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Fully Automatic Espresso Makers ⎮Three things you should know

As a retailer who has been selling and servicing fully automatic espresso machines for over 30 years, there are some reoccurring questions and concerns that new owners of superautomatic espresso machines have about coffee and their espresso machines.

 

The questions customers ask once they have their superautomatic espresso machine at home and have begun using it, always relate to one of these three areas:

  • coffee length,
  • coffee strength, and
  • temperature.

Here is a list of three of the most frequently asked questions about superautomatic espresso machines.

Coffee Length

A true espresso is generally 60ml or 2oz. in length. But like everything else there are variations to this based on preference.  Even in Italy, the motherland of espresso you find options that discerning coffee drinkers subscribe to.  

You can order a ristretto (30 ml) or a lungo (90 ml). Again no one needs to be tied to these lengths.  You can adjust the length of your espresso on your superautomatic machine to your taste by holding down the coffee button and letting it go when it reaches your desired length.  After it is programmed, it will be kept in memory. So each time, you go make your coffee, the machine will dispense the amount of coffee you programmed.  

On some models, you will find the display panel has more then one coffee length option. In this case, you can programme each of the buttons to a different coffee length and never have to worry about it.

 

Espresso Lengths Ristretto, Espresso and Lungo

Can I make a regular coffee with an espresso machine?

Every household will have diverse coffee drinkers and brewing preferences. While some only want espresso others in the same household want a regular cup of coffee. Can one appliance address everyone’s coffee needs?  The answer is yes.  in this case, you need an espresso machine.

While you can make both an espresso and regular coffee with an espresso machine, you can’t make an espresso with any other coffee appliance.

Defining a Regular Coffee

Let’s define a “regular” coffee.  Most often what customers are referring to is a cup of coffee which is approximately 8 oz in volume (length).  Regular is not defined by the coffee roast you are using.   

Regular Coffee

Most superautomatics can dispense up to 8 oz of coffee through one dose.  Fully automatic espresso machines will give two to three coffee length options.  The user can determine the desired length for each option.  Once programmed, the desired length will remain in memory.  Therefore, if you program a long coffee (ie. 8 oz) you can get a “regular” coffee.  

Keep in mind the coffee produced will not taste like a coffee made with a drip coffee maker.  A regular coffee made in an espresso machine will be have a deeper bolder taste. For those who want even a stronger coffee, you can elect to program a long coffee to be 4 or 5 oz and then make two coffees in one cup.  By minimizing the amount of water, the flavour will be intensified but the final total volume will still be 8-10 ounces of coffee.  If you are concerned about your caffeine intake, keep in mind that in this scenario you are technically having two coffee at one time.

A regular drip coffee made from a light roast coffee will have approximately 120 mg of caffeine while a long coffee made from an espresso machine will have approximately 80 mg of caffeine. Remember, the darker the roast of coffee you use, the less caffeine will be present.  The roasting process burns off some of the caffeine.

Another long coffee option is a beverage called an Americano.  This drink is comprised of a shot of espresso and 4 to 5 ounces of hot water.  This will produce a drink approximately 7 oz. in length.

How can I modify the strength of my coffee?

Most fully automatics will provide an “aroma” setting allowing the consumer to select the quantity of coffee that will be ground for each cup of coffee.  The higher the quantity of coffee ground, the stronger the coffee will be.

Another way you can strengthen your coffee is by manually adjusting the grinder.  The finer the grind, the stronger the brew.  When adjusting the grinder on fully automatic machines, be sure to adjust in small increments. Adjust the grind setting by only one or two numbers at a time. 

Picture of grinder inside a superautomatic espresso machine

 

After each change, be sure to brew a few coffees before making the next adjustment. What this videoto learn more.

There is no specific number to recommend here  You will need to experiment to find the right grind for you. The grind setting you choose will depend on several factors:

coffee being dispensed by a superautomatic erspresoo machine

 

How can I get a hotter espresso or cappuccino?

Usually the temperature of an espresso through a superautomatic is dispensed at 165 degrees Farenheit.  Remember, a true espresso is 60 ml or 2oz in length. If you are dispensing the coffee into a room temperature cup, the overall temperature of the espresso will drop by 15 to 20 degrees upon contact with the cup.  There are a couple of tricks you can use to maximize temperature and ensure a hotter espresso.

  • First off use the right cups.  Porcelain is king. It maintains the heat of a coffee best. Secondly, prreheat cups by filling them with hot water for a few seconds before brewing an espresso. Alternately, you can fill the espresso cup with hot water and heat it in a microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Run a rinse cycle through the machine. This is done by hitting the bypass option (as if you were using preground coffee) but without coffee in the doser and allowing the machine to brew.  This will allow hot water to travel through the brew unit and in the process preheats the brewing chamber which will produce a hotter espresso.

Usually the temperature of a cappuccino through an autofoamer or milk carafe is 140 to 145 degrees Farenheit.  Again, heating the cups is a sure way to optimize the temperature and running the bypass doser as previously described is also a tactic that  applies to making cappuccinos.

Coffee tastes are unique to each individual and the variables that go into a coffee are numerous.  It is unreasonable to think your going to get the perfect coffee when you take your machine out of the box.  You will need to experiment and understanding how to make small tweaks and adjustments to your superautomatic espresso machine .  Taking the time to do this will result in a much more precise and better tasting coffee for you.

Here we have provided some tips and tricks to be able to adjust your coffee length, strength and temperature.  If you have any other questions about your particular model, feel free to contact us.

What questions do you have about your superautomatic espresso machines? We are here to help. 

 

 

 

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