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11 Reviews
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Livia 90 Automatic is good value for money
I bought the Pasquini Livia 90 Automatic in 2002. The version I needed was for 240 volt operation so it was shipped from Italy. At the same time I also ordered the grinder and 2 drawer base. I had spent a lot of time reading reviews and comments on several sites for a wide variety of machines. The number of reviews which compared their brands to the Pasquini Livia...
Published on February 21, 2005 by Amazon Customer

versus
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent machine, but overpriced
I own this product but did not purchase it on Amazon.

If you're reading this review, it's because you found this product for one of the following reasons:
1) You have a budget of $1500-2000 and this machine falls within that range
2) You're upgrading from a cheaper entry-level machine
3) You're just getting into the hobby of being a home barista...
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Livia 90 Automatic is good value for money, February 21, 2005
This review is from: Pasquini Livia 90 Semiautomatic Commercial Espresso/Cappuccino Machine (Kitchen)
I bought the Pasquini Livia 90 Automatic in 2002. The version I needed was for 240 volt operation so it was shipped from Italy. At the same time I also ordered the grinder and 2 drawer base. I had spent a lot of time reading reviews and comments on several sites for a wide variety of machines. The number of reviews which compared their brands to the Pasquini Livia machines was what really sold me on the Pasquini. You don't compare your machine(s) to lesser machines, you compare against the best. If so many various reviews used Pasquini as a target then it must be well worth a look. I am glad I did, it is an extremely well built and reliable machine.

I have mine on for 12 to 16 hours per day and make and serve quite a lot of espresso and cappuccino to family and friends. The Pasquini is also used for tea, cocoa, instant soups and anything else that calls for the use of near boiling water. The machine gets it right every time, any variation in quality is due to the coffee, the milk or the user. It took a bit of time to learn how to use it effectively but it has never disappointed me.

The only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is due to the choice of a plastic water storage reservoir in the machine. I think that a stainless steel tank would be a better choice due to the effects of age, heat and vibrations which caused some cracks in my original tank. Pasquini replaced it free of charge even though the machine was out of warranty! A stainless steel tank would add to the noise level though and it already is not a stealthy machine. The pump is by no means quiet, but it certainly does the job and I'm sure will continue to do so for years to come.

I recommend Pasquini without reservation based on the machine and the service I have had when dealing directly with the company on several occasions.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A High Quality Machine for High Quality Coffee...STILL, December 22, 2008
By 
dcinDC "dcinDC" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pasquini Livia 90 Semiautomatic Commercial Espresso/Cappuccino Machine (Kitchen)
This is a serious coffee machine. It's "commercial quality" so it's heavy (almost 50lbs) and very well built. It takes up some counter space (mostly depth) but it looks elegant and is easy to keep clean. The portafilter (handle with basket for coffee) is very sturdy and fits snugly. It has a useful ready gauge and simple buttons (as noted above) for on-off and start-stop.

Now the important stuff: It makes great coffee consistently. I moved up to this machine from a Braun pump espresso machine. This one has better pressure and temperature. I used to brag about my Braun machine because it was inexpensive and made consistently good esperesso. The first shots I pulled from this machine made me realize that I didn't realize what I was missing. If you know how to make espresso, this machine lets you pull easy, consistent, and quality shots.

Another great feature of this machine is the continuous steam and hot (very hot!) water outlet. If you've ever had trouble steaming milk on machine you'll be impressed and maybe even surprised at how well this works. The machine also recovers well and quickly after you pull shots or use the steam wand.

The tanks is removable and holds a lot of water. It's easy to fill in place as well. You can leave this machine on all day if you like (it's designed to work that way) and you might want to if you're like me and drink too much coffee. The reason is that it can take a little while to warm up if it's been off for a while. That's probably the only thing I'm not fond of with this machine. First thing in the morning it can take a while to warm up (5-10 mins). This makes sense given the size and build of the machine. It simply takes time to warm up to the proper brewing temperature. However, I had gotten used to a machine that only takes a couple of minutes. So, my new morning routine includes going down to turn on the machine and coming down after my shower for my great coffee!

If you've never had a pump machine before, you may need some practice, but I think this is a good machine to learn on (due to its consistency). Just remember to follow the instructions (especially not to overfill the filter) and adjust either the grind of your coffee or the pressure of your tamping to get the desired results.

