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Making a Morning Cappuccino on a La Pavoni Europiccola

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Uploaded on Dec 9, 2011

Good morning folks. After over a year of owning my awesome La Pavoni Europiccola espresso machine, I am happy to make my first demonstration of it. Certainly when I watch this I will realize better ways to shoot it to make the demonstration better and more self explanatory. In that case I will happily replace this video. (And yes, I am in my pajamas. What of it?) I bought my machine from Christopher at Thomas Cara, Ltd. in San Francisco. He's a good dude and really pulled out the stops when I came by to make my purchase. But I warn you, he can be difficult if you're not on your best behavior. Just buy it online somewhere if your spirit is weak.

In any case, I'm using 14 grams of Sightglass's Owl's Howl espresso beans ground in an Ascaso I-Mini Conical dedicated coffee bean Burr Grinder. The reason I call it dedicated is because adjusting anything beyond subtle adjustments is a ridiculous endeavor as you need to crank the knob so many times that by the time you get to a French press grind, for example, you come down with a severe case of carpal tunnel. I only use it for espresso grinds. I think I need to rebuild it as when I've been grinding beans for the last 3 months or so, it blocks up and sometimes stops. That's a disaster in the middle of the process as you gotta dump out the beans, grounds and beans get everywhere, you lose some of the 14 grams, you get anxious, and etc. I only paid about $250. for it so I am not sure if I could expect any better performance or not. It's my first electric conical grinder so my experience with them is limited. Anyhow, I'll certainly report back when I rebuild it. I bought it because it's relatively compact, it looks really cool with the glossy cast aluminum body, and doesn't have one of those dosers which, to me, is just one more thing you gotta clean.

So, anyways, I ground the beans, tamped it with my Reg Barber 51mm Short Bubinga tamper with the ripple base pattern and black delron, stuck it in the portafilter fitted with the single pour spout, then pre-infused it for about 10-seconds. I know my extraction was a little too long but that sometimes happens. Roman, Head Roaster at Evocation Coffee in Texas makes an espresso bean blend called "49mm Espresso Blend" that is supposed to be just for the home barista lever machinist. The philosophy behind it is based on the simple idea that these machines extract espresso differently, from the variable pressure curve to the lack of precise temperature control. It might not be available again until January 2012 but he said he'd email me when he produced it again. Let's all email him and encourage him. roman@evocationcoffee.com - He says he's kinda busy lately but wants to revive this blend. You can read about and purchase some at $14. + shipping per pound at http://www.evocationcoffee.com/49mmEs... Let me know if it works out for you. I want to try it soon.

I digress... Next, I cleared by steam wand and steamed my milk in a pricy "professional" Illy steaming pitcher to about 150 degrees fahrenheit, made a feeble attempt at a fern design in my cup of espresso, and away I went. It was deeeeeeeeeelicious!

You can watch the next espresso pull a few minutes later at http://youtu.be/G6kPPlUEdX8

Please post any comments or suggestions. Thanks!

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