La Pavoni Europiccola with coarse-ish grind

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.

#1: Post by martinlhoff »

Hi HB crowd.

New here, lifelong espresso addict. Just got an Europiccola 8, but did not spring for a grinder immediately. A good grinder is now on its way, but I spent a couple weeks getting the finest grind I could get from local roasters and cafes. (local --> Miami).

I quickly found that the Europiccola is very sensitive to grind, and really needs a super fine grind. The finest grind I can get out of the local cafes is too coarse.

In my exploration of what I could do to make things work with the grind I could get, I found that...
  • Tamp with all my might and weight :-)
  • Ensure the grouphead gets to 95C or more (using temp strip), but -not- to 100C
  • Short 'fellini' pump at the top of the lever travel range to get a bit more water & pressure
  • Increase dose 14g to 16g
  • Pull the lever firmly and accept a slightly fast extraction
  • Extract 40~45g
If I do all of the above, and the stars align, I get a good shot with a little bit of crema. When they don't, the pull runs really fast with no resistance, sometimes passable espresso, sometimes not...

It's an interesting experiment to have a key variable fixed in an inconvenient spot.

I'm still a beginner here, so what other tricks could I use? Is any of my tricks misguided?

(The grinder is on its way btw...)


#2: Post by ziptie »

Skip the Fellini, at least until you get that proper grinder. Fellini risks imparting channeling, especially if done too hastily.

Increasing the dose could help. Increase and do the coin test. Place a coin on top of the tamped puck, then insert the PF and remove. See if the coin has been pressed into the puck even in the slightest. (The coin presses up against the underside of the screen.) If so, that's a bit too much dose. Back off a bit and retry.

To maximize the volume in the cup without Fellini, ensure that the piston throw is adjusted to its max potential. 40-45g in the cup is unlikely without Fellini.

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#3: Post by Jonk »

Tiny pumps at the height of the lever travel (just until it's firm) will not lead to channeling.

Surprising that the local cafes and roasteries can't grind fine enough. Especially if it's a fresh medium roast. One of those <$15 ceramic hand grinders will do the job, just quite slowly and inconsistent.

martinlhoff (original poster)

#4: Post by martinlhoff (original poster) »

Cross-linking here to my post on the grinders forum - La Pavoni Europiccola - Grinder recommendation?