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There are few ways to feel more connected to the coffee you drink than manually pulling a shot of espresso. And when I say manually, I mean more than grinding the coffee yourself, locking in the portafilter, and flipping a switch - I mean literally, physically pulling a shot with your own strength. Lever espresso machines like my vintage La Pavoni Europiccola aren’t as fancy or even as convenient as their modern brethren, but there’s something a little extra romantic about becoming part of the extraction process as you exert yourself trying to hit just the right pressure and flow rate. In the video above, I talk a bit about what it’s like to own a machine such as the Europiccola, but here I’d like to discuss more about why I went that route in the first place and what I love about the process.