DeLonghi Espresso Coffee Makers – Make Your Own Frappuccino at Home

I have a love/hate relationship with coffee. I love my coffee. I love my latte, cappuccino, espresso and mocha. This time of year I especially love my frappuccino. I hate having to go out for it and to pay coffee house prices for it. I love my DeLonghi Espresso Coffee Maker because it lets me make all my favorite coffee drinks at home and be able to indulge in myself at a price that I can afford!

It’s a hard-working, heavy duty, real live espresso machine that I can easily use to make my own coffee house espresso in my own kitchen. It’s 15-bar pump-driven espresso machine with durable stainless-steel boiler and 2 thermostats for separately controlling water and steam pressure. So each cup comes out just the way you want it to!

Wouldn’t you enjoy making your favorite fancy coffee drinks at home when you want them instead of picking one up on the way home or having to make a special trip? Wouldn’t you rather be able to make them just the way you like them? Maybe a little bit more chocolate, maybe a little less sugar. I know I do. I love being able to have my hot morning latte while I get ready in the morning instead of waiting until I’m out of the house.

Here are a couple of frappuccino recipes to try with your DeLonghi Espresso Coffee Maker for an ice-cold coffee treat at home. See if you don’t like them even better than the expensive ones you get at the coffee house.

Now about that cute barista. Sorry, you’re on your own with that!

FRAPPUCCINO

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cold espresso
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup

Directions

  • Combine coffee, milk, sugar and salt in blender and mix on medium speed for 15 seconds.
  • Add ice cream and chocolate syrup then blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Stop blender and stir mixture with a spoon if necessary to help blend ingredients.
  • Pour drink into two large glasses and serve.

CARAMEL FRAPPUCCINO

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cold coffee
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups ice
  • 3 tablespoons caramel sundae syrup whipped cream

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into electric blender.
  • Blend drink until ice is crushed and drink is smooth.
  • Serve in coffee cups and top with whipped cream and caramel syrup (if desired).
  • Add straw for ease in drinking.



Source by Marty Carlton

Espresso Quality Check

The quality of the espressos being prepared by baristas should be checked at various intervals during the day to ensure that all the varying elements of an espresso are correct, and in turn producing the perfect espresso, every time.

The record below is a perfect example of how to check and record the espresso quality checks that have been completed. Each variable is listed along the top and a space below for the check to be recorded and to highlight any action that is needed o the equipment. A basic level barista can complete the check following the guidelines for each variable, and a senior barista can make the adjustments to the grinder. A barista’s tool kit will be needed to complete the checks. If you are a new Barista or have not been trained to make any changes or adjustments to the calibration of machinery I suggest you ask someone who is. The slightest of change can effect the quality of your espresso considerably.

There are 5 variables to preparing the perfect espresso. Including the process and product.

Grind weight: You need to measure the weight of your grinds, to make sure you are dosing the correct amount required to pour a perfect shot. This is different to grinding you beans. The dosage is not how course or fine they are.

Pour time: Again, you need to measure how long (in time) you espresso pours for before it reaches the correct amount required for a single shot of espresso. Too long a pour will make it bitter and too short will make it water and bland

Fill level: As I mentioned above there is a specific amount of poured coffee required for an espresso

Crema: The crema is a key sign to how good your espresso is. The quality of your crema will be able to tell you if your pour it too quick or too slow and even if your grinds are not correct. TIP: A good crema should be a rich golden color and around 3-4 mm thick.

Taste: This one is fairly obvious. You yourself will know by taste if your espresso is good. If you don’t like it, change it until its just right.



Source by Shabs Piercy

What Is An Espresso Machine?

An espresso machine is used to produce the traditionally Italian coffee beverage called espresso. Espresso machines are fitted with a metal filter container that is filled with ground coffee that is tamped down to compact the coffee grounds, and the metal filter is locked in place in the machine. Some espresso machines are automatic while others are semi-automatic and require the user to do some additional work in order to produce espresso.

