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How to get rich creme from la pavoni machines?
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Discussions > Espresso > Lever Espresso > How to get rich...  
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stellina
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2009
Posts: 17
Location: Athens, Greece
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: La Pavoni Europicola
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Sun Nov 22, 2009, 5:19am
Subject: How to get rich creme from la pavoni machines?
 

Hello everyone.

I've been trying for 7 months to make rich creme with my la pavoni europicolla (after millenium copper model) with no luck. I had no experience with lever machines and I have trying all the following alternatives
- At least 3-4 brands of fresh coffee (including illy, portioly, beans from hasbean.co.uk, etc)
- Different grinding  with my rancilio rocky doserless (from too thin to too coarse
- I'm trying to add a lot of pressure with my tamper (I try to be around 30pounds)
- I release the stream for around 1-2 minutes before I make the first coffee


Results:
- With the double filter I get better creme, but the coffe is too bitter for me, so I need to use only the single filter
- The coffee flaws only from the one exit of the portafilter (it has two exits) and always from the left one. is this normal?
- I get a small quantity of creme with a light brown color and bubbles with gets disappears after few minutes

I've seen a lot videos on youtube where people produce a lot of thick creme. What else should I do to produce such a creme?

thank you,
Stellina
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carlsilver
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Dec 2003
Posts: 231
Location: Portugal
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola/La...
Grinder: la Pavoni Jolly/Ascaso i...
Vac Pot: Normax
Drip: Melitta (manual)
Roaster: no
Posted Sun Nov 22, 2009, 5:49am
Subject: Re: How to get rich creme from la pavoni machines?
 

Stick with one coffee (hasbean espresso blend should be a good start) until you get good results.
Tamp lighter and grind finer. What tamper are you using? The one that comes with the machine is difficult to master because it is too small.
Use about 10 grs of ground coffee with the single basket. The double basket is easier to master. May be if you tamp lighter you won't find the coffee so bitter. Use about 13 to 14 grs with the double.
Lift the lever very, very slowly. Wait about 10 seconds. When going down you should feel some resistance.
The coffee flawing only from the one exit of the portafilter is most probably a sign that machine is not level on the counter.
Let us know how this works.

EDIT:
You don't need to stream for 1 to 2 minutes. 15 to 30 seconds are sufficient.
The lever must be rised very slowly so that you don't get any air in the puck.
A lighter tamping works very well (30 pounds is quite heavy). You just need to make sure the coffee is well pressed on the borders, near the basket.
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ziobeege72
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Sep 2007
Posts: 29
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ponte Vecchio Lusso 2 Group,...
Grinder: Macap M4 Stepless, Rancilio...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, IR2
Posted Sun Nov 22, 2009, 10:22am
Subject: Re: How to get rich creme from la pavoni machines?
 

Stick with one coffee (hasbean espresso blend should be a good start) until you get good results.
Tamp lighter and grind finer. What tamper are you using? The one that comes with the machine is difficult to master because it is too small.
Use about 10 grs of ground coffee with the single basket. The double basket is easier to master. May be if you tamp lighter you won't find the coffee so bitter. Use about 13 to 14 grs with the double.
Lift the lever very, very slowly. Wait about 10 seconds. When going down you should feel some resistance.
The coffee flawing only from the one exit of the portafilter is most probably a sign that machine is not level on the counter.
Let us know how this works.

EDIT:
You don't need to stream for 1 to 2 minutes. 15 to 30 seconds are sufficient.
The lever must be rised very slowly so that you don't get any air in the puck.
A lighter tamping works very well (30 pounds is quite heavy). You just need to make sure the coffee is well pressed on the borders, near the basket.

All good advice I'd say.

I had pretty much the same set up as you - a Millenium LP Europiccola, a Rocky and beans from Hasbean.   The good news is that you can, and indeed should, get excellent crema.  Forget about Illy beans - they simply wont be as fresh as hasbean's, who roast and deliver per order

I suspect that if you are getting bitter shots with crema rapidly disappearing that probably means your water is too hot.  Pavoni's prone to overheat, and if you are releasing steam for that long you increase the chances of overheating.  

Are you getting much resistance as you pull down?  You should be working quite hard particularly after the first quarter of the stroke (but not enough to cause a hernia!).  If the stroke is too easy then grind finer.

Preheating your cups also helps with crema.

Hope this gives you a bit more success.
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stellina
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2009
Posts: 17
Location: Athens, Greece
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: La Pavoni Europicola
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009, 2:25am
Subject: Re: How to get rich creme from la pavoni machines?
 

Thank you all for your answers!

The tamper I have is this one: Click Here (www.espressotec.com)



The coffee flawing only from the one exit of the portafilter is most probably a sign that machine is not level on the counter.

What do you mean with that?

Few months ago the machine had problem with the thermostat. The technician fixed it and told me that my machine gets too hot. Is there something I can do to control the temperature to a normal level?

thank you
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The_Shadow
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Posts: 504
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: NS Aurelia 2 group, 1977...
Grinder: NS MDX, NS Grinta, KyM...
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: BUNN VPR/LPG Combo
Roaster: Leave That To The Pros
Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009, 3:58am
Subject: Re: How to get rich creme from la pavoni machines?
 

Well when you mention fresh beans you also mention Illy. Here in the states Illy is hardly considered fresh because of the time it takes to get here. I have no idea who Hasbean is, but what you need is an actual roast date. Typically beans need to rest 3-5 days for espresso (right after being roasted) then they should be good for another 2 weeks at most then start to fade quite rapidly. If your beans are 3 weeks or older then that's why you have a crema problem more than anything. Later!
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ziobeege72
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Sep 2007
Posts: 29
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ponte Vecchio Lusso 2 Group,...
Grinder: Macap M4 Stepless, Rancilio...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, IR2
Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009, 4:01am
Subject: Re: How to get rich creme from la pavoni machines?
 

stellina Said:

Few months ago the machine had problem with the thermostat. The technician fixed it and told me that my machine gets too hot. Is there something I can do to control the temperature to a normal level?

