Espresso Machine

How to Unclog an Espresso Machine

If coffee is the nectar of gods then espresso is its adrenaline junkie cousin who smoothly cruises through life at 100mph. Just as with every coffee-related beverage, the making of espresso is an art in itself and seeing the rich light brown color with blonde stripe-like highlights flow down during extraction is a beautiful thing to behold. Now following the school of thought that 1 + 1 = 2 and 2 x 2 = 4(just flow with me), a great double shot of espresso only happens if you make it right and if you want a repeat of this incredible taste over and over, you must clean your espresso machine often.

A Clog Is A Big Bump On The Road To Espresso Paradise

An espresso machine is made up of several parts all of which are very important and are linked together in making the best brew possible, but only if they are all working right. The best way to make sure that the parts are running smoothly is to clean the machine as regularly as your schedule allows. Keep in mind that a bad shot of espresso can ruin your day.

Some Recommended Espresso Machine Cleaning Tools And Supplies

  • A great way to keep your group head clean is by using a quality espresso machine brush.  I recommend this one from Amazon.  However, if you want kind of the Cadillac of brushes, this one is also available.
  • Keeping the interior of your machine clean is a good idea too.  There are a couple different products that do a great job for this for keeping all the lines, valves and heads clean and free from coffee residue.  One is a powder (click here for more info) and other is a tablet (click here).
  • For cleaning the steam wand, this product on Amazon also does an excellent job.

1. Grinding

As this process really determines the quality of your espresso, you need to clean out all the parts related to this. The grinding chamber can either be easy to reach or will need you to take apart using tools. Clean the grinding chamber and the cogs warm water, cleaning product and a cleaning sponge. However, to avoid a lot of wear and tear to this part, keep the dismantling to a minimum. Empty out the dosing chamber if your next brew is after more than twenty minutes. This is because ground coffee goes stale very quickly and will definitely affect the taste of the next espresso shot. Use a specific brush or even a normal painting brush to empty and brush out this chamber. The brush shouldn’t have a metal clip between the bristles and handle to avoid scratches. The exit chute is a bridge between the doser and grinder and retains coffee grinds after grinding. Since it’s a hard place to reach, when you’re preparing to brew a fresh shot, run some fresh grinds through the chute to chuck any stale remnants then toss them away before you start.

2. Got Milk?

The steaming wand and nozzle are used for the milk and are quite easy to clean. For a home espresso machine, you can wipe it with a clean wet towel and get any dried milk out of the nozzle using a clean, straight pin. The best way however is to insert the steam wand into water and press the ‘Steam’ button and this will ensure all the milk bits are cleaned out then you dry the wand and nozzle.

3. Brew-Group

The portafilter is an essential part of the brew-group of the espresso machine. A lot of times, due to overfilling the basket or not tamping down the coffee grinds properly or even shaking up the portafilter during the extraction, the shower screen can clog up. This affects water distribution and instead of your coffee flowing through the bottomed or bottomless portafilter evenly, it creates a channel and absolutely destroys the end result in your cup due to uneven distribution. This affects the entire shower screen, face and even the brew heads. Use a brew-head-specific brush to scrub the area and then use water to flush out the screen and wipe down with a wet cloth. You can soak the detachable parts about once a month in cleaner to really get the grinds out.

4. The Water Tank

Espresso 101 indicates that the espresso you make is only as good as the water you use. Using a simple carbon filter keeps out the mineral impurities that affect the taste of your brew. Despite using a water filter, mineral residue can build up in the water tank. Fill the tank with clean water and add descaling tablets that you can get from the espresso machine’s manufacturer or even citric acid and click the descale option from the program menu and place a big dish under the steam nozzle. After this use a container of cold water and immerse the steam nozzle and allow to froth three times to remove any mineral residue from it. Clean regularly to avoid clogs and remember to read the manual that comes with your specific espresso machine. Add that knowledge to these practical tips and you can easily go about unclogging your espresso machine.

You might also like: 8 Benefits Of Drinking Espresso

What Is The Difference Between Super-Automatic And Semi-Automatic

Espresso the drink we all adore, served in small cups and a ginger biscuit in my locality. It falls in the coffee family and is popular in the cold seasons and the best taste only depends on a brewing machine to let the taste sink in.

Before the purchase of the machine one has to look at the material used, usability, switch buttons and the key elements.

Well automation machines have sensors, pumps, valves just to brew the coffee. Technology at its best.

However, there is the super and semi automatic machines and each differs from the other. Factors to consider being convenience, accessories, easy clean up, added features, warranty, safety components, service and performance.

Both automatic machines fall under the pump driven espresso machine and categorize into dual boiler, single boiler heat exchanger and single boiler dual use.

First things first let us handle each and maybe the differentiation can make you ponder on which to make the latte on.

Super – Automatic Machine

They are very expensive considering they are of high quality and popularly referred by people as they make work easier and if you have never made it before, this can do it in seconds without knocking on people’s doors seeking for help as it eliminates the human error syndrome of having to tamp it manually. It grinds, tamps, and extracts the espresso shot producing good results in the long run.

In brewing they have a wide range of programmability therefore the brewing volume, extraction, time, temperature and water hardness are adjusted to perfection.

Couple of choices are offered when it comes to steaming and frothing the milk in desired preferences. The inbuilt grinder unlike in the semi-automatic grinds the beans but it been automatic one has to adjust the flavor, strength, dosage and fineness so that the espresso does not go berserk on people’s throats. It is advantageous for its self cleaning thus easy to maintain, fine tuning, less mess, single servings, user control boosting one’s tastes, consistent results by using fresh beans and that no skills are needed to operate it in making it.

