Coffee Making Tips – How To Make A Great Tasting Espresso At Home

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If you're like me, and love waking up to your morning coffee, then read on. I've put together some tips you that you may find useful, and allow you to make coffee that tastes as good as it smells.

He first thing is to choose the type of maker.  I have tried a drip filter machine, home espresso machine, plunger and a stove top maker.  If you have a big budget, then you may be able to afford a fully automatic home espresso machine that does everything except vacuum the house, but for me personally, I have got great results using a home espresso machine under $100, or a stove top maker, so will only discuss these two options.

If you do choose a home espresso machine, as a minimum, I would suggest going for one that is pump operated, and operates at 15 bar of pressure.  Don't waste money on a cheap machine that is steam operated, as this will make your coffee making experience time consuming and frustrating. The machine you choose will probably come with a milk frother attached, although I would suggest doing the milk another way, and will elaborate on this later.

The biggest two factors I have found in making good coffee is the grind and the tamping. Choose a grind that says suitable for home espresso machine on the packaging. A good rule of thumb is to go for a fine grind. Once you've got the grind right, the next thing to experiment with is the tamping force.

If you have a fine grind, then the force needed is not very much at all, and what is really important, is to apply the force evenly using the tamper. You will know when you have the combination right when there is a nice crèma film on top of your espresso. This means the natural oils and sweetness are being released from the coffee.

This brings me to my preferred option for great coffee at home. The $20 stove top machine. They make great coffee and I would say it's a good as what I can make with a machine. Another benefit is that they're easy to clean and maintain, they don't need descaling, and there's no electrical or moving parts that can break.

I would recommend a fine grind, and it will usually say on the packaging if the grid is suitable for a stove top machine. With the right grind, I have found I don't even need to tamp it, just fill the basket and then tap it a few times on the bench to get the coffee to settle evenly in the basket. Again, when you get it right you will see a thin film of crema on top.

This now brings me to frothing the milk. I have found the quickest, easiest way to get consistent, creamy milk froth is to buy a milk frother. You should be able to get one for less than $20. Put the desired amount of milk in, I usually only do enough for one cup at a time. Place it in the microwave on high for about one and a half minutes, then froth it gently. You don't want to be too vigorous to start with, as you will get too many air bubbles, and it won't be as thick and creamy. Now, add the frothed milk to your coffee and enjoy.

You will notice I haven't discussed the many different coffee types and flavours, or grinding your own. These are whole other topics and best left for another time.  Best of luck with your coffee making.

For more coffee ideas, visit www.xilly.net

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