I hope this is helpful to you if you're considering this machine. I'd say it does well or better to other machines in this price range. It's a definite step up in quality and build from the machine's you'll find in the $500-1000 price range. It's a complete improvement in machine and coffee from pretty much any machine under $500.

One last comment, Pasquini has been excellent and very responsive to questions. I'm very pleased to see them here on Amazon.

Good luck with your quest for great coffee...I found it with this machine!

UPDATE: I originally posted this review in 2005. Almost 4 years later, I'm still very happy with my Pasquini and find it makes consistently good coffee. My only comment after all these years is that a little maintenance on this machine goes a long way. Regular backflushing and occasional cleaning keep it working great. We've had to replace one gasket that Pasquini was very kind in sending us. So, overall I would still highly recommend this machine. Hope this is helpful!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the espresso tastes great, March 29, 2005
By 
C. Lee "Jerry" (Connecticut, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pasquini Livia 90 Semiautomatic Commercial Espresso/Cappuccino Machine (Kitchen)
I have just received the machine from Illy USA at a very attractive price (considering I order the Illy beans regularly anyway, their price on this machine with a one-year coffee subscription is a excellent indeed). I have been needing to replace an espresso machine every 2 years ca., I figured, I might as well try out one considered to be in the light duty commercial catagory.

After the first few cups I learned the proper pressure on the temper and out came from the machine coffee that any Italian coffee bar would be proud of. It could be my imagination, but, the brew from this mahcine seems to be stronger (more bitter) then the Saeco, Krup, and Solis ($300 range machines). Although the crema is not as much when compared with the others I used before. Also, being able to leave the machine on all day long means instant hot water/steam which is very nice for a small office environment. I used the hot water mainly to heat the cups. It does however, take about 7 minutes to reach its operating condition (to bring a mass of water to the proper temperature and pressure in the internal boiler) when first turned on every morning and the noise from the pump that transfers water from the holding tank to the boiler is quite loud.

There are some minor flaws that I could see so far. The fit and finish on the machine is fine but not perfect. There are corners on the rear that could be finished a little better and some spot welding marks should be polished out. The water tray (the one below the group head to hold liquid that drips off after a brew) is very small and needs to be emptied quite often.

This is a new machine; thus, I cannot report its long term performance and endurance. My past experience with the $300 range machine is that they last about 2 to 3 years before something expensive to fix breaks. I shall see if this seemingly robust machine will last.

So far, I am very satisfied with it.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent machine, but overpriced, November 13, 2012
By 
This review is from: Pasquini Livia 90 Semiautomatic Commercial Espresso/Cappuccino Machine (Kitchen)
I own this product but did not purchase it on Amazon.

If you're reading this review, it's because you found this product for one of the following reasons:
1) You have a budget of $1500-2000 and this machine falls within that range
2) You're upgrading from a cheaper entry-level machine
3) You're just getting into the hobby of being a home barista and are trying to find the "best espresso machine out there"
4) You've done lots and lots and lots of research and have made your way to this product by reading the reviews and opinions of countless professionals and home enthusiasts.

If you fall under categories 1, 2, or 3, do yourself a huge favor and scour sites like home-barista.com or coffeegeek.com to figure out what you need out of a machine and whether it even makes sense for you to be dropping nearly $2,000 on a glorified water heater.

I'll also take a minute to underscore a (hopefully) tired point - if you're using pre-ground coffee, forget machines like these. Their quality and abilities will be wasted. If you're using a grinder with spinning blades, or you have a burr grinder that costs less than $200, throw it away right now. See the aforementioned websites for more details on *why*, but suffice it to say, an inadequate grinder will lend more to crappy results than lousy beans or poor technique ever could. I use a Pasquini Moka 90 grinder. For something a little cheaper (but with equal or better results, from what I can tell from the product reviews), the Baratza Virtuoso Preciso or Baratza Vario grinders are excellent choices.

OK - so you've done your research, you know that a heat exchanger-type espresso machine is right for you (as opposed to a much cheaper single boilder/dual use or a more expensive double boiler-type machine), and you have a grinder that can pull its weight, or at least are prepared to invest in one along with the machine. Great.

Now, your price range has limited you to a number of machines in the $1K-2K range for either a HX or DB machine... most notably the Quickmill Alexia, the Bezzera BZ02, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar, and the Expobar Office Pulser/Control/Lever on the lower end, and the Pasquini Livia 90, the Expobar Brewtus, and the Quickmill Anita on the higher end.

