Espresso machine buying guide

coffee maker #1

 

http://www.idrinkcoffee.com is a website that offers everything coffee to both private parties and businesses. Its product offerings range from commercial grade espresso machines and brewing equipment to juicers, blenders – in addition to coffee and tea from around the world Its tutorials are extremely informative and valuable for beginners, intermediate and advanced students/consumers of coffee and tea the following excerpt is from an article about choosing an espresso machine.

Choosing between Manual, Semi-Automatic or Super-Automatic

Purchasing an espresso machine can be a substantial investment and requires some important decisions. IDC is committed to helping you make the right choice to meet your needs, lifestyle and budget. We are here to answer any questions you may have or to make suggestions if required. Please review our buying guide below for some general considerations to keep in mind when choosing an espresso machine. Continue reading

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Make Good Espresso and Frothed Milk

Make Good Espresso and Frothed Milk
The following is an excerpt from an article at www.coffeebrewers.com..an excellent website that is all about coffee. This site offers a ton of really good coffee-making equipment for sale and interesting articles about all phases and aspects of coffee and coffee production:

There are many who enjoy a well-made (a “professionally made”) espresso, or latte, or cappuccino at home each morning. But there are a few practical problems with the scale of most home equipment. While large commercial machines will make high quality drinks in large quantities, it’s more difficult to make just one drink for yourself.
In this article, we’ll give you some tips to help you emulate the advantages of a large, commercial system to get similar results from your household equipment. Some of these tips will require using some additional tools and gadgets with your espresso machine to get professional results. But these are all relatively inexpensive, and will transform the (perhaps) uninteresting drinks you currently get from your machine into the kinds of coffee drinks that you’d pay several dollars for at a real coffee shop. Continue reading

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How to Make a Cafe Mocha at Home

cafe mocha

 

 How to make a cafe mocha at home

Explore: A Cafe Mocha is a delicious hot beverage made by combining chocolate, espresso and steamed milk. It is sometimes also called a Mocha or a Mocha Latte. Continue reading

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What is Espresso?

What is Espresso?
http://www.nationalespressoday.com/

Anatomy of Espresso
What is Espresso?

Contrary to popular belief, espresso is not a specific bean or roast level. Any bean or roast level can be used to make espresso. What makes espresso espresso is its brewing method, which is made by forcing pressurized hot water through finely ground coffee to create a concentrated coffee topped with a delicate foam, called a crema.

The crema should be thin and foamy with a golden-brown and sometimes slightly reddish color. The crema has a sweet flavor as it contains the espresso’s concentrated sugars and oils. The body is the middle layer and it is typically caramel-brown in color. The bottom of an espresso, known as the heart, should have a deep brown tone. The heart contains the bitterness that provides a balance to the sweetness of the crema.

While there is no universal standard in how to make the perfect espresso, it is often thought that the quality of the ultimate espresso comes from the four Ms:
Macinazione – correct grinding of the coffee bean
Macchina – the espresso machine
Miscela – the coffee blend
Mano – the skilled hand of the person making the coffee

 

The Origins of Espresso

Espresso made its debut in Italy in the early 20th century, at a time when coffee had already been a staple of Italian life for hundreds of years. Espresso lovers owe a debt of gratitude to Italy’s Luigi Bezzera, the owner of a manufacturing plant who set out to shorten the length of time it took to make a cup of coffee. It’s unclear whether he was motivated to speed up the brewing process out of frustration over how long it took for him to make his morning coffee or whether he was motivated by a desire to shorten  his employees’ coffee breaks.

In any case, Bezzera discovered that adding steam pressure to the process produced a stronger and more robust cup of coffee. The machine used in this new quick-brew process was named the Fast Coffee Machine. The beverage produced by this machine would become known as espresso – or “fast” in Italian. In the end, Signore Bezzera wasn’t nearly as talented at marketing and sales as he was at engineering. In 1905, Desidero Pavoni purchased the rights to the machine from Bezzera and took out a patent on it. It is largely due to Pavoni’s marketing expertise that espresso grew in popularity.

