General La Pavoni Lever Model Espresso Observations From Sweet Maria’s

This Page is for information only! I am sorry – we do not sell demo Pavoni hand-pull espresso machines and will not have them in stock again. Please look at our other Espresso Equipment –Tom

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These are just a list of personal opinions based on my experience …yours may vary! I am neither the espresso techie, nor obsessive about the process. Others are, and I learn a lot by referring to them! (David Schommer, Ken Davids –we carry his book on espresso–, Barry Jarrett on, etc.)

Don’t be rash with a Pavoni: electricity, water, heat and pressure are all present in sufficient amounts to make you regret impatience! These points are organized in no particular order of importance…

  • Most Pavoni users only use the “double” portafilter (filterbasket), even for single shots. Tip: buy extra portafilters. If you are going to pull successive shots, you can have them pre-filled and tamped, producing multiple shots quickly!
  • Are you having trouble attaching the coffee handle (mallet) to the machine? You have too much coffee in the portafilter, probably.
  • It is standard for Pro models to hover around 1 bar of pressure on the dial. This is adjustable with the screws on the back of the pressure meter.
    On my europiccola, I heat it up to temperature with both switches on; it seems to heat up faster.
  • Water too hot can spoil crema and produce bad espresso too. This is usually only an issue with the Europiccola, since the Pro is self-regulating.
  • Grinding and tamping are the 2 most important variables in producing good espresso. Once you get these right, the Pavonis will work wonders for you. An automatic machine offers no feedback on whether these factors are right, but on the Pavoni you can feel it when you pull the shot. What’s even more offensive is that new machines include an aerating feature that boastfully produces crema from any coffee, any grind. Crema is supposed to be a sign that all variables are right -temperature, pressure, grind, and tamping. (You will also have less crema with wet-processed (washed) coffees –the shot can taste outstanding …so crema isn’t always the sign of quality).
  • Grind is right when the coffee is as coarse as possible but still clumps. Check this by pinching it between your fingers. It should clump, and mostly stick to your finger. I recommend buying a package of Lavazza Bar Espresso or such a coffee, so you can see correct grind (well, its a bit coarse and requires a hard tamp, but it works great) and learn to use your machine without dealing with this variable. Also notice the light degree of roast. Espresso is NOT a roast …coffees are blended for espresso and ground for espresso but the degree of roast varies greatly in Italy, where Southerners take a darker roast and Northerners prefer lighter. This Lavazza represents an average roast, on the side of light. If grinding and tamping are right, you should get at least a few drops of liquid after 5 seconds of having the arm up, then you can pull the shot. Most people think total extraction time should be about 15-20 seconds.
  • If you pull the arm down and it drops quickly either the tamp is not firm enough or the grind is too coarse.
  • If you attempt to pull the arm down and it will not move, or only does so with a lot of force …STOP! Your grind is too fine (usually the case) and your tamping too hard. You can eventually ruin the gaskets on the machine this way. You have also pressurized the portafilter and if you try to remove it now, hot espresso grind will spray everywhere. Wait 5 minutes for pressure to dissipate, then remove handle very slowly and carefully.
  • Spraying hot espresso grinds is also possible after pulling a successful shot and immediately removing the coffee handle quickly. Wait a minute, then remove it very slowly.

Please visit our web site for current information, detailed Home Roasting instructions, Roasting equipment and good green coffee:

Pavoni Lever Model Parts Lists and Diagrams
I dont think these can be found anywhere else on the web, so I wanted to share them with all you Pavoni-ites. There are 2 different parts diagrams, and then corresponding list(s) for each. Click on the thumbnail images to view the larger scan. If you own a Pavoni, it would be wise to save these and/or print them for future reference:

Diagram 2 Parts Lists