You begin to notice almost immediately that the Pasquini Livia 90's peers in its price range are actually more full-featured DB (dual boiler) machines, some of them even with PID controls (Anita, Brewtus). What also might not be obvious is that the internals of the Pasquini Livia 90 are also made by the same company as the Bezzera BZ02. In fact, the two machines are essentially identical, except for their exteriors. Why the difference? Well, more stainless steel is more expensive, I guess. And the Livia does look nicer. And Pasquini is a more renowned brand. But other than that... why is a BMW more expensive than a Cadillac? Because it's a BMW.

Another thing you need to consider is the type of group head you're buying. Machines like the Expobar Office and Quickmill Anita/Alexia use the famous E61 grouphead (or a close clone of it, in Expobar's case). This grouphead design offers a few advantages such as greater temperature stability, reduced sensitivity to overdosed shots, and a natural preinfusion that results from a more gradual ramp-up in brew pressure as compared to non-E61 group designs. But what it comes down to is a matter of taste. As somebody on a forum I read once wrote, and I'm paraphrasing here: the E61 group design lends itself well to thicker, more chocolatey shots, whereas the non-E61 group designs might be better suited to producing more nutty, caramel-tasting shots. It's all about dosage there, and what head is better suited to handle what sorts of doses (E61s, remember, handle more coffee with less complaining). BUT - this comes down to technique, as well. There are so many variables that affect the flavor of your shots, and your machine is going to be pretty close to the bottom of that list.

NOW. How does this machine stack up? Well, I don't know. I haven't tried any others. But I will say that having just started making espresso about two months ago, the amount I've learned (and still have yet to learn) is staggering. I won't outgrow this machine for a long time. It makes excellent shots, and steams milk with ease (although I might recommend buying a compatible 2-hole steam tip... the 4-hole tip steams milk way too quickly to be able to achieve microfoam of the right consistency). Replacement parts are readily available on the internet, and are priced reasonably. Perhaps most importantly, this product is one of the classics, which means there's already a vibrant community of users of this machine on various coffee-related forums that are happy to share tips and experiences with you.

On the reliability front - nothing has broken for me yet. I got this machine used, in unknown condition, from a seller on eBay. However, the serial number on it indicates that it's at least six years old. For a machine that old, that has been boxed up and shipped across the country at least twice, to still be performing at this level... well, that's impressive.

Six years ago this product might have been a clear leader in terms of the balance of price and features. Today, it's more expensive than a lot of its peers, and I have to ask myself why (considering my point above, that it's essentially the exact same machine as the Bezzera BZ02, but several hundred dollars more expensive).