Every good thing however has its cons in this case been the oil the beans produce can block the grinder, medium dark espresso roasts and outer body made of plastics.
The super machines are of different categories ranging from the blue ribbon, big daddy, space saver, smooth operators among others each with its unique designs.

Semi – Automatic Machine

Continues to be used in most households as it allows control over the user to make into perfection. Way back the barista was in use but thanks to innovations the semi automatic came through to save the drink. Through grinding beans, putting them in a portafilter the semi automatic requires a press of the button and once the espresso is made to perfection another press of the button is made offering a real time control.

Features like automated pump, automated temperatures, controls for boiler, activation switches render it the name semi-automatic.

In brewing it leads to perfection by having control of water flow for every shot.

Portafilters are either pressurized or non-pressurized. The pressurized uses valve and let’s water out of portafilter if right amount of pressure is reached, while the non-pressurized is made of chrome and ensures temperatures are stable for better shot.

Traditional steam wand where milk is used to get the good forth renders more control over the final product. Programming is present in them fostering the extraction time when halt is needed.

Brewing temperatures are controlled by turning the heating element when it detects a drop in the boiler temperature. Pressure is not forgotten either as it is regulated and maintained for safety purposes. Moreover, the temperatures for steaming are maintained.

Its con is that it has no inbuilt grinder and one has to either use a separate grinder or ground coffee beans to dose your portafilter.

The floor is now set to make a decision on which machine to purchase that best suits your tastes and preference as a consumer. At the end of the day it is all about yearning to make, have or give that cup of a good drink to family, lovers and friends made by that machine.

Serious Coffee Drinkers Own Espresso Machines!

There was a time when most people had to visit a local cafe if they wanted to enjoy a genuine espresso. These days, consumers have the option of buying equipment that allows them to make their favorite beverage in their very own kitchens. Espresso machines are available in a wide range of sizes with various features and the prices vary accordingly. Check out our reviews of the top 10 espresso machine on the market.

This modern appliance brews coffee by using high pressure to apply hot water to beans. The result is a thick, hot beverage with creamy foam floating on the surface. Many coffee lovers prefer this brewing method because it concentrates the flavors and produces a more full-bodied taste than traditional drip brew methods.

How Much Control Do You Want Over Your Coffee?

Consumers can choose from manual or automatic appliances. The biggest difference is in how much effort is necessary to operate the equipment. Some people are more interested in optimizing their time by having the machine do most of the work. Others are more interested in perfecting the art of making the ideal cup of espresso and would rather have more control over the process. Budget may also be a factor in this decision as automatic units are generally more expensive than the manual options.

Individuals who choose to purchase a manual machine must be willing to put in the time and effort required to learn how to use it properly. This type of machine is available with a spring piston lever or a direct lever. With a direct lever model, the operator applies pressure manually to deliver the water to the grounds.

The spring piston lever relies on an internal spring to infuse the grounds with nearly boiling water. The operator compresses the spring by pulling down on the lever and the spring exerts steadily declining pressure to the liquid as it returns to its resting position. When the machine is not in use, the lever will point upward, unlike a direct lever unit, which has the lever pointing down. The operator controls how much pressure to apply by applying force to the lever.

With a lever machine, the operator has complete control over preinfusion, which is the length of time the water rests on the coffee grounds. Most semi-automatic and automatic models do not allow the operator to control this step. To pull the perfect shot, the operator must factor in a number of variables. These include the specific coffee grind and its level of freshness as well as the amount of grounds used and the water temperature.

A manual machine is similar to a semi-automatic appliance in that it provides the operator the opportunity to decide how much water to apply to the grounds. An automatic machine allows the user to program in a specific amount but to vary the amount requires additional programming. Manual machines offer additional control when it comes to adding more water to the brew.

The lever machine has a grouphead with a cavity. When the lever is pushed to cock the spring, water fills the cavity after a valve opens between the grouphead and boiler. To add more water, the user can depress the lever again. This opens the valve and allows the cavity to fill up with water. Reactivating the spring is done when the initial amount of brewing water is nearly gone, half gone or one-quarter gone allowing the user to control the amount of additional water used.

A lever machine maintains water in the boiler under pressure and several degrees above the boiling point. The high pressure allows the water to remain in liquid form at a hotter temperature than it would at normal atmospheric pressure. This high temperature is necessary to transport the water from the boiler to the grouphead and to produce the steam required to froth milk.

Under normal circumstances, water at such a high temperature would scorch the grounds making for a bitter beverage. The appliance’s design overcomes this temperature problem. The grouphead serves as a heatsink to cool off the water to the point that it is at optimum brewing temperature by the time it reaches nozzle.

This design produces the desired results but it has its disadvantages as well. The grouphead’s ability to leech off heat diminishes when pulling consecutive shots. Eventually the water will be too hot and will burn the grounds unless the appliance is allowed to rest. This is also a problem when the machine is left on for several hours.

Manual machines do allow users various ways to manipulate the temperatures. Some individuals will turn the machine off or unplug it after it is at operating temperatures. Another technique involves warming up the grouphead with a hot water flush and letting the machine rest for a couple minutes between pulling shots. Many people quickly discover that employing trial and error methods of experimentation is the only to get the hang of using a manual espresso machine.