In the early 1940s, Achille Gaggia’s piston-based machine greatly enhanced the quality of espresso by eliminating the burnt flavor and making it  thicker. Used commercially at first, Gaggia’s and other espresso machines gradually became available for use at home.

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The Moka Pot

Home Coffee Makers…the Moka Pot

From Italy…the Moka Pot brings you great almost-espresso coffee for the home con amore

From America’s Test Kitchen

I first used a moka pot almost 20 years ago, and have found no other relatively inexpensive home coffee makers that delivered as strong and as good a cup of coffee if you like your daily java to be espresso-like in strength.
Certain things to keep in mind when using this coffee maker are the ground that you’re using and the amount of brewing time you allow.
You’ll want to use an espresso grind. A coarser grind will not allow for the right steam-coffee mixture to effectively permeate the coffee and those extra-fine, middle-eastern-type grounds will also be ineffective.

ALSO this pot is not “burner-independent” as are the famous French Press and Swiss Gold filter cup.It only takes a few minutes for the smaller sizes of moka pot to brew so don’t leave your stove burner unattended or you will end up with a badly scorched coffee maker and a burner that is encrusted with metal from the bottom of the coffee pot. I have lost two moka pots this way.

Overview:

Often referred to as poor-man’s espresso machines, Italian moka pots are small, inexpensive (under $100) coffee makers that use steam pressure to force hot water from a bottom chamber up through coffee grounds. That pressure isn’t high enough for true espresso extraction, but the coffee they make is stronger and more complex than anything brewed in a drip machine.

Of the eight pots we tested—three traditional 3-cup stovetop designs and five electric models with capacities twice as large—the electric mokas were universally disappointing, as they failed to deliver enough power and produced flat, characterless coffee. Conversely, two out of three of the stovetop devices, including our favorite, brewed rich, full-bodied coffee—once we mastered subtle techniques like gently tamping the grinds and immediately removing the pot from the heat.

 

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A few facts and statistics about coffee

“With the coming of coffee to Venice in 1615, the local clergy condemned it. The controversy was so great that Pope Clement VIII was asked to intervene. Before making a decision however, he decided to taste the beverage for himself. He found the drink so satisfying that he gave it Papal approval.”
– From the history of coffee article on the National Coffee Association’s website.
– Today, 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee on a daily basis
– Statistic Brain / statisticbrain.com

According to legend, coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goatherd who noticed that his goats were extra-energetic after eating berries from a certain highland bush. He took these wonderful fruit to a local abbot, who after brewing the beverage noticed that it allowed him to stay through the long period of evening prayer.
Word quickly spread across Ethiopia and over the Horn of Africa into the Arabian Peninsula.
Coffee soon became the beverage of choice all over the ear- and Middle East, since the majority-Muslim population was forbidden to drink alcohol. Coffee houses sprouted like mushrooms after a spring rain, and became important social and entertainment centers as well as dispensaries of coffee and tea. With the age of European wanderlust and the speedy acceleration of trade with the East, coffee houses became a commonplace in 17th century Europe.

Here are some statistics:
America:
$4 billion is spent importing coffee to U.S. each year, and $164.71 is spent on drinking coffee by the average American coffee consumer. Almost a quarter of same drinks more than 13 cups of coffee per week. In addition, 30 million of the total 100 million U.S. coffee drinkers drink specialty coffee – lattes, mochas, espressos, etc. – and spend an average of $2.45 on each espresso-based drink.
Re coffee production the hands-down winner as far as sheer quantity goes is Brazil, which is responsible for 30% of the world coffee output.

World:
According to http://www.ico.org, 119, 664, 910 bags of coffee (60 kilos) were exported by coffee producing countries between February of 2012 and January 2013. Each bag yields approximately 87 5.3 oz cups of regular or “house” coffee after attrition due to the roasting of the beans.

RE countries/regions, Northern Europeans are the world’s biggest coffee hounds. Switzerland, Scandinavia, Holland, Finland and Iceland lead the rest of the world in coffee consumption by leaps and bounds with an average consumption of between 6.8 and 12 cups per day per capita.

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