Learning to Use a La Pavoni Manual Espresso Machine

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Gail experiments with a La Pavoni manual lever espresso machine, trying different grind levels in order to extract the best espresso shot.


Steven Bird says:

Such a beautiful machine :-)

Anthony Tam says:

I don’t quite get it but it sure is beautiful.

Noah Yedigarian says:

Could you also tell me exactly what type of beans you used in the video, I
live in northern VA and I only have access to your online shop, since I
have no coffee shops nearby
Thank you

Alexis Pappagianis says:

How long does it take the water to heat up in the boiler?

christopherpista75 says:

I had one of these for years coupled with a mazzer super jolly, super
finicky, I actually had someone adjust the thermostat on it because it
keeps getting hotter. He said once it reaches the temp shut it off then
pull the shot. When you do pull a good shot it was fantastic but you get a
lot of bad ones.

Brian Carver says:

Hoe To Use a La Pavoni Manual Espresso Machine

Noah Yedigarian says:

Hi, I just recovered my parents la pavoni europicola that has been stored
and never used for almost 20 years. It hurts my eyes to be seeing them
using Starbucks coffee beans with a cheap $5. grinder.
Could you please give me the best list for coffee beans and a grinder no
more than $200- that would work beautifully with this la pavoni. Also
aren’t you supposed to drink it out of very small designated frappuccino
cups rather than small shot glass’ from the pub- but then how many press’
are you supposed to do from the la pavoni.

Thank you for your time

Barry Fitzgerald says:

I just happened on this video by accident. Perhaps because I bought great
Hott top coffee roaster from Seattle Coffee. My first espresso machine was
a La Pavoni manual bought in SF around 1980 for $169. I was always
disappointed by the steaming, not enough power. It was followed a few years
lat by a Pasquinni Livietta vibrating pump which seem much better for
steaming. Then about 5 years ago I got an Elektra Maxi 2 group, full cafe
machine, WOW!. I got it off eBay for $750 and does it steam!
I have a question though. I have always assumed one fills the portafilter
high enough even after tamping for the group head filter to press on it and
keep it from expanding when the hot water enters. But Kat seems to
contradict this….comments?
BTW, that looked a killer shot pulled on the La Pavoni….fine tuning is
definitely beneficial.

rudyman22 says:

Really nice vid. 🙂 I have just bought a new la pavoni professional and I’m
having troubles with using it. If I pull the lever up, the coffee starts to
flow out and if I pull the lever down I just cannot feel the resistance.
Can you advice me, what to do? I’m a newbie, so probably a stupid question
🙂 thx

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@ocshorty86 I love the La Pavonis and while we did get an Elektra in here
to test, we sold it almost immediately so I haven’t had much experience
with that style. I think the levers have the potential to produce excellent
shots but you have to know how to mediate their temp a bit — they can get
a little on the hots side, but there are tons of aficionados that have all
manner of tips/tricks on making their shots using it, so lots of resources
to get you started. – Kat

Pieter-Ben Smit says:

we’re opening a coffee roastery(is that a word?) we roast coffee and we
think roastery sounds cooler. we got a two group manual Astoria. how does
the manual machines compare to semi automatics?

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Sounds good! Glad you’re finding them to be helpful 🙂 – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@funwithcoffee You’re welcome! It’s a fun machine to learn — and you can
get really phenomenal shots with it 🙂 – Kat

Antonio Pickett says:

Need To Breathe: More Time.

dominic23wong says:

I got so hooked on watching people using a piston Pavoni espresso machine.
I find it so interesting with these funny old-style machines. Cat, thanks
for posting it. I won’t be able to come to your shop though unless I fly
from the other side of the Atlantic!

Samuel Kanenwisher says:

I like how you show us the different stages of adjusting the grind to
finally get a good shot of espresso. Thank you.

Matthew Finger says:

Haha I love you girls <3

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@antietamcv We are very familiar how to make all kinds of espresso drinks.
This is called ‘Learning to Use the La Pavoni’ because it was the first
time we had ever used this machine — and she got a great shot with limited
work, etc. Your statement is inaccurate and not in the spirit of our
channel. – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

If you can swing the Nuova Simonelli Oscar, it’s a small, commercial-grade
heat exchanger (you can brew & steam at the same time) that is NSF rated
for businesses. – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@klarinetta It would make sense that you would go finer & lighter on this
machine; also, a grinder that is stepless vs. stepped will give you the
best results. – Kat

Rb Bk says:

Nice video. I’m in the market for a new machine, and I’m interested in the

Tiffany Lees says:

