The Livia 90 Arrives!
Posted September 24, 2000 12:45pm
UPDATE: it's Thursday afternoon, and dunno what to say - walla! This thing is the most amazing piece of machinery I've ever owned. I haven't even plugged it in yet, because it had some moisture on it from the boiler, and I have to wait till it air dries (wiring, etc is a worry). Look for a full update Friday or Saturday, complete with more pictures.
Ooo, I can hardly wait. My Livia90 comes this week, and I can hardly wait. Thursday is the ETA, so look for this page to be updated by Friday again.
The Livia90 is causing a bit of stir, both in my real life and my online life. I received lots of emails from people looking forward to my indepth review and photos, and I promise those will be forthcoming shortly... probably within a week to 10 days after receiving the machine, with an optional followup a month or two later.
I also got a few emails from people who now think that suddenly, I don't like the Rancilio Silvia any more (!!!) Come on folks, you're missing the big picture here! As simply as I can put it:
Rancilio Silvia = $400 USD machine.
Pasquini Livia90 = $1100 USD machine.
See the difference? Not everyone can afford an $1100 machine, and still many more cannot justify such a machine purchase even if they could afford it. Heck, you could get a decent running 10 year old car for that price! I've decided that, at this time in my life, after about 1.5 years with a Silvia churning out first rate shots day after day, I wanted to move to the next level. Does that mean that the Silvia suddenly sucks? Of course not! Does it mean that the Silvia isn't capable? Of course not! Sheesh! We're talking two different classes of machines here.
In fact, for espresso only, I'd be seriously suprised if the Livia90 produces a better shot than my Silvia is capable of. I'm not expecting it. But what I am expecting is better drinks - lemme explain. One of my current fave drinks these days is a double ristretto doppio. That's a double short shot with a dollup of froth on top. To produce that with the Silvia on its own means my espresso shot will have to sit for at least a full minute as I take the time to heat up the machine to steaming ability and I froth my milk. With the Livia, my shot will sit for 20 seconds or less, because of the ability to brew and froth/steam at the same time. Heck, I wonder if I can even brew and froth exactly at the same time? Dunno yet, that'd be cool, as I would have zero wait time for that finished shot. Or I could froth first, not worry about the machine getting back down to brew temps, and brew. Ahhh, the possibilities.
I also find that when we have houseguests or dinner guests, banging out 4 cappas is a bit of a stretch with the Silvia, at least at the standards I want to keep. Doing 4 cappas means that at least two of my shots are going to be sitting in their cappa cups for about 2+ minutes before I'll have enough milk frothed to "cap" them. Most people wouldn't bitch about this, and compared to cheaper machines or machines with smaller boilers, this turnaround time is pretty fast, but I want even faster, and that means commercial quality machines.
So, I will state one more time - the Silvia is one kick ass machine, and in her class, there is nothing better. $400 is a lot of money, and with the Silvia, it is money well spent. My feelings about this engineering marvel have not changed. Okay? :-)
On other news, I see that Mr. Cappuccino has been asked about again. I got an email recently saying there's a thread in alt.coffee about them, and I've been asked this week about my feelings on the company. Suffice to say, I would recommend to anyone who asks me that they do not do business with this company, which is based out of Calgary, Alberta. Not only is my sorry tale out there to see, but over the past year or so, I've heard from others about poor experiences with this company. What's ironic is that it seems the company's Canadian customers are the ones treated the worst. Tales of screwjobs over duties and brokerage fees are especially of note. Oh well. I hear they are ruffling enough feathers that they may not be the exclusive Rancilio importer for much longer, and lemme tell you, the day that happens, I will be a happy camper. I cannot think of a worse representative for Rancilio in Canada than them.
And lastly, I'm thinking of buying not one, not two, but three Hario Nouveau 5 cupper models for my new office. I'm trying to create a work environment that will be impressive to my clients, but also productive for my staff. We are designing an open workspace, with almost everyone facing each other (monitors are facing away from everyone) and a conference/meeting/strategy area right in the middle of the office. The Solis Master Digital 5000 superauto is already slated for the office, but I'm also thinking about getting several Hario Nouveau vac pots, which I think my staff will like using, and my visiting clients will also enjoy. But what an expenditure. Sure glad these things can be written off. :-)
I think that's about it for now. Look for something later this week when I get my new Livia.