La Pavoni Pro in the hands of pros - Page 2

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F.M.

#11: Post by F.M. »

Couple of thoughts on this thread, which are all related to each other....

The machine's base should not really be an issue, as the amount of pressure on the lever required to get consistently good shots should not disturb the machine. If you need to use two hands, the grind is too fine, tamping is too heavy, or pre-infusion was too long. As others here suggested, I tune my grind and tamping pressure so that you can pull the lever down with one hand, with the amount of resistance feeling similar to slicing through soft cheese or fresh brownies with a table knife.

Related to above, #30-35 tamping pressure is too much for a lever machine. I have much better luck with 10-15lbs. I know others here have suggested even lighter, but what I hit is that without some pressure of tamping the puck is easily disturbed if you do a fellini move. #10-15lbs is a sweet spot for me where channeling is not an issue and the puck comes out intact into the knockbox.

About the La Pavoni basket. Irritating at first but now I love it!
Here's why- bear with me. I have a rocky doserless grinder. What I do now is hang the tamper upside-down in the PF-holder on the grinder. Then for every shot, I remove the basket from the PF and set it on top of the tamper, underneath the grinder spout. This makes it very convenient to spin the basket on top of the tamper, as the grinds are dispensed from the grinder. This has proven to be a great dosing method for me.

Also going bottomless has made a huge difference for me, it makes it much easier to tune in the grind properly. I was amazed at the immediate improvement when I went bottomless- it just makes the machine easier to tune as you can see what's happening immediately. My wife LOVES good espresso but isn't horrible interested in barista skills. With the set-up and tips mentioned above she's getting consistently good shots. The one tricky factor is I am constantly reminded that these machines require very fresh roasted beans, they are not as forgiving of stale coffee as a good pump machine.

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Psyd
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#12: Post by Psyd »

malachi wrote: I've got a lot of respect for the machine. But honestly, it's just about the least practical home machine I can think of.
Practicality-schmacticality! ; > Some of us would happily drive around town in a hand-cranked open automobile for the coolness factor. Scarf waving, goggles firmly in place.

It's those folk, often that fall in love with the Pros, the EP's, and the Tin Man.

Most of the problems that you had with the machine were because you were a pro, I'm guessing. Those of us that aren't exposed to pro kit too often aren't really put off by the steep learning curve, the 'hold your mouth right' approach, and the esoterica that comes from a fully manual lever machine. I've got the commercial two-group at home, and the Tin Man at the girlfriend's house, and I'm equally incompetent on either machine.
It did take a bit of trial and error, visits here, and a lot of frustration to 'master' my lever, and while I'm betting that what I find acceptable and what you find acceptable are probably somewhat different (ya think?) I've had cups from some pretty sharp shops, and form the occasional barista champ. I know good from great, and good from sinkable.
Like folk here will tell you, it's a different machine, a different speed, and a different feel. For me, it's simply get up and turn on the machine, and go directly to the loo for my morning ablutions. By the time teeth are brushed, and the kettle is rinsed and started for my girlfriend's tea, and I've ground and dosed my basket (while the PF lives back in the group, as suggested earlier), I also have my tamp inverted in the pf wire of my Rocky (the GF refuses to allow either of the Majors in the kitchen...) and balance my basket there while I turn and grind.

Here's another hint; The top of the Yoplait™ containers are 51mm, and will snug right into a Gaggia Factory or Europiccola basket...

By the time all of that is done, my lil man is ready. Temperature control (and I do use that term loosely) is acquired by watching the manometer and manning the on-off switch, and of course, the cold towel trick mentioned.

It ain't that you guys have to learn up to the lever, it's that you have to learn down.
I've long been a proponent that, with absolutely notable exceptions, and in a very generalized way, inexpensive machines are very similar to the very expensive ones. They make water hot and push it through the puck. The money only does some of the trickier bits for you along the way, the things that you have to monitor and do manually if you're not spending the money.

But I'm saving the instruction manual you've written in case the GF ever starts to drink coffee again! Thanks!

The above are all random thoughts and opinions. Any or all of them could be dead wrong.
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KnowGood

#13: Post by KnowGood »

WOW!!! Talk about a thread brought back from the dead!

