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Thread: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

  1. #1
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    My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    <big sigh>

    mmm coffee... you start to surf the wave: youre really good at this.... everyone raves about your coffee... you can do it again, and again, shot after shot, on any number of espresso machines... and then you buy a La Pavoni Lever.

    Got it Tuesday, took it home, but cooking dinner, BeanBay and exhaustion took priority, and I only got to pop her on the bench and look at her shiny brass, copper & wood.

    This afternoon I finally got to try her out. I used the pre-ground coffee that the sellers assured me was especially ground to suit and "...their coffee is just the best .." havent we all heard that one a few times, and thought well why should I waste my good stuff on a likely sink shot. weighed, tamped, loaded, tension buildiup......
    Result: gavel would have been better I think. threw that stuff out.

    Shot 2: tried a Sulawesi, and wound down my Mahlkonig (with brand new burrs), and tamped harder. weighed.
    Result: Ths shot was a little better, but not much crema, and it didnt take much effort to get the lever down. Hmm my gym membership must be paying off.

    Shot 3: Sulawesi again: wound my Mahlkonig down to zero. tamped really hard..etc.. A better shot, but still not great. Im still having no trouble with this lever.

    Shot 4: Yirg. This is good for giving your machine a hernia. Tamped really bloody hard, 3 times and actually had to use some considerable effort on the lever this time.
    Result: still not syrup, but the crema was better.

    So now ive lost all my enthusiasm. well Im at home from work today sick anyway. :(

    Tomorow Im bringing home my Mazzer Mini from work, as this grinder is the best, and will give me a finer grind than my Rocky or my Mahlkonig. So i live in hope that Saturday morning I will be producing something drinkable.

    But now Im also working on justifying my desire to buy another Mazzer or a Macap (doserless) for home. Those new digital, grind on demand ones are so appealing. hmm time for some more grinder research.

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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    sorry I posted this in the wrong spot. I wish this cost me under $500 but it was $1500

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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 2929382925262F4A0 link=1247723006/1#1 date=1247723205
    sorry I posted this in the wrong spot. *I wish this cost me under $500 but it was $1500
    Thought it might have ;)

    Mal.

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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    I have never used one - but what you have just purchased is my most romantic coffee dream i have - i dream of owning being able to master one these beautiful things.But i haven`t bought one and i can only applaud you on your drive towards great coffee IMO from one of the most romantically beautiful espresso machines around. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
    Keep trying .

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    Hi Rose. I use a Pavoni europiccolla lever. I never had a problem getting a fine enough grind with my old Sunbeam EMO480, and my Fiorenzato is great. You need to be putting in a real hard pull when you get it right, and you will get the syrup and heaps of crema.

    What tamper are you using? The plastic one that comes with it is very difficult to get a decent tamp out of.

    Also, play with your dosing a lot. Strange things happen with dose adjustments on the Pavoni. Try going in both directions.

    Do you preinfuse for around 10 seconds before pulling? Also, I like to do what I think is referred to (correct me if Im wrong) as the Fellini manoevre - when you lift the lever and open the valve to allow the water in, let the chamber fill and then lightly press down on the lever until the force is taken up and then lift the lever to the top again, waiting to the end of the 10 seconds from beginning and pulling the shot.

    Finally, if the grind is really, really fine (feel it between your fingers) and yet this is still happening - try going to a grind that you know is too course and dosing on the underside, going down in steps on the grind and slightly underdosing each time and see what happens with the pressure on the lever for each pull and if you can find that spot where the pressure is great and so is the coffee. Then play with your dosing again until you find the right combinations for you.

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    Update to: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever with Photos

    ;D Day 2:

    My Mazzer Mini comes home from work - sad faces around the office as she leaves. *I declare that I dont want her catching swine flu! *Someone had got their results thru 1/2 hr before!

    4 shots were attempted, with the first two ground way too fine, and there was no way I was getting that lever down.

    Shot 3: wooohooo success, and the first 15mls came out in a beautiful syrupy pour with lots of crema. *Then to finish it off I did another ½ pull, but then disaster.... it started to blond out really quickly. *Hmm, mixed emotions, but on the whole Boy was I happy!

    Shot 4: *a very slightly finer grind than Shot 3, and a harder tamp, and success, a really nice syrup with crema, for the first 15mls. *Tension builds tho as I know I have to do another pull to get more, and once again for the next ½ pull it waters down. *"OK" she says to herself, "still not perfect, but it very drinkable".

    So after nearly an hour to do those 4 shots, with notes & photos, and turning the La P off & on so she wouldn’t overheat, I sat down and had my first shot from her. *A very nice cap.

    Thankyou Pavoniboy, for your pre-buy advice, and your help on how to get the best from her. *These babies are like a sports car – not useful for dragging the kids around but geez they’re a nice ride. *I will continue on my journey now and get to know her better.

    Photos:
    Maz & Mahl (Mahlkonig K30 Grind on Demand) with their Jam Funnel mods. *Sorry Mahl, you’re not up to the La Pavoni



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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    more photos:

    My Diadema Perfetta (complete with her interesting front plate - see the "Nike" *thread for that one) & the new La Pavoni PRH Lever

    A controlled group handle sneeze (with tuck) after too fine a grind & no possible way to get water through – after attempt no. 2.




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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    one last one:
    Shot no. 4: not perfection by a long shot, but drinkable.

