Get to Know the Saeco Incanto Rondo Machine: This Super Automatic will impress you with the way it looks…and the way it operates. Its coal black exterior with subtle silver accents makes it a classy addition to your kitchen. This espresso machine is built to last, and with its innovative features you will brew the perfect espresso or cappuccino with very little effort in no time at all.
Best Thing about this machine: Whether you are an expert or novice coffee maker the Rondo is easy to operate. At the press of a button you can adjust the volume of coffee you brew, and determine whether to produce one or two cups of java. You can also adjust the amount of crema on top just by turning a knob.
Honorable Mention: This machine is equipped with two special systems that will guarantee you a flavorful, aromatic cup of coffee every time. The Aqua Prima Water Filtration System will keep impurities from ruining the taste of your coffee and the Saeco Aroma System gives each espresso shot added aroma.
Best Suited For: Anyone who loves to entertain, but doesn't want to be stuck in the kitchen the whole time will enjoy Rondo's time-saving features including the Rapid Steam system, which allows you to switch from brewing to steaming with little or no down time, as well as a hot water dispenser for making Café Americanos.
Look and Feel: This Super Automatic will impress you with not only its bold, contemporary design, but also its interior components which are built to last. A swivel base makes it easy to rotate the machine and reach different parts with ease.
One word that describes this machine: Irresistable
Want to learn more? Visit the Saeco Incanto Rondo's product detail page for an in depth look at this machine's features.
Get to Know the Keurig B60 Limited Edition: In less than a minute, the Keurig B60 brews the perfect cup of gourmet coffee, utilizing the patented K-Cup system. This single-cup, home-brewing system was designed for use with coffee and tea from roasters like Green Mountain, Gloria Jean's and Bigelow. The B60 also includes a bright blue LCD display and 1-touch menu controls to give you fast access to advanced features like temperature control, auto on/off and more.
Best Thing about this machine: Unlike conventional coffee makers, the Keurig B60 brews either a 5.25oz, 7.25oz or 9.25oz cup of coffee extremely quickly. Simply insert the K-Cup into the jaw of the machine, select your size and begin brewing!
Honorable Mention: Because the Keurig B60 uses patented K-Cups, there are more than 100 types of coffee and tea available for use with this home-brewer.
Best Suited For: Coffee enthusiasts looking for an extremely easy to use, single-serving brewer. And because the Keurig B60 only uses K-Cups, every cup of fresh-brewed coffee is undisputedly perfect.
Look and Feel: Guaranteed to class up your home or workplace, the Keurig B60 is constructed of heavy-duty ABS plastic with chrome accents and a blue-lit LCD screen. Its Limited Edition design and easy-to-use push buttons will have you brewing hot coffee in style.
Great Coffee Pairing: The Keurig B60 is designed for use with K-Cups, which are available on our website.
One word that describes this machine: Slick
Want to learn more? Visit the Keurig B60 product detail page for an in depth look at this machine's features.
Get to Know the Expobar Office Control: This espresso machine is head and shoulders above other Semi Automatics. In this case you can judge a book by its cover because this machine's inner components are as well designed as its exterior. Four pre-programmable brew buttons and a large heat exchange boiler allow you to make commercial quality espressos at home with minimal effort.
Best Thing about this machine: With the Expobar Office Control's commercial-type components, including a large, heat exchanger copper boiler and a heavy-duty chrome-plated brass brew group, you can make espressos that rival those sold at your favorite coffee shop. With the heat exchange boiler it is effortless to switch from brewing to steaming, so you can make drink after drink without delay.
Honorable Mention: This machine's E61-type group head, designed to keep the brewing temperature stable, makes it possible to extract perfect espresso every time.
Best Suited For: The Expobar Office Control is ideal for the coffee lover who wants to make drinks just like a barista and is willing to take some time to learn the art of brewing great coffee. To help you in this pursuit, this machine features easily programmable brewing buttons. These controls allow you to program the amount of liquid you desire for each shot. This machine also has the capacity to brew large quantities so entertaining a crowd is no problem.
Look and Feel: This espresso machine is compact enough to fit snugly on your kitchen counter, but its shiny stainless steel housing will make sure that this quality appliance gets noticed for a lifetime. The black front control panel and steam and hot water dispensing knobs add to the machine's sleek look.
One word that describes this machine: Distinctive
Want to learn more? Visit the Expobar Office Control 's product detail page for an in depth look at this machine's features.
Get to Know the Jura Capresso Impressa Z5: If you're looking for a machine that takes automated espresso-making seriously, this machine is the perfect pick. From the moment you turn on the Z5, it becomes clear that the term “super automatic” truly has a new meaning. Combining a long list of powerful features with style and grace, the Z5 makes espresso making easier than ever.
Best Thing about this machine: With a fully integrated frothing and brewing system, this impressive machine can make a cappuccino or latte from start to finish without ever moving your cup.