When choosing an automatic appliance, consumers have several options to consider. A semi-automatic machine has automatic temperature controls and an automatic pump. What makes it semi-automatic is the activation switch to turn the pump on and off giving the user control over the length of time the pump is engaged.

The temperature controls and pump are also automated for the boiler in an automatic appliance. On many models, the preset water volumes are programmable giving the user control over how much water the system delivers to the grounds. A super automatic machine has the same features as the automatic model but it also prepares the grounds by grinding, measuring, and tamping them at the touch of a button.

Dual Boiler Espresso Machines

A dual boiler machine is the most sophisticated of the automatic models, which also means it is the most expensive. These units allow for steaming and brewing at the same time. The water in one boiler is kept at a temperature that is ideal for brewing while the water in the second boiler stays at steaming temperature.

The biggest problem with this type of brewer is that European manufacturers have not designed them for power specifications in the United States. The average 15-amp electrical wall socket delivers 110 volts. This is insufficient power to operate both boilers at European specifications.

A heat exchanger design with a single boiler allows for simultaneous brewing and steaming. The water in the boiler is kept at a temperature that produces steam. Water flows from the reservoir to the grouphead through a coiled tube, which serves as the unit’s heat exchanger. The brewing water is flash heated to the optimum temperature for brewing as it travels through the tube. Consumers opting for this design should select a model that has a way to connect a water supply or features an external reservoir if they intend to leave the machine on around the clock. This allows for better temperature stability and more consistent brewing results.

A dual use machine with a single boiler is the most affordable and common type of appliance used by consumers. The design features two thermostats. The first thermostat controls the brewing temperature to draw the most flavor out of the grounds. The second thermostat operates several degrees hotter at a temperature to produce steamed milk. Users must choose between the two settings making it impossible to steam milk and brew coffee at the same time.

Semi Automatic Espresso Machines

A semi-automatic model is ideal for consumers who want some control over the brewing process but not total control. The user can control exactly how much water is delivered to build the shot. This is done by pushing the pump switch at the appropriate time. With an automatic device, the machine delivers the same amount of water with each shot with no way to adjust if necessary while pulling the shot.

Semi-automatic appliances automatically control the boiler heater. Whenever the heating element detects a temperature drop, it turns on to allow the water to return to the optimum temperature for brewing. Older machines required the user to turn the boiler heater on and off manually. Most users will have no trouble producing consistent tasting beverages because the machine automatically controls the pump pressure. With a lever machine, the spring or the user controls the pressure, which can lead to inconsistent results.

An automatic unit controls every aspect of water delivery. The user simply fills the filter with coffee, pushes the button to start the brewing process, and the machine does the rest. It releases the same predetermined amount of water every time until the user reprograms it. The machine ends the brewing cycle when it has produced the desired amount of beverage. Most machines have four settings allowing for one or two shots short and one or two shots long. Some models have a semi-automatic button that allows users to override the pre-programmed options.

Super Automatic Espresso Machines

The super-automatic machine does everything the automatic machine does but it also grinds the beans, removing yet another step in the brewing process. Most of these products feature high-quality conical burr grinders. Users have the option of choosing the grind level from extremely fine or coarse. Selecting the right setting is crucial because finely ground beans produce more flavor but the result can be bitter if the beans are too finely ground. Some models have a pre-grinding function that will grind beans for a second cup of coffee while the first is still brewing.

These high-end appliances offer automatic dosing to give the user the most consistent results possible. The dosing mechanism allows the user the ability to choose precisely how many grams of beans to load into the filter for each shot. Consumers who want an even easier way to adjust the dose from time to time can select a machine that has a bypass doser. The bypass device does not utilize the grinder, so it must be loaded with pre-ground beans.

Most super automatic brewers have a single Thermobloc heating unit. Small amounts of water are allowed to flow through the reservoir. Most units will take approximately 45 seconds to heat the water from the brewing temperature to the proper temperature for steaming. To eliminate the wait time for the water to heat to steaming temperature, consumers can purchase a model featuring dual heating systems. This eliminates the need to cool the boiler for the next brewing cycle after steaming.

Additional features are available on a variety of machines from semi-automatic to super-automatic designs. Some individuals prefer models with settings for pre-brewing. This function moistens the grounds initially and then allows time for them to steep before starting the brewing process. This method of brewing can improve the quality and quantity of crema while extracting the maximum amount of flavor from the beans.

Cup warmers are handy for enhancing the espresso drinking experience. Because the liquid is brewed in small quantities, it cools off very quickly as soon as it fills the cup. Machines with this feature typically have a heated storage tray on top of the unit. Some systems have a dedicated heater that warms the tray. Others utilize a passive heating system and leech heat from the machine’s boiler system.

Water Filtration

Brewing water quality plays a major role in the taste of the finished product. Some makers have built-in water filtration systems. The filters in these systems will remove chlorine and a variety of minerals, including lead, copper, and aluminum before the water enters the brewing process. The filter also removes carbon from the water and prevents calcium build up inside the machine. This eliminates the need for decalcifying during routine maintenance.

The amount of money spent on a quality espresso machine depends on budget and personal preference. Some consumers will spend as much on a machine as they will on other large kitchen appliances but if they can get several years of reliable performance in exchange, they consider the purchase a wise investment. Those who want to save money but do not mind putting in the effort required to use a manual machine enjoy the most authentic preparation experience. Those who prefer instant gratification and consistent results with no fuss will not mind spending more for a machine that does it all.