    ;D ;D Oh so happy,

    Rose

    Sorry about the multiple posts, but not matter how small I made the photos I would get a size error message


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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    Gday Rose,

    Looking good there mate.... 8-)

    The reason you couldnt post all the images into a singe post was, they were still too big. Size limit per post is 1.0MB so if you resize all images down to a max of 600 x 450 pixels, you wont have any problems fitting them all in. The YaBB forum software automatically squeezes the images down to fit inside that size window but doesnt resize the original image, you have to do that before uploading them.

    There are some useful tools around that make this task very easy and has been discussed in this thread here.... http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1187136315 Links are included to download which ever resizing tool suits you the best... :)

    All the best,
    Mal.

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    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    Hi Rose,

    looking good. You mention doing multiple pulls per shot. I wouldnt recommend personally. Have you tried the ?Fellini? move...when you pull up the lever initially, lightly press down until the pressure is taken up and then return the lever to the top again (if there is really little pressure under the lever you can repeat a couple of times when necessary). When this chamber is full (by using this move) you should get at least very close to 60mL (by memory I think I get around 55) from the one pull. Multiple pulls tend to ruin anything you did have going on.

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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A3A2B3A36353C590 link=1247723007/5#5 date=1247883334
    Maz & Mahl (Mahlkonig K30 Grind on Demand) with their Jam Funnel mods
    Whats that? More info please. Thanks. :)

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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    oton

    Jam Funnels are used to fill jars etc with Jam - they have handles that you cant see in these photos. *Instead of using the big hoppers, you can use these as a cheaper, smaller option - Im usually only making coffee for 1 or 2 people at home so only need a small amount of coffee. I got the idea from someone here on CS. *My came from here for $12 each.

    http://www.foodutensils.com.au/jam-funnel-p-797.html

    Rose

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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    Pavoniboy,

    thanks i thought I tried your Fellini move, but obviously I didnt get your explanation. Ill try again this weekend when I have some time to dedicate to it. thanks for explaining this again. Im still trying to feel whats going on with this machine, so at the moment Im stumbling - Ive only done 8 shots so far.

    Rose

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    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    I am not the best at explaining this maneovre. You may find better explanations already here on CS. But as best I can:

    Pull the lever up and you will feel and hear the valve open and let water begin to fill the chamber (start your timing now) pull down the lever a few centimetres, sometimes it will feel like a rock under the lever straight away - great, return the lever to the top and wait out your preinfusion time (10 sec for me) and pull. If it is not rock hard pressure under the lever when you begin to pull it down then proceed to depress the lever a few centimetres. If not rock hard pressure by around the 3 cm mark then return the lever to the top and repeat. When you hit the point where there is sudden hard pressure, return the lever to the top, wait out your preinfusion time and pull.

    Remember the preinfusion time is from the moment of opening the valve and letting water in for the first time, and not beginning when you pull the lever up for the final time.

    The pull when you are extracting should be rock hard pressure from the top of the stroke to the end (although a bit lighter at the end), not light pressure which gets hard during the stroke.

    Hope this makes some sense.

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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    Thanks for the info. Great idea. :)


    How is possible that a K30 can not grind fine enough for the La Pavoni? Can you adjust the zero point?

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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    yes, i think the problem i was having with the Mahlkonig was probably more to do with me getting used to the La Pavoni Lever machine, or the beans, or the phase of the moonor the fact that I had just installed new burrs before starting with the lever machine, and I didnt set it close enough to true zero - I was in a rush to finish the job when I did it, and I didnt want to ruin my $160 burrs.

    Ive re-set zero point since then, and Im getting a much finer grind when needed now. However Ive also taken Mahl to work & brought the Mazzer home. Im much quicker & more comfortable finding the right grind point with the Mazzer - ive had it much longer & its micrometric not stepped.

    My problem is i have too many choices (toys). Now time to bid on that Auction - theres a nice little Ascaso i-mini up for grabs!

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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    Hi Rose, welcome to the gang 8-) Dose Grind and Tamp are more important than the pull for what it is worth.

    I am using a slightly domed dose on the double, a good solid tap or two on the bench (brings it down to level with the top) then a good firm Tamp if I get it right it comes up just under the screen. If I get it wrong I can normally tell as it looks low or high in the PF. To high and you can feel it touching the screen as you lock in. Have you got a fitted Tamper for it yet?

    Using my Kyocera more than the Cimbali at present too :)

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    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    Quote Originally Posted by 484F4B444C465343444D2A0 link=1247723007/16#16 date=1248503383
    Have you got a fitted Tamper for it yet?
    ditto. My Pullman is a vital part of pulling good shots on the Pavoni.

    Beanflying, do you ever find altering the dose for certain beans works on the Pavoni? I guess for most beans I also dose similar to what you describe, but then occasionally I find certain beans dont quite taste as good as I believe they can and have found dosing down on those then brings about a better cup. Unfortunately I cannot recall the beans I have done this on - have too much stuff to cram into my brain at the moment. As stated most fall into the category of dosing so that the puck sits just under the showerscreen when locked.

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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    I try and keep the dose close to the same all the time. The Kypcera is handy in that just below a full hopper gives me a tiny bit of waste to sweep off for minimal waste.

    That said I certainly vary the grind between beans. Huge difference between say a MTE35 and a Yirg for example.

    Big fan of keeping as much of the process the same then only change one variable at a time. If you try two then you have 4 possible outcomes change 3 for 8 etc ::)

  20. #20
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    Re: My humbling experience with the new La Pavoni Lever

    Yes, grind is of course the primary variable, and the only one I usually have as a variable, but as above re the dosage.



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