To pre-infuse or not to pre-infuse? If Shakespeare had an espresso machine a few hundred years ago, Hamlet would have most certainly been pondering just such a question. But maybe you’re not really sure what exactly pre-infusion is, or how it works, or why one might want to consider it?
The third video in our series with Bill Crossland covers all of this — and more! Learn about pre-infusion from a mechanical perspective, including how it even came to be to begin with.
We have folks asking us often how they should prep their espresso machine for storage, transport or shipping. Possibly the most important thing to do is to make sure all of the water is gone from the internal boiler and waterworks.
How you do this differs depending on the type of espresso machine you have. We asked Gail to break it down for us in four separate videos, each tailored for different boiler styles. If you need a walkthrough, find your machine type below and watch her take us through it!
|Single Boiler Espresso Machine||Superautomatic Espresso Machine|
|Heat Exchange Espresso Machine||Double Boiler Espresso Machine|
One of the coolest things about the super lo-fi Saeco Vienna Plus is how easy it is to remove the bean hopper and clean out the grinder. This makes at-home care and maintenance incredibly simple — as long as you know how to get the grinder back together again!
To help you out, we’ve asked one of SCG’s techs, Brendan, to walk us through taking apart, calibrating and re-assembling the grinder on the Vienna Plus. Watch as he breaks it down for us.
When Baratza released their new Encore grinder, they made a point of talking about how the re-engineering of the burr set resulted in a lower cost burr grinder that could still go fine enough for traditional espresso machines. While the consistency isn’t quite as good as its Virtuoso, Preciso or Vario counterparts, it does do a fairly solid job grinding for espresso — as long as the 0-point is set accurately.
The first demo model we tested worked just fine from the factory and we were able to use it with the Rancilio Silvia without issue; however, subsequent models — and a few customer reports — led us down the path of re-calibration. In this video, Gail shows how to take apart, re-calibrate and then put back together the Encore, including a demonstration of the grind quality before and after the adjustment.
In The Great Espresso Machine Wars of 2011, the bloodiest battle was that between the rotary and the vibratory pump. Seriously; things got real.
You didn’t hear about it? Well, it’s really not something we like to rehash — and there were definitely lessons in there for all of us. But even though we’re not yet prepared to talk through it (too soon!), we don’t mind taking a couple of pumps apart and asking one of our favorite engineers for his input on how these bad boys work.
Watch as Gail and Bill Crossland go through the internals of a vibratory and rotary pump, discussing how they work, why you might select one over the other and what to expect from them. Then we measure the sound differential between the vibratory pump on the Rocket Espresso Premium Plus and the rotary pump on the Rocket Espresso Evoluzione to learn if the whole ‘it’s quieter!’ argument really holds water. Finally, we pull shots to see if there is a noticeable, practical difference in flavor between the two styles of machines.
If you retrofit a PID on a Rancilio Silvia, how should you calibrate it to ensure you’re getting the ideal shot temperature? How much of an impact does preheating your cup have on the end shot temperature? In this video, Gail measures the temp of extraction with and without preheating the demitasse beforehand.
If this is the first time you’re hearing about descaling your espresso equipment, we haven’t been doing our job! We’re devotees to excellent maintenance, and regularly descaling your machine will maintain its performance and extend its overall life.
Heat exchange machines need to be descaled a bit differently than single boiler or thermoblock models, so we asked Gail to show us how it’s done in this updated version of our instructional video. Watch as she walks us through the process and then demonstrates it on a Rocket Espresso Giotto Evoluzione, using Dezcal.