Customer Reviews: La Pavoni PA-BURR Coffee Grinder, Black
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on March 4, 2006
Years ago used a standard spinning blade grinder for my coffee. Though it was better than pre-ground, eventually decided the gain was minor and it was not worth the hassle. Have not wanted to spend $200 for the top-line burr grinders, but saw some good reviews of the La Pavoni. I've had it for about a month now; my wife and I are very pleased. Some reviews I've seen talk about it spattering coffee ground dust in the area - have had no problems like that. The coffee is noticeably better and fresher tasting and the grinder is very convenient to use. Don't have to stand there and hold the lid down and try to guess when it has been ground to the right consistency. Just set the number of cups you want ground, put the beans in the hopper, turn it on and walk away. And the burr grinding does seem to improve flavor more than the old blade grinder did (and even more of an improvement compared to pre-ground.
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VINE VOICEon October 21, 2006
Update at end....

If you expect this unit to work as well as a $200 burr grinder, don't waste your money. However, If you are currently using a blade type coffee grinder and would like to dramatically improve the flavor of your home ground coffee beans, then this unit might be a good chose for you. I didn't want to spend the $100 plus for a grinder. Frankly, I wasn't convinced that a blade grinder versus a burr grinder would make a difference in the way the end coffee would taste. When my blade grinder finally died, I decided I wanted to test this theory that a burr grinder produced a better tasting cup of coffee with the same beans I was using in my blade grinder. You will read from many sources on the web that the blade grinders will over heat the beans during the grind, and this is the reason you get an off or bitter flavor. Well, I would feel the ground beans right after blade grinding and I could feel any heat buildup. They weren't even warm. So how could this cause any off flavor?

Well, I ordered the La Pavoni PA-BURR grinder. As soon as I got it I had to try it out. I placed the grind adjustment about in the middle of the range. I put in the quantity of beans that I needed. Next, I set the grind timer for the number of cups worth of bean I wanted ground and started the grinder. All went well. After making coffee with the same beans I used in my old blade grinder, I was totally shocked that I could truly tell a difference in the flavor! Not just a minor flavor change, but a WOW type of improvement. I'm hooked! A burr grinder does make a flavor improvement, though I don't buy the theory that it is due to the blade type grinder over heating the beans. I think it has to due more with some of the bean being pulverized so fine that this causes the off flavor, though I really don't know why.

I have to tell you that I did have one disaster with the La Pavoni PA. After my first use I decided to clean the burr grinder out with a brush. I found the burr grinder comes apart by turning the top burr a few degrees, which unlocks it allowing it to be lifted out. I found it easy to brush out and pretty uneventful, until my next grind! Somehow I didn't get the burr locked back in place. This caused the grinder to lift the burr out and the beans grind was a mix of all sizes from unground beans to power, not to mention the mess everywhere. So, if you use this grinder and remove the burr at some point, make sure you turn it fully and tightly back in the lock position.

Pros: Very good grind and consistent grind size. Very little dust. The price for what you get. Very easy to use. Noise level is acceptable. The unit looks good. Much better tasting coffee compared to a blade grinder.

Cons: The cup to grind timer doesn't match with its markings. Makes a mess if you don't get the burr grinder seated and locked. There is a little bit of grinding dust that can get on my kitchen counter. Not really anymore then my old blade grinder.

Conclusion, I am really enjoying this new grinder. If it were to fail in the future, I might be willing to purchase a higher dollar burr grinder now that I know that it does make a difference in flavor. I have had this unit for a month now and really like it. It truly hit the price value point for me.

12-20-06 Update,

Static can be a problem with this grinder. When I wrote the first review on this grinder the humidity was still on the higher side. Now in the colder months of the year static can cause the coffee grounds to jump all over the place making a big mess. I have found a way to reduce it. It is kind of a pain, but if I take a damp paper towel and wrap it around the ground coffee catcher it will reduce the static big time. For now I'm still happy with the unit and will continue to use it. Once it dies I will purchase a better unit. I thinking of getting the Kitchen Aide unit next.
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VINE VOICEon August 6, 2005
Exceptionally well-designed device to take your beans and grind them with burrs rather than blades to a specific setting -- you choose from nineteen settings! The machine itself is very well made, everything fits together tightly, the motor is powerful -- really a beautiful object, typically great Italian industrial design. This would make a terrific gift for a coffee lover!
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on April 21, 2006
I bought this to replace my very noisy and not-very-consistent blade grinder. So far it's been quiet and gives great and consistent grinding. My favorite feature is the smooth wheel for choosing amounts to grind. I like the fact I can choose 3.83 cups' worth of grinds, rather than three or four. I hope this burr grinder will last a long time! The only thing I would change is the plastic grinds container. A glass container would not be so static-y. Other than that, I'm very pleased with my choice.

