Why is Europiccola shot so cool?

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#1: Post by Rickpatbrown »

I've been using my Euro exclusively for the past few months, but now we have a newborn and I'm back to the semiautomatic Livia. It's nice being able to pull shots at any time, without being committed to a 20 minute warm up process.

I'm struck by how hot my heat exchange pump machine outputs. All things equal, a double in the cup from the lever is way cooler. It's ready to drink right away. The livia needs a good 3 minutes to cool, before drinking.

This strikes me as odd, since the coffee doesnt taste like it was extracted hotter. In fact, the livia produces a bit sharper, more sour coffee, as if it's a little cooler.

One big difference, is the Livia doesn't have preinfusion. Also, it's a full size, 58mm filter.

But even if I let the Euro over heat (and coffee obviously tastes lik it), the coffee in the cup is still cooler.

Anyone have any idea how this could be?


#2: Post by RobAnybody »

And how do they relate in terms if shot volume?
The europiccolla will give you ~34ml max, If your Livia has a standard output for a 58mm group that means about 2x the amount of espresso so less loss of heat to the cup and also less surface area to volume to loose the heat.
Other factors; how hot is your portafilter on both machines when pulling the shot?
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#3: Post by guijan12 »

Hm, 20 minutes is a long time to get up up to operating temperature.
Mine (LPP) takes about 10 minutes.

Are you using the right switch position for heating.
And do you bleed air from the boiler, before pulling the shot?

If it is still too cold you can give it a heating flush before entering the PF, but La Pavoni's are known for overheating and not for remaining too cold.
What is your workflow?


Rickpatbrown (original poster)

#4: Post by Rickpatbrown (original poster) »

Just to be clear, Im talking about coffee temp in the cup. Based on taste, both machines are extracting ok, so I assume temp in the puck is similar ... but maybe not. Maybe the Euro gets higher pressure at lower temp.

This is a Millenium Europiccola. It only has one switch. I do usually bleed off some pressure after 5 min, but not sure it does anything. The Euro doesnt have a boiler pressure gauge.

I have a digital TC held onto the side of the bell with a silicon band (like the wristbands everyone wore 10 years ago).

I turn machine on. Open the steam wand at about 5 min, then wait for the thermometer to read 80°C (or more if I want a hotter shot). I start hand grinding at that point and pull a shot 1 minute later at around 83°.

I can pull the lever a couple times at 10min in and heat the bell up faster, but I feel this is more inconsistent than letting it heat slowly.


#5: Post by larrbo »

Sounds like your temperatures during extraction are under control.

The portafilter type could be playing a role for the temperature in the cup; a naked portafilter would allow a shot to cool quickly after extraction, while a spouted portafilter (especially a 58mm one) would keep the extracted shot warm. I actually switch to a single-spout on my Pavoni when mixing milk; straight shots are done through a naked portafilter so they are can be drunk immediately after. What kind of portafilters are you using?

RobAnybody also brings up a good point about the shot's volume; a larger shot will take longer to cool, all things being equial.

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#6: Post by Bluenoser »

If you are waiting 3 minutes to drink from your HX livia then likely it's brew water is way hot. Your sour taste might be a bitter taste from over extraction. Most HX machines need to be flushed to cool the brew water. You'll only know if you accurately measure your brew water temp from both machines

Rickpatbrown (original poster)

#7: Post by Rickpatbrown (original poster) » replying to Bluenoser »

I think you are probably right. I do flush the HX before a shot, but obviously it is still hotter. I'll have to measure to be sure, when I get around to it.

I guess the preinfusion is the big difference here. A 20 second preinfusion on the Pavoni results in fully extracted coffee at a lower temperature. This may be the reason that I enjoy the coffee better. It is thick and full, While still being bright and fruity. With the Livia, I can get thick and full or bright and fruity. It's hard to do both.

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#8: Post by Bluenoser »

I think both the preinfusion and the fact that you control the pressure manually allow you to get good extraction on the pav even if the brew water is cooler. Same premise on the Robot and Flair pro. Brew water is cooler than pumps but extraction can be better.