Making Cappuccino with a Pavoni Europiccola

The overall sequence for producing good cappuccino is complex and subject to personal preferences. I normally make an espresso and immediately steam just enough milk for this one drink. Then make another espresso, steam milk etc etc.

The reason for this seemingly complex and labour intensive sequence is two fold. Firstly I find that if I steam a large jug of milk the texture is not as good as when I do smaller quantities. Secondly the Europicccola is missing what I now consider to be a major component. Namely a three way valve. Lacking this device one has to wait about 2 minutes before removing the porta filter from the machine.

Failure to wait a few minutes will result in a “coffee cough”. As the pictures show this can be quite violent, messy and potentialy dangerous. A "coffee cough" is caused by the sudden release of stored pressure from the group; pressure which a three way valve would release into the drip tray. Thus my labour intensive sequence. The time spent steaming milk is almost always long enough for the pressure to have dissipated. Thus even though the Europiccola can brew and then steam immediately this advantage is almost worthless as without a three way valve, a two to three minute delay is vital.

The "cough" shown here was so violent that the screen was blown out and coffee was sprayed right across the kitchen.

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