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An Explanation On How To Use An Espresso Machine

Aug 17, 2007
Let's assume that your machine already has water in it in this article we will explain how to use an espresso machine in order to make the best drink you could possibly want.

So it's got the water in now you turn the machine on and then wait for the heater light to indicate that the water has been heated to the ideal temperature, which is just below boiling point.

Now you place the ground coffee into the basket and tamp it down. The best coffee to use is one that has been freshly ground as after grinding the volatile oils which were previously protected by the bean are exposed to the air which then oxidize and the coffee becomes stale. Unfortunately this occurs immediately after the coffee has been ground and so it is important that you tamp and extract the espresso as quickly as possible. Whilst you are grinding the coffee beans preheat and warm the group head by turning on the pump for several seconds. Then remove the portafilter and dump out the espresso and then wipe the basket dry with a clean towel. When wiping the basket you are preventing water from finding a path of least resistance and this will help to ensure an even extraction of the espresso.

You now install the portafilter in to the machine by twisting and then place a small cup beneath its spout. Now turn the valve on your machine to the espresso position and this will engage the micro switch, which starts the pump, which in turn pressurizes the heating chamber and hot water to a pressure of 15 atmospheres (220 psi). This pressure forces the hot water through the ground coffee and out of the spout. A good espresso machine will take about 25 seconds to produce a 1.5 ounces of espresso.

Then all you need to do is put the switch back into the middle position and you can now steam and froth some milk for making a latte. To do this you need to place a container with some cold milk under the steam wand so that is submerged. You then turn the valve to the steam position, this will energize the resistive heater, which quickly boils the water in the heating vessel and opens the valve that starts the flow of steam to the nozzle. You will notice that the pump runs intermittently in order to keep the heating vessel supplied with water and the steam will quickly heat up the milk. If you want froth then you need to hold the steam nozzle near to the surface of the milk.

With the instructions shown above on how to use an espresso machine you should be making espresso's, cappuccino's and latte's just like the ones you can buy at your local coffee shop.
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