How to Use a Manual Espresso Machine

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If you are an espresso lover, you might want to use a manual coffee machine. A manual coffee machine can give you more control over preparing your coffee and many more features that separate it from an automated one. This article will discuss how to use a manual espresso machine, and here’s everything you need to get a delicious cup of coffee from a manual coffee maker.

Step One: Heat the Water

All manual coffee machines will start the process in the same way. You’ll need to heat the water. Sometimes, this can be done automatically in the machine. At other times, you will need to use a kettle.

Boiling water

We should note that the temperature of the water will affect the way that the espresso will taste. If it’s too hot, you will end up making the brew taste bitter. If it is too cool, you might end up making it too sour. The ideal temperature will be between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (90-96 degrees Celsius).

Step Two: Prepare the Beans

The next step is to get the beans ready. To get the best flavour, you’ll want to be using fresh beans. High-quality beans should have an expiry date on the package, which you should carefully check. There are various types of coffee beans for you to test on. I recommend giving every kind of coffee you can find a chance to know what your flavour is.

When you have found the right beans, you’ll need to grind them up. When you are making an espresso, you’ll need to get a fine grind. Usually, you’ll want the grounds to resemble a powder. Again, you might want to experiment a little to find the grind size that best fits your taste.

Prepare the bean

The amount of coffee you will require will depend on how strong you want the drink to be. For a single shot, it’s a good idea to use six to eight grams of beans to every 1.5 fluid ounces of water. If you want a double picture, you’ll need to use 15 grams of beans for every two fluid ounces. Again, you might need to experiment with this a little to find the ideal amount for you.

Step Three: Using a Pump Machine

The way you extract the coffee from the grounds will depend on the type of machine you have. There are two types of devices; pump and lever. Each of these works in a slightly different way. For more information on some of the differences between them and to find a suitable machine for you, check out this excellent guide to manual espresso machines.

First, let’s look at the pump machine. These can be ideal for those who are looking for a compact, lightweight device. Often, these will be small enough to fit into your backpack. To use it, you’ll first need to place the ground coffee into the machine. You can tamp the ground coffee down to make sure that you distribute it evenly. Then, add the hot water.

To extract the coffee, you’ll need to use the pump. As you are doing this, it’s essential to use a slow, consistent stroke. This action will allow you to build up pressure in the device. Once you have enough pressure, the coffee will come out of the bottom. Often, it will take around 20 to 30 pumps before you can extract the coffee.

Step Three: Using a Lever Machine

The other option that you can use is a lever machine. These machines are often larger than pumps. However, they will be able to extract the coffee quicker. If you choose a commercial lever machine, it will come with a tank of water. Because of this, you need to swap out the used grounds, and you are ready to make another cup.

Similar to the pump machine, you’ll need to fill up the brew head with the grounds. Tamp them down. Then, you’ll need to add the hot water and pull down on the lever to build pressure inside the device. Some lever machines will come with a pressure gauge to see what is happening inside the machine.

Hold the lever down. As you are doing this, you will notice the shot of coffee coming out of the bottom of the machine. In some commercial lever machines, you might be able to produce two shots of espresso simultaneously. Over time, you’ll notice the flow of coffee trickle to a stop. This signal shows that we have successfully extracted the coffee.

You might want to read more: Best Automatic Espresso Machines

Step Four: Finishing the Coffee

Once you have finished extracting the grounds, you can start adding the final touches. Add sugar and milk to the drink and enjoy it.

Finish Your Coffee

Coffee lovers might want to keep a coffee diary. By keeping track of the journal, you can adjust the preparation process to better suit your needs. For example, you will note the type of coffee you used and how finely ground it was. Over time, you can make minor tweaks to the process to find the perfect brew for your tastes.

Step Five: Cleaning the Espresso Machine

After you have finished making your coffee, it’s time to clean out the espresso machine. Usually, this will be a relatively simple process. You’ll want to remove the old grounds. Run some hot water around the inside of the brew head to get rid of any lasting coffee remnants. The only potential complication might come from those who have a lever machine. The piston head can get hot, which causes it to expand. Before you clean this part, you’ll need to wait for it to cool down.

Keep your espresso machine clean

Conclusion

There are plenty of reasons to choose a manual espresso machine. Maybe you are looking for a compact device for your camping trips, or you want more control over the making of your coffee. Though these might look more intimidating than an automatic machine, they are easy to use. So, try making espresso using a manual machine today.

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