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Espresso: Lever Espresso Machines
Mouth Feel and the Millenium La Pavoni Pro
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Discussions > Espresso > Lever Espresso > Mouth Feel and...  
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Buckley
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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 2:50pm
Subject: Re: Mouth Feel and the Millenium La Pavoni Pro
 

This is a very good discussion.
(The only reason I am posting this is it is the best way for me to bookmark this).
Buckley
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DanoM
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Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 385
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 3:12pm
Subject: Re: Mouth Feel and the Millenium La Pavoni Pro
 

frankward Said:

I'm using a bottomless portafilter so it doesn't help much as a heat sync. I do have a ramekin under the brew head to catch the drips. I'll pour some cold water in that and lift it to the brew group. It cools it down and rinses the grinds off of the screen. It seems that whatever group temperature I start at, it still rises by 3-5 degrees as I pull the shot. I could say that having a range of temperatures extracts more flavor from the puck. I might be wrong.

Posted January 23, 2014 link

I want a bottomless portafilter for my La Pavoni, but I also like the heat sync of the additional brass on a full portafilter.  Also with replacements running $100 I just don't feel like making changes without a backup in hand.

I typically don't care where the shot temp ends up, only where it begins.  I glance at that end temp sometimes, but typically if there's nothing wrong with the shot or I'm not experimenting I really don't care.  (When I'm in test mode I try to watch too many things, jot down all the numbers, examine info for at least 5 shots before I start making decisions on changing things.  These days I just pull and drink unless I have a difficult bean to pull.)

Noticed your profile says you have a Gold La Pavoni?  Is it the gold plated one or really just a brass one?  Just curious how you like it.
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frankward
Senior Member
frankward
Joined: 9 Feb 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Massachusetts
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Professional Gold,...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, OE Pharos
Drip: Hario, Chemex
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 9:39pm
Subject: Re: Mouth Feel and the Millenium La Pavoni Pro
 

Dan, I don't think any La Pavoni is really "gold" plated, but that is how they advertised mine. I got it new and at considerable savings on eBay a couple of years ago. It is looking a bit worse for wear and I would probably be happier if it was really brass under all that gold plating and shellac; both are beginning to peel. Anyway, my La Pavoni makes me smile every morning. I even like the way it is getting tarnished.
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crazy4espresso
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crazy4espresso
Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia, La Pavoni...
Grinder: Pharos
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 5:19am
Subject: Re: Mouth Feel and the Millenium La Pavoni Pro
 

La Pavoni did some real funky stuff with their plating over the years.  Some models had copper boilers which were then chrome plated and then plated again in copper or "gold" and covered with a protective varnish. Crazy.
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DanoM
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Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 385
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 11:08am
Subject: Re: Mouth Feel and the Millenium La Pavoni Pro
 

crazy4espresso Said:

La Pavoni did some real funky stuff with their plating over the years.  Some models had copper boilers which were then chrome plated and then plated again in copper or "gold" and covered with a protective varnish. Crazy.

Posted January 24, 2014 link

Yeah, they did some weird things with their plating, some of them worked well, others not so well.  There are several brass plated over nickel variations, and some have extensive finish issues.

The 18 carat gold plated ones are a bit rare and wondered how thick the plating was - likely quite thin.  The do make them though with actual gold plating, although it's rumored to wear off easily.
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frankward
Senior Member
frankward
Joined: 9 Feb 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Massachusetts
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Professional Gold,...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, OE Pharos
Drip: Hario, Chemex
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Sat Jan 25, 2014, 8:55am
Subject: Re: Mouth Feel and the Millenium La Pavoni Pro
 

My PPG-16 Gold is listed in my manual as having a brass body and brass boiler. They don't mention the metal in the base. The "gold" on the boiler is starting to show brass around the tank where the steaming pitcher sometimes touches it. Any suggestions for polishing the overall finish? The thick clear shellac seems to peel off easily so I've been hesitant to try any abrasive products. It does seem to me that the chrome models wear much better than my gold plated Professional.
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OwenB
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OwenB
Joined: 26 Jan 2014
Posts: 2
Location: New Haven, CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola
Posted Sun Jan 26, 2014, 3:48pm
Subject: Re: Mouth Feel and the Millenium La Pavoni Pro
 

Hi there, I came across this post today and thought I might enter the discussion. After about 8 months of owning a Europiccola, I have found a formula that works for me. I end up with shots like the one I pulled today. I can go into the exact routine I have for prepping the machine, but as for the espresso itself (i.e. the grounds), I throw all good advice out the window and pack the double portafilter with 21g of espresso, requiring two (!) tamps: a very light one of the overfilled basket, and a second tamp at full pressure once the remaining 34g have been added. This is at an obviously coarse grind. This is more or less necessary to get good results with the beans I use, since, like many, if not most, beans roasted today, these 'third-wave' beans find their best expression in the 19-22g range. Despite breaking all the rules, the results I get have a mouthfeel like honey and a balanced sweetness that gives results that are different from, but as good as, the results I get in the cafe where I buy the beans from (Jojo's in New Haven). Perhaps the flavor profile has less resolution than on their pro Faema machine (it is certainly different), but the mouthfeel is superior, in my opinion. I can give more detail if that would be helpful.
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frankward
Senior Member
frankward
Joined: 9 Feb 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Massachusetts
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Professional Gold,...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, OE Pharos
Drip: Hario, Chemex
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Sun Jan 26, 2014, 4:23pm
Subject: Re: Mouth Feel and the Millenium La Pavoni Pro
 

