| ||It is generally agreed that there are four basic elements critical to the perfect cup: |
- Water: When brewing espresso, make sure the water flows through the filter at the correct pace. The water flow can be adjusted by varying the pressure with which the coffee is tamped in the filter or by altering the grind of coffee. If the speed of the water is slow, the coffee will be over extracted and will be very dark and bitter, with a spotted and uneven crema (froth) on the top. If the speed of the water flow is too fast, the coffee will be under-extracted and the supreme flavor will not develop. The coffee will be diluted and there will be an inadequate amount of crema on the top.
- Coffee: While the bulk of the liquid is water, all of the flavor should be from the coffee. To achieve the same great quality of coffee you receive at a cafe, you need to use the same quality beans. If you choose to grind your own beans, buy the beans fresh and whole, only about a two week supply at a time for maximum freshness. Once the coffee bean is broken, its flavor degrades very quickly. If it is not practical to buy smaller supplies, we recommend you separate larger amounts of beans and store them in airtight containers in a cool, dry area. They should not be kept for longer than 1 month as flavor will diminish. Do not refrigerate or freeze coffee beans.
- Grind: The grind of the coffee is critical for proper flavor extraction. If using a pre-ground coffee, be sure to purchase an espresso grind that is specifically for espresso/cappuccino machines. If the grind is too fine, over extraction and bitterness will occur with a spotted and uneven crema on top. If the grind is too coarse, the water will pass through too rapidly and there will be an inadequate amount of crema on the top of the espresso.
- Tamping the Coffee Grounds: If you choose to use ground espresso instead of pods, tamping the coffee is a very important part of the coffee-making process. Use the scoop supplied to fill the filter basket, then using the tamping tool, tamp down the grounds with moderate pressure. Add more coffee and tamp again if necessary to bring coffee to level. Do not overfill the filter basket. The ground coffee should be tamped with moderate pressure. If the coffee is not tamped securely, there is a chance the water will flow through the coffee to rapidly and the coffee will be under-extracted. Note: if the coffee is tamped too firmly, the water will flow through the coffee too slowly and the coffee will be over-extracted.
Programming Your Espresso Machine
This Cuisinart espresso machine has programming capabilities. Based on cafe settings, the single and the double espresso functions are set to 1.5 and 3 ounce. However, by following a few simple steps, you can pre-program your perfect serving size down to the ounce. Easy to follow steps with illustrations are included in the Instruction Book.
Milk texturing is the steaming of milk. The steam does two things; its heats the milk and mixes the air with the milk for form a foamy texture. As with learning to make an espresso, perfecting the art of milk texturing takes time and practice.