a completely manual device. (The affordable espresso machines for domestic use will not allow you to play much beyond the machine’s presets; and this can really limit the true potential of the roasted coffee beans.) In addition, I think you would be far better qualified to choose a machine to match your needs *after* you have mastered a manual device.
 
The Flair cannot steam & texture milk, but that is easily accomplished, using an inexpensive manual frother (french-press style) or a “R.E.D. Steamer” with pressure gauge; the “Bellman” steamer also does the job but is much slower. There are other battery run & electric milk-frothing devices as well.
 
The Pavoni does it all, of course, and beautifully & more conveniently, but there is the challenge for beginners of achieving optimum brew temperature on a Pavoni that you won’t face with the Flair. If it were me, I’d start with the affordable Flair, which is easier for a beginner to master, step up to a Pavoni once becoming proficient (& if you have been sufficiently bitten by the espresso “bug”), and then step up again to one of the more expensive dream machines! LOL
 
What size of drink is your preference? Check to see that the machine or device you choose can yield the brew size you want.
 
Edited by Slowpress
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/09/2019 at 02:51, MediumRoastSteam said:


You definitely do not need nose pliers. All I ever used to remove the lever is a piece of thin wood to lift the clips out (just be creative). There’s no need for tools for sure.

I think the esperto like lever just screws into a slot so that can be an easier solution for the OP.

Great info! I think for visiting parents/in-laws at Christmas, this level of portability would be brilliant.

 

18 hours ago, Slowpress said:

 

If the copper support is the only thing holding you back from the Flair, don’t let it. It is not a thin or cheap coating at all; mine has almost 2 years of daily use under its belt, with no sign of wear, and matches the high quality of the other parts.

If you really want to master the nuances of espresso, this is an excellent way to do so. It is very easy to get a tasty espresso with the Flair & a Knock grinder, but you can also delve much deeper, play with brewing temperature (brewing at 88C, 95C, 98C, etc., & without the brew water temp climbing any hotter than you want it to) to bring out the best of each roast profile, play with preinfusion (& at any pressure) for as little or as long as you like, brew short shots or longer shots, etc. ... there is seemingly no end to how you can experiment with a completely manual device. I cannot think of a better way to acquire a solid foundation in espresso-making. You can always step up to a more automatic machine at some point (if you find your interest in espresso continues, or you want to make multiple shots for a crowd), but you will have learned far more about espresso preparation & customizing the parameters of a brew & its resulting taste by beginning with a completely manual device. (The affordable espresso machines for domestic use will not allow you to play much beyond the machine’s presets; and this can really limit the true potential of the roasted coffee beans.) In addition, I think you would be far better qualified to choose a machine to match your needs *after* you have mastered a manual device.
 
The Flair cannot steam & texture milk, but that is easily accomplished, using an inexpensive manual frother (french-press style) or a “R.E.D. Steamer” with pressure gauge; the “Bellman” steamer also does the job but is much slower. There are other battery run & electric milk-frothing devices as well.
 
The Pavoni does it all, of course, and beautifully & more conveniently, but there is the challenge for beginners of achieving optimum brew temperature on a Pavoni that you won’t face with the Flair. If it were me, I’d start with the affordable Flair, which is easier for a beginner to master, step up to a Pavoni once becoming proficient (& if you have been sufficiently bitten by the espresso “bug”), and then step up again to one of the more expensive dream machines! LOL
 
What size of drink is your preference? Check to see that the machine or device you choose can yield the brew size you want.
 

Great to hear positive reviews on the Flair finish!

You make a convincing argument about learning and modifying parameters.

Regarding milk, I've used the French press type, electric whisk and combination heater/whisker things to only moderate success. I've never heard of the R.E.D steamer- a Google search presents very little info, is this a retail unit or a cottage manufacturer or a mod?

Disappointing to hear the bellman is slow, I was pricing up getting one to accompany a Flair VS a La Pav.

Not many used Flair units seem to come up for sale, I'll keep an eye out on this forum and eBay.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, gravelmonkey said:

Great info! I think for visiting parents/in-laws at Christmas, this level of portability would be brilliant.

 

Great to hear positive reviews on the Flair finish!

You make a convincing argument about learning and modifying parameters.

Regarding milk, I've used the French press type, electric whisk and combination heater/whisker things to only moderate success. I've never heard of the R.E.D steamer- a Google search presents very little info, is this a retail unit or a cottage manufacturer or a mod?

Disappointing to hear the bellman is slow, I was pricing up getting one to accompany a Flair VS a La Pav.

Not many used Flair units seem to come up for sale, I'll keep an eye out on this forum and eBay.

The R.E.D. milk steamer is made by a retired coffee industry chap in Indonesia (instagram @irawan.halim). It performs just like a commercial machine steam wand, and with pressure to spare. Small cafes use these, as well as individuals. (Shipping can be expensive, depending on location.) If you go with a Bellman, use less water in the lower chamber (& preboil that water in a kettle) to speed things up.

You can get great microfoam texture from a manual frother, but it does take trial & error at first to recognize how much (how little) to pump. You do it by feel, and pump conservatively. People often give up on manual frothing because they incorporate too much air in the milk & the resulting texture is too thick for latte art (or they use poor quality/old milk that easily separates). Take a look at Dritan Alsela’s videos on how to achieve good microfoam with fresh milk and a french press or manual frother. 

People like their Flairs and tend to keep them. However, if they upgrade to the larger model, you may find a used one for sale. 

Whatever you choose, Flair or Pavoni, you can have the very best espresso. Delicious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/09/2019 at 19:58, Slowpress said:

The R.E.D. milk steamer is made by a retired coffee industry chap in Indonesia (instagram @irawan.halim). It performs just like a commercial machine steam wand, and with pressure to spare. Small cafes use these, as well as individuals. (Shipping can be expensive, depending on location.) If you go with a Bellman, use less water in the lower chamber (& preboil that water in a kettle) to speed things up.

You can get great microfoam texture from a manual frother, but it does take trial & error at first to recognize how much (how little) to pump. You do it by feel, and pump conservatively. People often give up on manual frothing because they incorporate too much air in the milk & the resulting texture is too thick for latte art (or they use poor quality/old milk that easily separates). Take a look at Dritan Alsela’s videos on how to achieve good microfoam with fresh milk and a french press or manual frother. 

People like their Flairs and tend to keep them. However, if they upgrade to the larger model, you may find a used one for sale. 

Whatever you choose, Flair or Pavoni, you can have the very best espresso. Delicious.

I found a few details about the R.E.D Steamer- the thing looks mad! I love it. No idea on how to buy one though.

I must admit, I think my efforts with the manual milk frother have been sub-par, I will watch the reccomended videos and have another go with my manual frother!

I've agreed to buy @MediumRoastSteam's La Pavoni Professional it'll be a couple of weeks before I get my hands on it, but I'm super excited!

Thanks for everyone's advice!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • About:

    Coffee Forums UK is the UK's premier coffee forum Started in June 2008 by Glenn Watson, we now have more than 22000 mainly UK based members, and welcome more than 3000 members and visitors from around the world each day! With strategic investment and digital expertise from the Jackson Lockhart team (Tait Pollack and Adam Bateman), we are taking Coffee Forums UK to the next level, and are delighted to share the journey with you.

    New Members:

    We are often referred to as the friendliest forum on the web and we look forward to welcoming you onboard.

    Terms of Use

    Advertising

    Coffee Forums Media Kit

    Buy Advertising Space

    Donate

    Get Your Supporter Badge (per year)

×
×
  • Create New...