La Pavoni Europiccola on deck!

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
Rickpatbrown

#1: Post by Rickpatbrown »

I dont have much to say here. I'm just pretty stoked on this little guy. Picked up a Europiccola from Marketplace. The guy bought it refurbished from La Pavoni a few months ago but couldnt get good espresso from it. I'm guessing he didnt have a proper grinder ... or wants milk drinks.

I've only pulled 3 shots and they are nowhere near great ... but, man ... they are pretty great! I'm shocked at the difference between this and my Livia 90s.

I'm using the BPlus Apollo handgrinder for a full analog experience. Kind of tough since I'm recovering from hand surgery, lol. I wish it had a stepless or smaller steps in settings, but it works pretty well. My other grinder is a Mazzer mini. It will be fun to compare when I get the Pavoni figured out.

I'm really excited about upgrades, too. I need to prioritize.
1) make portafilter into a bottomless
2) pressure profilers
3) bearings and shims to stabilize the lever
4) metal piston sleeve

Is there a general feeling on the boiler pressure gauge? Is this useful, or does grouphead temperature tell you all you need to know.

Also, is it normal to feel a vacuum pull as you raise the lever? Is that pressure from the boiler pushing down on the piston?

I really wish they made these completely transparent so that you could see what's going on inside the portafilter.


grind727

#2: Post by grind727 »

Cool. I miss my old La Pavoni. Wish I had kept it.

Regarding the boiler pressure gauge, it's not necessary. It was helpful to me when I was first getting a feel for the machine to see if I was up to pressure and ready to pull, but I found that my startup routine negated the need for it. Speaking of, if you're not already doing it, open up the steam valve for a bit to blow off any false pressure. I would turn mine on and after about five minutes, I would open up the steam valve for a bit, then let it heat up for a few more minutes. Then, it was ready to go. Long story short, yes, I think the grouphead thermometer is much more useful and the gauge is not necessary.

I don't remember anything that I would describe as a "vacuum pull" when raising the lever. If it seems a little stiff, it might be time for a relube and/or piston gasket replacement. It should be fairly smooth.
LMWDP #717

Rickpatbrown (original poster)

#3: Post by Rickpatbrown (original poster) »

grind727 wrote: I don't remember anything that I would describe as a "vacuum pull" when raising the lever. If it seems a little stiff, it might be time for a relube and/or piston gasket replacement. It should be fairly smooth.
When I raise the lever before I get to the point were water fills the group ...the lever will fall back down pretty quick, if I let it go.

But maybe a lube would be good, since I'm not sure when it was last done.

Thanks for the info.

The only down side, is that I have to wake up 15 minutes early to have time for everything. I can get an espresso out of the Livia in less than 3 minutes after waking up.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#4: Post by homeburrero »

Rickpatbrown wrote:Also, is it normal to feel a vacuum pull as you raise the lever? Is that pressure from the boiler pushing down on the piston?
Yes. When you are raising the lever you have boiler pressure above the piston pushing it downwards. It will feel like about 3 lbs of down-force at the end of the lever. After the upper seal passes above inlet hole to the brew chamber you will feel that down-force subside.
Pat
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ojt

#5: Post by ojt »

Rickpatbrown wrote:Is there a general feeling on the boiler pressure gauge? Is this useful, or does grouphead temperature tell you all you need to know.
I like having it, if nothing else as a safety measure and knowing your machine is working correctly. I sort of use it to time my milk steaming etc. With that said, for brewing the grouphead thermometer is way more important :)
Osku

scrane

#6: Post by scrane »

I upgraded my dual heater LP and found the gauge only useful to predict when the machine would be ready to pump.

PeetsFan

#7: Post by PeetsFan »

grind727 wrote:Speaking of, if you're not already doing it, open up the steam valve for a bit to blow off any false pressure. I would turn mine on and after about five minutes, I would open up the steam valve for a bit, then let it heat up for a few more minutes. Then, it was ready to go.
This was exactly the same for me, as well.
Heat it up, open the steam valve, let it heat more. NOW it's ready.

The phenomenon of feeling a vacuum on the lever as you raise it happens to me as well. I assume that as you raise the lever, you're compressing the steam inside the boiler.