I was corresponding with the gent that offered and sold his Argo spot (to someone else). Negotiation being put aside, we got to chatting about options for me to test out a lever at low cost. He advised the following:
The direct lever Pavonis have a very full bodied flavour to then … Due to their small group size … 49-51mm … I fine this with any smaller group that the body is significantly enhanced … Have noticed this from 49-54mm … Wider Portafilter has a little more …. Flavor separation and cleanliness but lacks the warmth and full bodied flavour of smaller groups ..
And also he said:
I would strongly recommend a pavoni over a flair. The workflow is great. And you have a lot more variability in shot exploration because of the boiler preinfusion.
Europicola forsure. They are basically impossible to beat for the money.
What are your thoughts on his comments?
My purpose is to get my feet wet on levers; test the waters; to decide if I want to go that route, with an Argo or whatever. So I need something that will give me a solid sense of what the difference in espresso shot body, mouthfeel, strength, flavor, length will be. To guide an eventual purchase of a machine for my cottage, which might end up being a Lelit E or an undetermined lever.
So, I can buy a lightly used Flair Pro 2 for $260 CDN or a Europicolla for $600 CDN used. I will resell the unit once I am done testing out the concept of a lever. Would the Flair be sufficient to do meet my test the waters purpose? Or do I need better? If so, what?
The $260 CDN one just popped up on a local used goods site, and is 55% of new, so I’d need to jump on it.