What is Espresso?

Espresso or caffè espresso is a concentrated coffee beverage brewed by forcing very hot, but not boiling water under high pressure through coffee that has been ground to a consistency between extremely fine and powder. Espresso was developed in Milan, Italy in the early 20th century, but up until the mid-1940s it was a beverage produced solely with steam pressure. Espresso is now produced with between 9 and 10 atmospheres or bars of pressure. Espresso machines come with temperature gauges so you can set how hot you would like your drink to be. It is recommended that espresso cups be warmed before use. Most espresso machines have cup warmers.

Automatic Espresso Machines

Automatic espresso machines are a great invention, next to the coffee maker, that will add exactly what is needed to your day, a great cup of coffee. Automatic espresso machines are similar to semi-automatic except have a flowmeter installed inline with the grouphead. Automatic espresso machines designed primarily for commercial use are the most expensive, usually costing several thousand dollars. An automatic espresso machine is one that will cost a bit more than a regular coffee maker, but you also have to think about how much more the automatic espresso machine is going to do. The automatic espresso machine is one that you will put the coffee into, the machine is going to grind the coffee, and then tamp and brew the coffee to your liking to create a perfect cup of coffee. Your espresso machine is so much more than a coffee maker, and will come with a recipe guide on how to create, make and enjoy the best types of coffee drinks.

Pressure

On many consumer and commercial espresso machines, the temperature of the boiler is maintained not with a thermostat control, but a pressure gauge control that activates the boiler’s heater once the measured pressure drops too low. Pressure is built up in a cylinder to force water through the grounds and extract the espresso.

Pump

The pump is the part of the machine that pulls the water up into the heating chamber. Pump espresso machines are typically the most expensive, using a pump mechanism to produce the amount of water pressure needed to make espresso.

Brew

Brew Time is used as one of the indicators of a good espresso shot. Brew time is calculated from the moment the pump switch is activated, until the pump switch is turned off.

Price

Prices vary widely, depending on the type of machine, options, features, and the manufacturer. Prices start at about $160 if you go online. Prices can vary significantly from one Italian espresso machine to another.

Cleaning

For regular home use, stock up on essentials such as a frothing pitcher, thermometer, a group brush, and Cleancaf. For heavy duty use, purchase an espresso cleaning kit.

Conclusion

Espresso machines are the home-appliance equivalent of six-speed sports cars-they take countless hours to get used to and even then continue to act up. Espresso machines are definitely not cheap, but, compared to going to Starbuck’s every day, it may not take long at all for a good machine to pay for itself. Espresso machines are basically divided into these three categories: Super Automatic, Semi Automatic and Manual. Espresso machines are now more available than ever to the home consumer. Espresso machines are great for entertaining guests or as birthday, holiday, or housewarming gifts.



Source by Richard Balsley

Nespresso D290 Concept Espresso and Coffeemaker Review

The Nespresso Concept Espresso and Coffee maker creates rich and creamy espresso. Users are proud of how it is easy enough for anyone to use and get the espresso drinks just right. Soon you too will be able to enjoy cappuccinos and lattes from home without paying the coffeehouse prices.

How does Nespresso D260 Concept make espresso?

The Nespresso D290 Concept has a unique extraction system that is adapted to capsules. With 19 bar high pressure pump you can be sure to get all the aromas and creates a smooth rich crema in your cup. This helps create the perfect espresso. The capsules are good for up to 9 months to continue to make fresh coffee and espresso. Lift the jaw and the spent capsule is automatically ejected into the used capsule tray. The Nepresso only works with their capsules, it can not use ground coffee or other brands of capsules.

What other drinks can I make with the Nespresso Concept Espresso Machine?