Steaming Milk

How to Steam Milk with Espresso Machine

Baristas often disagree on the fundamentals of the perfect cup of coffee, some say it’s the fresh beans that play the biggest role, other argue that hand grinding makes the largest difference, many sustain that it is in fact the origin of the beans that really matters the most, and a few agree that there is an ideal temperature that improves the quality of the beverage. But, there is one thing they all agree on, one key ingredient, an indispensable element that must be present in any cup of coffee for it to be considered impeccable; good quality milk, steamed to perfection.

What Is Steamed Milk? And Why Is It So Important?

Before learning to steam milk you must first understand what it is and why it is so important. Steamed milk, also referred to as ‘microfoam’, or wet foam, is the product of steaming milk(usually whole milk) with the wand of an espresso machine, causing the denaturation of its proteins, and so, making them pull gas to their surface and holding it in place, steamed milk has the characteristic of being an extremely fine foam with no visible bubbles. It is crucial in the preparation of a high quality and classy cup of coffee for two reasons; it’s tastier, or usually perceived as a more appetizing alternative to normal milk, mostly because of the altered properties of the milk at high temperatures. For example, the lactose it contains tends to be regarded as sweeter because it becomes more soluble, and it is crucial for lane art, which adds a layer of class and style to any cup of coffee. Now that you understand what microfoam is, lets move on to making it.

How To Steam Milk?

We will now go over the process of steaming milk with an espresso machine, this procedure can be broken down into 4 stages, while you get ready to prepare your microfoam keep in mind that making wet foam is not an exact science, it will require skill and practice, you might not get it the first time but with some patience the results will be amazing.

Step 1: Gathering your materials and preparing your work area

The very first thing you will want to do is to identify what kind of espresso machine you’re working with, find the steam wand, a curved, metallic rod with a small bulge on the tip, which tends to have one or several holes, or a wire mesh; it will have a pivot, usually covered with a black, plastic, accordion-shaped cylindrical piece similar to those present in automobile gear sticks, somewhere above it, or in the contiguous area, there will be a button, lever, or knob that activates the wand, having identified all these components we now move on to gathering the materials. The first thing you will need is, of course, the milk, for best results whole milk should be used, but half and half works well too, skim milk and low fat or lactose free milk might not have the same volume and flavor. Next you will need a pitcher, metal pitchers are commonly used and tend to work best, plastic pitchers ought to be avoided, make sure both the milk and the pitcher are cold.

Step 2: Measuring the amount of milk

Even though it sounds simple, measuring the amount of milk you will use is a delicate process, using to much milk will make it harder to steam and might scorch the cream or create too many bubbles. If you use too little it might be excessively thin, and not be enough to make more than a cup, usually you will want to fill the pitcher up to about the center.

Step 3: Stretching the milk and forming whirlpools

Now we move into the actual foaming of the milk, this is divided into two steps, stretching and spinning. Before you start stretching you must ‘purge’ the wand, this means cleaning it, by turning it on, letting steam race out and wiping it, to get rid of milk or particles that might be trapped inside, now we start stretching, during this step the wand is introduced just under the surface of the milk, microfoam is formed, be careful to let the milk spin while you do this, it should take about 4 seconds, you should hear a hissing sound. When the microfoam has been created its time to spin the milk, for this step you must sink the wand slightly further down into the pitcher, tilt the pitcher slightly to one side, and let the milk whirlpool, keep the whirlpool going until the pitcher heats up and you are only barely able to hold it without burning yourself.

Step 4: Resting the milk

Now that your steamed milk is done all that is left for you to do it do disperse any bubbles that may have formed by gently tapping the pitcher with a spoon or other similar implement, and to swirl the milk around, in order to polish the milk. Be sure to clean the wand and the espresso machine when you’re done.

Step 5: Maintenance

Finally, you are going to want to clean the steam wand fairly regularly.  There are a bunch of different products that make this very easy.  Click here to see these on Amazon.

Now that you know the basics of steaming milk using espresso machines, all that is left for you to do is practice, remember to follow up with a great coffee to use your deluxe foam on.

Espresso Making Using A Breville Machine

Making espresso is quite easy, you can make a fine barista at home only if you have a breville machine. That machine is all you need to make good quality espresso. Easy as the process might be, there are some key things you need to factor in as you work the machine. From figuring out what each part does to getting your grind, filters and shots right.

  • The first part of the process is ensuring that your beans are freshly ground. These go into the burr grinder.
  • At this stage you need to preset your grind to the preferred size depending on your scale level of expertise, the Grind dial sets the fineness or coarseness of the grind. This helps archive optimal extraction. You don’t want your grind too fine or too rough, if the texture of the grind is similar to that of baking flour then that is extremely fine and thus it will block the passage of water even if the pressure is increased. The extreme fine grind will also make your espresso too concentrated with a bitter taste. If your grind is too coarse then water will flow through it without really getting the required concentration. It is easy and fast to set the grind size to dual wall and ensure you are using the grind wall filters.
  • The grind will also adjust the amount or rather the quantity of the beans that should be ground and sent to the filter for extraction, this is level depends yet again on how coarse or fine your grind actually is
  • Most barista express breville machines are fitted with grinding cradle that is placed right below the conical burr grinder. This also supports a portafilter, where the coffee beans are put as the next process. As the portafilter is being filled you can continue doing other side preparations, this process does not require much of your attention. It is important to ensure that your filter and the portfilter are completely dry before filling the filter.
    There is a coffee spoon provided for filling the coffee into the filters, it is important that you use it to ensure that your quantities measure right. At this point you need to figure out whether you are making a single or a double shot. A single shot makes approximately 1 oz. while a double shot makes approximately 2 oz of espresso. A single shot is one flat scoop while a double shot is two flat scoops, using the provided spoon of course.
  • The next process is tamping. This is the consistent application of pressure to the grinds. The tamper is removable and can be used while attached to the machine or separate.
    Timing is another important thing to consider when brewing coffee, when coffee tastes weak other than the reason being the usage of coarse grind and not firmly tampering the grind, it can also be due to over-brewing. So then how do determine the proper amount of time required? When brewing a single shot which weighs 7 grams it takes 20 seconds from the time you begin to pump. Double shot is made in 20-25 seconds from the time you begin to pump and weighs 14 grams.

