Thats It!

What you should have is a dark and steaming perfectly extracted espresso, topped with a thick layer of crema formed from extremely fine bubbles that is tan to dark red in colour. If you sprinkle some granules of sugar on the crema, it should be buoyed by it for a second or two before sinking. Now, taste it!

Your drink should be rich and aromatic. Or as my father-in-law would say, “it is like an angel pissing on your tongue” (whatever!) If it is sour and watery, the grind may be too coarse and the heated water isn’t staying in the grinds long enough. If bitter and sour, the grind may be too fine and the coffee is being over extracted.

Good luck and most importantly, HAVE FUN with your La Pavoni. Once you “get it”, you’ll wonder how it was possible that you once didn’t.


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

RBaldwin October 22, 2012 at 00:05

Great tips. I bought my Europiccola from our fraternity cook 30 years ago, and I’m still practicing! My poorest pulls are when I get lazy and don’t tamp properly. If I overfill the filter and don’t tamp properly, I usually can’t get a decent pull after removing grounds. My best pulls come when I take the time to do it right the first time, slow and methodical. Usually, that means my third or fourth demitasse!

Szilard November 14, 2012 at 16:25

To elena, Anders and shaun,

according to my experience it is impossible to prepare accurate espresso with too rough grind.
Go to professional coffee shop where you can determine finesse of grind.
I use 4,5


Basilio January 27, 2013 at 04:57

Thanks for your detailed instructions!
After working with the Pavoni for half a year I am left with one question. How many grams of coffee would you put in the double porta filter?
This could vary from 12-14,5 grams.
What are your thoughts about this?

Adin June 30, 2013 at 14:59

Thanks for this informative article! I’ve been having trouble with my pull. No matter how fine my grind is or how hard I tamp, the pull is weak. There’s hardly any resistance and at the end of my pull, large bubbles come out. Does this sound like a blow-out? So frustrating…

Craig November 25, 2013 at 07:00

Great info. Thank you. Have you tried using a naked portafilter? Had an awesome coffee recently with slow extraction using the naked portafilter and wondered if it would work on one of these machines

daniel December 29, 2013 at 01:51

If you modify a portafilter for the Pavoni, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. My Pavoni portafilters are stock. I do have them for other machines and it is great to see how you are doing…

anna March 31, 2015 at 06:55

Hey Coffee Guru,
Thank you for your amazing research – I’ve just pulled a great shot from my temperamental Pavoni using your suggestions and my oh my, it tasted so good!

Lisa May 21, 2015 at 07:54

When I pull I don’t get enough water when using the double portafilter. I fill it with fine grinds and insert it into the machine, then pull the lever up slowly and wait 19 seconds, then press down. I only get barely a shot! Please advise! Thank you!

gloria eshelman November 28, 2015 at 14:16

Hi and thanks for the pavoni instructions. My machine has been in the garage for 10 years so no instruction booklet.
I m confused about the two toggle buttons on the bottom side of the machine. One turns the machine on, but what does the other do? And do I leave them both on during the pull?
Actually, I have another question. If I want to make aanother espresso after the first one, how do I do it without having my previous grounds go spitting everywhere?
Thanks! I’m about ready to give up on this and buy an automatic machine….really can’t afford it though.


Mary Ann Smith April 19, 2016 at 14:28

My machine stopped turning on…i have a europiccolo…is the reset button that smallest on the underside (dime size) do i force off the black’disc to reset?

Butch January 23, 2017 at 01:26

Great site! I too have spent many hours playing with all the varibles. I shhould have just come here.
I get an awesome pull about 80% of the time despite how hard I try to keep things equal. That and the wife likes to try all kinds of different beans.

Steve Alvarez December 30, 2017 at 10:34

Thank you for the article. I purchased a La Pavoni for xmas on eBay. It is a Pro 16 2a millennium. It was advertised as fully rebuilt and “guaranteed to work perfectly”. When I received it and started to use it, it had a leak at the canister to base. I ordered a gasket set and replaced all the lower gaskets/seals. No more leaks, however, I cannot get the temperature above 114°F !! Also, I can’t seem to pull more than about 1.1 ounce. I have relived the false pressure and use the double shot basket. I’m having trouble visualizing exactly how to adjust the temperatustat. What else could be the reason for these issues? The seller included a work order and receipt for the work that has been done on it and they replaced 9 of the upper gaskets and he sight glass. When I called the shop, they said that they do not normally work on La Pavoni unless requested by the customer. Needless to say, they were not much help at all.

Erik August 19, 2018 at 06:03

I bought a Europiccola second-hand and have also been pouring (haha) through the internet sites trying to figure out the basics. Unfortunately, none of them explains how to turn the machine on. I have two switches on the side, one red and one white.
I think if I figure out what each is used for I may be able to figure out the rest thanks to your seemingly comprehensive tutorial.
Thank you!

john price March 25, 2019 at 19:18

Gawd, all these negative comments scare the crap outta me. I expecting delivery on my brand new europiccola anytime soon.
Just hope I have the patience and skill do get it right.

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