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Topic: new (to me) LaPavoni Pro (4 msgs / 187 lines)
1) From: Benjamin VerHage
So I'm not switching to the dark side, but I decided to get my feet wet let's say. I was actually just in Italy for a week and probably had 6 or more shots a day. I liked it, but after a while I just wanted a nice, big cup of my home roast. Anywho, I ordered a 2 year old LaPavoni Pro off eBay for 400 bucks. It arrived today and looks to be in real nice condition. Nothing a good scrubbing won't fix anyway. The guy who sold it to me said he took good care of it, greased the seals regularly, etc. Is there anything I should look for before firing it up for the first time? I still need to get a good tamp and some other accessories, so doing some work before firing it up isn't a problem.
I'm totally new to espresso - never pulled a shot in my life. I've been interested in getting a machine for a while, but just haven't wanted to spend a lot of $ on a brand new setup. I know the grinder is the most important from my experiences with coffee so far and the machines I was looking at were all big bucks. I wasn't super sure about it so I didn't want to blow a ton of loot on it right away and then end up not liking it. The way I figure it, I need to learn the basics of tamping and pulling shots before I do anything else. I may start my learning with pre-ground Illy or Lavazza or something until I can get somewhat consistant. Once I get to that point, I'd like to use my Rocky (even though it's not quite ideal, it should work for a while) to learn how to grind for espresso. One of the main reasons I wanted to start pulling my own shots is seeing all Tom's notes about how different beans make such great SO espresso. If I get past all this and
 still enjoy it, I will definitely think about upgrading my grinder and then possibly a new machine. I realize a lever may not be the easiest to learn on, but I'd rather start with something difficult and be forced to learn the correct way.
If anyone out there has one of these puppies and has some advice, I'd love to hear it.
Ben
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2) From: john
Hi Ben,
Welcome aboard.  I started with a Gaggia Factory, very similar to a
LaPavoni.  Now I use a Gaggia Achille for daily pulls.
First off, I would go ahead and use your Rocky and fresh homeroast.  Don't
even bother with pre-ground.  Also, for an absolute beginner, I can't say
enough about Thor Tamper's Ridgeline.  Heck, I use it for it's consistency
and levelness of tamp.
Next, in many ways, any 'rule'  you find for pump machines are valid for
lever.  Maybe more importantly, they should be the same.  That said, the
basics are 1-1.5 oz (2 oz in tough on the one you have with a double pull,
which I don't agree with) in 22-30 seconds.  A pre-infusion is optional,
but I like it to wet the grounds and nudge just a touch extra volume out
of the pull without disrupting the puck like a full 2nd pull will do.
In a nutshell,
1)   Fill the boiler, turn on the unit and let it heat up.  Bleed off any
hot air (opposed to steam) and pull a warming flush or two.
2)  Grind your shot (I like about 13-14 g in the Pavoni double basket).
3)  People get all fancy about leveling, chopping, etc.  I mount the
coffee, without any settling taps, swipe it level.
4)  Tamp.  With the Ridgeline pressure is a moot point.  With a standard
tamper, level is absolutely critical.  I push until the puck doesn't move.
 That simple.
Now for the shot
5)  Raise the lever, and pull about a 1/2 pull to get the water to the
head.  Raise the lever again and lock in your PF.
(put cup under)
6)  Pull with about 5 pounds pressure 1/4 - 1/3 pull to pre-infuse.  Raise
the lever again and pull smoothly for 22-30 seconds with as close to 45
lbs of pressure as you can (holding onto the PF handle or the how machine
will launch).
Constant pressure is my watchword. Don't add more pressure to try to eek
out a slow pull (you will just collapse the puck), don't slow up for a
fast shot.  Just pull this one and adjust the grind next time to adjust
flow time.
You should have a nice reddish brown pull full of crema.
Enjoy.
Rinse and repeat.
Questions or comments?
<Snip>
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3) From: Benjamin VerHage
Awesome. Thanks for the detailed reply. Is there anything I should inspect and/or clean before use, or should I just fire it up and see what happens?
Ben
From: "john" 
To: homeroast
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 2:52:30 PM
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] new (to me) LaPavoni Pro
Hi Ben,
Welcome aboard.  I started with a Gaggia Factory, very similar to a
LaPavoni.  Now I use a Gaggia Achille for daily pulls.
First off, I would go ahead and use your Rocky and fresh homeroast.  Don't
even bother with pre-ground.  Also, for an absolute beginner, I can't say
enough about Thor Tamper's Ridgeline.  Heck, I use it for it's consistency
and levelness of tamp.
Next, in many ways, any 'rule'  you find for pump machines are valid for
lever.  Maybe more importantly, they should be the same.  That said, the
basics are 1-1.5 oz (2 oz in tough on the one you have with a double pull,
which I don't agree with) in 22-30 seconds.  A pre-infusion is optional,
but I like it to wet the grounds and nudge just a touch extra volume out
of the pull without disrupting the puck like a full 2nd pull will do.
In a nutshell,
1)   Fill the boiler, turn on the unit and let it heat up.  Bleed off any
hot air (opposed to steam) and pull a warming flush or two.
2)  Grind your shot (I like about 13-14 g in the Pavoni double basket).
3)  People get all fancy about leveling, chopping, etc.  I mount the
coffee, without any settling taps, swipe it level.
4)  Tamp.  With the Ridgeline pressure is a moot point.  With a standard
tamper, level is absolutely critical.  I push until the puck doesn't move.
That simple.
Now for the shot
5)  Raise the lever, and pull about a 1/2 pull to get the water to the
head.  Raise the lever again and lock in your PF.
(put cup under)
6)  Pull with about 5 pounds pressure 1/4 - 1/3 pull to pre-infuse.  Raise
the lever again and pull smoothly for 22-30 seconds with as close to 45
lbs of pressure as you can (holding onto the PF handle or the how machine
will launch).
Constant pressure is my watchword. Don't add more pressure to try to eek
out a slow pull (you will just collapse the puck), don't slow up for a
fast shot.  Just pull this one and adjust the grind next time to adjust
flow time.
You should have a nice reddish brown pull full of crema.
Enjoy.
Rinse and repeat.
Questions or comments?
<Snip>
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4) From: raymanowen
My first real espresso machine will be a lever machine. My first real
grinder has been on the counter for two years, letting me work magic with
all types of brewers.
My earnest suggestion for you would be to re-think your priorities. Ask
yourself- Why grind coffee beans at all? Can't whole coffee beans be brewed
for excellent tasting coffee? They sure taste good in the mouth.
Nobody can put a whole coffee bean in his mouth and just taste it without
chewing. Try it. I'll send a coupon for a complimentary small cup of Peet's
coffee or tea if you can. Maybe whole beans could be brewed directly if they
were first subjected to a vacuum, hot water replaced the air molecules and
more hot water pressed the brew out after a certain brew time.
The LaVazza and Illy are ground to a specific size, depending on the brewing
method. What is it about Rocky that makes you think you can't do the same
thing with your beans? A new set of burrs will remove all your doubts.
Cheers, Mabuhay and Magandang Gabi- RayO, aka Opa!
On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 11:58 AM, Benjamin VerHage <
benjaminverhage> wrote:
<Snip>
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"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
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