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Your machine has two heating coils, for low heat only one turns on (red switch on) for high heat both coils are powered up (both switches are turned on.)This machine is one the most grind sensitive of the espresso machines out there. Assuming you have a quality grinder the grind should adjusted until it's just right.When you hear that loud raquet at the steam release valve open the steam wand for a few seconds to release any possible false pressure and then close it again. Let the pressure build up again (Loud Raquet) it's now time to switch the machine to low quickly. At that time your boiler has reached ~ 0.7 bar of pressure and the clock is now ticking. You have little time before your machine reaches coffee scorching temeratures.Pull a blank shot into your espresso cup to preaheat it and the portafilter, then take out your portafilter, dry it, load the grinds, tamp, lock it in. Lift your lever up and preinfuse the coffee by holding it up for about 7 to 10 seconds then begin your slow pull of the lever down.Sometimes air gets in and you may to pull the lever up again after about 1/2 a pull to get more water into the coffee. You will know this if you do not feel any resistance at all for half your pull.After your first shot of espresso is pulled you can pull another if you quickly tamp, and load your second shot. It will be hotter.Your third shot will likely be scorched though. The La Pavoni lever pre-millenium machine is nicknamed the one shot wonder because the first or even second shots can come out spectacular if done right but the machine quickly gets too hot afterwards to pull non scorched shots.To steam milk I turn the machine up high both switches on.
In some respects the two switch La Pavoni is better than the later model with a pressure switch. I have one of each and tend to use the two switch one more than the pressure switch one, because it really is easier. You must NOT leave the machine while it is heating up with the two switch model, because if you forget you will likely cause serious damage by having the boiler run dry!!!!!At any rate fill the reservoir with soft water that does not produce carbonate deposits. In my opinion if you ever have to remove carbonate deposits you should use different water. (Some may disagree with this.)Put on the reservoir cap, be sure the steamer knob is closed, connect it to the power source, and turn on the switches. After perhaps 8 minutes steam will begin to be released from the pressure release. At this point place a porta filter without the filter basket on the group, place a cup under it and raise the handle just enough to release some water, and then lower it. This will purge the group of air, and also put hot water into the line between the reservoir and group. Now turn off the 800 watt element. The serious hissing should stop in a few seconds. Wait at least a minute, and put put the filter basket filled with coffee in the portafilter and attach it to the group. Place your espresso cup under the portafilter, and raise the handle all the way to the top. Wait from 10 to 20 seconds, different people like different times, and then pull the handle.If it pull too hard you have ground the coffee too finely, if liquid flow forth before you pull the handle it is too coarse.You may make more cups one after another after this. After the last one, be sure to clean everything very well, or the first cup the next time will be very bad. Above all put a cup or ramekin over the bottom of the group with clean tap water in it, and raise the handle only about half way to draw the tap water into the base of the group. Do this a couple of times, and then lower the cup or ramekin and raise the handle until a bit of water is expelled. Now turn off and unplug the machine. Dry the "shower head" with a towel.