Finally the crema, this is the thin form-like layer of on top of espresso, in other simpler languages though, crema is just coffee. Its production is thus from a series of all the processes achieved above and if they are done right then it should be right. From getting fresh coffee beans to getting the right grind, tampering and filter. Coffee beans should be used within a month if you want them to remain fresh and the pre-ground should be used within a week’s period otherwise the crema will not be right. When it comes to the storage of either one of them the containers used should be airtight and of course the place should be cool and dry as is with almost any other products.

For the best experience with your breville espresso machine ensure proper care is taken. Such includes regular cleaning, replacing of parts periodically such parts include parts like the water filters and finally decalcifying the machine, these are some of the care and maintenance processes required to ensure quality coffee.

Read more: Master making Espresso with the DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Maker

8 Benefits Of Drinking Espresso

The espresso is perhaps best known for its rich, invigorating taste and strong, delightful aroma. In fact, most ardent fans of this popular beverage are drawn to it because of pure delight of drinking it. Most don’t even realize its other amazing benefits.

The simple fact is than an espresso offers much more than just delighting the palate. Both anecdotal evidence and scientific studies reveal an amazing array of benefits from drinking this coffee beverage. The best documented among the benefits are the following:

Boosts Immune System

The espresso is rich in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are chemicals which play an essential role in boosting the body’s immune system. This is because they counter the actions of free radicals — harmful toxins which can degrade the body’s immune system. As such, the high concentration of antioxidants can contribute towards bolstering the body’s immune system.

Improves Cognitive Functioning

The espresso is rich in also rich in caffeine. In fact, it has a higher concentration of caffeine than regular coffee. Caffeine is renowned for improving mental alertness. This is why it is popular among students and professionals who desire to maintain mental acuity for prolonged periods of time. Given its large concentration of caffeine, the espresso is the perfect cognitive booster. It can enable someone to feel alert, focused and mentally sharp. This makes them better able to concentrate and accomplish mental tasks.

Improves Energy Levels

Caffeine is a natural stimulant. It has been proven to boost the body’s cardiovascular rate. This makes the heart to pump faster, and the cells to metabolize carbohydrates at a faster rate. The end result is that a person ends up feeling invigorated, energized and euphoric. This energy boost can come in handy for someone who desires to work-out or conduct a physically demanding activity.

Elevates Positive Moods

The stimulating properties of caffeine can have a positive impact on emotions. The feeling of euphoria can stimulate pheromones which lead a person to feel exited, relaxed and happy. This feeling is even heightened especially for those who truly enjoy a good coffee. The stimulating effect makes caffeine invaluable for fighting off depression, stress and anxiety. This is precisely why it is often advisable to take a couple of shots especially on days when one is feeling a little moody.

Reduces Risk of Diabetes

In April 2014, the Harvard School of Public Health published a study which linked coffee consumption to a reduced risk of diabetes. The study found that people who increased their consumption of coffee over a four year period reduced their chances of acquiring type 2 diabetes by 11%. The likelihood of acquiring diabetes was profound among those who increase their coffee consumption by more than one cup per day.

The study also found that those who reduced their consumption (by one cup per day) increased their likelihood of acquiring type 2 diabetes by 17%. The researchers concluded that regularly drinking coffee can indeed reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes.

Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Numerous studies have showed that coffee can reduce the risk of heart disease. One such study was carried out on 25,138 men and women at the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, South Korea. The study which was published in 2014 revealed that drinking three cups of coffee a day can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

According to the study’s findings, coffee helps to unclog arteries, thereby reducing the risks of heart attacks. The researchers speculated that the anti-oxidants found in coffee could be central for promoting cardiovascular health. However, they recommended that further studies be conducted to find out the real mechanism.

Fights Numerous Other Diseases

Research studies have shown that coffee can help in fighting many other diseases. Examples include cancer, liver disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Such studies have been published in reputable journals. For instance, in 2013, study, published in Clinical Gastronenterology and Hepatology revealed that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of developing liver cancer by up to 40%.

Fights Erectile Dysfunction

A study published in 2015 by University of Texas researchers found coffee to play an effective role in fighting erectile dysfunctions. The study, which was published in journal PLOS ONE was based on data collected from 3,724 of 20 years and above between 2001 and 2004.

Researchers tracked the men over a decade, comparing their consumption patterns with reports of erectile dysfunction. They found that those who regularly consume coffee between 85 and 170 milligrams of caffeine a day were 42% less likely to report erectile dysfunction. They concluded that coffee can be effective for fighting erectile dysfunction.

Ultimately, even though none of the studies above mention espresso directly, they highlight the benefits of coffee. An espresso is coffee extraordinaire. Therefore, all the benefits of drinking coffee apply to it. As such, if you are someone who truly enjoys the world-famous shot, just know that it offers much more than just pure delight!

