La Pavoni Professional, am I gonna be in over my head? - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Jeff
Team HB

#11: Post by Jeff »

The La Pavoni Pro came from a time and a culture when grinders were simpler. Your SGP is probably comparable to what was available in a typical household then, if not better.

I would definitely hold off until you find you need a new grinder, or you've been pulling shots long enough to want a new grinder and then decide what its your desires and budget the best.

On the Porlex, I think it's a great travel grinder for pour-over. I never had much luck with it for espresso. Give it a try, but I think you'll end up being pleasantly surprised with what the SGP and a La Pavoni can do together.

dak52 (original poster)

#12: Post by dak52 (original poster) »

To clarify my earlier posts. My current grinder is a smart grinder, not a smart grinder pro. After doing more research on here it sounds like the pro performs a bit better for espresso but that there is still a chance the old smart grinder can get the job done. At the same time, I saw a good deal on a Baratza Vario (w/ free returns) and ordered one.

I'm gonna do a side by side and see how things stack up :)

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dak52 (original poster)

#13: Post by dak52 (original poster) »

Jeff wrote: I would definitely hold off until you find you need a new grinder, or you've been pulling shots long enough to want a new grinder and then decide what its your desires and budget the best.
You are totally right, I'm just being impatient :) The Baratza Vario was an open box on amazon with free returns and I got carried away. I used to be really into espresso/brewing back in my grad school and then fell out of it for a handful of years. I think I'm just really excited to be returning to a hoppy I find so fascinating.

LObin

#14: Post by LObin » replying to dak52 »

The Vario can produce amazing results for it's price tag. Parts are cheap and easy to find. If decide to keep it, check out this thread for a small modification that will boost the performance a notch:

The Alicorn: Achieving Precision Alignment with the Baratza Forté/Vario
LMWDP #592
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PeetsFan
Supporter ♡

#15: Post by PeetsFan »

I had one of these in the mid-1990's.

For two drinks only, it's great! When you have guests over and you're trying to make six or eight, it's a real bear, because it takes time to refill and reheat. And you know that when you heat it, you need to draw off steam first, then draw some water out of the group to heat it. But that's a very easy procedure.

But here is my advice: When I had it, I just bought ground coffee at Peet's Coffee, tamped it hard, pre-infused by feel and then slowly pressed the lever down. I always had a lot of back pressure.

I didn't have a scale, or a grinder, or thermometer. Nobody did. We just made espresso, and all my friends raved about it. I never got the hang of steaming milk with the thing, but mine came with... I forget the word, but it was a little plastic disk I could put on the steam wand, with a hose that went into the milk, and it frothed up the milk really well. I'd just put a tablespoon or two on top of the espresso and we always loved it.

What I'm trying to say: Yes, you can get that stuff and it will make the espresso taste even better. But you don't have to do all that. I can tell you for sure the machine will make great espresso without all the science.

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guijan12

#16: Post by guijan12 »

PeetsFan wrote:I...... I never got the hang of steaming milk with the thing, but mine came with... I forget the word, but it was a little plastic disk I could put on the steam wand, with a hose that went into the milk, and it frothed up the milk really well. I'd just put a tablespoon or two on top of the espresso and we always loved it. .....

The 'CAPPUCCINATORE' you mean :lol:
I still have one, but prefer the one hole steam wand.
That's definitely a good upgrade from the three hole steam wand
Regards,

Guido

PeetsFan
Supporter ♡

#17: Post by PeetsFan »

guijan12 wrote: The 'CAPPUCCINATORE' you mean :lol:
I still have one, but prefer the one hole steam wand.
That's definitely a good upgrade from the three hole steam wand
In the mid-90's, there simply wasn't the same availability. These things were very exotic.

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dak52 (original poster)

#18: Post by dak52 (original poster) »

PeetsFan wrote:
What I'm trying to say: Yes, you can get that stuff and it will make the espresso taste even better. But you don't have to do all that. I can tell you for sure the machine will make great espresso without all the science.
I appreciate the reassurance. It is easy to get carried away with optimization. It doesn't hurt, but it's good to hear that even when not "perfect" it will be good.

drH
Supporter ♡

#19: Post by drH » replying to dak52 »

Right on!

I had the Cremina for 8 months before I added a thermometer. The coffees were great. It's just easier now to tune shots.

dak52 (original poster)

#20: Post by dak52 (original poster) »

Had the machine for a week now and have learned a lot. I have made some terrible espressos and some pretty ok ones. Yet to brew a 'god shot' but I am getting more and more reliable with each brew.

The grinder has been my biggest challenge. I ended up not getting the Vario b/c I just can't afford it. I decided to go with a hand grinder in the hopes that I could get more bang for my buck. I have the JUNOESQUE from amazon right now, and it seems sturdy but there is a bit of burr wobble and I think that is causing some un-even gridding. I still am getting better results than with my Smart Grinder, but I think that is just b/c this hand grinder can go finer and give a better extraction, even with some inconsistent grind size.

I have ordered a 1Zpresso JX-PRO and am hoping that it will give me both more consistent grind that the JUNOESQUE and a finer grind than my smart grinder. From there I think temperature is my next big challenge. I am still searching for a good deal on temp stickers since I don't really love any of the mounting options for the thermometers.