The built-in automatic Aeroccino steaming wand creates a perfect thick, creamy hot milk froth. It can draw milk from the container and includes a special cappuccino and cafe latte function for perfect drinks every time. It also has a hot water option for tea, hot chocolate or soup. Remove the steam want and allow the hot water to pour into your cup or bowl.

What are the features of the Nespresso Espresso and Coffee Maker?

With two back-lit control buttons, you can easily program your cup volume. The Nespresso Concept cools down either by pressing the steam function or automatically after last steam function. The temperature is electronically regulated for convenience and consistency. The water tank holds 34 ounces and is very easy to fill and removable for cleaning. The machine looks nice on any counter and with a small footprint it fits almost any kitchen and works well in many offices.

What do people think of the Nespresso Concept?

This no mess, no fuss machine is something that has garnished loads of praise. The capsule method ensures the convenience and ease. Nespresso Espresso Machine reviewers liked being able to have the capsules that lasted for months versus the beans short lifespan. Most of the reviewers made multiple drinks per day, often making different types of espresso drinks using the milk function to make the lattes, cappuccinos, and more.

Did any reviewers complain about the machine?

Some reviewers did not like that only Nespresso Capsules worked. Some complained of long shipping times. While other reviewers praised how quickly Nespresso shipped. It is popular for home baristas and for ones who bought this machine for work. Most users were proud to share this machine and the espresso drinks with anyone who wanted some. It is extremely easy to use and makes a very good cup of espresso. The machine pulls a very consistent shot without being an expert barista which makes it great for many people. Overall this machine is highly recommended by over 80% of the users.



Source by MJ Schrader

What is an ESE Coffee Pod?

A coffee pod is the coffee making equivalent of the teabag: a pre-portioned serving of coffee wrapped in a paper filter, ready to be infused with water. ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) is the worldwide industry standard for coffee pods. Any pod that meets the ESE standard can be used in any espresso machine that is ESE compatible.

An ESE pod contains between 6.5-7.5 grams of coffee, packed into a tight circular puck. The pod is placed in a special pod filter (usually supplied with your espresso machine) that fits inside the portafilter.

History of ESE pods

Coffee pod machines were originally designed for use in the Italian workplace, to make it quicker and cleaner for workers to make and enjoy espresso in the office. Later on, these machines were adapted for use in restaurants to negate the need for anyone to be trained in using a traditional espresso machine.

The use of espresso pod machines in the home did not become popular until Illy created the ESE standard in 1998. With the launch of this standard, Illy made a concerted effort to mass market these machines as convenient way to enjoy espresso in the home.

ESE pods vs. Traditional Preparation

The key selling point of ESE pods is convenience. The traditional preparation method for espresso requires skill and creates a lot of mess. Grinders have to be calibrated to achieve the correct flow rate; the coffee needs to be dosed and tamped correctly; and afterward coffee grounds have to be cleaned off all the equipment, the work surface and usually the floor too. With an ESE pod there is none of this. The pods are already pre-dosed and pre-tamped and the coffee grounds stay contained in the paper filter. Once finished with, the pod can be discarded like a teabag

However, the convenience of ESE pods comes at a price: the taste of a traditionally prepared espresso (done correctly) is superior to that of an ESE espresso. In comparison to the traditional method, ESE espresso lacks depth of flavour and liveliness in the mouth. The reason for this is ESE pods are not as fresh as the coffee used in the traditional method, and with pods the brewing time is too quick to extract the fullest flavour.

When making espresso using the traditional method, the coffee is ground immediately before use to preserve freshness. This is because the actual grinding process releases aromatics from the coffee which are lost from the end cup if not used quickly. Ground coffee also has a much larger surface area than that of a whole bean, leaving it more vulnerable to air. However, ESE pods are far from stale. Once ground, coffee is quickly tamped into a tight puck which, although essential to making espresso, also serves to reduce the surface area of the coffee. Most manufacturers also seal their pods in individual foil packages to further preserve their flavour.

