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Espresso Machine Tips

Espresso Machine Tips

Tips and tricks for making the most from an espresso machine...

Milk

  • You can froth any type of milk, including soy and (to a limited extent) rice milk.
  • Milk with a lower fat content won't burn as easily as full fat milk, however milk with too little fat may not steam or foam.
  • Don't re-steam or re-froth milk - it results in burnt milk.

Coffee

  • If you are serious about espresso, purchase an espresso grinder and grind the beans just before brewing. Otherwise, buy espresso beans in small quantities and have the shop grind them for you.
  • Store coffee at 68 to 72 degrees in a glass airtight container in a cool, dark place. It needs to be protected from abrupt changes in humidity or temperature, so don't store coffee in the freezer or the refrigerator. If you buy pre-ground coffee, put it in an airtight container immediately after you open it.

Water

  • If your tap water is hard use filtered or bottled spring water.
  • Avoid using deionized or distilled water because it can eventually begin to pit the metal of the boiler.
  • Don't leave water in your machine when you're not using it. Water will cause rust and promote the build-up of bacteria.
  • If you use your machine only occasionally, always change the water before you start and then run a half cup through the boiler to freshen it up.

Steam wand

  • If your steam wand comes with a rubber or plastic attachment on the end you might want to remove it since they usually make steaming more difficult.

Steaming pitcher

  • The best steaming pitchers are made from stainless steel. Never use plastic, you can melt right through it.

Cleaning

  • Milk over 5C will grow bacteria after just 3 minutes. Always ensure you clean all utensils which come into contact with milk immediately after use, such as the steam wand and pitcher.

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