Operating the coffee maker is not rocket science. However, you should be aware of a few things before purchasing the device for the first time. A variety of choices are available. It will be quite overwhelming for you to pick the one that best suits you. Chill! Our detailed guide about the different types available and using the machine efficiently can help you narrow down your choices. Also, get ready to learn how to make espresso at home and other basics!
What Is Espresso?
Espresso originates from Italy, and it is tremendously popular in European countries than in the USA. This is both a beverage and a method of brewing. This is brewed by passing boiling, pressurized water into the finely powdered coffee beans. You can regard ‘espresso’ as the concentrated form of coffee and is often served with a crema foam on top of it. Crema is produced when oils in the grounded coffee beans are emulsified into a colloid, which doesn’t happen in other methods of brewing coffee. The crema and the super-fast extraction process give the beverage a long-lasting after-taste and a fuller flavour.
This has a higher amount of caffeine than other beverages of coffee and also has a greater concentration of dissolved and suspended solids. Espresso is often served in small-sized cups regarded as ‘shots.’ Each shot measures about 1 oz.
A 1 oz serving typically comprises:
- 4 mg caffein
- 3 calories
- 0.1g fat
- 35 mg potassium
- 4 mg sodium
What Does Espresso Taste Like?
Espresso tastes bitter with a sweet aftertaste. Some people add a bit of sugar and milk to bring down the bitterness. If brewed incorrectly, you may experience unpleasant sourness! An also the watery consistency is an attribute of under-extraction.
Types of espresso machines:
Every coffee lover adores the different types of espresso machine. They are increasingly found in commercial spaces and homes. Based on their size, usability, driving mechanism and applications as well as structure, they are classified into many types.
Before diving into the types, it is good to be aware of what you can make actually with the wonderful home Espresso machine. With the espresso maker, you can make most of the popular coffee beverages that you can find at the coffee shops. The following are the most popular types of espresso drinks that can be made at home using the device, provided that the ingredients are properly added in the right amount.
- Espresso Shot: Or double shot is the liquid that straight away comes from the machine. This is thick, concentrated and can be termed as a darker version of black coffee.
- Macchiato: This is an espresso shot with steamed milk on top of it to add extra foam.
- Cappuccino: This is the most preferred way to drink an espresso shot. This contains extra milk the same as that of macchiato, and it is easy to make this at home.
- Latte: Latte resembles cappuccino in taste and look, except that this has a lot of milk and is less foamy.
- Mocha: This has added chocolate. Otherwise, this is the same as cappuccino.
Types Of Machines Based On The Kind Of Driving Mechanism:
The effort you need to apply to operate the instruments depends on the type of driving mechanism. Also, the amount of pressure exerted also depends on the instrument type. The pressure is a key part while making espresso. So, you need to be careful with the driving mechanism of your machine before purchasing it. You should go with the one which caters to your needs.
These are also known as lever-operated espresso makers. As the name says, you can operate the machines with the help of a piston. In this type of machine, a piston is used to produce pressurized water. The process is known as pulling a shot. Around 8 to 20, bar pressure is produced in this kind of machine. All you need is to pull the piston to taste the yummy drink. This type of espresso press can be manually-driven or piston-driven.
The espresso machine with steam is the oldest type available and less pricey. The machine comprises boilers with several heads, which makes it feasible to make different varieties of coffee in a single go. The device makes use of the pressure of the boiling water to brew espresso. The pressure generated is quite moderate, but good enough to make give the finest espresso.
This type of instrument has been around in the market since 1960. This comprises an electronic pump, which drives the pre-heated water through the chamber and then into the bed of grounded coffee beans. You can easily achieve high pressure, which is consistent too.These kinds of coffee makers are further categorized into three types:
In fully automatic instruments, you can program the amount of water that has to pass through the grind. Once the desired level is reached, the machine shuts off the water supply immediately. The automatic machines are easy to use and are affordable. You can find this type of machines in public cafes.