The flow rate of an ESE espresso is quicker than that of the traditional method. In the traditional method the aim is to produce an espresso of around 1.25oz in volume within 25-30 seconds, as this is the optimum time to extract as much flavour as possible before releasing bitter compounds and excessive caffeine into the drink. With an ESE pod it can take less than half that time to produce the equivalent volume. ESE pods are designed to have a quicker flow rate to improve consistency from shot to shot. However, the quicker flow rate is caused by less resistance to the water during the brewing process and this in turn leads to a lower brewing pressure, resulting in a flatter extraction. As there is no way to control the flow-rate with an ESE pod, it would be impossible to make espresso variations such as a ristretto or lungo.

The fact that ESE pods are pre-ground negates the need for a coffee grinder, which can be a substantial saving. A good grinder for espresso making will cost over £100. However, the cost of ESE pods is considerably more than coffee beans. Expect to pay three times as much for an ESE pod than you would for the equivalent weight in beans. On the positive side, unlike beans, no coffee is wasted with ESE pods.

ESE pods vs. Other Coffee Capsules

There are many different types of coffee capsules available on the market other than ESE pods, such as Nespresso, and Senso. In terms of price and taste, there is little difference between ESE pods and capsules. However, the major problem with these other capsules is that, at present, they are exclusively made by one manufacturer: Nespresso is made by Nestle, and Senso by Douwe Egberts. So, for example, if you choose a Nespresso compatible machine you are limited to Nestle coffee. On the other hand, ESE pods are made to an industry wide standard and are consequently available from all the main Italian roasters, such as Illy and Lavazza, and many other roasters too. So with an ESE compatible espresso machine, you have a much wider selection of coffee. Not only that, but with most ESE compatible machines you have the option of making espresso the traditional way too.



Source by James Grierson

Espresso 101 – The Basics

The name espresso is Italian in origin. It was first coined around 1900 and, loosely translated, means a cup of coffee brewed expressly (just) for you. Today, you will often find that people incorrectly pronounce or spell it “expresso.”

So, what makes a true espresso?

It’s not the bean. It’s not the blend. It’s not the roast. It’s not that it has to be made by a certain kind of machine.

The fact is, you can use any type of bean, blend and roast, it just depends on your personal tastes.

What makes espresso is the way the coffee is prepared. Espresso coffee is a small (1 to 2 oz.) shot of pressure-brewed coffee, using about 1 Tablespoon of finely ground coffee. Brewing takes about 25 to 30 seconds and when done properly, it will feature a layer of rich, dark golden cream, called crema on the surface. This crema is one indicator of a quality espresso. Making a great espresso is truly an art as well as a science.

The Key Words of Espresso

Like any other field, espresso has its own little language that you should know. Below is a small list of key words that you’ll often hear when reading about anything espresso.

BAR: Pressure rating used on most pump driven espresso machines. 9 BAR, the typical accepted pressure for brewing espresso is 8.8 atmospheres of pressure or 130 pounds per square inch. Almost every consumer espresso machine is capable of producing this pressure consistently.

Burr Grinder: is the recommended type of grinder for proper espresso making. A burr grinder features two disks, one stationary, one rotating, which slice away portions of a coffee bean into very fine particles.

Crema: is one of the sure signs of a properly brewed shot of espresso (in non crema-enhancing machines) and is created by the dispersion of gases – air and carbon dioxide – in liquid at a high pressure. The liquid contains oils and forms a dark golden brown layer resembling foam on top of an espresso shot.

Demitasse: the cup that holds a traditional shot of espresso is called a demitasse – the fancy word for the small 3 ounce (or smaller) cup. Demitasses can be made of ceramic, stainless steel, or glass, though porcelain is often the preferred material. The thicker the better, as they must retain heat well in that small 1.5 ounce beverage you craft.

Dosage: refers to the amount of ground coffee used to produce a shot of espresso. Usually 7 grams per 1.5 ounce single espresso shots.

