I’m replacing the seals on my La Pavoni Europiccula, and I found these instructions on how to do it from How to Operate, Maintain, and Repair Your la Pavoni Espresso Machine. Good stuff, very helpful. :-) Together with La Pavoni’s part overview (the first page), it was a real help. :-) Only thing I couldn’t do was replace the mini rubber gasket because I don’t have ring pliers.

Light roast

Coffee 2006-09-16

I must admit I’m getting confused with which roast is which. The two cups I’ve tried this morning have both been what I believe is 160C - 5m, 190C - 4m. It’s very light, smells very nice like chocolate, but with both cups I’ve had (grinded at 5 and then 8) they have been acidy like regular coffee, watery like regular coffee and no more taste. The last cup had a decent amount of crema, but that just goes to show that you can have crema without taste.

What a difference 45 seconds makes! I had a cup of the 176C - 2m, 204C - 3m, 232C - 3m that I roasted the 12th, which is 45 seconds shorter than the roast of the 10th and it’s got so much less flavour. It still tastes nice, but there are big things missing. Very interesting since these 45 seconds were slashed because I thought they’d need to be less burnt, not because I heared a crack earlier.

Today has been a quite caffeinated day. I’ve had two cups of the light preset 1 roast, one grinded at 4 and one at 6. Both turned out quite bitter. Luckily my milk frothing is going better by the day, so they turned out to be quite drinkable.

The next I tried was the now four days old 176C - 2m, 204C - 3m, 232C - 3m45s. I dialled in 6 and got a cup with lots of crema and after a while a few drops of oil broke the crema surface. It was not bitter at all and quite tasty, a roast I’d most definately would try again. :-)

I had a second cup of this, dialled in at 8 which also gave me nice crema, oil and a lovely taste. This time I added some amaretto syrup and frothed milk and had a nice tim-tam with it. :-) Umm…. :-)

Taste two

Coffee 2006-09-13

Todays cups were the four day old roast of preset 1 (only two handfulls of beans left) and the five day old very dark roast of preset 2.

The preset 1 was the first one to go. The beans made just a double basket at setting 4 on the Rocky. How little coffee two handfulls of beans give doesn’t cease to amaze me. The crema was there but by the end of the pull it was “pushed away” by the last five seconds of drops. There wasn’t too much crema in total, but it looked nice. The taste was really nice, although quite light, not quite unexpected from a light roast. When I cleaned up I noticed the puck had shattered with two large cracks going right through it. I haven’t seen that earlier.

For the second shot, an hour or so later so that the Pavoni had had a long time to cool down, the crema was identical. The cup and group head had been preheated just as in the previous shot and the Rocky was still dialled in at 4. The pull required was still nice, strong and steady. I believe it took about as long time, some 20-25 seconds. The taste was more burnt, which was expected from the very dark roast I had the first day. My conclusion from day 1 remains, I had overdone it with preset 1. This worries me as my variant of Randy’s famous “preset 10” was also quite dark, but I’ll come back to that one another day. This one should be at its prime now and was quite bitter, actually. Much of that “wow”-taste is gone.

Oh well, tomorrow I have some new grinds ready. I haven’t heared back from Risteriet yet regarding a tamper and some fresh green beans, but I’m sure they’ll get back to me in no time. In the meanwhile, there is still loads to learn. For this dark coffee I certainly need to froth some milk. Now, how do I do that? ;-)

Note to self: this one will be called “the big eared poodle”, my first latte art creation. ;-)
Big Eared Poodle