How to choose an automatic coffee machine
Coffee has long been firmly established in our daily life. Many simply can’t imagine a morning without a Cup of espresso or cappuccino. Coffee connoisseurs know and love to prepare this drink on their own, thoroughly knowing all the details of cooking. But it often happens that there is no time or inspiration for making coffee, and you do not want to sacrifice the taste of the drink. In this case, the coffee machine will help you.
Why not a coffee maker? Because only a coffee machine can prepare your favorite drink with minimal participation. The most expensive coffee machines are able to prepare complex drinks such as lattes or cappuccino in fully automatic mode – you only need to pour water and milk into it, pour coffee beans and select the desired program. Cheaper models are able to grind grain and make espresso, but the foam for cappuccino will have to be made manually.
But the variety of programs and the presence of an automatic cappuccino machine are not all parameters that are worth paying attention to. Coffee preparation has many subtleties, and coffee machines have many characteristics that affect certain aspects of the preparation of coffee drinks.
Characteristics of coffee machines
Of your coffee.
All automatic coffee machines have a built-in coffee grinder and can use coffee beans. This coffee machines differ from coffee makers-to enjoy all the richness of the taste of the drink, it should be prepared from freshly ground grains.
But keep in mind that not all coffee machines can use ground coffee. You can’t put ground coffee in the coffee grinder of a grain coffee machine – it will clog the millstones, and you will need to disassemble and clean the coffee grinder.
If you want to be able to use both grain and ground coffee, please note that the model supports both types – usually this coffee machine has a separate tray for ground coffee.
If you consider yourself a coffee connoisseur, pay attention to the adjustment of the degree of grinding.
Grinding grains affects extraction-extraction of soluble substances from coffee that determine the taste and tonic qualities of the drink. The coarser the grinding, the slower the extraction.
Under-extracted coffee will look (and feel) diluted and have a weakly pronounced taste with a clear “sourness”. Re-extracted coffee will taste bitter.
Coffee machines are usually designed to use fine-ground coffee (this is the type of coffee found in bags labeled “for coffee makers”). But the standard program can not take into account the preferences of each coffee drinker – someone likes coffee with bitterness, someone on the contrary, prefers sour.
You can choose the model to your taste – for example, Delonghi coffee machines by default brew coffee with bitterness, and many Melitta and Philips models-with a bias to sourness.
And you can choose a model with adjustment of the degree of grinding and adjust the degree of grinding depending on the taste of the resulting drink – if the coffee is too sour, reduce the grinding, and if it is too bitter, on the contrary, increase it.
Control of coffee strength in different machines is implemented differently, and the taste of “strong” and “soft” coffee on different machines may differ.
Canonically, the” correct ” method is considered to control the strength by adjusting the dose of ground coffee at a constant temperature and holding time. This method increases the cost of the machine, since it requires the installation of an adjustable coffee dispenser.
Controlling the strength by changing the temperature or cooking time is easier, but it leads to a change in the extraction and, consequently, a change in the taste of the drink.
The pump pressure is important for making espresso. When this drink is properly brewed, the filter with coffee should have a pressure of 8-9 bar, for this, the pressure at the outlet of the pump should be from 15 bar. If the pump pressure is lower, the espresso taste may be far from ideal.
A cappuccino maker is a device for making milk foam used in some coffee drinks, such as cappuccino, latte, moccachino, macchiato, etc.the cappuccino Maker in the coffee machine can be manual or automatic.
The manual cappuccino machine is a tube with a special nozzle through which hot steam is supplied under pressure. To beat the milk with this cappuccino machine, the Cup of milk should be placed under the nozzle, and catching the desired position of the Cup with small movements up and down, to achieve maximum foam formation.
Coffee machines with a manual cappuccino machine are much cheaper, but it should be noted that the preparation of foam with it requires a certain skill and experience.
The automatic cappuccino machine allows you to prepare a luxurious air foam literally “at the touch of a button”. The disadvantage of the automatic cappuccino machine (except for the high price) is one – after using it, you need to wash it. If this is not done in time, the sour remains of milk will irreparably spoil the taste of the prepared drink.
Automatic cappuccino machines can take milk from the built-in milk container or an external container.
Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
The built-in container does not spoil the appearance of the machine, and it will not be possible to accidentally overturn it. This option can be good for offices and public spaces.
When placing the container outside the coffee machine, it is slightly easier to wash the cappuccino machine and you can not pour the milk in a separate container, but lower the intake tube directly into the milk package, taking it out of the refrigerator just before cooking. At home, this option may be more practical.
Type of heater.
The boiler heats the entire volume of water at the same time, in the fuser, the water is heated while passing through its heat exchanger. It is believed that the boiler provides a more stable temperature, which can be important when brewing certain types of coffee that require a certain temperature.
Under normal conditions, the type of heater will not affect the quality of the drink, the only difference for the consumer will be that immediately after turning on the coffee machine with a fuser will give out the finished drink much faster than machines with a boiler – the latter will take some time to heat the entire volume of water.
The volume of the coffee machine determines how many liters of drink it can prepare in one cycle of use. This parameter – as well as the volume of the milk container and the volume of the grain container-is important for offices and cafes: the larger the volume of containers, the less often you will have to fill/fill. At home, it makes little sense to chase large volumes, especially since large coffee machines are more expensive.
Espresso requires a temperature of about 90ºC, and most coffee machines operate at this temperature. Adjusting the temperature may be necessary to fully reveal the taste of different types of coffee. So, for the preparation of light roasting grains, you need a temperature higher: 93-95°C, average — 91-93°C, for dark-88-91°C.
In addition, the temperature affects the extraction, and by changing the temperature, you can adjust the taste of the drink – if you make the temperature lower, the taste will be more acidic, the temperature higher-the taste is more bitter.
Keep in mind that the temperature adjustment refers to the temperature of the water in the boiler, not the temperature of the finished coffee. The temperature of the drink will always be lower by 20-25°C, which in most coffee machines will be 68-72°C, and the first cups will be even colder.
If you prefer hot coffee, pay attention to the presence of the automatic heating plate and the function of heating the cups – this will not allow the drink to cool down too much.
The reusable filter (non-removable teapot) allows you to keep the teapot in place for washing. This minimizes machine maintenance and reduces the chance of damage. But this does not mean that such a teapot does not need to be cleaned at all.
The non-removable brew block is simply cleaned less frequently, according to the schedule (usually every 2-3 months), but with the use of branded special tools. Instead of expensive cleaning tablets, you can use regular citric acid – but at your own risk: manuals often contain warnings about the termination of the warranty when using non-recommended cleaning products.
Washing the removable brew block
The removable brew block will have to be washed once every 1-2 weeks under running water. This option is less convenient, but in this case, the brew block is kept more clean, which is good for the taste of the drink.
Top 5 best automatic coffee machines
DELONGHI ESAM3300 Super Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
De’Longhi Dinamica Automatic Coffee & Espresso Machine TrueBrew (Iced-Coffee), Burr Grinder + Descaling Solution, Cleaning Brush & Bean Shaped Icecube Tray, Black, ECAM35020B
Barsetto Grind and Brew Automatic Coffee Maker with Digital Programmalbe Drip Coffee Machine,10-Cups,Black
BLACK+DECKER DLX1050B 12-cup Programmable Coffee Maker with glass carafe, Black
Jura 15070 E6 Automatic Coffee Center, Platinum
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