Doser: found on many burr grinders, especially those designed to be used with espresso machines. A doser releases a measure of coffee grounds as you pull on a lever that is built into the side of the doser.

Filter Basket: is a metal, flat bottomed “bowl” shaped insert that fits inside a portafilter. The filter basket holds your bed of ground coffee and has a multitude of tiny holes in the bottom to allow the extracted beverage to seep through and pour into a demitasse cup or other receptacle. Most espresso machines include two filter baskets, a single basket and a double basket, though some machines feature convertible baskets that allow either a single or double shot of espresso to be produced from the same basket.

Frothing Tip: refers to the perforated tip on a steaming wand. These can have between one and four holes, and the holes can be either angled to the side or pointing straight down. They allow the steam from the espresso machine to be forced into tiny jets which agitate and heat milk at a great pace and also facilitate proper frothing when used to introduce air into the milk.

Portafilter: (also known as a groupo) the device that holds a filter and finely ground coffee and facilitates quick attachment to an espresso machine. Portafilters almost always feature a handle for easy handling, and spouts underneath to allow your espresso to pour into cups. On better espresso machines, they are made of copper or brass, and are coated with chrome. The handles are usually wood, bakelite, or plastic. On less expensive machines they can be aluminum, steel, or other metals and plastics.

Pull: a term used to describe brewing a shot of espresso. Comes from the action used to prepare espresso in the 1950s, 1960s, and beyond – pulling on a lever to cock a spring in a piston group on an espresso machine. Also Espresso Pull, Pull a Shot.

Steam Wand: is a visible, external pipe found on most espresso machines that is used to froth and steam milk, to provide hot water (on some machines), and heat espresso cups. Some also use the steam wand to heat water. It is controlled by a steam knob that opens and closes the steam valve inside the machine.

Shot: another term to describe a brewed espresso.

Tamp: (also tamping) the act of pressing and compacting a bed of loose, finely ground coffee, in preparation for brewing espresso. Different machines require different tamping methods. Steam powered espresso requires a leveling tamp, where piston lever, spring lever, and pump espresso requires a more compacting action. Some prefer a heavy tamping action (using 25 or more pounds of pressure), others prefer a light tamping action (less than 15 pounds of pressure exerted).

Tamper: the device used to tamp a bed of loose, finely ground coffee in a portafilter, in preparation for brewing espresso. Most espresso machines include a plastic tamper as an accessory, and after market tampers can be bought. They are measured in millimeter sizes, corresponding with the filter basket internal diameter of your espresso machine. Most commercial, prosumer, and high end consumer espresso machines use a 58mm tamper; other common sizes are 49mm, 53mm, and 57mm.

Thermoblock: in some espresso machines, the heating system is shaped similar to that of a car radiator, a series of heated metal coils or channels which water must pass through and become progressively hotter as it reaches the boiler.

The Espresso Machine

Let’s start with the machine itself. What it does is force heated water through finely ground, packed (tamped) grounds. There are different types of machines out there, however. There are super-automatic machines, semi-automatics, manuals, pod machines and stovetops. What are they?

Super-Automatic

With just the push of a button, super-automatic espresso machines do everything necessary to brew the perfect shot of espresso, latte or cappuccino. They grind whole beans and deposit grounds into the filter, they tamp them and then brew them. Super-automatics have very powerful conical burr grinders with gear reduction systems and lots of settings to control the strength of your brew. Steaming and frothing milk is very easy with the frothing adaptor.

These machines are the easiest to use on the market, but they are also the most expensive type of machine. Some people say that super-automatic means less control and lower quality brews, however in actual testing, these machines produce a very consistent and quality espresso. You do lose some control over the brew pressure and tamping pressure, but these things are not necessarily bad and they can be compensated for with other features that allow you to adjust the grind settings, doser settings and serving size.