I am very jealous of all those toys! keep up the good work 🙂

Warrenff5 says:

@zildjiandrummer91 I was just about to say that. Love that band. My cousin
plays bass and vocals in the band..

dablacksunshine says:

i’ve seen ur comments earlier as well that this one makes nice shots.. I
like espresso but not a lotta people here go for shots.. now im confused,
could u suggest any other espresso machines $1000 for my requirement please
thank you

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Hey – your experiences with a commercial grade lever machine will be quite
different. I learned on a Cimbali and not only is the action different (you
pull down to engage the pressure and then release up) but it’s much more
consistent. Plus you have much better temperature regulation and large
boilers on the machine you’re thinking about getting, so the hassle/work
involved with the Pavoni would not be an issue. Feel free to message if you
have more questions. – Kat

Matthew Hoffman says:

Those little shots are like Italian restretti and they taste very, very
good. If you pull them into one cup, you have an incredibly satisfying
double ristretto!

GreenmonstaLB says:

Would you recommend this machine for a small, low-volume coffee shop?

sashamanster says:

You are confusing boiler pressure with piston pressure. The pressure gauge
on the machine shows the steam pressure in the boiler. If you bleed the
“false pressure” through the steam wand after starting up, the pressure
exactly correlates with water temperature. When you push on the piston, the
pressure of the water going through the coffee isn’t shown on the gauge,
but you want to aim for 9 bar. If it feels too easy and you get little
crema, you should grind finer as shown in the video.

Hue Nelson says:

Greetings from N.California! Wish I was there to try a shot! 🙂

dablacksunshine says:

hi kat & gail I serve around 30 coffees on an average every morning on my
bed & breakfast place from 7am to 9 am n not a lot prefer espresso would
they? right now i serve nescafe+milk. Should I choose la pavoni pc16 cuz it
looks gorgeous or rancilio silvia. I am gonna buy rancilio rocky doserless.
Im in India, I’d have to import any of these machines, which one does not
need any maintenance at all. I cant be arsed buying spares from outside the
country often. thank you

VideoPahis says:

That last shot looks great! Just found your youtube channel. Thanks for
great videos and greetings from Finland! =)

dexterityhunter says:

Very nice instructional video! I would love to see you review more lever
machines such as Elektra, Ponte Vecchio, Olympia … Best wishes!

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@ooden A local roaster I’ve tried is Zoka – they have some great single
origins. Also check out Seattle Coffee Works (they are unrelated to us)
because they have awesome beans roasted in the Pike Market. Or check out Go
Coffee Go which will deliver local/artisan roast beans to you from all over
the country and try some different ones. Let me know what you come up with
🙂 – Kat

dorothylauralee says:

How did you know when the machine was ready to go? I’ve installed a
pressure gauge on my pavoni but you didn’t have one and you were able to
extract excellent crema. I would like to find a way to consistently pull
shots like this.

Dustin Thiessen says:

@Warrenff5 that’s awesome! they’re a great band for sure!

Dan Salazar says:

Really getting into espressos and Im thinking about upgrading to a La
Pavoni (pre millenium ($400 on craigslist)) from a real basic DeLonghi (the
E.S.E. one). Think its a good move for me? Heard there is some problem
controlling the temp. Love your videos! so informative THANKS!

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

It sounds like your grind isn’t fine enough or your tamp not firm enough.
You’ll need to mess around with the grind to improve the extraction rate. –

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@bazzathemammoth If you get the shim kit upgrade then, yes, the Smart
Grinder would work on this machine. – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Enjoy! 🙂 – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

They vary in cost, depending on the size and the style. Take a look at our
site for current pricing – Kat

LyndonTCorbett says:

My guess as to why the portafilter locks in reverse is because you can use
it for leverage or to steady the pull. I believe they assume the user is
right handy.

bazzathemammoth says:

Hey guys. I am looking at buying a grinder for good, and want to eventually
buy a La Pavoni lever machine. I can get breville gear for cheap and so I
was thinking about buying the new breville grinder (BCG800). Would it be
good enough for the La Pavoni?

Petr Chutný says:

@SeattleCoffeeGear the one you get filled by water by pulling the lever up

ooden says:

Hey ladies, I’ve tried some of Velton’s coffee and loved it! Are there any
other roasters that you’ve tried and really liked? Thanks so much!

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Hahaha – we do have a lot of fun toys 😀 Glad you’re enjoying the videos! –

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@Yaowser You know, I think we used the Rancilio Rocky and I have no idea
our end setting as this was shot over 3 years ago … sorry :/ – Kat

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