Making Espresso by Aeropress

I recently added an Aeropress to my kitchen. I wanted to know whether it will work or not and I was pretty happy about the result. Now I wanted to share it with you guys. I assure you that Aeropress won’t upset you. I’ll definitely give a 4 star for it.  Take a look here to get more information on it on Amazon.

So many of my friends asked me about Aeropress. So first of all am giving a brief description about this product.

Aeropress is a device for brewing coffee. It was invented in 2005 by Aerobie president Alan Adler.

Aeropress is consisting of two nestling cylinders. One is an airtight flexible cylinder that ejected into a larger cylinder (similar to syringe).

The larger cylinder is called chamber. There’s a cap on chamber that can be removed. The other cylinder is called plunger which has a rubber seal on its end. When the plunger is inserted into the chamber, the asylum is airtight. A steel paddle is also available along with it and it is used for mixing and stirring the mixture.

And this is all about the Aeropress. I hope you got a basic idea about the product and its purpose on brewing coffee.

Now am sharing the way to prepare espresso with Aeropress. Here are the steps

  • First remove the plunger and the cap from the chamber.
  • Put a filter in the cap and twist it back onto the chamber.
  • Next we need a study mug and stand the chamber on it.
  • Put two scoops of Aeropress fine ground coffee powder into the chamber.
  • Pour hot water very slowly into the chamber, till it reaches the number 2 on the measurement scale. If you are looking for the best taste, always prefer hot water with 80 Degree Celsius. I am an espresso-holic. So I never compromise on the taste.
  • Stir the coffee and hot water mixture with the steel paddle about to 10 seconds. Always be careful about one thing, as you pour the hot water into the coffee, there’s a great change to clump up the coffee powder with water. So always pour the hot water very slowly to the chamber and never forget to stir the mixture properly.

Yes now I get a fine yummy smell from the chamber

  • Now insert the plunger into the chamber and gentle presses down about an inch.
  • Maintain the pressure for a 20 seconds at least or 30 seconds maximum.
  • Now you have made double espressos

I have a secret ingredient that I always use in my espresso. Chocolate powder. Add some chocolate powder into your espresso and experience the heavenly taste.

Inverted Aeropress

Try this way also to get a strong espresso feel. Coffee drinkers also developed the method of brewing by inverted aeropress. But i don’t prefer this method but still give a try and see what happened..

Some of us like to steep for a long time, thus you can brew upside down with zero drip-through like how I mentioned below

  1. It will be nice if you insert the plunger about an inch into the chamber without filter or cap. Then stand the chamber upside down like the whole chamber resting on the top of the plunger.
  2. Add ground coffee and hot water to the chamber. As I told you before, pour the hot water slowly into the chamber in order to get a good mixture.
  3. Then stir and steep the mixture as long as you want.
  4. Attach the cap, invert onto your cup, and press. ( Now I keep a filter into the cap to get nice espresso)

This method is very similar to French press

But keep in mind that as long as you steep,the bitterness and acidity will be increased.
I always prefer the first method because it gives the best taste of espresso. Don’t forget to clean your chamber. It is also quite easy to do. Remove the cap and hold Aeropress over trash. Eject the plunger and clean the remaining grounds. Push the plunger fully and clean or brush the rubber seal too. Now the cleaning is also done.

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How To Make a Good Italian Espresso

So you would like to make an espresso? Great! There’s art involved when making this Italian coffee but don’t worry, we can help! machine out there. Some of the important things that must be considered when it comes to making high quality espresso at home or anywhere else include the type of machine you have, the beans, whether you are good at knowing your coffee in terms of taste, and many more.

Espresso has always been my favorite type of coffee. Maybe because it’s so pure – just a shot of hot coffee in a glass. I’m always reminded of the authentic Italian coffee bars of my hometown when I was a child. Wooden counter tops, little stools, and elderly Italian gentlemen enjoying their daily (or more likely, three or four-time daily) espresso with a contented expression.

1. Beans from places such as Kenya, Brazil, California tend to have better results since these places have high altitudes and they are conducive for growing coffee. These beans must be of top quality and they must never be put in a wet place or extremely cold places. They will quickly lose their flavor and won’t produce the quality needed.

No. Marketing and word of mouth has led people to believe that beans do matter. To a pro, beans do not matter. But for a newbie, its good to get some of the well known beans. This isn’t true. Any bean can make good espresso. However, beans grown in areas of high altitude tend to make better coffee. Ensure that the beans are dry, just that.

2. Instead of buying your espresso beans from the supermarket, why not try going to your local coffee specialist and purchase freshly roasted beans. Beans only begin to lose their freshness after the roasting process, so buying freshly roasted beans is clearly superior to buying from the supermarket. You should also enjoy the fact that they will still be warm when you buy them, remember to choose a good coffee. I have tried many of them, and I have found that the one I like the most (and also many of my friends) is this one Kimbo Espresso Napoletano. If you can not find it in your supermarket, you can find it in Amazon.

3. Most people think that the blend is also a factor to consider.
No. Although there are blends of beans created for this type of coffee, the blend doesn’t make a difference. The espresso blend has led to this common misunderstanding. Some roasters say that you can only make a good espresso with the right blend. Take your well trained espresso coffee maker and add some water inside. It is very important that you do not use hot water. I use water from the faucet, as cool as it comes out. Hard water is not good for coffee, so do not use it. There is a valve inside, fill it up until the water level is right below that little hole.

