No crema with La Pavoni - Literally tried everything. Expert advice needed please - Page 2

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
vit

#11: Post by vit »

Do yourself a favor, buy a better grinder before wasting any more time. Will save you a lot of frustration. Although you may find some people here claiming they had a good results with it, even espresso, it's a toy suitable for grinding pepper and some kind of mediocre immersion method coffee (french press, aeropress) at best

Like many others, I didn't take this advice very seriously either ... ok it was Hario in my case, same 2EUR ceramic burrs, just in plastic housing. Taking ages to grind for 1 espresso and producing very inconsistent results

You have several quality manual grinders to chose from, starting from about 200 EUR

mathof

#12: Post by mathof »

You haven't said how light/dark a roast you are using. The best shops in London are likely to be selling very light, third-wave roasts, which don't produce much crema. Try an Italian bean such as Kimbo or Lavazza, available at Italian delicatessens and larger supermarkets. They are made to provide lots of crema.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#13: Post by homeburrero »

ojt wrote:As suggested by Peter you might be pulling with too little pressure. This is something you'll get a feel of with experience but the feel of the pull should be very firm, almost a small workout
You can use a bathroom scale to get an idea about how hard to pull. Put the machine on a scale, ideally arranged so that it won't slide backwards when you pull, and prep a very fine (choked) shot. Do a pull without adding any downforce except at the lever and watch the scale. Around 30 lbs is appx 9 bar. More than that and you are getting into "too hard" territory.

Be careful and patient when removing a portafilter after a choked shot or you'll get scalding hot water and grounds spraying everywhere.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

jwCrema
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#14: Post by jwCrema »

Here is a good read:
La Pavoni crema problems

I've been down your path and I was advised back then to get a better grinder. That advice was spot on.

Depending on budget, you can get a used Lido E in the buy/sell forum or buy one. A Lido E is a solid, inexpensive grinder or you can spend as much as you want. As others mentioned there are other grinders in the same price range as the Lido.

To the newbie, it's really easy to think, "surely a grinder can't make that much of a difference." If I were to put the pursuit of good espresso with respect to equipment into Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs the grinder is the foundation .

Mora2015

#15: Post by Mora2015 »

jwCrema wrote:
To the newbie, it's really easy to think, "surely a grinder can't make that much of a difference." If I were to put the pursuit of good espresso with respect to equipment into Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs the grinder is the foundation .
Feels like that should be in a sig line or a plaque or something.

jwCrema
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#16: Post by jwCrema » replying to Mora2015 »

If possible, I'd like to amend it slightly:

In Maslow's Heirarchy of Espresso Gear, the grinder is the foundation.

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yakster
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#17: Post by yakster »

Who's Maslow?
-Chris

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Mora2015

#18: Post by Mora2015 » replying to yakster »

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow% ... y_of_needs

Hes a psychiatrist who proposed this pecking order for how we meet our developmental needs. To get one step higher, you have to feel you've achieved each previous step. (ex, if you don't feel generally safe, you're never going to be able to feel self actualized) In the case of espresso, the proposal is we can't move into more developed stages without a good grinder.

dilin

#19: Post by dilin »

hollywood87 wrote:Thank you for your advice.

Grinder wise, I use the porlex manual burr grinder.
Whilst I am doing a fine grind if the water is coming through quickly, should I be using a slightly coarser grind?

Will take a look at some temperature strips as you suggested.
IME, the Porlex is the one causing problems. I have never gotten it to work with my '64 LP. My Virtuoso could, to a certain extent, but my banged-up restored dosered SJ does the trick.

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bill

#20: Post by bill »

The problem is most likely with your grinder. I use a Knock Feldgrind hand grinder with my La Pavoni and get excellent crema. The Knock is a quality grinder and made in the UK. Good luck!
Bill
LMWDP #43

I wasn't born in Texas, but got here as fast as I could!