If you are looking for something less expensive and easy to be controlled, you can give a try on semi-automatic machines. The entire unit comprises a filter, a boiler, and also a piston to carry out extraction. This type of machine automatically controls the flow of water into the coffee grinds. This can allow you to prepare a variety of beverages like espresso lungo, espresso ristretto, and so on. You can program the machine and also operate it manually. In a manually-controlled machine, you should stop the flow of the hot coffee once the appropriate volume has come out. In a programmed machine, the flow halts according to the pre-set time that you have set. Other functions like tamping, grinding, and control of the time taken for extraction are the responsibilities of the barista.
This is the most user-friendly espresso maker type available in the market. Simply by adding the coffee beans and pressing the button, you can get your shot ready. The machine consists of single or dual pump which automatically grinds and tamps the beans into the puck in the chamber. It measures the right quantity of water, dispenses the espresso and throws the extracted grinds into the dump container. Most of the super-auto machines indicate you with light when the water level is too low, or it runs out of beans. Some machines even come with a self-cleaning system. Super-auto machines are extremely easy to use and less messy. You can make any type of espresso drinks with these espresso makers.
Steps How To Use An Espresso Machine:
Let us learn how to use an espresso coffee maker and have a look at the various steps involved in brewing the perfect shots of espresso. Take, for example, the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso. Delonghi coffee and espresso makers are the best espresso machine available in store.
A detailed overview of the beverage makers can help you understand the functionality of the machine. With this super-auto machine, you can make espresso, latte, and other coffee beverages. The grinder present in the machine grinds the coffee beans just before brewing for an incredibly aromatic espresso.
The front panel of the machine has an on/off button and controls to adjust the water level. You can set the water level based on your requirements. You may need it strong or light, adjust the level accordingly. The water reservoir is 60 ounce and removable. The bean chamber is 6 ounces. The ideal temperature is maintained throughout because of the presence of stainless steel double boilers. This offers an excellent distribution of heat. The great thing is that the boiler is removable, and thus cleaning inside is simple.
The device’s cappuccino system can rotate at 180 degrees, and so it can accommodate milk container of any size. Also, the spigot height can be adjusted to allow you to place a classic mug to tall cups. This has a water level indicator and a drip tray for easy cleaning. You can program the machine as per your shot requirement. That is, you can go for one or two shots at a time.
Just fill the coffee beans, water reservoir, and adjust the levels. Switch on the machine and within seconds, freshly brewed, super-aromatic coffee is ready to be sipped.
No traces of coffee will be left on the chamber. The super-auto machine is easy to clean and is completely mess-free!
If you are a coffee addict, this type of machine is a must-have in your home.
Here are some tips for finding the best espresso machine and guidelines to make a perfect espresso at home.
- Remember to pre-heat the machine, portafilter and the cup before getting started.
- It is recommended to use boiled distilled water or softened water to achieve the best tasting espresso.
- Finding a perfect balance in the grind is important. Grinding too fast can result in coarser particles, and fine grind comes from a slower grind. The thumb rule to remember is, it shouldn’t be as coarse as sugar or as fine as flour. So, set the grinder speed at a medium level.
- Always use the fresh beans to achieve a soulful flavour and intense aroma.
- Many people are not habitual to regular cleaning of the coffee machine. You should remember that a clean machine is one of the most important things when it comes to preparing a great coffee. Remove excess coffee ground and make sure that the chambers are free of residue.
- Make sure that the portafilter is clean and free of residue and moisture.
- The process of extraction plays a major role in bringing aroma and flavour to your drink. Faster extraction results in a white crema, and you will end up with a dark brown drink if extraction happens at a slower rate. Always aim for a golden crema.
- Avoid overheating milk. Even when you turn off the steam wand, the milk continues to heat up. So, it is good to use a thermometer and stop steaming the milk at 150 F. It is always preferred to use fresh, cold milk.
- If you want a rich, creamy froth, go with the high-fat milk.
- Wipe off the steam wand with a soft cloth after usage.
Hope this article helps you understand and learn how to make espresso. A beverage that tastes as good as the perfect view espresso, with the different types of coffee and espresso maker available, and their functionalities. Check the site, mykitchenadvisor for more detailed review and information about other interesting things like the best espresso machine under 200 and so on. Based on your requirements and budget, you can pick a machine. Cleaning and proper maintenance are essential for a longer machine life. These kinds of machines are indispensable in the homes of every coffee lovers. The readers are most welcome to share their espresso preferences, desired flavours here, and their experience with the coffee machines here.