Making good coffee in the right way is an art that takes practice, passion and lots of different types of coffees! There are many ways to make great tasting beverages with your machine, but one of the most important things to know about is how to use your machine’s settings correctly.
Too often, people will start off making wonderful drinks before switching out or altering some setting and then suddenly their drink tastes bad or even horribly wrong. This can be due to several reasons, including no longer having the correct flavor profile, not using enough water, over-extracted grounds, or liquid being left in the cup after brewing.
In this article, we will go through all of the potential issues that can arise when changing the settings on your espresso maker and what you can do to avoid them! Keep reading for more information.
Buy a good quality machine
Whilst there are many recipes for making great coffee, what makes a difference is how your machine functions. There are two main components of any espresso maker- the burr grinder and the portafilter.
The burr grinder does the work of grinding the beans into a powder before they get mixed with hot water. The best machines have a conical shaped hopper where the grinds can sit until you add them to the drink. This helps reduce overgrinding or agglomeration (where particles stick together) which would result in less fine ground coffee.
The second component is the portafilter. These were traditionally made of aluminium but these days plastic ones are much more common. A well designed one has an adjustable filter basket that keeps the grounds separate from the liquid. This allows you to use a thinner brew time without having too much sediment in the cup. Plus it looks cool! 🙂
If you’re looking to take your espresso game up a level then you could invest in a higher end machine and equipment. However, do not buy anything more than a few dollars beyond this unless it is very clearly better than its equivalent model.
Grind the beans correctly
After you purchase your machine, the next step is grinding the coffee grounds and adding water or milk. This process should be done with correct settings and using the right amount of grind size! Too much coarse ground can result in thin, muddy drinks, while too fine a grind will not hold enough flavor potential.
Most machines have different settings for espresso, drip, French press, and pour-over coffees. Depending on what type of drink you want, you can use these settings to perfection.
For example, an easy way to make sure that your drip brew has the right amount of foam is to use a medium grind and set it so that it sprays just slightly beyond the top of the cup. Then, when the foam comes down, you’ll see that it covers almost all of the surface!
Another important feature to look into is whether the machine has a built-in timer. Most newer models do, which is great because this allows you to create perfect espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes every time without having to remember how long it took before.
Use the right type of water
Having the correct amount of water in your machine is an important part of having good coffee. Most machines have a setting for how much water you need to use per cup, but some do not!
Some espresso makers require very little water, with most coming equipped with only a steam wand. This can sometimes be tricky if you want strong, flavorful shots since it may dry out the ends of the shot.
Other types of machines require too much water which could potentially burn or over-extract the drink.
Use good quality water
The next key factor in having great coffee is your water! What kind of water you use can make a big difference.
Most people buy pre-packaged ground coffees that have already been processed with milk and sugar, which are then mixed together and brewed via machine.
These machines usually contain hot or boiling water, so the first thing they do is rehydrate the dried grounds. This process takes about ten minutes depending on the type of brew method used (pump style = faster).
After this, the espresso comes out very sweet and sometimes with an odor due to the burnt sugars remaining in the drink. It might even taste slightly burnt if it was not done correctly at the roasting stage!
Regular tap water does not give good results when using an espresso maker. Because the water is cold, the melted chocolate and caramel flavors in the cream seep into the liquid creating an overly rich flavor that some may find too much.
Springwater has a higher acidity than most other waters, which helps cut down the sweetness in drinks. You should try one bottle to see what differences it makes for your coffee.
Use the correct temperature of water
While some people have special equipment that allows them to make excellent drinks, most do not. This is because almost everyone has their own technique for making coffee! Some swear by using cold water, while others use hot. It really comes down to what works best for you and your taste buds.
There are many types of machines used for brewing coffee. Most only require plain white water with no additives. However, there are several brands that offer more settings than just water temperature. These additional features are helpful in altering the flavor or style of the drink.
Use good quality, fresh oil
When making coffee in a machine, one of the most important things is the type of oil used for your espresso or drip machines. The type of oil you use makes a big difference in taste and how well the machine functions!
Many brands offer different oils that can be changed depending on the amount made and whether it is cold or hot liquid. Some are even designed specifically for the specific make and model of machine they are intended for!
Some oils contain additives such as acids or alcohols which may affect the way the drink tastes. These should not be used when drinking liquids that require no extra flavorings otherwise they will taste slightly bad.
We recommend using vegetable or olive oil as an oil source since they do not have these additions.
Sprinkle the oil to ensure it does not clump
When making coffee in a machine, one of the most important things is having enough oil in the milk froth. If you don’t have enough oil, then the espresso will be thin and watery instead of rich and flavor-full.
Too much oil can also result in watered down espresso. That is why some people like using butter as oil for your espresso! You get great taste and texture with the same richness level.
To make sure you have enough oil when adding oil to milk, pour a few drops of olive or avocado oil into your milk and stir well. Then add your espresso and mix thoroughly.
Do not use too much oil
For many people, their morning coffee depends heavily upon the type of oil they use in their machine. The average person uses around two tablespoons of oil per cup of brewed coffee. Some even go as high as four or five tablespoons!
Too much oil can overcoat your grounds and prevent them from properly settling in the filter, leading to muddy tasting coffee. Or maybe it just makes your brew time longer, requiring more pressure to achieve that perfect flavor. Either way, you will be unhappy with the quality of the drink!
Most machines have a setting where you can regulate how much oil is mixed into your beverage, so do that! If you are really worried about having enough foam, try using a less robustly-toasted roast like French press style drip brewing or lighter creamier espresso styles.