Owen, This sounds very intriguing. I like breaking the rules to make our individual La Pavonis work better. I've already gone from a 14g standard dose of coffee to a 17 gram for the coffee I've been roasting lately. I'll try an extra 4 grams for tomorrow morning's shots. I might have to switch baskets. I don't know how you get that much coffee into a double basket without making a mess of the group head screen. I'll lighten up on the grind just to be able to push the water through that size puck.
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OwenB
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OwenB
Joined: 26 Jan 2014
Posts: 2
Location: New Haven, CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola
Posted Sun Jan 26, 2014, 6:08pm
Subject: Re: Mouth Feel and the Millenium La Pavoni Pro
 

I'm able to leave several millimeters of space in the basket above the puck at this dose. After extraction, the pattern on the group head screen is visible on the puck, but it is completely flat and undisturbed (as long as I do it right). Let me just say, first of all, that the results I get vary with the beans I use, and if I switch beans it takes several pulls to dial in to the dosage and tamp pressure. I have never gotten great results right off the bat. The other thing to keep in mind is that if you don't go coarse enough, you'll obviously choke the machine. When I first was playing around with the machine, I started too fine and went up in coarseness by one unit until I started getting loads of crema. At one stop finer or one stop coarser I get bad results. When I switch beans I have always found that this grind setting is still the best. Unfortunately, I'm using a Kyocera CM-50 burr hand-grinder, so there is no marking, so your mileage may vary.

My technique wrt the machine operation is as follows:
  1. Fill the machine and turn it on (everything closed). Usually portafilter is locked with basket in.
  2. Once the green light goes off (this is a Millenium Europiccola), bleed some steam via the steam wand. If I overfill the machine, water comes out too.
  3. Wait for another cycle (light on and then off), then flush the group by lifting the lever up to the point just before when water starts entering the group head and then down 56 times.
  4. Wait another cycle and then take out the portafilter; remove the basket, then lock the basketless portafilter into the group. Then lift the lever up to the point where water is about to enter the group. Slowly, lift higher until just a trickle of water passes through the group. Slowly raise higher until the flow is maximal. Then cut. The whole process takes about 15 seconds. The water is dirty and caught in a bowl and then tossed.
  5. Grind the beans (this takes me about 5 minutes since it's manual). The machine is on the whole time. I measure out 21g on my scale.
  6. Tamp into the basket (portafilter still attached to the machine). Then remove the portafilter, get any residual water out, and place the basket in.
  7. Repeat #4, this time with no portafilter.
  8. Wait a cycle, lock the portafilter with the filled basket in it. Slowly pull up the lever in the method used to bleed in step #4. Once the lever is up all the way, wait a second and then begin a very light pressure down. I usually get to about 1/3 down or so before I see a drop or two. Then raise the lever to the top again, with the same slowness as before. Then usually I'm ready for the step #9 below but sometimes there still is no drop, so I repeat the Fellini move until there are one or two drops.
  9. From the fully raised position, I place my left hand on the black cap of the boiler, my right on the lever, and apply pressure to both to prevent the machine from moving.
  10. I apply pressure on the lever until a constant stream is falling from the splitter spout (I just removed the splitter spout a few minutes ago, so this part will change next time), and modulate the pressure on the lever to maintain a slim stream from the spout. If it turns into discrete drops, I increase pressure. If flow is more than a very small stream, I decrease pressure.
  11. Enjoy the espresso (I extract into a cup placed on top of an inverted plate, to bring it closer to the spout); bleed & clean machine, etc.

There's my recipe. I hope it helps someone.

For me, usually this is good for only one shot. The second shot comes out too hot. If you're pulling more than one, you'll need to find a way to pull the first one cooler so that there's still temp room for the second. What I've also done in the past is turned the machine off between shots, and that works all right.
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frankward
Senior Member
frankward
Joined: 9 Feb 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Massachusetts
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Professional Gold,...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, OE Pharos
Drip: Hario, Chemex
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Mon Jan 27, 2014, 5:15pm
Subject: Re: Mouth Feel and the Millenium La Pavoni Pro
 

Yesterday, I roasted really fresh Guatemala Antigua and Atitlan by lengthening my previous profiles. I went from last week's City to a Full City roast by extending the bean drying time and the time after 1st crack. The grower in Atitlan told me that I had to roast darker for espresso but I was trying to keep it light for a stronger single origin flavor. Well, it is no surprise that he knew what he was talking about.

This morning, I found the mouth feel that I was after. Owen, Dan and others suggested more coffee and less grind. They were right. I couldn't fit 21 grams into my basket as Owen does. I tamped about 20 grams to extract about 20 gs of ristretto. That made a dense brew with a thick, lingering layer of crema. My Mazzer was set several lines into the coarse zone and the pull was about 20 seconds. It is really a pleasure to see the red striped cone ooze out of the bottomless portafilter. Owen's 11 step procedure is very close to what I have been doing. He even raises his cup close to the portafilter. The growers in Antigua told me to get the cup closer (even resting against) the bottom of the portafilter so the crema won't dissipate as it drops into the cup. Between shots I cooled the head down by lifting a ramekin of cool water up to the screen and brew group. Shot temps stayed in the mid 190s to 200 degrees F. I never thought I would do so well with temps that high.

I am very impressed with the knowledge and support CG and H-B has to offer.
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