4. Is it how you roast it?

No. Some think the common dark blend or extremely dark roast is the best, however the roast differs from place to place. In California, you will get darker or “French” roast. On the other side of the coast, the blend is not as dark. In places such as Northern Italy, medium roast is normally used Any type of roast is easily used to make good espresso. It boils does to your own taste. Use a high quality burr grinder, ideally a conical burr grinder with ceramic burrs. These are very high quality and will result in an excellent and consistent grind. Most experts put the importance of having a good grinder ahead of having a good espresso machine.

5. In the end, you might decide that the most convenient way to a get a real machine by ordering it from Amazon or eBay. You should check out the different options available and make sure you get one that’s right for you. The high-end ones can be expensive, but that can be because they do things like grind the coffee and heat and froth milk.

Are All Machines Made To Make Espresso?

No. There are machines out there sold as “espresso machines” that aren’t as such The machines are usually electric “moka” style machines that use steam pressure. This type pf pressure produces. A real machine must produce at least 9 which enables the force of water through the finely ground and the compacted ground beans. These steam driven are sold for $75 or less in major stores.

The Procedure?

Now, there are different steps involved in making this unique coffee such as grinding, roasting the beans, knowing the right temperatures, tamping them and finally making the espresso.

You will first need an espresso machine. There are many to pick from, so we suggest you look around before making a choice.

If you have the machine, grinder beans, let’s get to it! Identify whether the machine is pump or stream driven.

  1. Preheat the glass and the beverage at the same time as this will be served later.
  2. Start to grind using the grinder.
  3. Remove the porter filter using a piece of cloth.
  4. During the grinding process, make sure to dose enough coffee that will evenly fill the basket and immediately halt the grinder.
  5. Ensure that the basket is evenly leveled. This is achieved by simply pushing and pulling them backwards to the opposite direction and ensure that the entire basket is well filled.
  6. Press down the tamper using pressure. With as much as ease as possible, with around 30 pounds of pressure. Ensure that you do this by turning it at about 720 while still pressing at 20 pounds of pressure.
  7. Allow about two ounces of water to flow out through the group’s head.
  8. Turn the pump on.
  9. Start timing when you are ready to pour.

Always warm your cups to ensure quality. Some machines cup with a built-in cup warmer, however an even better way is to pour boiling water into your cup for 30 seconds prior to brewing.

There you have it. A well prepared espresso right in your living room Italian style!

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How To Use A Mini-Espresso Machine

A mini-espresso machine is a very convenient machine for people who want to travel outdoors and still have their satisfaction for coffee. The machine perfectly fits in many traveling bags therefore making it very convenient without adding to the traveling baggage. A mini-espresso machine is also cheap compared to many coffee makers therefore pocket friendly. In recent times, we have witnesses reduction in size of many electronics and the coffee maker has not been left out, one limitation of size reduction is the complexity of the geometry and use of the final product. I am going to explain how to effectively use the machine.

Preparing The Machine

Before using the machine, there are a couple of things to check: first since the canister is aluminium and pressure sealed, do not use in a microwave or heat on a camp fire. When filling with water, do not fill past the indicated safety valve. Do not pack coffee grounds into the filter funnel. Before filling with water, ensure that all parts are present and assembled correctly. Finally check the rubber washer and safety valve for obstruction or wear, do not use the mini-espresso if the safety valve or threads leaks since this will put you in danger of pressure bursts and hot fluid burns.

Also, remember to wash all parts in hot water before first use. Coffee grounds should also not be added to flush debris and metal fillings from unit. Before cleaning or disassembling, allow unit to cool.

The mini-espresso machine is the size of a small thermos flask. When using for the first time, do not add coffee first, this will ensure flushing away of all the metal fillings and debris that will compromise the taste of your coffee.

Adding Water And Coffee Grounds

Now fill the base with clean water make sure the water level only touches the bottom of the safety valve.

Add the desired amount of freshly ground coffee to the filter funnel. The amount of coffee depends on the amount of caffeine the user wants. Take note not to fill the grounds down. Re-insert the funnel into the base.

The funnel has been designed as a correct measure, however, less coffee may be used for a weaker brew. Instant coffee should be avoided.

Closing The Espresso

Screw the top section firmly on the base and place on stove top at low heat. Place cup under brass stem and within minutes your coffee-maker will deliver a flavorful cup of European style.

Cleaning

Cleaning it is essential since it ensures proper hygiene is maintained, also keeping the aluminum parts clean and dry reduces chances of rust formation or aluminum oxide coating forming. The coffee maker is dish washer safe but the manufacturer insists on cleaning it independently and manually using hot water and soap. This will ensure all the hidden parts or those with complex geometries are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Abrasive detergents and scouring pads should be avoided, they compromise the close limits and fits making tight valves leaks. When using hard water, deposits or stains may form on the inner surface of the barrel. This should not be scrapped off with a hard object. Instead use a mixture of water and vinegar to corrode it away. Remember to rinse with fresh water after using vinegar on the mini-espresso.

There are lot of different products out there to keep your machine clean and lasting as long as possible.  I recommend looking here to see some of these.

Drying

After cleaning the machine, dry all the parts with a cloth or leave them in open sun. When storing the machine, keep it disassembled and only assemble it again when you need to make coffee.

