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Manual pavoni


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Feeling a little drowsy before heading out for a late dinner engagement, I decided to make myself an espresso. In the mornings I use a double shot insert, but for this job I figured I only needed the strength of a single shot. So I switched out to the smaller one. . . but as I pulled the shot I started thinking.

The proper shot of espresso requires (among other things) a proportionate relationship between an amount of coffee and the amount of water that’s run through it.

I think, and herein lies the reason for this post, that the manual Pavoni always runs the same amount of water regardless of the size of the insert—single or double shot. While it doesn’t so much seem to effect the quality of the shot, I can only conclude that the machine will pull only a single single and a single double or a double single and a double double.

Anybody know which it is?

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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Sorry to see your query sit so forlornly, ned, unanswered and hardly even viewed. Further proof (as if any were needed) that the chrome peacock doesn't get the respect it deserves. Anyhoo, I'll make a stab at replying. Disclaimer: I'm sad to say I don't own a Pavoni and have had only a few opportunities to play with one.

I think, and herein lies the reason for this post, that the manual Pavoni always runs the same amount of water regardless of the size of the insert—single or double shot.  While it doesn’t so much seem to effect the quality of the shot, I can only conclude that the machine will pull only a single single and a single double or a double single and a double double. 

Anybody know which it is?

Pavoni baskets are small, though they're slightly larger if still undersized on the newer (aka Millennium) models. As a result, a lot of owners never bother with the single basket. As you've deduced, a single pull will force the same volume of water through the grinds regardless of which basket you use, meaning that the double basket plus a single pull gives a short double (more like a double ristretto in terms of volume). For a genuine double, you can pull the lever half or three-quarters of the way down, then push it back up, then pull it all the way down. (Some users advise pulling it all the way down, then pushing it half to three-quarters of the way up, then pulling it back down.) For a more detailed explanation, see CoffeeGeek's detailed review of the Pavoni Professional. Note: I've linked to the Operation and Maintenance page of the review; the releveant info is about a third of the way down. Also, the machine reviewed is an older, i.e. pre-Millennium, model.

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Hey, I wanted to reply, but didn't know what to say!

A friend of a friend, gave to my friend an old Pavoni needing work ... looked like $ 200 when it was taken for estimates, and so it is not yet repaired. I was hoping they would get it going so I could play (take it over as my own), but instead they gave it back to their friend who really doesn't know me well enough to bestow such a gift ... and so it goes.

A while back, circa 1993, a colleague had one and had gotten pretty good an making espresso with it, I am fairly certain they did the lever raising part way to make a truer 'double' espresso.

Enjoy your coffee!

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Sorry to see your query sit so forlornly, ned, unanswered and hardly even viewed. Further proof (as if any were needed) that the chrome peacock doesn't get the respect it deserves. Anyhoo, I'll make a stab at replying. Disclaimer: I'm sad to say I don't own a Pavoni and have had only a few opportunities to play with one.
I think, and herein lies the reason for this post, that the manual Pavoni always runs the same amount of water regardless of the size of the insert—single or double shot.  While it doesn’t so much seem to effect the quality of the shot, I can only conclude that the machine will pull only a single single and a single double or a double single and a double double. 

Anybody know which it is?

Pavoni baskets are small, though they're slightly larger if still undersized on the newer (aka Millennium) models. As a result, a lot of owners never bother with the single basket. As you've deduced, a single pull will force the same volume of water through the grinds regardless of which basket you use, meaning that the double basket plus a single pull gives a short double (more like a double ristretto in terms of volume). For a genuine double, you can pull the lever half or three-quarters of the way down, then push it back up, then pull it all the way down. (Some users advise pulling it all the way down, then pushing it half to three-quarters of the way up, then pulling it back down.) For a more detailed explanation, see CoffeeGeek's detailed review of the Pavoni Professional. Note: I've linked to the Operation and Maintenance page of the review; the releveant info is about a third of the way down. Also, the machine reviewed is an older, i.e. pre-Millennium, model.

Lifting the lever only halfway wont do anything, at least not on mine. As I understand it, the valve isnt open until the very top of the lever's travel. Also, lifting the lever doesn't "pull" a predetermined amount of water into the portafilter, water continues to flow as long as the lever is at the top and the valve is open. I bought my pavoni about 3-4 years ago, so I don't know how they worked before then.

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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If you can get about 1.5 oz or so from about 14 - 16 grams of coffee in the double basket with a single pull... I'd just focus on getting grind level consistent enough to get a 25 - 28 second pull time and see what transpires. I have a semi-auto E61 type machine at home but long since gave up on trying to do standard doubles or singles. I just do double ristretto's that are about 1.5 oz not including the crema. When I get them right they're better than any other shots I can get around town - even those I make at work with a Swift grinder and an automatic La Marzocco. The reall challenge is being displined enough to keep doing it regularly - when I go a week or two without using the machine my techniques gets rusty and it takes a half dozen shots of practice before I really get it right again. It's one of the inevitable hazards of working in a commercial espresso environment every day - sometimes it's tough to get inspired to do it at home.

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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. It had, since the original post, occurred to me that when I clean the machine, I keep the lever raised and and the entire chamber steams/drizzles out. Confirmed then is that when the lever is raised, water will flow, barring any obstructions. Of course the common obstruction is a basket with coffee in it. So I can see how maybe there would be the possibility of a self-regulating function based on the size of the basket.

Based on what you've written Owen, I guess I should just be grateful for the opportunity to pull two espressos (OK one espresso and one cortado) daily using the double basket in a relatively scientific environment.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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