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Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

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  • Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

    I am a newbie to Coffeesnobs, and hesitant at showing my ignorance, but am about to take the plunge anyway. My partner loves good espresso and shiny objects so I have bought a La Pavoni Pro for his birthday. Since we are retired, we both have the time to experiment in search of the perfect espresso. Given that we are stepping up from a very old Faema Majica and stovetop brewing, I was thinking of buying a Breville smart grinder. I realize that this is not a great grinder but I felt that, by the reviews, it would provide consistent grinds to allow us to concentrate on our machine technique. Am I being realistic, or do I need to buy a better grinder? Please help!
    Ps We would be looking at 4 to 6 coffees a day.

  • #2
    Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

    Hi jannav and welcome.

    I am a bit of a lever person owning several lever machines including a pavoni europiccola. Since you sound like you are getting serious about your coffee I think a relatively serious grinder is in order. Personally I like really solid grinders like the Rocky and now the Mazzer, but I do think that the step up from the Brevilie smart grinder is the Mahlkonig Vario. Yes it cost a lot more and is a bit plasticky (like the Breville is) but I think it is worth it in the long run. That grinder paired with the Pavoni Pro should be enable you to reach coffee nirvana.

    But lets see what other members think, especially those that have used both the Breville and the Vario.

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    • #3
      Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

      The big question is, "what is your budget for the grinder?"

      Under 300? theres the Breville smart grinder, which seems to be the best for that price-point, under 500? Compak K3-push.

      Over $500? well, For home use a Robur is probably overkill, but thats not stopped people before.

      Failing that, you could go for a hand-cranked grinder, I would say that if youre looking for a really good one, the Rosco seems to be very well built for the $400 or so amount

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      • #4
        Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

        Originally posted by 505B5C435A5D5B52465641330 link=1332288993/1#1 date=1332291280
        Hi jannav and welcome.

        I am a bit of a lever person owning several lever machines including a pavoni europiccola. Since you sound like you are getting serious about your coffee I think a relatively serious grinder is in order. Personally I like really solid grinders like the Rocky and now the Mazzer, but I do think that the step up from the Brevilie smart grinder is the Mahlkonig Vario. Yes it cost a lot more and is a bit plasticky (like the Breville is) but I think it is worth it in the long run. That grinder paired with the Pavoni Pro should be enable you to reach coffee nirvana.

        But lets see what other members think, especially those that have used both the Breville and the Vario.
        check out the Baratza Preciso - a little over 300 bucks and in the same vein as the malkhonig without the fluff.
        i ADORE mine, imho for home use its a zillion miles ahead of everything else in its class.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

          Budget permitting, Im going to throw the ECA/Anfim Best into the mix. We have an older Anfim Best in the workshop, and it holds its own against the big Mazzers. In chrome, it would also be a great looking compliment to your Pav.

          The chrome one retails for $850 but I think if you twisted a sponsors arm they might do significantly better than that. Apologies if this is way over the top budget wise, I just love that grinder

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          • #6
            Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

            Who sells the Baratza Precisio? I am in Townsville, North Qld, and am not in a position to visit and road test, so I would be relying on the seller for help and advice to get going. And thank you to everyone who has replied. You have just made my choice as clear as mud! lol! I really appreciate the fact that people on this forum are willing to take the time to share their expertise.

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            • #7
              Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

              I use a smart grinder with my europiccola and its fine.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

                And Ive used all sorts of low to mid-end grinders (Gaggia MM, Pavoni Jolly and Rancilio Rocky) and to be honest the grinder is not the decisive factor with the Europiccola. True, you need a decent grind with the correct courseness/fineness, with a correct dose and tamp etc, but there are so many factors with the Europiccola itself that affect the outcome, especially temperature, that the grinder is almost secondary.

                In short, a Pavoni paired with a Gaggia MM can produce better coffee than one paired with a Mazzer mini if one doesnt get the procedure perfect on the Pavoni. And even if everything is pretty perfect the Mazzer will usually, but not always, trump the cheaper grinder on these machines. Why, because the Pavonis (which I adore) are just so damn variable. Beautiful but difficult.

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                • #9
                  Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

                  So true. I have a Europiccola, and I was using it daily with a Sunbeam EM0480 (considered inferior to the Smart Grinder) and getting very good results, once I had learned to work within a few basic parameters of technique with the Pavoni - most importantly dose, group head temperature and boiler pressure during pre-infusion.

                  I now have a Robur in the house, and the shot performance has not improved dramatically. Yes there are subtle flavour differences and it is slightly more predictable/forgiving, but thats about it.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

                    Hey get a good grinder.

                    If it is possible dont under any circumstances skimp on the grinder.

                    I am not saying you have to get a Kony class grinder but a cheap grinder is going to come back and bite you when the barista skills get better.