If you can find this used at a reasonable price, go for it. I did, and I don't regret it at all. But if you're buying new, given the price of this machine, it'd probably make more sense for you to either save a few hundred bucks and go for an Oscar, BZ02, or Office Pulser/Lever/Control, or plunk down an extra $100 to get a dual boiler machine with PID controls (the latter would be my recommendation if you can afford it... PIDs are really, really useful for helping you fine-tune your shots).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Decent, November 26, 2009
By 
Rob (New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pasquini Livia 90 Semiautomatic Commercial Espresso/Cappuccino Machine (Kitchen)
I've owned mine for about 3 years. I an an espresso connoisseur and roast my own beans. Pros for this machine are good build quality, good steaming power and consistently good espresso. I strongly recommend getting an aftermarket 2 HOLE steam tip - critical for making microfoam. FORGET the lame-o plastic frothing attachment. It seems to be make for a Starbucks reject. The drain reservoir is WAY too small. Not a huge issue, but a pain in the a$$. I had my pressure relief valve die on me within the first year, but since then pretty smooth sailing. Try not to pay full retail for this and you'll be happy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ....after 15 years, May 10, 2012
This review is from: Pasquini Livia 90 Semiautomatic Commercial Espresso/Cappuccino Machine (Kitchen)
Anyone looking to spend almost $2,000 on an espresso machine wants to believe it will last a long time. I bought my Livia 90 semi-automatic in 1997 and have used it daily since then. It is a superb machine, producing thousands of perfect espressos over a fifteen-year period. It never broke down and only needed routine cleaning and a new head gasket every 6 to 9 months -- both jobs anyone can handle. Sadly, I think it may be at the end of its life now, and so I came to this website scoping out my next machine. I'll see what's new, but if I had to decide right now, I'd just buy another Livia 90 semi. It's everything I need.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing value, January 8, 2012
By 
This review is from: Pasquini Livia 90 Semiautomatic Commercial Espresso/Cappuccino Machine (Kitchen)
Couldn't be happier with my Livia 90! Reviewers that gave it a bad review because it arrived damaged sort of miss the point of the review. The question is: Does it consistently make great espresso and steam for milk and YES it does! The espresso is perfectly extracted. There are machines that cost a lot more but this one has served me well for more than four years now with daily use and not a problem.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Espresso machine, September 15, 2012
This review is from: Pasquini Livia 90 Semiautomatic Commercial Espresso/Cappuccino Machine (Kitchen)
I have owned my Pasquini for a little over 2 years. This machine is on from 4:30 AM to 9:00PM every day. It has performed flawlessly and makes exceptional coffee. It is an expensive machine, but well worth the price, and for a family of four serious coffee drinkers the return on investment has a very short payback period (no more $4.00+ lattes from the Latte stand). Coffee quality and steamer performance are exceptional, and it is a fine looking machine as well. Maintenance is a must, regular back flushing and cleaning are necessary. I just had mine in for service, and had the gaskets and a relay replaced. A little pricey but when you consider I have run this machine close to 10,000 hours it makes sense. Do yourself a favor and buy a high quality grinder to go with the machine it is an essential piece of equipment to ensure the quality of the espresso.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For serious espresso drinkers, April 3, 2012
This review is from: Pasquini Livia 90 Semiautomatic Commercial Espresso/Cappuccino Machine (Kitchen)
I have owned several espresso machines. A fully automatic Jura, Francis Francis, and this Pasquini. I use them for cappuccino in the am and espresso later. The majority of time my wife and I have espresso. This machine makes the best espresso of all the machines I've owned, by far. One key to this machine, and any machine, is to find the right grind and tamping pressure. You have to experiment here. Once you get it right, you'll have perfect crema and fantastic espresso. Remember, every coffee bean produces a different cup of espresso and so the grind and tamp must be right for that particular bean and that particular machine. The frothing of the milk for cappuccino is great, but, again, it takes some experimentation to get it right. Just as it does on every machine. We love this Pasquini and have owned it for about 2 years. I owned the Jura for 9 years prior and have the Francis Francis at my office.
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21 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed, October 2, 2004
By 
This review is from: Pasquini Livia 90 Semiautomatic Commercial Espresso/Cappuccino Machine (Kitchen)
We recently got the Pasquini Livia. We ordered it through Illy and the first one came in smashed on the left front side. However, there was no visible damage on the exterior of the shipping box. Did they pack it that way?

We called and they sent another one. Illy's people are nice but they send orders damaged, double or sometimes triple ship the same product, etc...

The second machine came in fine condition. We placed it on a very expensive high finished maple top kitchen cart. The Livia has mushy rubber feet to keep it from slipping when used. A month later we noticed to our shock that the rubber had interacted with the lacquer finish and had made four large circular and unremovable black marks on this john boor kitchen cart. At the same time the Livia runs extremely hot to the touch. So we called Illy who told us we now had to call Pasquini directly as our thrity day exchange period was up. We called Pasquini and they put us through to their "tech" department.

The entire Tech dept is run by one guy who was rather unfriendly and unhelpful. He at first tried to tell me that the machine wasn't hot but after ten minutes agreed that it shouldn't be buring my hand when I touched it near the top. As for the rubber feet he disavowed all responsibilty. He promised to ship us another machine, which never came. My fiancee, who ordered this machine for me as a birthday present has tried calling several times. She keeps getting the run around. The same thing happened when we had a complaint with the portafilter. The two cup spout attachment was threaded wrong and didn't line up left and right. When we called Pasquini we spoke to the same "gentleman" in tech support who originally insisted we didn't know how to "screw" it on but after a while agreed to ship us another. Guess what? It also never came. We are now waiting two weeks for the replacement machine and will have to call mastercard and initiate a chargeback if it doesn't come soon. We like the idea of the machine, if it only worked well.... As for the customer support? Pasquini should be ashamed! I am in a service business and I do everything possible to make sure that all of my clients are satisfied with our service.
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