How to get Pavoni shots on a semi auto??

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#1: Post by Rickpatbrown »

I have two espresso machines: La Pavoni Europiccola (post millennium) and a Pasquini Livia 90s.

My grinders are a Mazzer Mini electric and BPlus Apollo hand grinder.

I prefer light roasted coffee (East Africa naturals, Kenya washed as well as many others)

The Pavoni produces these AMAZING shots. They are juicy, sweet, bright, complex, thick cups that resemble fruitjuice or chocolate bars more so than what I associate with espresso. I had no idea that espresso could taste like this. Truly jaw dropping 4/5 times, lol.

The problem with the Europiccola is that it is one and done. It gets so hot after the first shot, that subsequent shots are over extracted, papery and bitter ... No bueno.

The Livia is a workhorse. It can crank out consistent shots all day long. The problem is that I can dial them on to be pretty decent, but they are NOTHING like the Europiccola.

Is it possible to get the Livia to make shots like the Europiccola? Or do I really need a temperature stable lever or PID with flow control $2000+ machine?

One of the great milysterues to me is that the Europiccola produces noticeably cooler shots. I can drink them right away. The Livia, I have to wait 3-5 minutes before drinking.

I do flush the Livia before prepping my shot and then right before putting the portafilter in.

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#2: Post by baldheadracing »

I'm sure that you can get close by using the same grinder and grind setting with both machines (and similar baskets and doses to equalize puck bed depths), and then using similar brew pressures, and similar brew temperatures.

As an aside, there are many threads around about pulling steps needed to pull multiple shots on a La Pavoni.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

Rickpatbrown (original poster)

#3: Post by Rickpatbrown (original poster) replying to baldheadracing »

I'm not exactly sure which methods you speak of, but I've tried cooling between shots with wet towels, etc. It's a real PITA. Ultimately, I want to be able to pull 2-3 shots with minimal fuss.

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#4: Post by baldheadracing replying to Rickpatbrown »

Heat breaks like a Teflon group-to-boiler gasket or the Bong isolator are fuss-free. However, one will have to sacrifice the Europiccola's quick warm-up time in favour of the 45-60 minute warm-up of typical temp-stable boiler-mounted lever groups.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

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#5: Post by cannonfodder »

Two very different machines so they will produce two different kinds of shots. Your baskets are different diameters and depths, brew temperatures are different, and more importantly, pressures are different. You can turn down the boiler temperature, flush more before a shot etc... for temperature changes but you are not going to get the same kind of pressure profiles. To do that you need something with pressure profiling. Then you can change your brew profile to match the slow decline profile and flow of a lever.
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#6: Post by Rickpatbrown (original poster) »

I guess I wasn't super clear from my original post. I am not under the impression that the Livia can replicate the lever.

What machine will give me similly delicious results, but in a more convenient, automatic turn on an hour before I wake up, two or three shots in a row, package?

Do others share my experience about being blown away by the lever? Is this the inherent nature of the lever machines?

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#7: Post by Chert »

I too thoroughly enjoy shots from the Millenium group Pavoni (at work) and enjoy trying to make coffee like that with my Decent ( my more versatile home machine). I wonder if my boiler pressure is a little cooler or our tastes diverge somehow, because unlike the premillenium units I''ve had, I can easily produce 2nd and 3rd shots I enjoy on the Pavoni Mill and need to let it warm up a little for my first shot to be ideal.
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aromas remain enticing, and I intrigued, ah coffee!

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#8: Post by borrik »

Pavoni is manual machine with feedback pressure control that could compete only with pressure profiling tools if they applicable to your machine.

You maybe could get closer to Pavoni by changing brewing pressure on your Livia. Different basket design as already mentioned here could be also one of the major factor when comparing on the same prep/grind style.
When switched to ECM from my Europiccola, I've changed brew pressure to 8.5 bar and got hi flow 20g basket.

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#9: Post by mrgnomer »

Rickpatbrown wrote:Do others share my experience about being blown away by the lever? Is this the inherent nature of the lever machines?
From an E61 HX my Strega was a lateral equipment quality move. For extraction it's a big upgrade. Without a flow control the E61 preinfusion/pressure profiling was minimal. With the lever it's so much broader and dynamic. I think it's the lever's declining spring pressure and controllable variables that consistently extract shots formerly I'd have considered closer to God shots on my old E61.

For a springless lever it's the preinfusion/extraction pressure control.
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Rickpatbrown (original poster)

#10: Post by Rickpatbrown (original poster) replying to mrgnomer »

This is definitely what I was thinking. Interesting that you say the Strega is a lateral move. It always had my attention, but the springs are very limited in their pressure profile. The temperature stability and pump fed group seem very attractive.

I wondered also if flow control does not equal pressure control (ie. E61 with flow control).

It's hard because I don't have access to try other machines and I expect them all to be quite different in flavor profile possibilities.