So, you are the happy owner of a coffee/espresso machine. But do you really know how to get the most out of it? Here are a few handy pointers that should help you to make the perfect espresso coffee time and time again.
Tip 1: Let your Coffee/Espresso Machine fully heat up
The inner workings of your coffee machine that hold water items like the boiler are classically made of metal. Allowing this equipment to heat up by turning on your coffee machine at least 10 min preceding the 1st coffee will make a more steady heat for your coffees. Also use this time to heat your coffee cups before use, use the steam nozzle in hot water mode to fill the cups. Some coffee machines have built in cup heaters that take a few minutes to warm up.
Tip 2: Use fresh water
With coffee, everything has to be fresh. Empty out your coffee machine water container every day when you are making your 1st coffee. You should use filtered water and you will definitely taste the difference. Using filtered water will also lengthen the life of your coffee machine; reducing calcification and lime scale buildup.
Tip 3: Use fresh coffee beans
If you do not have an automatic coffee machine that has a grinder built in then you will need to buy a separate one. Every time you use your coffee machine, only ever grind enough coffee beans for that measure of coffee. This will give you a glowing crème on top of your coffee or espresso. Store your beans in the freezer until it is time to use them, this will help them hold the flavor.
Tip 4: Use the correct grind and correct tamping
Talk to your coffee supplier about your coffee machine and make sure that he is giving you the correct ground coffee. If possible, use your own grinder to attain the most favorable fineness. Gently pack your freshly ground coffee into the filter handle, do not pack too much or press too hard or you will not achieve a decent flow rate. An excellent rule of thumb is that it should take about 25 seconds for 30ml of coffee to be poured.
Tip 5: Experiment
There are so many variables at work with a coffee machine that you will need to make a lot of coffees to truly realize the different coffees you can make. The temperature, the beans, the grind and the flow rate will all give diverse tasting coffees. You will know you are getting it right when your coffee machine produces a thick golden crème and a sweet, rich espresso coffee.