Using your home espresso machine professionally

Many people asked me why is their

home espresso machine not as good as the commercial ones. If you faced this scenario before, have you question why that would be so? Would a supplier of espresso machines on purpose make a home machine lower quality than a commercial one?

Now, get ready for the truth, other than the faster turn around that commercial espresso makers would be able to do, they are actually not much different from the home espresso machine. The variable that is different between a commercial and home is the person using it.

It is not fair to say that you do not know how to properly use the espresso machines since you were told that the brewers would delivered great quality espresso just with a push of button right?

Unless you get a single cup coffee maker, otherwise, you would still need to know a little about espresso machines. There are many variables to perfecting your espresso from a coffee machine, one of them would be the water temperature.

The element that makes this temperature so complicated is due to the "good friend" of espresso -milk. Without the latter, you would not get any gourmet coffee, such as latte, mocha, cappuccino, you get the point.

But, espresso is usually brewed at a lower temperature than the temperature that is used to froth the milk, so how do you combine these two elements into one single machine. Now, this is where some skills is involved in getting the optimum temperature for your espresso.


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The first thing that you would need to take note is what boiler is your home espresso machine using. There are three main categories, the single boiler, the single boiler with heat exchanger and the double boiler.

If you are using a home espresso machine that has the single boiler, the difference for the two temperatures are controlled by a thermostat and a push button, so all you need to do is to wait. There is some waiting from the transitions from brew to steam temperature.

For the folks using espresso machines with double boilers, you are so blessed! Since each boilers controlled the brewing and steam temperature, all you need to do is to go about your usual brewing process. In theory, this is the most likely to get you consistent good brew.

When it comes to the single boiler with a heat exchanger, it gets slightly more complicated to keep to the optimum temperature. Folks using this employs what is know as a cooling flush to get a reasonable brew temperature.

This cooling flush is a new learning process with a trial and error to assess the right amount of water to cool down the temperature, listening to the steam and water flutters then tasting the first espresso shot to determine the temperature.

Taste of the espresso would indicate if the flush is done properly. If the espresso is sour, then the flushing is too much, if it is bitter then you would need more water to flushed it.

Optimum brew temperature is the sweet spot in getting great espresso. Once you know how to get this, you would never lose it, while this is not everything there is to achieving this optimum temperature, it is nevertheless the start.

**Now, you know why baristas do what those flushing actions in front of the espresso machines in your local cafe right?:)


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About US | OCM Profile

OCM was started in 2007, focusing first on coffee machines, then marketing for coffee and food and beverage companies. Check out this restaurant marketing guide to learn more about the many campaigns and companies we have worked with. 

OCM has also created many marketing workshops and classes for the F&B industry. Many of the modules are running in the Singapore Skillsfuture Classes in tertiary institutions such as Temasek Polytechnic Skillsfuture Academy and also ITE College East COC classes. 

For the readers (coffee lovers), we continue to share coffee articles (and videos) and have also started a free coffee class section (with free online coffee training supported by coffee partners). 

To connect with coffee and F&B practitioners, join our growing F&B group on Linkedin (20 000 and growing).


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