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Discussions > Espresso > Lever Espresso > Pavoni EPC-8: A...  
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Rainman
Senior Member
Rainman
Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 152
Location: Charleston, SC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus, La Pavoni...
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Rocky
Vac Pot: Nope- use Bodum French press...
Drip: Ornamental Krups (clock...
Roaster: US Roaster Corp, 1 lb sample...
Posted Mon Feb 21, 2005, 5:14am
Subject: Re: Pavoni EPC-8: A Few Questions
 

Hey, Peter- I think I'd leave the pressurestat alone, then.. how did you read the water temp- thermocouple?  200 deg is probably perfect at any rate..  I haven't seen any leaks from my group, and I've had several grunt sessions over the years with mine where I thought I was going to pass out pulling on that lever.. I was a little desperate on those mornings for some caffeine and was unwilling to re-do the shot (and I understand your energy investment).  No leaks at all.  My machine was looked at by a tech about 1-1/2 yrs ago when I blew the switch one morning.  Saw a flash of light, a puff of smoke, then nothing.  Removed the panel from the bottom of the base and saw melted wiring in the switch, so I located a local person who had all the replacement parts and charged me only $25 to do that and give it a clean bill of health.  All the gaskets were fine.. and I think still are.

One thing I see different- nothing comes through the pf spout after I've raised the lever until I begin pulling the shot.  The way to reverse this is to use a more course grind or less coffee/lighter tamp.  I made 3 shots about 5-6 min apart yesterday that were all great, and practically all crema as it went into the glass cup.  You could see the "guinness effect" and all- and they tasted great.  The longest I ever leave the lever up is about 9-10 seconds, though after giving it a few up-and-down jogs to fill the brew-head.  I wouldn't be too hung up on seeing espresso drip into the cup before you start the pull-- you may be waiting too long.

Ray

 
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Mark08859
Senior Member
Mark08859
Joined: 18 Feb 2005
Posts: 219
Location: New Jersey
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Alexia PID
Grinder: Ditting KE640 Vario
Posted Mon Feb 21, 2005, 12:50pm
Subject: Re: Pavoni EPC-8: A Few Questions
 

First off - thanks to all for posting replies. There are a lot of good suggestions and I'm in the process of trying them. However, trying these varied ideas has brought up another question. Most of what I've read about the La Pavonis is that they seem to require a relatively fine grind with a hard tamp.

While trying to keep my tamp pressure the same, I have been playing with the grind. I currently use a Braun KMM30 grinder. I've been able to grind fine enough to where I can't push down the lever on the Pavoni. So the question would be that if a $50 dollar grinder can stall the machine, why invest in a $300 dollar grinder such as the Rocky?

Again, thanks in advance for those responses.
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Rainman
Senior Member
Rainman
Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 152
Location: Charleston, SC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus, La Pavoni...
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Rocky
Vac Pot: Nope- use Bodum French press...
Drip: Ornamental Krups (clock...
Roaster: US Roaster Corp, 1 lb sample...
Posted Mon Feb 21, 2005, 6:27pm
Subject: Re: Pavoni EPC-8: A Few Questions
 

The taste and appearance of crema should tell you.  If you're happy with what you taste from the grind you're getting out of your Braun, I wouldn't spend the money.  But, if you'ver ever tasted truly great espresso (which actually tastes as good as it smells) then I think it's deserving of some experimentation... it can get expensive.  If there's any doubt, research the area in which you live and find the cafe that is renowned for it's espresso- but take in a variety of opinions... espresso to some is "drek" to others.  You decide, but always keep an open mind about it all.. kinda like wine.  My parents drink and recommend the most awful stuff (hope Dad isn't listening!)- the same applies to espresso (won't name names).  Ultimately, it's a personal decision.  Buy what you can afford, and allow your taste-buds to factor in.  If the Braun produces a grind that looks consistent to the eye, then go with it.. it might not last as long, so still let the "taste-bud factor" chime in..  I think that's what I paid $300 for, but I went straight from blade-to-burr (rocky), so I'm biased.  I do know that I get awesome cream and taste for that investment- and coffee from a local roaster.  I can't seem to match her talent for that.

Ray

 
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Mark08859
Senior Member
Mark08859
Joined: 18 Feb 2005
Posts: 219
Location: New Jersey
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Alexia PID
Grinder: Ditting KE640 Vario
Posted Tue Feb 22, 2005, 5:43pm
Subject: Re: Pavoni EPC-8: A Few Questions
 

I can truly say that I've never had great espresso out of my Pavoni.   :-)   But tonight taught me something about the grinder issue.

I had one of the best espressos I've tasted out of the Pavoni tonight (but not great) by doing the following: did not pre-heat the machine/portafilter at all to avoid the excessive heat issue. Used hot water just for the cup. Filled the double filter basket full with loose grinds than tamped. After the initial steam bleed (about 10 seconds rather than 2 - 3), lifted the lever slowly and held it for 5 seconds. But only had a 16 second pull on the way down. Almost no resistance for the initial part down wards. The crema wasn't great but I finally could taste some sweetness out of my espresso instead of scalding bitterness. The Braun grinder won't give me those extra 5 - 8 seconds needed for a proper pull which should maximize the flavor and crema.

