Monday, October 3, 2011

Espresso Machine - Tips for Brewing Espresso at Home

You may be used to visiting your local barista's espresso machine for a fine cup. Probably because when you try to do it at home, it well, sucks. Now please don't take offense - it's not your fault because you just need to know a few tips. That's what this article is about! The good news is that it is definitely possible for the rank beginner to rank highly in the art of espresso creation! All it takes is the right equipment and a bit of effort to learn to do it the right way. So I've put together a couple of tips which I've found were really helpful in my own efforts to become my own best barista.

First and foremost, you need to store your coffee in the correct way. You're going to need to put it in a dark, dry place, at about room temperature. It's best that you store it in a china jar rather than plastic or metal. Do not refrigerate. Secondly, know that coffee doesn't last forever. Don't try to stretch it too thin; it's best if your coffee gets used within a week. In other words, don't buy the jumbo size (unless you are a serious espresso addict or own a restaurant.)

Another very important piece of this puzzle is the espresso machine itself. Now don't be a super cheap skate on the machine, because the better the machine, the better your results. Trust me on this one folks! Understand the limitations for your machine too. Unfortunately, most home machines won't give you enough water pressure to extract espresso the way you really should. Look for 120 squire inches of pressure. Also, your espresso maker will most likely have just a single heater. The downside is that the hot water often gets combined with the steam. When this happens, you may find that the espresso is a bit too bitter.

Next is the grinder and the extraction itself. Look for a two-bladed one, if at all possible. A single blade will work if that's all you've got. After every 15 to 20 pounds of coffee, you should replace the blades too to get the best results. When it comes time to extract, I recommend that you use a courser grind at home than a commercial machine would require. Don't pack the espresso too tight during the compression. Your machine will likely produce less pressure, as said above, and less steam than a coffee shop model.

Well I hope these few tips help you in crafting your own brew at home. With a little practice and the right equipment, you can be sure that you can produce great results with your espresso machine in no time. Thanks for reading!

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