Honorable Mention: Each of the machine's 1-touch controls are fully programmable, giving you the flexibility to choose between 5 coffee strengths and 3 coffee temperatures along with adjustable cup sizes and frothing times.
Best Suited For: If you want a machine that not only does everything for you but also looks great, nothing compares to the Z5. Whether it's for entertaining large groups, or simply for enjoying cappuccinos and lattes at the press of a button, the Z5 is the perfect match for elegant owners who want the absolute best.
Look and Feel: With a sleek, black finish complemented by a polished, alloy front panel, this machine defines luxury in a relatively compact housing. The bright red LED display looks great against the machine's black control panel, and the fine curves of the Z5 are brought to life by tinted lights that are cleverly hidden under the brew spout.
One word that describes this machine: Loaded
Want to learn more? Visit the Jura Capresso Impressa Z5's product detail page for an in depth look at this machine's features.
Get to Know the Gaggia Titanium: The engineers at Gaggia have designed the ultimate coffee center by combining first-rate technology with contemporary style and solid steel construction. With a long list of features that include a stainless steel turbo-frother, bypass doser, adjustable coffee strength and grind settings, you will be brewing and steaming coffeehouse style drinks like a seasoned barista in no time at all.
Best Thing about this machine: The Gaggia Titanium is equipped with a Rapid Steam System or simply put, two thermo block boilers that provide enough power to brew, then steam with no recovery time.
Honorable Mention: This espresso machine's stainless steel housing ensures durability and looks great too.
Best Suited For: Those coffee aficionados in search of a high-end super automatic espresso machine known worldwide for superior quality and design. The Titanium boasts features like pre-infusion, pre-grinding and a bypass doser that once you've experienced first-hand you just can't do without!
Look and Feel: With its solid steel construction and stainless steel accents, the Gaggia Titanium is one of the best looking super-automatic espresso machines on the market. Its uncomplicated push buttons, combined with a cobalt blue LCD digital display panel allow you to control all aspects of brewing and steaming with ease - making this the ultimate machine for entertaining.
One word that describes this machine: Opulent
Want to learn more? Visit the Gaggia Titanium's product detail page for an in depth look at this machine's features.
Get to Know the Cuisinart DGB-900 Grind & Brew Thermal: The best tasting coffee begins with the freshest beans, but the key to unlocking the most flavor is to grind them yourself. With the Grind & Brew Thermal Coffee Maker, you can say goodbye to stale, preground coffee and flavorless refills forever.
Best Thing about this machine: The Grind & Brew's built-in grinder means there's no need for preground coffee unless you prefer it. The built-in grinder lets you preserve the freshness of your favorite coffee until you're ready to brew a pot.
Honorable Mention: A double-wall, stainless steel carafe ensures that your coffee maintains its heat, and without a hot plate that can burn your coffee, you can be sure each refill will have the same great flavor as the first cup.
Best Suited For: Whether you want a few cups of fresh ground coffee each morning or you want to brew for guests, this machine is for anyone who wants to get the most out of their bean. Plus, the Grind & Brew turns coffee making into a 1-step process, and the machine is loaded with added features to make brewing coffee a fast and easy part of any routine.
Look and Feel: This unit is defined by its stainless steel exterior and matching thermal carafe, both of which are complimented by smooth, black outlines and panels. With a smartly balanced design the Grind & Brew saves counter space by having rounded corners, so it can fit anywhere while keeping a sturdy, square-like base.
One word that describes this machine: Crafty
Want to learn more? Visit the Cuisinart DGB-900 Grind & Brew Thermal's product detail page for an in depth look at this machine's features.
Get to Know the DeLonghi DCM900: With its double hourglass design, the DCM900 is a sight to behold – but its beauty is far from skin deep. The DCM900 is designed for performance with dual heating elements for better temperature stability, so you can be sure you'll get lots of great-tasting coffee in no time at all.
Best Thing about this machine: The DCM900's exclusive dual heating system ensures maximum temperature stability by maintaining a constant heat source throughout the entire brewing process. The powerful 1500-watt stainless steel boiler heats your water quickly and, since there is a dedicated heating element for the hot plate, ensures the water is at the perfect temperature for a proper extraction and excellent taste.
Honorable Mention: To maximize your coffee's flavor, the DCM900 features a showerhead brewing system that distributes water evenly through your coffee grounds to ensure every cup of coffee has a smooth, great taste.
Best Suited For: A coffee maker that can brew great coffee in a short amount of time is something everyone can enjoy, but for those who truly appreciate the benefits of temperature stability and a smart design, there is no substitute for the DCM900. Whether you're making morning coffee for just a few people or you're brewing for a group, the speed and flexibility of the DCM900 make it a great pick for coffee lovers of all kinds.