The advantage of the higher end grinder is to get all those in-between settings that a lesser grinder can't give me. It allows for a true fine tune. Simply doing one setting above stalling the machine isn't the goal. Is this correct?
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AZbrewer
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AZbrewer
Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 78
Location: Ft. Collins, CO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Tue Feb 22, 2005, 7:53pm
Subject: Re: Pavoni EPC-8: A Few Questions
 

Another advantage to a higher end grinder, say like the Rocky or Mazzer, is less heat is created while grinding the beans. May have something to do with the reason why you never have gotten good shots from your Pavoni, but maybe not. If you held the lever up for 5 seconds then took 16 to pull, I'd say you are sitting aroung 21 seconds in all. Not bad. I count the infussion time as part of the whole extraction time. What was the volume of your shot? If the resistance was weak on the way down, try a finer grind or try to tamp a little firmer. A good resistance will yeild good crema in my experience on my Pavoni.
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malachi
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malachi
Joined: 5 May 2002
Posts: 1,761
Location: SFCA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Monster Mia (for now)_
Grinder: Monster Cimballi Junior
Vac Pot: Not any more
Drip: never
Roaster: Ecco, Stumptown, Intelli,...
Posted Tue Feb 22, 2005, 7:59pm
Subject: Re: Pavoni EPC-8: A Few Questions
 

Mark08859 Said:

The advantage of the higher end grinder is to get all those in-between settings that a lesser grinder can't give me. It allows for a true fine tune. Simply doing one setting above stalling the machine isn't the goal. Is this correct?

Posted February 22, 2005 link

primary advantage is consistency of grind. this is incredibly important for espresso.
secondary advantage is cleanness of grind. if coffee is mashed and crushed it's a problem.

a stepless grinder allows you to get the exact right grind.
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Mark08859
Senior Member
Mark08859
Joined: 18 Feb 2005
Posts: 219
Location: New Jersey
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Alexia PID
Grinder: Ditting KE640 Vario
Posted Wed Feb 23, 2005, 9:01am
Subject: Re: Pavoni EPC-8: A Few Questions
 

AZbrewer Said:

Another advantage to a higher end grinder, say like the Rocky or Mazzer, is less heat is created while grinding the beans. May have something to do with the reason why you never have gotten good shots from your Pavoni, but maybe not. If you held the lever up for 5 seconds then took 16 to pull, I'd say you are sitting aroung 21 seconds in all. Not bad. I count the infussion time as part of the whole extraction time. What was the volume of your shot? If the resistance was weak on the way down, try a finer grind or try to tamp a little firmer. A good resistance will yeild good crema in my experience on my Pavoni.

Posted February 22, 2005 link

The volume of my shot is approximately 1 - 1 1/4 ounces. I do not press the lever down partway and then re-lift, although I've read that others do it. I ordered a Rancilio Rocky from WLL today. According to them, the amount of time holding the lever up, prior to the pull-down, does not count towards the timing of the shot. It's my hope that the grinder makes the difference between a good shot and a great one. I believe malachi is correct in stating that consistency is important and that this will be achieved with the better grinder.

While I've been able to improve the taste of my espresso, the crema doesn't start forming until near the end of the pour. It lasts maybe 30 seconds. Also, it is a light brown instead of the darker reddish-brown that I've read is proper. However, this is an improvement over the light tan I was originally getting. Also, I hope to get resistance earlier in the pull.
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AZbrewer
Senior Member
AZbrewer
Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 78
Location: Ft. Collins, CO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Wed Feb 23, 2005, 8:45pm
Subject: Re: Pavoni EPC-8: A Few Questions
 

I tend to pull back up after 3/4 of a pull and  then down again to achieve my final volume. I generally get 2 oz per double shot with good crema. How long does it last? Who knows. I drink it up too fast to tell. I have one of the older models with a slightly smaller portafilter that can only hold about 12oz of grinds so I figure a little less volume per shot should be expected. I may be wrong here, but doesn't the newer models have a larger filter basket as well as a larger group?

The Rocky has definetly made a difference in the quality of what I achieve with my shots, I'm sure you will find the same. When you get it, let me know how it goes.

Till then, doc
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MattJ
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Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 35
Location: PNW
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: LP-EP Lever
Grinder: Nuovo Simonelli MCF
Posted Sun Oct 13, 2013, 8:51am
Subject: Re: Pavoni EPC-8: A Few Questions
 

I'm rehashing this oldie but goodie for a couple of reasons.  I'm trying to get a more fixed perspective on exactly how my shots should be pulled.  This is one of the few posts I've found with actual times in seconds mentioned.  I've been poking around a few forums, blogs, and wikis and have found a little consensus around these numbers:

pre-infusion (from when the lever is topped out and letting water into the group head until coffee comes out of the portafilter) = 5 seconds

> once you see drops of espresso pull the lever = extraction times of 15 - 20 seconds.

I've been pulling two shots per day out of my EPC-8 for years.  Through gasket and o-ring changes, descalings, grinders, new burrs, home roasting, pressurestat adjustments, pressure gauge rigging, grinds, tampers, and tamps I've gotten various quality of shots.  I think my inclination is to wait for about 15 seconds with the handle up, never get drips until I pull the handle and then get a 25 to 30 second extraction.  I probably lean closer to over extraction than under.  I feel like my grind is super fine and my tamp medium.  Volume of grinds is medium as I shoot for the depth of the tamper base puts me at 30 lbs. and that seems to fit into the group head with out catching.

Probably the biggest factor I've found as far as producing crema is the freshness of the beans.  Home roasted being the best I've used (immediately after roasting) and super fresh from a commercial roaster being nearly as good.  This whole soul searching about it probably comes down to volume.  Volume of each shot is the greatest "x" factor to me in inconsistency.  I feel like the volume of water entering the group head from the boiler with the handle all the way up varies.  I don't know why or what to do to fix it.  I don't like the double pump although I have employed it.  Thoughts?
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MattJ
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 35
Location: PNW
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: LP-EP Lever
Grinder: Nuovo Simonelli MCF
Posted Tue Oct 15, 2013, 11:19am
Subject: Re: Pavoni EPC-8: A Few Questions
 

I think this thread predated the Lever room's creation.  Can someone move it please?
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