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pulling N perfect shots on Pavoni lever?  heat issues
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driggers
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2010
Posts: 27
Location: Victoria, BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:44pm
Subject: pulling N perfect shots on Pavoni lever?  heat issues
 

I have owned my La Pavoni Professional for four years, and being a proactive learner, I have managed to achieve a single shot of perfection.  Allow me to qualify that; 4/5 times, when starting the machine from cold, I produce a shot that is as good as that particular roast can be on my machine.  So perfect means nothing goes wrong.

I'll add that when one of my shots is perfect, it is also delicious, and better than all but a few of the shots I have had at coffee shops throughout Vancouver and Victoria Canada.

If you are not there yet with your Pavoni, don't lose heart.  Stay Calm and Carry On, because perfection is coming to you.  Try journalling your shots, using a spread sheet like this one.  If you aren't a professional, just write it down the way you understand it, and when you get some advice, revise your notation! Coffee Journal Example (copy paste URL without the space)
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key= 0AteYMZKKbggZdFZPSlBfSmZJMHdaektLMjVudldRZ3c

In any case, many people will identify with the following problem:
I have never made two perfect shots in a row

I'm sure some of you are also looking hungrily at the Londinium I, but for those of us who can afford neither the ticket, nor the counter space, we should solve the problem on our current machines. :)

I plan to attack this problem by pulling two in a row every time for a while, journalling them both, but I would also like to hear your story if you have solved this.

Poll:  What is the largest number of perfect shots in a row you have pulled on your pavoni, and how?
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Prof
Senior Member
Prof
Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 701
Location: Seattle
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: PV Lusso
Grinder: Pharos 696
Drip: Aeropress
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Fri Jan 18, 2013, 8:44pm
Subject: Re: pulling N perfect shots on Pavoni lever?  heat issues
 

I had two Gaggia Factory 106's, a Pavoni Pro in tin-man clothing.  No, I never pulled two excellent shots in a row, and don't recall any I would call "perfect".  Most were good, some okay, and a few ugly.

Now, with the same Zass grinder, I'm pulling shot after shot of excellent espresso with the PV Lusso.  For less than a new Pavoni Pro, with the Lusso I'm happier than I thought I would be.

It is fair to say that I never had a good handle (heh) on the temperature out of the grouphead of the Factory lever.  That's why I finally said "enough" and sold both Factory's on CL.

 
LMWDP # 010
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russel
Senior Member
russel
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 435
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: 73' Cremina, '74 Club,...
Grinder: Super Caimanos x2, Forte BG,...
Drip: V60, Kalita Wave, Clever,...
Posted Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:03pm
Subject: Re: pulling N perfect shots on Pavoni lever?  heat issues
 

I use a lot of different gear both personally and professionally, and one of the best shots I've ever pulled myself came from a LP.  Check out this thread over at HB:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

Adding a digital thermometer to the group will really open up your ability to control the group temp, and allow you to make accurate adjustments to the shot temp at just about any time.

I have to say that I don't think anyone should fixate on or expect to pull "perfect" shots regularly.  Sound shots, balanced shots, excellent shots, surprisingly tasty shots are all quite repeatable on a temp managed LP.  "Perfect" happens, but so rarely under any conditions that its not worth stressing out over.  I also found that the experience of a perfect shot lead to quite a low place in my own espresso enjoyment both at home and out in cafes/bars.  It's better to enjoy that shot when it happens and then keep on pulling.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,841
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:31pm
Subject: Re: pulling N perfect shots on Pavoni lever?  heat issues
 

Prof Said:

I had two Gaggia Factory 106's, a Pavoni Pro in tin-man clothing.  No, I never pulled two excellent shots in a row, and don't recall any I would call "perfect".  Most were good, some okay, and a few ugly.

Now, with the same Zass grinder, I'm pulling shot after shot of excellent espresso with the PV Lusso.  For less than a new Pavoni Pro, with the Lusso I'm happier than I thought I would be.

It is fair to say that I never had a good handle (heh) on the temperature out of the grouphead of the Factory lever.  That's why I finally said "enough" and sold both Factory's on CL.

Posted January 18, 2013 link

As you know, your Lusso's group is disassociated in a way that permits much better heat stabilization. The La Pavoni, like the MCAL has a group too hot by shot 3, or if lucky shot 4. A cold glass of water for dipping the PF in, then inserting into the Pavoni or MCAL group does the trick.
That said, as glorious as my Cremina is (soon to be was, sadness) I've had a super excellent shot and then almost as good many times. Usually it occurs shot 2 Awesome, shot 3 nearly awesome.
My absolute best and worst lever shots both occurred on a La Pavoni. Different days, different coffee.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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AhZheng
Senior Member
AhZheng
Joined: 29 Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Singapore
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: La Pavoni Stradivari, UNIC...
Grinder: Ascaso I-Steel, Sunbeam...
Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 8:40am
Subject: Re: pulling N perfect shots on Pavoni lever?  heat issues
 

The problem with temperature control methods, like a cold portafilter or a wet towel to the group head, is that by the time the temperature stabilizes and equalizes from the cold spots, the heat from the boiler would have overheated the group head all over again.

For successful temperature management, the HB guys experimented with grouphead to boiler gaskets Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

I used a reusable silicone baking sheet to produce my own gasket. Coupled with the LCD thermometer strip and rinsing/cooling the portafilter between shots, I've pulled 8 shots of consistent espresso back to back until the boiler ran out.
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