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!
Sometimes, we just need a little sugar on our tongue — how about you? The deliciously decadent Cafe Creme Brulee is sure to give you a seriously sweet pep in your step.
With two different kinds of chocolate sauces, espresso and the frothed milk of your choice, the Cafe Creme Brulee is a tasty way to invigorate your day!
- Combine sauces and espresso in 12-oz. mug. Stir until well combined.
- Pour steamed milk into mug; stir to combine.
- Top with froth from steamed milk.
- Sprinkle with vanilla powder or drizzle with Ghirardelli Creamy Caramel Flavored Sauce.
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!
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)
What will they think of next? The most robust mountaineer is probably loathe to admit she may need a little kick in the pants on the last leg of the climb, but, thanks to the Handpresso, she can sneak a delectable shot of espresso on the go — and no one has to know! This easy-to-use pump-based portable espresso machine uses standard ESE pods and all it requires is a little boiling water and your true grit to produce a delicious shot of espresso, no matter where you are.
From Timbuktu to Tierra del Fuego, you’ll never be without high quality espresso again!
Mmmmmmm….one of our favorite things about Autumn is the gorgeous turning leaves — and the scent of woodsmoke flitting across the breeze as people stoke up their stoves for the first time this season.
What better way to warm up than to try a Maple Spice Latte? This smooth, creamy pick-me-up is delightfully subtle and spicy on the tongue. Enjoy!
- Combine syrups and espresso in warm mug. Stir until well combined.
- Pour steamed milk and froth into mug.
- Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a bit of brown sugar.