I read this thread when I was starting out (about a year ago) and realized about a month or so ago, to not do anything that was told here. If there is one thing that I could have wished for when starting out, it would be that people that are familiar (or even pro) with pump machines, not tell people how to pull shots on a lever. I am also now convinced that there is a secret society of lever users that know a lot more than they would like to share. What I will says is that once it "clicks" everything seems so simple. You'll realize what I am saying, and see that I speak the truth. Unlearn and be on the path to enlightenment!
Lyndon
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Psyd
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#14: Post by Psyd »

KnowGood wrote:WOW!!! Talk about a thread brought back from the dead!
Hmm... I didn't notice the dates... Prolly 'cause I hadn't gotten my Giftmas Tin Man by this time last year, and wasn't yet cruisin' the lever forum
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KnowGood

#15: Post by KnowGood »

Sandy wrote:The "awkward" spout position on the portafilter can be easily changed by putting the spout in a padded vice and, holding the handle of the portafilter, slowly and carefully turn the body of the portafilter counterclockwise (unscrewing it from the spout) until the spouts are at a 90 degree angle to the handle.
I don't really understand why one would do this? Once the handle is locked in place, the spouts are in-line and one can watch the flow out of the left very easily. If anything, I'd suggest removing the spout completely or go naked. There are a few things I could tell you about the LaPav that I'm pretty sure no one even realizes - because they haven't stopped and looked at it's beauty. One is so subtle, yet so obvious, I look at every morning and smile! :)
Lyndon
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Psyd
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#16: Post by Psyd »

KnowGood wrote:I don't really understand why one would do this? Once the handle is locked in place, the spouts are in-line and one can watch the flow out of the left very easily.
Go out to the kitchen, grind and dose into the PF, and set it down on the counter and walk away. OK, now clean up all those spilled grounds :lol: , lock it in and watch the right spout. If you're right handed, you'll find that somewhat awkward.

No, imagine that the PF spouts were perpendicular to the handle. Now the thing rests as pretty as a tail-dragger on it's tripodal stance. It's also easier to tamp, and you can now watch both spouts from the left side.
The only thing that you have to do differently, to accommodate this is to rotate the placement of your cups if you're pulling a double as two singles.
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KnowGood

#17: Post by KnowGood »

Psyd wrote:Go out to the kitchen, grind and dose into the PF, and set it down on the counter and walk away. OK, now clean up all those spilled grounds :lol: , lock it in and watch the right spout. If you're right handed, you'll find that somewhat awkward.

No, imagine that the PF spouts were perpendicular to the handle. Now the thing rests as pretty as a tail-dragger on it's tripodal stance. It's also easier to tamp, and you can now watch both spouts from the left side.
The only thing that you have to do differently, to accommodate this is to rotate the placement of your cups if you're pulling a double as two singles.
Since the portafilter on the LaPav doesn't have the spring clip to hold the basket, it is actually more of a hassle to dose and tamp with the basket in, than to do it on a flat surface with only the basket. Again, just because the "pros" with "pumps" do it, doesn't mean it is the correct thing to do when using a lever. I like to use K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) as much as possible. Using a lever is about unlearning.
Lyndon
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Psyd
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#18: Post by Psyd »

KnowGood wrote: Again, just because the "pros" with "pumps" do it, doesn't mean it is the correct thing to do when using a lever.
Yeahbut, you miss your own point. Just because you do what you do doesn't mean that everyone else will be doing the same. You suggest that just because you do it, there should be no understanding why anyone else would do it differently?

I dose with the basket outside the PF, but prefer to tamp with the basket in the PF. There are more ways than one to skin a cat, and one must realise that their way isn't necessarily 'right', it just right for them.
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KnowGood

#19: Post by KnowGood »

Psyd wrote:
There are more ways than one to skin a cat
but there is always one way that is easier than the rest.
Lyndon
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uscfroadie

#20: Post by uscfroadie »

KnowGood wrote:Since the portafilter on the LaPav doesn't have the spring clip to hold the basket, it is actually more of a hassle to dose and tamp with the basket in, than to do it on a flat surface with only the basket.
Excellent thread. Wish I would have found it a year and a half ago when I first got my lever.

I have two portafilters; one with a retaining ring, the other without. With the retaining ring I use the spouts, and yes, they've been rotated so that the portafilter will stand on it's own. On the portafilter without the retaining ring I dose directly into the basket.
KnowGood wrote:I read this thread when I was starting out (about a year ago) and realized about a month or so ago, to not do anything that was told here. If there is one thing that I could have wished for when starting out, it would be that people that are familiar (or even pro) with pump machines, not tell people how to pull shots on a lever. I am also now convinced that there is a secret society of lever users that know a lot more than they would like to share. What I will says is that once it "clicks" everything seems so simple. You'll realize what I am saying, and see that I speak the truth. Unlearn and be on the path to enlightenment!
I personally found it a great thread. As for any procedures I don't agree with...if they didn't result in a good shot after a few attempts I discarded them.

What in particular did you not agree with/procedure(s) you needed to undo?
Merle