Semi-Automatic

Semi-automatic machines are the most popular style for home use because they produce excellent coffee and are fairly easy to use. The main difference between a super- and semi-automatic machine is that the semi-automatic machine doesn’t grind the beans. Some super-automatics also rinse and clean themselves. Semi-automatics must be rinsed and cleaned by you.

Most semi-automatic machines use a boiler to heat water as it passes from a separate water tank, however, some models use a thermoblock system which heats water instantly and reduces wait time. Some have an “On/Off” switch users must push once to start extraction and then must push again to stop extraction. Other semi-automatics only require one push of the button to begin the extraction and then will automatically stop after a pre-programmed time has passed. Frothing with semi-automatics can be simple with some machines but can require some skill with others. This really depends on whether the machine comes with a frothing adaptor or not. The adaptor makes this process simpler for the user while the traditional steam wands that take a little bit of practice to perfect.

Manual

These old-world style machines look great and reflect the original prototypes invented to create a consistent and flavorful cup of espresso. Also called “Piston-Style” machines, they were the first models to use a hand pump capable of generating the 8 to 9 atmospheres of pressure that is necessary to force the water through the condensed grounds–the way to make a proper cup of espresso.

These machines are recommended for true coffee aficionados and those who enjoy the process and effort involved in making a cup of espresso the traditional way. These machines are tough to use and require a higher skill level than the automatic machines. Also, they have a small water tank, making them impractical for large gatherings. The cleaning and maintenance for manuals is fairly straightforward, however the outer finishes, typically brass, chrome or copper, will require special cleaning to remove tarnishing and fingerprints. The milk frothers are standard and powerful enough for home use.

It’s also worth noting is that pulling down the handle to force water through the espresso grounds does require a bit of arm strength and the consistency of the pull is critical to the espresso quality.

Pod Machine

Pod espresso machines can be either semi- or super automatic machines. They are called “pod” machines because they use “pods” of prepared grounds that you simply throw away after use. No grinding or tamping. You buy more pods to make more coffee.

Something to note is that using pods means you will not be able to adjust the taste of your coffee through the dosage or the fineness of the grounds. Another drawback is that some machines require that you buy their brand of pod, so if you can’t find a pod you love, you’re out of luck. Brands like Nespresso and Tassimo will only function with their own brand of espresso pods.

Stovetop

For those on a budget who would still like to enjoy a home-brewed cup of espresso, stovetop espresso makers are a great option. These are very basic devices that are fairly simple to use and care for and require no electricity (this also makes them great for camping!) They also continue to be the most popular method for making espresso in Italy, which must say something for the authenticity of the results they produce.

The Espresso Grinder

The perfect cup of espresso begins with properly ground coffee beans. If you don’t have a super-automatic machine and you plan to brew whole-bean espresso (the most flavorful way to brew), you will need to buy a grinder. Espresso beans need to be ground to a much finer consistency than typical coffee beans, so you can’t buy just any grinder.

Well, I hope that gets you started with making great espresso. However, to make outstanding espresso, you should learn a little more! Head on our to our website to get a free eBook titled How to Make Espresso So Good You’ll Never Waste Money on Starbucks Again!

http://makingespresso.com/



Source by Patrick Goldman

How to Make the Perfect Cappuccino With Your Nespresso Coffee Machine

Often, we think we can’t make an authentic Italian cappuccino at home. We have to go to a cafè or buy an expensive machine and take a barista course in coffee making. But did you know you can actually make a great cappuccino at home with nothing more than your Nespresso coffee machine?

Well, your Nespresso coffee machine and really good coffee. If you’re in the market for Italian Nespresso pods, you can’t really go past Gimoka. Started in Italy’s bars and caffes more than 50 years ago, Gimoka has only recently begun supplying the Italian home drinker with their Nespresso compatible pods.