Posted November 23, 2009 link

That is possibly a clue.  I dont know if your technician can tell you at what level he set the pressure stat at?  Generally, I have noted that lever pavoni users have a pressure stat range of 0.8 to 1.2.  If it is set much higher than this, say 1.5, then your machine will get too hot as the boiler cycles up to this pressure level.

You can do this sort thing of yourself if you are a little bit mechanically minded, but you will need a pressure test gauge (that you can attach to the steam wand), and then be prepared to adjust the pressure stat yourself.  

Your tamper is absolutely fine. There is an increasing body of opinion that suggests that a light tamp, and a finer grind, is preferable. Hence, the emphasis on tamping is perhaps less important than it used to be.

The fact that your seeing one pour from a single spout suggests that your tamping is not perfectly level.  But again, this really isnt that important, and shouldnt impact on your crema production, or more importantly, your taste.

I would be interested to hear what others think
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carlsilver
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Dec 2003
Posts: 231
Location: Portugal
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola/La...
Grinder: la Pavoni Jolly/Ascaso i...
Vac Pot: Normax
Drip: Melitta (manual)
Roaster: no
Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009, 6:39am
Subject: Re: How to get rich creme from la pavoni machines?
 

I agree with everything Ziobeege and Shadow say.
Today I timed my steaming before shot - 10 seconds. I think that's enough. Certainly no more than 15 seconds.
On my previous post I meant that may be the machine was not on a perfectly horizontal surface. But may be it's as  ziobeege says and your tamping is not level. Anyway it should not impact on crema.
If your technician thought the machine was getting too hot why didn't he fix that? But may be he meant all Europiccolas get too hot?

If I was in your shoes I would:
-Buy some espresso blend (not single origin) from Hasbean
-Steam for 10 or 15 seconds and make the shot as soon as the green light goes off.
-let some water from the grouphead to warm the cup
- tamp lightly just making sure that the coffee is well pressed on the borders of the basket
- Lift the lever very slowly
- lower the lever with a slow steady move
- Grind finer until you feel some resistance when the lever goes down.

Please let us know how that worked
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Oldnick
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Sep 2008
Posts: 13
Location: London England
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Vac Pot: Alessi 9090 Stovetop
Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009, 6:42am
Subject: Re: How to get rich creme from la pavoni machines?
 

I have the same set up and also buy my beans from Hasbean, it could be that your extraction is not uniform and that is why the coffee is only flowing from one side of the pf, the Rocky is a great grinder, but the coffee can come out a bit clumpy, after you have filled your pf, give the coffee a good stir with a needle and then tamp. This should remove any clumps and hopefully make your extraction uniform. Also as somebody has also sugested, after the pf is locked in, raise the lever slowly, so the puck is not disturbed by air coming into the machine as the lever is lifted.

Also ensure that the coffee has room to expand in the pf, if when knocking out the used puck, the dispersion screen is visible, you are possibly overdosing the pf.

Also as you beans age, you will need to grind slightly finer to get the same extraction, to avoid this I buy little and often from Hasbean.

Good luck with your experiments.

Nick
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CaffeineChronicle
Senior Member
CaffeineChronicle
Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Portland Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La-Pavoni Professional,...
Grinder: Zassenhaus z-151MA
Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009, 8:17pm
Subject: Re: How to get rich creme from la pavoni machines?
 

As a side note, every surface the espresso touches after it leaves the portafilter basket will supposedly "rob it" of some of the crema -- this after is the basic concept of the bottomless portafilter.  Unless you are planning on spiltting your shots, I would just remove the shot splitter -- especially if it is acting funny.  

The shot splitter should unscrew from the base of the portafilter without any difficulty. . . If it sticks, wrap the shot sliptter in a towel (to protect the finish) and grip it with some pliers, grab the portafilter handle in the other hand and twist.

Besides, IMHA the Pavoni machines look better without the shot splitter, and you can fit a wider variety of cups under them that way.
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thatch
Senior Member
thatch
Joined: 21 Nov 2009
Posts: 3
Location: Republic of Ireland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni: Stradivari Pro
Grinder: cheap and nasty blade thing
Vac Pot: don't now what this is
Drip: no
Roaster: no
Posted Tue Nov 24, 2009, 4:44pm
Subject: Re: How to get rich creme from la pavoni machines?
 

hi...
i am beginning to make sense of all this now, and have been playing with the La Pavoni Stradivari for a week or so now.
now my first efforts (using tinned Illy ground coffee) were actually better in terms of a crema than my later ones... so i gave up the ready ground and used some beans... grinding them more coarsely and tamping them more firmly... and you know... this helped me.

i have figured something out now... and i can readily get a crema using my ready ground or beans, and the thing that i was doing wrong (i think) was just taking too long to pull a coffee, and after not waiting long enough in between the group head filling and beginning to pull.

i am already developing different styles of pulling a shot...depending on what i am using by way of ingredients... but don't get me wrong here... i drink coffee all day long every day... so we are talking a lot of shots in order to practice this... :/

they don't always come out right... but as i get the feel of the machine... i am getting more consistent... and in all honesty... i think the 'feel' is an important feature of a manual machine... and worth just paying attention to..?

i can actually walk away from the kitchen now and more than just occasionally say to myself... wow..!! that is a good coffee... :))

god knows... i love coffee, and am new to the pros and cons of roast dates and good'/bad beans and stuff... but i live in an area where all i really have is a supermarket shelf.. so this will have to do for now i guess... maybe one day.
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