New to me old La Pavoni Napolitana PA-1200

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?

#1: Post by andrewmac805 »

I was looking for a lot of advice haha!

I purchased this machine recently and gave it a pretty decent cleaning (removed the screen, cleaned the caked on black gunk behind it, ran 2 lots of dezcal through the machine, cleaned the grinder out with the grindz beans & used an air compressor to blow it all out).

First I don't know where all the hoses go for the reservoir. The exploded diagram doesn't seem to acknowledge their existence. There are 3 of them. Two obviously go into the reservoir, but there's a third that's 2/3 down in the machine that I'm not sure if it's supposed to be down there, or up high at the top with the other 2. It does drain water out of it (see photos). Can someone show me where they all are supposed to go?

Second, I have fully cleaned the grinder! No old beans caked on the burrs to ruin the grind size. I put it on the coarsest setting (still seems pretty fine) and try do a double shot 20g and it takes forever for the espresso to pull. I don't tamp it that hard. Takes well over a minute to get a 40g shot, takes more than 30 seconds for any liquid to drip out of the portafilter! Just eking out, it's a pretty bitter shot too.

If I use my old burr grinder that isn't that great and put it on its finest setting (for espresso), which is substantially coarser than the coarsest setting on the built in grinder, it pulls a decent 40g shot in around 30seconds with decent flow.

The manual calls for using the grinder setting 4 or 5 for espresso's. I had it on 7, the coarsest. On 5 I feel I'm going to implode the machine because it takes so long to come out!

So either I need to take the restrictor off the actual grinder to loosen up the settings or is the pump worn out and can't create enough pressure to push the water through the espresso?

I have some videos of the flow rate of water out of the group head and out the portafilter with no grounds in it that I'll try and upload.

So any tips and tricks for this new home barista will be appreciated!

andrewmac805 (original poster)

#2: Post by andrewmac805 (original poster) »

Espresso pour with built in grinder on the coarsest setting (number 7):

Espresso pour with $50 Amazon shardor burr grinder on finest setting (noticeably coarser than coarsest setting on Napolitana built in grinder):
I like the taste and crema of the coarser grinds!

andrewmac805 (original poster)

#3: Post by andrewmac805 (original poster) »

Here's the videos of the water flow rate from the group head and portafilter without any grinds just the empty basket:


#4: Post by Marmot »

Your machine is a La Pavoni Domus Bar. You might find more information when searching with that name.
I think all the pipes have to go into the water tank. You can adjust the grinder range when you take it apart.


#5: Post by Marmot »

The flow rate looks fine to me. I would take out the screws and turn the grinder coarser. The manual on this kind of machines often is not very helpful :wink:

andrewmac805 (original poster)

#6: Post by andrewmac805 (original poster) »

Hahaha thanks for the advice! The grinder is certainly good on the machine if you want to bake an espresso cake and you need coffee bean flour! The grinds are so fine! On #4 setting it's like flour.

I just want more space on my counter so don't really want to have the extra grinder. But the coarser grounds make a much nicer espresso in my untrained palate

andrewmac805 (original poster)

#7: Post by andrewmac805 (original poster) »

Took the restrictor plate off! Let her go wide open!

Seems like the grounds match the coarseness of the stand alone grinder. I shall test her later when I make some decaf affogatto's after dinner!


#8: Post by kitt »

Do not put all hoses into the water tank! The two that come out the same opening go into the tank (pump inlet and OPV return) The other hose gets pushed into the small hole in the corner of the chassis, it routes the 3 way exhaust into the drip tray, you do not want that going back into your water tank

andrewmac805 (original poster)

#9: Post by andrewmac805 (original poster) »

Awesome! Thank you kitt!

I did notice it would drip once you stopped the espresso process. It was never in the reservoir, have it poking through the front sight "glass" hole into the drip tray. I'll try push it in the little hole another time!

andrewmac805 (original poster)

#10: Post by andrewmac805 (original poster) »

So I got a 2" hole saw bit and just drilled the bottom of my portafilter out, and filed the edges to make it smooth.

I was reading about the gaggia classic technique of pre-infusion by diverting some of the pressure through the steam wand then slowly building the pressure till I see the coffee come out the portafilter. Then I completely close off the steam wand to give the grouphead all the power.

Seems like the puck doesn't have an impact zone in the center anymore as I slowly build pressure instead of letting the machine go full power right away.

I used 15.5g of coffee beans in and 30g of espresso out, but I'm not using freshly roasted beans. They are random two wise guys sumatran beans I found at grocery outlet bargain market haha! Practicing my technique on cheap, still getting a very nice balanced shot at the end.