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Thread: La Pavoni lever help

  1. #1
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    La Pavoni lever help

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Guys,

    I have a La Pavoni Europiccolo lever machine, which I have had for a few years.

    I cant get consistent pulls out of it. Highly variable results in terms of flavour extraction, crema etc. I suspect it is part of the dilemma of this style of machine - single boiler running at steaming temperature, group bolted onto it, etc.

    What tips do the lever experts have on improving your consistency.

    Thanks,

    Dave

  2. #2
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    Re: La Pavoni lever help

    I used a similar lever machinbe for a few years...but I dont consider myself an expert ;)

    I think it has alot to do with lack of temperature stability. The grouphead gets too hot after the second shot. I always found (as many others seem to have based on my reading) that the first shot was so so, the second the best and the third often burnt due to the group being too hot.

    Some advocate using a tea towel soaked in ice cold water to cool down the group head. I used to turn it off and switch back on when having another cup, but its really not suitable for making multiple cups in a row. I also found that it was very unforgiving when it cakme to variations in grind and dose...you need to be spot on!

    In the end while it wa a great way to learn about making espresso getting a HX machine was a big step forward for me.

  3. #3
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    Re: La Pavoni lever help

    Thanks Danny.

    My experience is similar - if I get the head nice and warm, the first cup is better, but then after that it is down hill. And leaving the machine on for ages is similar, although the first pull isnt too bad.

    Unfortunately, unlike an HX, there is no reliable way of cooling the head.

    Appreciate your thoughts.

    Dave

  4. #4
    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Re: La Pavoni lever help

    Hiya

    Here is my experience of my LaPavoni Europiccola. The first shot is usually wonderful, better than my Domus Galtea. It is sweeter and a thicker pour. Forget any other subsequent attempts.

    I turn on the machine to high heat setting for it to heat up.
    While that is going on I pre-warm the basket & porta filter in some hot water.
    I grind and pack the basket. I grind a bit finer than usual and tamp less firmly.
    When the machine emits steam through the over pressure value I turn
    temperature setting down to low heat and release some pressure via the steam wand.
    I lock in the portafilter.
    Pull a shot.

    If the pull is too hard or flops down then the coffee will be terrible.
    If the pull is firm and continuous then the shot might be OK.
    If it looks like a nice pour then it might really be OK.
    Taste it :-)

    Now spend 15 minutes cleaning up for that one shot. I rarely try a 2nd shot.
    If it didnt work I make a plunger coffee :-)

    Mike


  5. #5
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    Re: La Pavoni lever help

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks - good to know my experiences are not uncommon.

    Im interested in you changing the temperature setting. I havent pulled the bottom off, but there isnt anywhere obvious on the Europiccolo I have that provides the ability to adjust the temperature.

    Maybe they have changed them - mine has one temperature only (or a lot, which creates the challenges....)

    Dave

  6. #6
    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Re: La Pavoni lever help

    Hi Dave

    For my version of the Europiccola its the switch on the side. There is a power on/off switch and right next to it a second switch that switches between high heat and a lower heat. Its just that toggle switch that I change to low once its heated up.

    But there are quite a few different models out there. Mines a 1970s model.

    Mike

  7. #7
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    Re: La Pavoni lever help

    Thanks Mike.

    No such switch on mine. Mine is about 5-6 years old.

    Wonder if the deletion of the switch was a step forward......

    Dave

  8. #8
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    Re: La Pavoni lever help

    Hi,

    Ive started wondering about this lately as well. I love my europiccola, but the group temperature is highly variable. Like you said, with the group mounted directly on the temperature vessel theres probably not much to be done about it except work in with its behaviour or upgrade.

    My routine is to let it heat up about 10 mins, draw off a bit of water and then do the shot. If I leave it too long, it gets steaming hot and the shot is burnt. Seconds are generally too hot as well



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