Made on site at the family’s coffee roaster on Lake Como, Gimoka’s coffee capsules are blended expertly from the best environmentally and economically Fair Trade beans sourced from all over the world. They’re packaged in heat sealed capsules, so they won’t lose their flavour even weeks after opening, which means you can enjoy an authentic Italian espresso without leaving your kitchen. The pods are also entirely recyclable and organic, so your conscience is clear too!

So armed with your Nespresso coffee machine, milk and some Nespresso compatible capsules, you’re ready to make a truly awesome Italian cappuccino.

The first step is to heat up your milk. If you have a frother at home, you can use that. Otherwise, just heat your milk in the microwave or on the stove and then whiz in a blender or with a stick blender until frothy. It should only take a minute. Give it a stir and set to one side.

The second step is to make your Italian espresso. Always heat up your coffee mug with a bit of boiling water before brewing. Otherwise your coffee will be cold before you can even take that first sip. Grab an Italian Nespresso compatible pod. We love Gimoka’s Intenso blend for our cappuccino. It’s sweet and strongly flavoured so you don’t have to add any sugar or worry about the milk overwhelming your coffee.

Turn on your Nespresso coffee machine and leave to heat up. You never want to brew an espresso with a cold machine. By doing that, the coffee doesn’t infuse properly and you end up with a weak and unpleasant coffee. So once your Nespresso coffee machine has heated up, grab your pod and start brewing. As the coffee pours out, tilt your glass slightly to ensure the coffee runs down the sides of the cup.

Lastly, add your milk and top with a little of the milk froth. A dusting of chocolate powder is great too.

And that’s it. The perfect Italian cappuccino with nothing more than your Nespresso coffee machine and some great Italian Nespresso pods. Enjoy!



Source by Giulio Detti

Espresso Making is an Art Form – Here’s How to Make a Great Cup!

Ever wondered what the secrets are to making an Espresso as good as the coffee house baristas do? Well stay with me a while and I will give away some of their trade secrets so you too can master the art of making a great cup of espresso.

The most important ingredient in making a good tasting espresso is to use pure fresh filtered or rain water. Regardless of what quality coffee grounds you use it won’t override the associated taste of poor water. For most of us chlorine and other chemicals in our tap water will put us at a real disadvantage. It might surprise some to know water can get stale so make sure it hasn’t been sitting around in plastic containers or in the fridge for too long before you use it.

To make a new brew of espresso remember to use very hot water with an optimum temperature of around 203F (95C) or nearly boiling water. If you don’t want to get too technical using a thermometer, just switch the jug off as the water is starting to boil and then count to ten. That has always worked for me.

Of course the next most important ingredient is the coffee. These days there is an abundance of choice and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. I like to be a little adventurous and try coffees from different countries all over the world. Each one has its own unique flavour. Some I like and some I don’t go back for a second go.

One of my favorites is Arabica coffee which comes from the high country in Brazil or Bogota. Some people like to roast the green beans themselves while others are content to buy them freshly roasted. Either way it is important to make sure the beans are fresh and have a good aromatic smell to them.

Also Robusta is one you might like to try. This variety has more caffeine but is a little less full bodied flavour than Arabica. Generally it should be used for those quick pick-me-up cups but it’s not at all suitable for an espresso that is to be savoured.

Once you start exploring different types of coffee, blending is something you might like to try your hand at. A blend of 70% Arabica and 30% Robusta is a great favorite of mine because it takes away the heavy chocolate taste of the Arabica and gives a mellower and more creamy texture to the brew. Women more often enjoy this blend as it is milder in flavor and is not such an assault on the taste buds. In Australia you can find this blend already ground in the MAP brand (red packet).

From personal experience let me tell you adding a grinder to your kitchen appliances will open up a whole world of espresso coffee tasting for you. Being able to buy beans of any type and bring them home and finely grind them yourself is essentially a defining experience.

