Caring for and using your coffee machine

Caring for and using your coffee machine

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OVERVIEW

Your top quality espresso coffee machine is just waiting to pour out rich, flavoursome coffees to start the day off just right. Whether you prefer cappuccino, latte or the strong flavour of pure espresso, you can become the Barista you were born to be by using this guide to help get the most out of your coffee machine. For best results purchase a coffee grinder for freshly ground coffee. Choose a blend that suits your palate from a local source that roasts on the premises.

For more information on grinders, check out our Coffee Grinder Buying Guide.

HOW TO USE YOUR ESPRESSO COFFEE MACHINE

Begin by reading the manual closely for safety and hygiene instructions. All machines are slightly different so this is an important step.

Essential Accessories: Knock box, tamper, barista cloth, cups for coffee type, milk jugs, milk thermometer, grinder.

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Wash all parts in warm, soapy water and air dry or put through dishwasher if safe.
  2. Grind your coffee so that it has the consistency of sand rubbed between your fingers. The grind is important in ensuring that the water runs through the coffee at the right speed to extract the full flavour without becoming bitter.
  3. Fill the water reservoir - filtered or spring water is best for pure flavoured coffee. The natural minerals present in water assist in extracting the oils from the coffee beans.
  4. Heat the coffee machine and portafilter to the appropriate brewing temperature. Pre-heat cups with boiling water from the kettle.
  5. Place portafilter basket under the dosing mechanism of the grinder and fill until slightly heaped. Keeping your arm and wrist in a straight line, use the tamper to compress the coffee so it is evenly compressed and level.
  6. Lock the portafilter handle into the group head and immediately begin extraction process to avoid the coffee burning.
  7. The extraction process should produce a layer of golden foam known as ‘crema’ on top of your espresso coffee. Too little crema indicates an incorrect grind.

Timing: A single shot should produce 25 - 30 ml in 25 - 30 seconds, and a double shot will produce 60 ml in 25 seconds.

Too fast: Coffee grind is too coarse. Too slow: Coffee grind is too fine. Continue to experiment until you produce the perfect crema.

Care tip: Knock out remaining coffee biscuit from the portafilter into a knock box. The biscuit should be firm and crisp indicating the correct grind has been used.

MILK

The milk type affects the type of foam. For creamy, thick froth use milk with high fat content, while low fat milk will produce fluffy, airy foam. Soy milk can also make a thick foam - remember not to heat over 55°C. Cleanliness is vital to prevent milk tasting bad.

  1. Taking care, release a little steam from the wand. This removes any condensed water.
  2. Add the correct amount of cold milk to the stainless steel jug - the jug should be filled between a third and half way. Clip thermometer to jug.
  3. Place jug so steam wand is in milk. Turn on steam. Do not heat the milk over 70°C.
  4. Pour milk into pre-prepared espresso base as soon as foam is created. Pour drinks that require the most foam first.
  5. When making Cappuccino, steam the milk first then make the espresso.
STEAM WAND POSITION:

The position of the steam wand changes the result of the milk foam:

Cappuccino: Keep steam wand just under milk surface so you can hear a gentle hissing sound.

Latte: Start with wand just below milk surface. As milk heats to 40°C, move wand deeper into the milk creating a thinner texture.

Care tip: Clean wand by placing over tray and releasing steam. Wipe clean with a damp barista cloth. Discard all unused milk.