                    The Pavoni is picky (I have and use a Europicolla pre-millenium searing heat demon) but able to make top notch shots (well for the fist and maybe second pull anyway. I cant comment on the post millenium models though) that will reveal whether your grinds are flimsy or great.

                    If you choose the Mazzer Mini I would get the one with the bigger burrs. I think that is the mini E.

                    I have had the Rocky and frankly although it is capable of grinding for espresso it is not my first choice. I found the grind quality of the Rocky to be average to below average after the burrs wear in. Every time I changed the burrs the grinds and thus the taste of the espresso was noticably better but not for long.

                    At the time I bought the Rocky it was a real bargain in terms of what you got for the price (a good tough long lasting poor mans espresso grinder) and what was available. Now the current Rocky price is too close to what you would pay for a better grinder.

                    I have never used a Mazzer Mini but I have read elswhere that its grind quality is similar to a Rocky despite the fact that the entire grinder is built much better. The Mini E on the other hand uses bigger burrs and may produce better grinds. Can anyone here who owns a Mini E verify this ?

                    I can tell you my Mazzer Super Jolly made a lot of difference in terms of better flavor and consistancy of shots (better) when compared to the Rocky and other grinders.

                    If you must go cheap I have had better luck with the connicals.

                    The Baratza grinders have got good reviews and I have heard Baratza has good support as well as availability of parts for their grinders.

                    I once owned an older version Solis Meastro which produced good espresso grinds for a couple of years before it wore out.

                    The Virtuoso and Precisio are supposed to have addressed the issues of the Meastro (Baratza no longer recommends using the Meastro model for espresso) with better burrs and mounts (actually both are quite different beasts in design right down to the motor when compared to the old Meastro.)

                    Both have got good reviews with the nudge going to Precisio for its very wide and fine adjustment ranges.

                    I dont know much about the Vario but I have heard good reviews for them as well. If you can find any these as refurbs I think you can get a good bargain.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

                      Originally posted by 2D322D362A2730420 link=1332288993/9#9 date=1332642123
                      The Pavoni is picky (I have and use a Europicolla pre-millenium searing heat demon) but able to make top notch shots (well for the fist and maybe second pull anyway.

                      I know its been covered before, but I would be curious to hear what LaPav techniques people are employing. There seems to be a lot of ill informed information on the web... Yes really, on the internet!!??  ;D

                      Do LaPAv users consider it worthwhile to get the larger Elektra basket? I refer to this article:
                      http://www.home-barista.com/levers/e...side-t139.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

                          I have not pursued getting anything larger than my current double basket but I am someone who finds the unique flavors of light cinnamon colored low crema 8 gram single shots pulled on my brewtus (LM single basket does make a difference I find all other single baskets lacking) to be tasty.

                        I find 13 grams in my 49mm La Pavoni to be adequate and rarely use 14 grams let alone more.

                        I have not tried bigger baskets on my Pavoni but I have to admit bigger is not always my preference.

                        Now that you brought this up I might just order an electra basket to give it try, maybe.

                        These days bottomless portafilters for the La Pavoni lever machines are not so rare (maybe somewhat expensive though.) That is also another possibilty.


                        I have used the single basket on my La Pavoni before but it has been a while and my memory may not be as good but I can tell one thing I do remember is that I dont recall ever having used a single basket on any machine without getting a different type of taste profile.

                        I tend to flip flop at times going from periods of pulling singles, then back to doubles, and vice versa when I get tired of the taste profiles of either.

                        Every single I have used has made pulling the shot more challenging.

                        I find huge monster dosed shots (triples and quadruples) to be intense but I suppose everything can change depending on what kind of coffee is used and other things such as brewing parameters.

                        My method for quick cooling my pre millenium La Pavoni is to turn it off, open the steam wand and let out pressure after I pull my shot. This brings the water back to 212 deg F (boiling point.)

                        If you dont your group will heat up again just as fast or faster than you can cool it (conduction is real good in these machines.)

                        I then take a 16 oz sour cream cup filled to the top with cold water hold it under the group head and pull the lever up and down about 10 times more or less. This swishes cold water up and down through the bore quickly cooling it.

                        Close your steam wand, have the grinds ready, turn it on, and your ready to go at it again.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

                          The grinder has a top container for coffee beans, capacity gr. 250, it is fitted with plain mills allowing a wide regulation of the coffee grind. If it fits your budget..then I would say..its a nice choice..

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                          • #14
                            Re: Grinder for La Pavoni Professional

                            Thanks everyone who offered advice. I went for the Breville, mainly due to it being available locally, which should help if any problems occur down the track. I am sure you are all right in telling me to get the best I can afford, but at the moment, the Breville is perfect for our needs. Not having ever owned any other to compare it with, this grinder is awesome!

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