Tag Archives: espresso machine

Tech Tip: Keep your Hose Clean!

Is your machine having trouble steaming? Do you find that it’s difficult to dispense water for your Americano or a cup of tea? The last time you tried to use it, did the steam wand’s knob blow off, fly across the room and hit someone in the side of the head?

Home espresso should not be a contact sport! Long term uncleanliness can result in clogs of extremely disgusting proportions (such as the internal portion of a Saeco superautomatic frothing wand).

Keep the green cheese out of your frothy milk by thoroughly rinsing out the milk frothing components after each use. You can easily do this by running hot water/steam through the system until it runs clear. Additionally, in superautomatics with automated cappuccino or frothing functionality, we recommend a full weekly cleanse utilizing a cleansing agent such as Urnex Rinza.

New! DeLonghi Nespresso Lattissima

Striking design and fool-proof functionality combine in the Nespresso Lattissima. This eye catching superautomatic espresso machine is perfect for those of us that are morning-challenged. The patented coffee capsules take out all of the guess work around coffee grind level, tamping, etc., and are incredibly easy to clean up after your single cup is brewed!

The Lattissima also features a removable milk container, which you can fill with your favorite kind of milk and then store in your refrigerator between uses. Groggy mornings are made infinitely easier by placing your chilled milk container in the stand, popping in a coffee capsule and brewing a single cup of espresso, cappuccino or lungo at the touch of a button. Enjoy!

How to Pull a Perfect Espresso Shot

Your favorite barista sure makes it look easy: Throw some coffee into a portafilter, pack it down with a tamper, lock it in the brew group and turn it on. Voila! A gorgeous, rich and delicious shot with a heady crema perfect for sipping.

In fact, it looks so easy, you should be able to do it, right? Cut to your house the morning after your new machine arrives, and you’re frazzled and frustrated by the bitter and watery shots coming out of your precious new contraption. Ugh! Well, maybe you just can’t get good espresso at home — maybe that’s what the $4/mug price tag is for, eh?

No way! Anyone can pull a perfect shot — every time — provided they follow a few simple guidelines around preparing and extracting their espresso. In this basic guide, we discuss the four main techniques in pulling espresso: dose, grind, tamp and pour. Take a moment to improve your skill and you’ll be making professional tasting espresso in no time!

New! DeLonghi Espresso/Drip Coffee Combo

Sometimes you feel like a drip…sometimes you don’t. Er, sorry. We know there’s a time and place for espresso, and if you live with someone who loves drip coffee and isn’t too hot on espresso drinks (or vice versa), these DeLonghi 2-in-1 models may just be the compromise that keeps your mornings peaceful.

Featuring programmable brew times, a flavor selector, milk frothing wands and simultaneous espresso & drip coffee brewing, these units will save you counter space and time.

How to Brew & Steam: Rancilio Silvia

One of our most popular machines, the Semi-Automatic Rancilio Silvia is an excellent value for its functionality and class. Featuring all brass components and a traditional steam wand (unique in this price range and essential to making latte art), the Silvia is a durable, mid-class home espresso machine.

If you are new to using a Rancilio Silvia, it’s well worth the time to follow our step-by-step guide on how to use the machine to get the best possible results. Learning the basics will improve the overall taste and presentation of your drinks — and you’ll impress your friends and family with your professional style!

Brew Tip: E61 Brew Group

Do you have a machine with an E61 brew group (such as models made by Rocket, Quick Mill or Izzo) that sometimes pulls bitter or burnt shots? It could be that you’ve left the machine on for an extended period of time and that the temperature is too high to pull an ideal shot.

We recommend pulling the lever and letting some water run through for a few seconds before you place your portafilter in the brew group, which will release some of the steam pressure and cool the temperature down a bit. If the machine has been sitting unused for more than 10 minutes, be sure to do this and your shots will taste great every time.

(E61 diagram courtesy of HomeBarista.com)