charliereid Senior Member Joined: 24 Jan 2014 Posts: 3 Location: San Francisco, CA Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sun Mar 9, 2014, 9:37am Subject: La Pavoni EPC-8 Epiphanies
After tinkering for a month or so with my new La Pavoni EPC-8, i have finally come to some conclusions that have helped me create some at least halfway decent espresso. The Crema still isn't quite there as much as i want, but i'll keep tinkering.
1) The machine takes a lot longer to heat up than the manufacturer suggests. Supposedly, when the light goes off after about 5 minutes, the machine is supposed to be up to temp. This is false. I literally had the machine on for 20-30min. before it was pulling decent shots.
2) Fresh Beans definitely help. I know this is probably a no brainer to most coffee aficionados, but the quality and freshness of beans are definitely a HUGE factor for this machine. It's like the difference between putting 87 octane in an Indy Car vs. the appropriate high octane race fuel. She just aint gonna run right without it.
3) My grinder is a Maestro Plus by Baratza and will likely need an upgrade. I have it on the finest setting and, although it gets a decent grind, i still have to tamp as hard as possible to prevent early flow from the pull. I've heard some say the tamp isn't necessary, or don't tamp too hard, but i'm finding, at least with my setup, that i have to tamp really freaking hard to keep things from flowing too fast.
My settings that seem to work the best so far:
1) Heat machine up for 20min minimum up to 30 min.
2) 14g of coffee in the double basket.
3) Tamping as hard as possible (based on my crappy grinder i guess)
4) Freshest beans possible.
The result is a very thick espresso and wonderful taste (better than most i've had at coffee houses on a good day), but the crema still isn't there. Any suggestions would be helpful of course, but i'll keep tinkering. I feel like operating a La Pavoni is like navigating a ship at sea with nothing but a Sextant and the Stars. Fun at times, frustrating most of the time, but when it is rewarding, it sure produces some tasty espresso. Now if i can only get the crema happening!
Symbols: = New Posts since your last visit = No New Posts since last visit = Newest post
Forum Rules: No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards. No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum. No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek. No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum. Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards. Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics. Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies. Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies. Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts. Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.