Another important point is that the quality of the espresso machine you buy will of course affect the quality of the espresso coffee it produces. Here I should remind you to look for a machine that is easy to clean and maintain as well as one that generates heat by boiler or thermoblock and is capable of producing pump pressure of 9 bar or better. A thermoblock heats water as it passes through the machine on the way to the pump. For a really professional and satisfying brew it is best to avoid the cheaper units that rely on steam to create pressure.

Now that we know all that we are ready to make a top cup of espresso. For the best results pre-warm the equipment by running clean water through the machine is a good idea. Then when you turn the machine on, let the water heat, before running a cup through with no coffee to warm the surfaces and flush the system.

Next you can add the freshly ground espresso roast and then tamp it down slightly with the back of a spoon, just like you would in a tobacco pipe till you feel some springiness – but the coffee shouldn’t scatter about.

Then put the hopper in the machine and place a warmed espresso cup at the outlet. Now comes the good part, start the machine and in about five seconds you will have a steady stream of beautiful espresso coffee. For a double shot it will take about 20 seconds to complete.

Making cappuccino is easy this way as all you have to do is warm half a cup of milk in the microwave for about 90 seconds, froth it with the wand and add it to the espresso. If you are like me and love the froth use full cream milk rather than reduced fat milk as it froths better. To make it just like a bought one, sprinkle some cinnamon over the top. However if you really want to create a sensation you could shave some chocolate or sprinkle cocoa on the top. For the sweet tooth you will probably need a teaspoon of sugar.

In a nutshell the secret to making a good cup of espresso at home that tastes just like one from your favourite coffee shop is to start with good quality coffee, keep your equipment nice and clean, use fresh water, don’t burn the roast and make sure you grind it properly.

Enjoy.



Source by John Falkinder

How to Make Espresso Like a Professional Barista

All professional coffee makers (baristas) have their own method to make the perfect espresso. Learn how to make espresso means using the best ingredients. The first ingredient is water. Everything else depends on the right quality and temperature of the water that you use. Using stale unclean and not properly filtered water can spoil all your efforts. The right temperature should be just below boiling point.

To the coffee – the best tasting coffee is grown above 3000 feet above sea-level. This is arabica coffee. The Coffee grown below this level is called Robusta, this type has less flavor and more caffeine. The coffee beans should be freshly roasted. Espresso beans have roasted longer to result in a finer ground later. The best way to grind espresso is to use an grinder which is especially for grinding espresso beans and to grind only as much as you need.

The two main types of burr grinders used are flat and cone-shaped. Cone-shaped burr coffee grinders are preferable because they offer the greater surface for each coffee particle which increases the amount of flavor that you an get out of the coffee. Since a Cone-shaped espresso burr grinder has much longer blades, which can turn slower, this assures that the grounds don’t get too warm thus losing their flavor.

For a good espresso you need a good quality espresso machine which should be cleaned immediately after use. This prevents tainting tomorrows coffee. The pump must be able to produce a pressure between 9 and 10 bar. A lower pressure will give you less flavor and less or no crema. Do not use steam-pressure machines. To make your espresso start by warming up your machine to the right temperature and to clean it by producing some cups of hot water.

Only then go to the next step, by filling your espresso machine with the right water and the espresso grounds or, if it has a built in grinder, with espresso beans. The traditional espresso machine has a hopper which is filled with espresso ground, before you put the hopper on the machine stamp the grounds slightly. Now firmly mount the hopper. Make sure it is attached in the right manner. Then preheat your espresso cup with hot water.

Put the empty cup under the outlet and press start and presto within seconds you have made your first hot cup of espresso. This is how to make espresso and if you don’t add sugar or milk you have a drink with zero calories. To make a latte machiatto your make frothed milk using the frother on your machine. Put this in a heat-prove glass then carefully add you espresso. For cappuccino heat a half cup of milk until it froths, put this on top of your espresso, sprinkle some cocoa powder on top. Add sugar to taste. Presto! Enjoy your espresso!



Source by Jeen Van Der Meer