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Espresso: Lever Espresso Machines
Getting started- newbie alert!
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Discussions > Espresso > Lever Espresso > Getting started-...  
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alterview
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 18
Location: Eugene
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Feb 18, 2013, 1:01pm
Subject: Getting started- newbie alert!
 

A bit of an intro:

I love coffee! I drink one and sometimes two coffee drinks per day. I have been using a 1980's home 'espresso' machine for the last number of years. Usually just plain black. As I am sure you are aware, these machine yield a cup of coffee somewhere between espresso and drip. Not bad but clearly not espresso. Also, I have recently bought an Aeropress and a Hario Slim grinder. It has been excellent for producing a nice cup while at work (terrible drip coffee at work).

I think I am ready for real espresso at home. I would mostly drink espresso, ristrettos, macchiattos and perhaps a latte or two. From the research I have done, I think a full manual lever fits my wants and personality best. While I would really love to have a Cremina 67, I don't see that much funding in my near future. A La Pavoni seems like a very good fit. The 'bay seems to have LP's in my price range on a fairly regular basis.

Questions:

The pre-millennium LP's don't have a pstat? Are they that much more difficult to manage temps on? I would make sure to get a temp strip for the group head. Any other tips if I were to pick up an older LP? Sounds like different baskets are a pretty common upgrade.

I also plan to pick up a Pharos around the time I buy a machine. I want to make sure I have a grinder capable of producing great espresso.

Cheers and thanks for the excellent forum filled with great posters,
RJ
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crazy4espresso
Senior Member
crazy4espresso
Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 144
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia, La Pavoni...
Grinder: Pharos
Posted Mon Feb 18, 2013, 1:53pm
Subject: Re: Getting started- newbie alert!
 

With the La Pavoni, you have to make a distinction between the Europiccola and the Professional model.  The Professional has the larger boiler and pressure gauge, and to my knowledge has always had a pressurestat, dating back to 1974 or so.  I believe the Europiccolas came equiped with a pressurestat starting in 1990.  I own an older model Europiccola with no pressurestat, no thermal fuse, no gauge of coarse, no nothing really.  Basically it's up to the Barista.  You use your feel, intuition, and experience with the machine to pull a good shot.  It's a completely manual process.  This takes some time to master.  Newer machines will aid the barista a little more, but it all depends on what kind of experience you're looking for.  All in all, the LP's are quite capable of producing great espresso, but consistency will depend on you, and could be more of a challenge than most are willing to accept.  Also, these are not machines to produce back to back to back shots generally, although there are ways to circumvent this.
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alterview
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 18
Location: Eugene
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Feb 18, 2013, 4:09pm
Subject: Re: Getting started- newbie alert!
 

Thanks for the clarification on the pstat. So is the PF (49mm to 51?)  size bump the main thing with the post-millennium machines?

99% of the time 2-3 back to back shots would be the max I would do. I know that cool down or cooling tricks would be needed if more shots were needed. I do think I am up for the challenge to figuring out how to make great shots on the LP. I would keep a journal and track changes made to help isolate what direction I need to move in.

Thanks for the response!
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crazy4espresso
Senior Member
crazy4espresso
Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 144
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia, La Pavoni...
Grinder: Pharos
Posted Mon Feb 18, 2013, 4:20pm
Subject: Re: Getting started- newbie alert!
 

alterview Said:

Thanks for the clarification on the pstat. So is the PF (49mm to 51?)  size bump the main thing with the post-millennium machines?

99% of the time 2-3 back to back shots would be the max I would do. I know that cool down or cooling tricks would be needed if more shots were needed. I do think I am up for the challenge to figuring out how to make great shots on the LP. I would keep a journal and track changes made to help isolate what direction I need to move in.

Thanks for the response!

Posted February 18, 2013 link


LP Pre-Millenium 49mm
LP Millenium 51mm (2001)

Edit:
Sorry misread your post.  The size bump is due to a change from a brass sleeve to a teflon sleeve which accounts for the 2mm difference.
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