Maintenance is paramount. Should you find the machine threads worn out, or the safety valve leaking, do not use the machine or try repairing it as this may cause harm. Remember spare parts are readily available. Take the machine to qualified technician for repairs. Safety starts with you : Always use the coffee-maker on low heat and ensure the safety valve is not blocked or tampered with.

Best Coffee Recipes

It’s easy to prepare all the flavorful versions of the classic European Coffee drinks. For traditional cappuccino, froth milk is added to espresso. This machine is not suited to produce frothed milk, please warm your milk then add it to your trail side brew. For mountain espresso. Fill the machine barrel with 11 fluid ounces of water. Garnish with a twist of lemon rind.

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How To Make An Espresso Without An Espresso Machine

A good quality espresso is like that perfect hug which just makes the day seem brighter. It carries the promise of better things to come and make Mondays a lot more bearable. The key to the perfect espresso is controlled temperature, pressure and great coffee grounds. To this day the best brews are made using classic style lever machines invented more than 100 hundred years ago in Italy. These remain the gold standard which cost thousands of dollars. Without getting yourself one of these, it is difficult to achieve the perfect beverage however there are several alternatives that come close.

Most everyone is used to getting their caffeine shots from the coffee shop or the cafeteria at work. The serious aficionados look forward to being woken up by the pleasing scent of their favorite brew wafting up from espresso machines. As many an avid drinker would testify, the pursuit for the most perfect and authentic cup is a costly endeavor that spans over numerous machines and the latest thermodynamics technology. Others scour through neighborhood coffee shops boutique coffee roasters and renowned baristas in search of the best brew. Over time, one ends up owning several gadgets or settles for the best coffee shop in the area and still remains dissatisfied with the end product.

Espresso machines can cost as much as $600 which is beyond the average person’s ability while a double shot at Starbucks costs $2.10. Over a year of daily coffee runs this equates to $767 which also is not cheap. This begs the question: “Where is the middle ground and how can we get our morning fix for less?” The obvious answer is to make it yourself without using a machine. So how does one do this?

8 Steps To Brewing Using A Moka Pot

For as little as $20 on Amazon, you can find a good quality Moka Pot (like this one on Amazon) which can also be called an espresso maker. Whatever name they call it, the basics are that it is a stovetop teapot specifically designed to brew espresso by forcing steam through the coffee grounds. Made from stainless steel, the pot comes with two chambers which are separated by a metal filter cup. The metal filter cup has small holes in it to allow the steam to rise into the top chamber of the pot. The bottom chamber is the pot which carries the water while the top chamber is the pouring side which holds and serves the beverage.

1. To make your daily shot using a Moka pot you need the pot itself and your favorite brand of finely granulated coffee beans.

2. Unscrew the top chamber from the bottom half then separate the metal filter and chambers.

3. Pour water into the bottom chamber up to the valve level. The valve is located on the side of bottom chamber.

4. Place the metal filter cup inside the bottom chamber then spoon in coffee grounds into the cup until full.

5. Lightly tamp down the grounds. Refill and tamp down repeatedly until the cup is full and level. Don’t press down too firmly otherwise the water will have difficulties rising through the coffee grounds.

6. Screw back on the top chamber until it’s firmly secured.

7. Set the stove on high and bring the water to boil. In 4-5 minutes the brewed drink should be piping up in the top chamber.

8. Remove coffee from the stove and serve according to taste.

8 Steps To Brewing Using An AeroPress

The AeroPress is an inexpensive way of making espresso by force pressing hot water through coffee grounds. Now enthusiasts everywhere debate over whether or not the AeroPress is capable of making a truly authentic beverage. To this humble author’s taste buds, the AeroPress does indeed meet the challenge of producing a good cuppa. It all comes down to technique otherwise all you get is a concentrated cup of coffee instead of real espresso. Of course the greatness of this gadget is that it does make some pretty good regular coffee even without experimenting with it into the land of espresso.

The AeroPress consists of a plastic chamber, plunger, cap and filter. The plunger is used to apply pressure into the filled chamber so as to produce a quality brew. It is not the most aesthetically pleasing kitchen device what with the hospital style plunger and all. However for the low price and stellar brewing, the AeroPress’ lack of beauty does not detract from it at all. To make coffee shots using an AeroPress you need to get one for about $20, finely ground coffee and AeroPress sized coffee filters.

1. Bring water to boil in a separate container and let it sit for a minute.

2. Separate the AeroPress chambers from the plunger and cap.

3. Place the filter paper inside the cap then screw the cap to the bottom chamber.

4. Scoop in ground coffee into the bottom chamber then tamp it down.

5. This is where the technique comes in. Most AeroPress units do not come with a tamper so you have to improvise with something like a bottle of spice seasoning which is perfectly sized to slide in and out of the AeroPress chamber to tamp down the coffee.

6. Place a second filter on top of the tamped down coffee so as to prevent the hot water from sloshing about and ruining the compression of the grounds.

7. Pour hot water into the chamber then place the assembled unit on top of a cup.

8. Use the AeroPress plunger to manually press the water through the coffee and into the cup for a great cup of java.

Conclusion

There are several more ways of making your favorite brew without using any machines. Some of them are reminiscent of bicycle pumps while others deliver portable convenience. Of course these produce varying levels of success such that perfection is defined by the drinker’s expectations. One could also argue over what constitutes a machine and whether or not the lack of batteries or electricity excludes a gadget from being called a machine. The bottom line is that the average drinker has more options beyond expensive espresso machines. With a little bit of experimenting, you can get your morning java all year round at under $100.

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