UPDATE: It's now been just over two years, and the motor has burned out. I didn't use it v. often (3X/week, a couple tablespoons of grounds per grind), so this just shows how cheap the motor is.
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on May 8, 2006
I did a lot of research before purchasing a grinder and I'm glad I took the time to narrow it down to this one. It has done a great job at a consistant grind, with minimal noise, and tons of grind settings. Quality.
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on February 22, 2007
The reviewer who said "This is the one you want" had it right! I couldn't have asked for more with this grinder. It's quiet, allows you to select from 1-12 cups of coffee, and has a grind dial with 18 fine/courseness settings. Looking at the result of several grinds, it appears that they are consistent with a large difference between the fine and course grind settings. (Most of my tests have been with some of the finer grinds -- I like stronger, more flavorful coffee. Also, note that although the dial has grind settings from 1 to 19, the dial on mine will only turn to 18.)

As far as I know, there is no other grinder with such a variety of courseness settings at this price. It's absolutely amazing. If you've only used a blade grinder, you don't know what you're missing. If I had known that a burr grinder could make this big of a difference in the taste of a cup of coffee, I wouldn't have wasted my money on cheap blade grinders.

My only complaint is that the grinder has a plastic cup for the ground coffee rather than a glass receptacle. If I could have found a similar grinder with a glass cup I would have purchased it instead. Coffee sticks to the sides of plastic cups when ground. (This happens with all plastic grinders.) My former blade grinder had a metal cup for the coffee; that was much better, but it leaked coffee out of the bottom near the blade attachment. The plastic cup is only a minor annoyance; so, I rated the grinder 5 stars.

They say that you get what you pay for. With this La Pavoni grinder, you may be getting a bit more than you pay for! I honestly didn't expect a coffee grinder under $50 to be this good.
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on January 24, 2007
After several disappointing tries at replacing our 20 year old Braun, I hit the jackpot with the Pavoni. We haven't had it very long, so I can't attest to it's durability - but in design, rock solid build quality, value and being very good at what it's supposed to do, I couldn't be more impressed.
Of all the machines I've tried, this unit is by far the tidiest in terms of controlling stray grinds. The removable hopper is very well made & the lid fits tightly. Tap it on the counter & the ground coffee stays in the container.
The one button ease of operation is idiot proof - a big plus for me. Set the desired number of cups, hit the button and you'll never need a measuring spoon again.
I really like the design feature that recesses the bean storage inside the machine instead of having a plastic tower adding to the height of the unit.
I've used it for standard grind as well as espresso (It has 19 settings) and it worked perfectly.
I hope this machine lasts a long time, because, for me anyway, I couldn't ask for more.


It's dead & buried. Had to unplug it to stop it & it finally just quit. I still liked the machine - small footprint & worked like a champ for 6 months. I think the bottom line is that most of these machines are basically junk unless you spend $250 - and even those get tepid revues.
My old Braun lasted 20 years. I think those days are over. Just buy a cheapie & throw it away when it dies. Welcome to the 21st century.
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on January 20, 2007
I use a coffee press and found blade grinders were too inconsistant and created too many "fines". This machine solves both problems, and can create a nice grind compatible with a press. Another nice feature is that once you experiment a little and get the desired grind size, amount of beans, and timer (no. of cups) setting you can just fill it and hit the start button. It will grind then automatically shut off. You get a consistant grind every time.

As with all plastic containers there is the static issue. It also leaked a little the first couple of grinds but then stopped. I can only guess that the little buidup around the exit chute helps seal it.

I've use it about 20 times and am quite pleased. It performs well and the relatively low price makes it a good value.
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on January 17, 2006
I purchased the La Pavoni Burr Grinder summer 2005. After some 7 months of grinding once a day for one serving - it stopped working. In addition to its short life span it frequently would grind coffee beans and wouldn't stop grinding until I pulled the cord from the wall. This resulted in an overflow from the ground bean container. The setting to control the type of grind stopped working several months ago resulting in finely ground beans all the time.

I will never buy this brand again.
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on January 9, 2007
Well, it sure looks nice. It's not too loud. But there are some problems with this grinder. First off, it's hard to clean the inside. I previously owend a simple Braun blade grinder that was EASY to clean. Secondly, the grounds sometimes stick to the inside of the plastic hopper, which was never a problem with my old Braun. It causes a mess sometimes. But the main prblem is that I notice no difference whatsoever in the taste of my coffee versus using the old blade grinder. We use Intelligensia coffee, Chicago's best (and winner of some international awards). And frankly, I noticed no difference in taste when I tried out another burr grinder from a different brand. (I consider myself a foodie, and am quite particular and hard to impress).
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