R. Ohlendorf's Pressure Boost!

There seemed so much uncertainty in getting the water to the coffee with .9 bar, the Europiccola factory setting which of course, is too hot and the coffee tasted almost burnt and acidic. Anyway, before I got a pressure gauge, I experimented with a tyre pump attached to the steam wand outlet. I heated the water to boiling and no pressure and then pumped until the safety valve hissed and then brewed coffee. The flavour was better but the water still didn't get to the coffee consistently with a fine grind that gave a 'good armful' (your quote!) of resistance. [I have a Pavoni Jolly Grinder - I don't think it is available in the States] Then I fitted a 2.5 baracetylene pressure gauge (too cheap to buy the Pavoni at £30=$50!!) and really started experimenting.



To end the story, I.5 bar seems about right to get the water to just start flowing through the coffee (I modified the safety valve a little) and I fitted a small air pump (17 mm borex 80 mm stroke) from an old blow torch which conveniently fits in a hole made in the boilercap. Had the top part that shows chromeplated!

So, the drill is: heat the water to a pressure of 1 bar, froth the milk if required, turning off the heat part way through, run some water out the filter holder to get it hot, bleed more steam until the pressure is about .2 bar with the valve shut, pump with air to 1.5 bar and brew! So far this has worked really well; if I have to make more than 3 shots I will add some more heat but this is only guesswork. (A thermometer next??!)

Ohlendorf adds:

I don't suppose any Pavoni users will be in the London area but really good roast for espresso can be found at Smiths Coffee company, Mill Hill, London NW7. The blend is 'Italian No.1'. They are a large (12 tons per week) coffee roasting company, not a retail outlet but they will sell at the back door.

Later on, he adds...

It is probably not to relevent to most Pavoni owners but Smith's Coffee Co has moved to Hemel Hempstead. Also, I did have a small(?) problem with the modified boiler cap: I did not get enough epoxy adhesive around the bottom of the pump near the cap threads and it came apart slightly and would not seal. I have redone it and it is now holding but I may have to have a cap made of metal as the plastic cap seems to be made of 2 pieces and a bit weak with the hole drilled in the middle. The principle is good and I am glad to have made the change.