I’ve had mixed success using the standard La Pavoni Professional steam wand to create the illustrious microfoam with regular milk. The La Pavoni comes with a 3 hole nozzle (see pictures). To get decent microfoam you need to be able to direct where the steam goes. The simple fact that the standard nozzle has 3 holes all pointing in different directions makes it virtually impossible to direct the steam into a single direction.
The quick fix
After a little googling I read that some people block the bottom hole by jamming the tip of toothpick into it and then breaking the rest of the pick off. That still didn’t quite give me the results I was looking for and some more browsing around mentioned the threading on the steam wand to be plain old M6.
The better fix
To “build” a steam wand tip for a La Pavoni Europiccola / Professional all you need is:
- M6 threaded acorn nut
- centerpunch and small hammer
- 1.0mm or 1.5mm drillbit
- electric or table drill
- small block of wood
It’s actually a rather simple process, all you need is block of wood (or a bench / table you don’t mind damaging), a 1mm or 1.5mm drillbit, a drill, centerpunch and obviously an acorn nut. Use the centerpunch to create small indentation in the top of the nut to keep the drillbit from slipping. Then drill a hole where you marked the nut but be careful not to press too hard since the bit you’re drilling is most likely not all that thick. If you don’t want to accidentally drill a little hole in your worksurface put the nut on nut on top of the piece of wood prior to the drilling.
There are a few benefits to using a single hole nozzle. Normally with a 2 or 3 hole nozzle each hole gets 50% or 33% respectively of the total available steam “power”, a single hole will have close to 100% power. Another added benefit is that you get to direct that power into any direction you want without having one or two extra holes disrupting that swirling action you need to get decent microfoam.