Look and Feel: With a seamless, brushed aluminum body that is fingerprint-resistant, the DCM900 will add charm to any kitchen décor. Plus, the ergonomic, always-cool handle not only feels great, but its artistic style also gives the DCM900 a unique brand of sophistication.
Most Compatible Grinders: Baratza Virtuoso
One word that describes this machine: Graceful
Want to learn more? Visit the DeLonghi DCM900's product detail page for an in depth look at this machine's features.
Get to Know the DeLonghi Magnifica 3300: This super automatic espresso machine will make quite an impression with its clean, simple lines and black and smoked silver color combination. It also has many attractive features inside including a removable front-loading brew group, water reservoir and top-loading bypass doser.
Best Thing about this machine: You have the flexibility of using pre-ground coffee or coffee beans. Adding pre-ground coffee to this machine is simple with the top-loading bypass doser, and its interval burr grinder has 10 different coarseness settings so you can be sure the coffee beans areground to perfection, whether you are brewing an espresso or a café crema.
Honorable Mention: When you become a Magnifica owner you are entitled to special treatment, known as DeLonghi's White Glove Service. With this exclusive service you will be able to access a helpline (800-322-3848) staffed by experts, and you may be eligible for free shipping and the use ofa loaner machine if problems occur during the warranty period.
Best Suited For: The Magnifica is perfect for those who want a machine that can help them entertain coffee drinkers of all kinds, as well as those who want tea or hot chocolate. This machine has special features that allow you to make a weaker or stronger cup of coffee, brew decaf or pre-groundcoffee or dispense hot water or steam by just turning a dial or pushing a button.
Look and Feel: The Magnifica is brimming with innovative and timesaving features inside, but the defined lines and subtle colors on its exterior make sure that this machine will coordinate with any kitchen décor. Also, even though it will do everything from creating creamy cappuccino to dispensing delicious decaf, its compact design ensures that this espresso machinewon't take up too much space on your counter.
Great Coffee Pairing: Illy Medium Roast Espresso
One word that describes this machine: Streamlined
Want to learn more? Visit the DeLonghi Magnifica 3300's product detail page for an in depth look at this machine's features.
Espresso is the basic ingredient in most coffee drinks no matter what fancy name they are given at the local coffee bar. Whether you are ordering a latte, cappuccino or mocha, espresso is what gives these drinks their coffee flavor.
Espresso is the type of beverage produced by pushing hot water (between 190 F and 195 F in temperature) at high pressure (between 8 and 9 bars) through a bed of finely ground, compacted coffee. Shots of espresso should take about 20 to 25 seconds to brew. For a normal single shot of espresso you would use approximately 1 to 1.5 ounces of liquid and approximately 7 grams of ground coffee. To make a normal double shot between 2 and 2.5 ounces of liquid is used and the volume of coffee grounds is doubled.
However, you can produce many varieties of coffee specialty drinks by going beyond these general guidelines for single and double shots. There is no limit to the flavorful combinations you can create by adding ingredients to the basic espresso formula explained above, which is known as the Espresso Rule of Thumb. The recipes below will provide you with some ideas on what you can add to the basics to make a number of coffee specialty drinks at home. These traditional recipes can also be adapted to suit your mood and taste.
Vary Your Shots
Sticking to the Espresso Rule of Thumb is an option, not a necessity, for those who want to get the most out of their espresso machine. Another type of shot you can try is called the Ristretto or the “little one”. This involves a shot that measures about 0.75 to 1 ounce that is pulled through approximately 14 grams of ground coffee in about 20 to 25 seconds. On the other hand, you can try the Lungo, or long pull, which means that about twice the amount of water is pulled through the coffee grounds, so instead of using a 2 to 2.5 ounce double shot, you would have a 5 to 6 ounce double shot.
Remember that shots of espresso should take about 20 to 25 seconds. Also, if you find that your shots pull too quickly, too slowly, or taste bitter refer to the Espresso Rule of Thumb for some more tips.
For Cappuccinos and Lattes It’s All About The Milk
Depending on whether you use 1%, 2% or whole milk you will end up with either a cappuccino or a latte. A cappuccino has frothed and steamed milk; a latte contains only steamed milk. A variety of flavorings can also be added to both of these kinds of drinks. (See our Monin syrups for some delicious options.) The recipes for basic cappuccinos and lattes are as follows:
2 to 2.5 ounces espresso (double shot)
2.5 ounces frothed milk
2.5 ounces steamed milk
For a cup of cappuccino use equal parts of espresso, steamed milk and frothed milk. Place the espresso in the cup first, and then add steamed milk, followed by frothed milk. Adding flavored syrup or MOCAFE to your cappuccino can spice up this basic recipe.
