Milk foaming on La Pavoni - Page 2

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
Kaarina (original poster)

#11: Post by Kaarina (original poster) »

I got my best foaming result ever by going against the official advice of whirlpooling with the wand on the side. Thanks Paul, your saying that the Europiccola wand should not be on the side made me try it and it worked!!! I kept the wand centered for stretching, then moved it slightly towards the side, about 1/3. That got a great whirlpool going and the milk turned smoother than ever before. It restored my faith in myself - I was losing all hope lately of ever being able to create decent foam.

Paul L

#12: Post by Paul L »

Great, I think we're all learning something. The official advice for a 3-hole tip is to froth in the centre with turbulence, that's my whole point. I stumbled upon it by chance and later read the part I quoted from the HB espresso guide elsewhere on this site which also said so. On a 1-hole Gaggia frothing at the side was the best way but with the Pavoni it just flattened my milk time after time. Thankfully I had watched someone make a Pavoni Capp for me so I knew it could be done, I just cursed myself for not watching more closely!

Like you, I've got the initial stretching okay now, however I have not then whirlpooled in the way you mention Kaarina it makes complete sense. I'm going to try this step myself now as one thing I have found with frothing is that it is little things that make a difference. In one sense it's kind of surprising that with a few long-term Pavoni answers the answers did not already fall out. I guess that's what creating a lever section is all about though so that others who struggle will realise they it's not just them and can benefit from reading about the problems and how others overcome it.

Paul (jmalick) that looks good to me. I've watched the various latte art videos and my Gaggia frothing is producing a texture whch is nearly ready for latte art. However, I have discovered that whilst I can produce a mouthfull of microfoam all the way down the cup I actually enjoy a Capp more when it's a bit thinner. I will continue to practise on the Pavoni though until I can achieve what you have and your picture is an inspiration, I bet you're going to just get better and better at it.
Coffeetime (UK) Greens Club

Kaarina (original poster)

#13: Post by Kaarina (original poster) »

I visited a local coffee shop supplier and bought a small frothing jug. They had one of the national barista champions visiting and I got a private hands-on lecture in stretching and whirlpooling. Would you believe - I have been keeping my wand too low all the time!!!! It seems that the wand has to be ON the surface of the milk, not "just under".

Rushed home, and stretching with the wand on the surface of the milk, I got the entire jug full of nice microfoam for the very first time. Previously I had always ended up with some milk at the bottom. I tried whirlpooling with the wand deep and alternatively with the wand on the surface, and that made no real difference - I still had the entire jug full of microfoam!!

And it still gets better. I had paid no attention to latte art yet, since I never had a jugful of microfoam to pour. Today, when I realised I had a full jug of the thing, I carelessly poured it into a cappa cup, and by mistake got an apple!!!! This really is the lucky monkey method working... :D

Paul L

#14: Post by Paul L »

This is what I find so hard Kaarina. With a 1-hole wand tip I can achieve this perfectly. With a 3-hole tip one or more hole always seem to be too low or too high so I can work hard and get an okay result but not as good as you yet. As the wand is at an angle I cannot overcome this by getting more vertical. I have to get the spare tip I bought converted to 1-hole. Of course, this should not be necessary and it's all in the micro-details, I'm convinced. There is now 1 more person proving great foam is possible with a Pavoni, congratulations!
Coffeetime (UK) Greens Club

Kaarina (original poster)

#15: Post by Kaarina (original poster) »

Thanks for encouragement, Paul :)
You know, I have sprayed milk around as well during the last weeks... I thought the holes are stupidly situated, too. But it really is possible to keep the wand at such a level that there are deep indentations in the milk level but no spray towards your face. And very soon the foam starts to "protect" the milk from spraying upwards. Don't despair, I think you do not need the special 1-hole wand, just some more milk for practising :D


#16: Post by Ritske »

Hi everyone,

I bought an old two-switch Europiccola a month and a half ago, and I'm having problems getting decent froth. Can anyone give me some tips on how to froth properly with the three-hole steam tip that came with the machine? I replaced it with a one-hole steam tip, hoping that that would improve things, but so far that hasn't produced excellent froth either, although it is better than what I got before.



User avatar

#17: Post by HB »

Ritske wrote:Can anyone give me some tips on how to froth properly with the three-hole steam tip that came with the machine?
I merged your question with a prior thread on the same subject. Searching on "La Pavoni frothing" found other interesting previous discussions (e.g., Pavoni Frothing and pressure regulation. Dave made some helpful demonstration videos on frothing technique too:

From Lever machine pull video
«missing video»

From Milk Frothing in a McDonald's Hot Cup
«missing video»
Dan Kehn


#18: Post by Ritske »

Hi Dan,

Ah, I was wondering where my post went! Thanks - I should have checked whether there were active recent threads about the same topic. I checked a while ago, and didn't find any. Should have checked again.

Kaarina and Paul L,

Sounds like you guys were (or are) struggling with the same problem! Could you perhaps post what size your frothing pitchers are, and how much milk you froth in one session? Also, at what angle do you have the steam wand? I've been trying everything from nearly vertical to a 45 degree angle, with very unimpressive results. Oh, and Paul, like you I thought changing to a one-hole tip would make life easier. I now have a one hole tip, and while my froth is better, it's still not microfroth...

But you guys now seem to be getting good results with the three hole tip, so I guess I'm going to put that back on and do some more experiments!!!

cheers ritske


#19: Post by Gilgamesh »

though the discussion is not up to date anymore, I have had the sam problems you described, and after a lot of practice and gallons of milk I now achieve the best result with the following configuration:

I use 0,6l pitcher and fill it approximately to a half. while the machine heats up i put it into the freezer, so the frothing process can be elongated a little.
I have an older europiccola and at first I was annoyed that the steam pipe is to close to the machine, but I came to a very simple solution, I bent it a little more outwards. I did not manipulate on the three holes, the more holes the more air you can force into the milk.
The best result I have achieved with 3,8% whole milk. I hold the pitcher parallel to the floor and put the pipe in slightly decentered. than turn the steam on and move the pitcher slightly downwards until the hissing can be heard. After the milk is handwarm I move the pitcher just a little up so no hissing can be heard and the air is distributed in the milk pretty evenly. I remove the pitcher it becomes so warm I can not hold my hand there anymore.
there is no need to hold the pitcher in any special position, just parallel to the floor and the pipe slightly decentered, that is all.
I can even come up with something like a leaf on the milk.
Happy frothing!