Other Combinations To Try
For a different twist, try making a Dry Cappuccino, which has a double shot of espresso in it and frothed milk on top. This variation contains little or no steamed milk. A Wet Cappuccino has a double shot of espresso with more steamed milk than frothed milk.
A café latte contains only steamed milk. Flavorings can also be added to vary the taste of your latte.
2 to 2.5 ounces espresso (double shot)
4 to 5 ounces steamed milk
More Special Recipes
2 to 2.5 ounces espresso (double shot)
3 ounces fruit flavored syrup
For a cool alternative to hot drinks fill up a 12-ounce glass with ice, and then add the espresso, syrup and cold milk.
2 to 2.5 ounces espresso (double shot)
Dollop of frothed milk
Use a demitasse cup for this drink because it is just one shot of espresso with a small amount of frothed milk spooned on top. The ratio of espresso to milk is usually 80:20.
2 to 2.5 ounces espresso (double shot)
6 ounces steamed milk
.5 ounce chocolate syrup
Whipped cream (optional)
Chocolate sprinkles (optional)
Begin by adding the syrup, espresso and steamed milk to a cup. Top if off with a little whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. (Remember you can adjust the amount of syrup depending on your preference.)
Ways To Cut The Calories
For a low fat version substitute the whipped cream with frothed, skim milk. For extra flavoring without fat, carbohydrates or calories choose one of our Monin O’Free syrups, and to sweeten your cup of cappuccino sprinkle in some Splenda.
More Options For Your Cup of Coffee
You can also choose to make a Café Americano or a Café Crema. Café Americano is a single shot of espresso with 6 to 8 ounces of hot water added to it. This coffee drink is a little sweeter tasting because hot water is added to the shot, not run through the coffee grounds. However you will still be making a full-bodied cup of coffee even though you are using more water.
Café Crema is a single shot, but it is a long pull. You pull 6 to 8 ounces of water through the ground coffee instead of 1.5 ounces. Also to make a Café Crema you will need to use more coarsely ground beans.
The sky is the limit in creating unique coffee specialty drinks. Just take any of these basic recipes and simply adjusting the amount of espresso, steamed milk, frothed milk or syrup.
If You Just Want a Cup o’ Joe…
There are also ways to be inventive using your drip coffee machine. Here are some specialty drink recipes to try:
Café Au Lait
2 to 2.5 ounces DRIP coffee
6 ounces steamed milk
The Café au Lait uses drip coffee with steamed milk added to it.
By using your drip coffee machine you can make a Hammerhead. Just place a single shot of espresso in your coffee cup and then fill the rest of the cup with drip coffee.
There are two schools of thought on buying and storing coffee beans. The argument usually plays out something like this:
So who is right?
In general, freshly roasted beans respond better to water pressure, temperature and the brewing process as a whole. And beans purchased directly from the roaster and stored under natural conditions tend to grind more easily. But if your roaster stores them in an open bag or bin for more than a week after roasting, they are more than likely past their peak.
Because coffee beans have residual moisture on them after roasting they do need air to cool down or relax. This is often referred to as a resting period and lasts anywhere between one and three days.
Let it be known though, the two largest enemies of freshly roasted beans are oxygen and moisture. And if your roaster does not use air to cool the beans, the residual moisture may cause them to loose flavor and turn rancid rapidly. An easy way to tell if your beans are past their peak is if they have a sour taste or cigarette-like aroma.
If you are lucky enough to have your roaster package the beans in foil or plastic bags with a one-way valve that allows the naturally occurring gasses to escape, deterioration of your beans will be minimized. Italian roaster, Illy for instance, packages beans in nitrogen and seals them in an airtight can. When packaged correctly, beans can be stored for up to two years.
If your roaster uses a heat sealed film or foil bag like Lavazza, transfer the coffee to an airtight, opaque storage container immediately after opening. By using an airtight container like our coffee bean storage tins with a rubber-lined lid you will be able to keep your coffee fresh for several weeks.
Many people do not realize how important the proper storage of coffee is. A lot of people believe that freezing or refrigerating makes coffee last longer, but this type of storage will alter the aging of the coffee. Freezing beans lock in the moisture and stop the naturally occurring chemical process. Additionally, refrigerators are damp and filled with odor. Who wants your fresh beans to absorb the smell of last night's leftovers?
And in the instance that you purchase pre-ground coffee, make sure to brew it as soon as possible because coffee will begin to loose its flavor as soon as you grind it.
Whole beans store better than ground coffee. Because once you've ground the coffee the aromas and flavors are inherently lost. Therefore it's best to grind as much as you need and immediately put your freshly roasted beans in an opaque, airtight container.
Hopefully this article has transformed you from the typical “Vern” – someone who was relatively uneducated about coffee bean storage - into a “Ralph”, a coffee storage connoisseur. Now it's time to use your knowledge; keep your coffee fresh and educate the “Verns” of the world on proper coffee storage.
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