Some people talk about lattes and for them, that is espresso but for others it has to be the rich, dark brew that is served in tiny cups as shots. Each person thinks that their definition is the only definition and when they look at their beverage, they lovingly refer to it as espresso. The truth is that espresso is not a drink. It is a way to prepare certain coffee beans in a way that produces a drink named after the way it is made. According to an article about The Long History of the Espresso Machine in the Smithsonian Magazine, “It is neither a bean nor a blend. It is a method of preparation. More specifically, it is a preparation method in which highly-pressurized hot water is forced over coffee grounds to produce a very concentrated coffee drink with a deep, robust flavor.” Let’s explore a little more about where the espresso machine came from and how this “deep, robust flavor” came about.
- Over A Hundred Years of Espresso
Of course, the masses and the elite alike have enjoyed coffee in itself for many centuries, but the espresso machine didn’t make an appearance until around the late 1800s. The first models were something akin to the Apollo. Although they couldn’t orbit the moon, when they got going the steam the came from the water tanks made it look like it was about to take off. The spectacle was something to behold and espresso was a lot faster than brewing coffee any other way. Italy became the place to be for café coffee.
- A Scientific Approach
Making espresso is a careful process and at the beginning, inventor Angelo Moriondo presented the first patent on May 16th 1884 as “New steam machinery for the economic and instantaneous confection of coffee beverage, method ‘A. Moriondo’.” (Wikipedia) and the first espresso machine was underway. There was a lot of trial and error and many improvements made before the espresso machines of today were brought into the homes of coffee enthusiasts all over the world. These early machines could only be operated by trained baristas. Their operation involved a lot of complicated levers and knobs and no automation in terms of regulating the pressure of the water as it came through the coffee grounds. The barista was constantly at risk of being hit with the hot water as it came through the machine as well as the pressurized steam.
- Developments and Design
Over time, the espresso machine’s design was streamlined and refined to bring us the sleek and easy to operate models that can be bought for home use today. The portafilter, automatic settings, steamer wands, levers for pulling shots, and other features make bringing a cup of espresso to your cup a much simpler process than the machines of the past. It wasn’t until the 1960s that commercialization really took off and the world was able to enjoy espresso as much as the citizens and visitors of Italy. Each new development made operating the machine safer and easier for the average person to use, although the trained baristas were markedly better at it for some time so the home machine wasn’t popular until fairly recently.
- Packing the Grounds
Even after all the developments to make things simpler, packing the espresso grounds into the basket of the portafilter is still a manual operation that needs to be precise. If the grounds are too loose, the pressurized water will deliver a weak brew, but if they’re too tight the flavors will be strangled and the water may not be able to get through at all. The advent of home coffee grinders makes this process a little easier; especially burr grinders, which use a process of grinding the beans between two surfaces to create uniform particles that pack together most neatly. It may take a few times doing this on your own to find the perfect way to pack your grounds and when you get it, you’ll see the formation of “crema” on top of the finished shot of espresso. This is light foam caused by the pressure in the water as it flows through the packed grounds.
- Steamer Wands
Not every machine has milk steamers and the steamer wand was another development from the original machine, before which milk was steamed with much less precision using tools that were a lot more dangerous. Steamer wands let clean steam come out of a tube attached to the machine. The wand is placed into a metal cup with cold milk and the machine’s operator moves the cup in specific motions to create the desired thickness of foam. This precision is a development that gives the home machine the ability to produce lattes and other beverages along with straight espresso shots right in your own kitchen. As with packing espresso grounds, milk steamers take a bit of practice to use properly but the finished products are akin to what you’d find in a café.
Keeping Tradition Alive
While you probably don’t want to move a giant water tank and unsafe steaming equipment into your home, there are other ways to blend the nostalgia of Moriondo’s first design with the convenience of modern home machines. A traditional looking model can grace your home with notes of the history of the espresso machine and provide an excellent conversation piece as well as brew quality espresso for you and your guests. You can talk about the days of old fashioned brewing and then serve pristine looking lattes and espresso with crema on top in all its glory. The developments might make espresso easier to brew at home but whether you choose a modern machine or a traditional one, it’s important to learn about how every function works. Check the users manual before you pull your first shot and you’ll be able to use your home machine for many years to come.
If you are a writer or know a writer, you might be privy to the quirky and sometimes eccentrics habits that form when writers sit down to put pen to paper, or fingers to keys. One of the most common rituals among writers is the preparation and consumption of many cups (often massive amounts) of coffee. For this reason, a home machine can be a writer’s best tool, and best friend. Now, you don’t have to be a big connoisseur or make several pots of coffee a day in order to be a good writer but a cup with breakfast and during that afternoon slump can be just the boost you need to get the ideas flowing in your mind and stay focused while you work.
- The Life of a Writer
Many writers spend hours at a desk (or on a couch, at the kitchen table, sitting on the patio or at the park) with their work. They stare at pages and screens with time falling into the distance as a measure they no longer recognize. When they decide they want more coffee, going to the café or anyplace else that sells their magic potion of choice is a bother but walking to the kitchen is an easy compromise. A home machine gives the writer the coffee they want, however they want to make it, and the energy to keep going even when they’ve been at it for hours…or days.
Caffination is not actually a word, but it’s one of the many creative things a writer can do when spurred on by coffee. There are many great writers that can be attributed to precise coffee preparation and habits that most people today would find outrageous. Other artists have used these methods in the past as well, for centuries and still in present time. Your methods of using your home machine and getting the caffeine that sparks your brain into full gear will be your own. Experiment with different ways to make coffee, additions to your brew, beans from faraway places of all kinds of roasts. Don’t be afraid to branch out to find your coffee bliss.
- Organizing Your Writing Space
Your writing space could be a home office, a spot at your kitchen table, the coffee table in your living room, or a TV tray with a folding chair in the laundry room. No matter where you decide to write, it’s likely you’ll want to keep your home machine close by so the coffee is always near. Think about your space and how large of an area you have to devote to coffee in the first place. If there’s not enough room in your writing space to keep a coffee maker, you can always put it in the kitchen and force yourself to get up and take a walk whenever you need a jolt.
- The Machine You Choose
The type of home machine you choose to make your coffee while you’re writing is imperative. Think about the type of coffee you want and what you need your machine to do. You may prefer a fully automatic model that can make the drinks you want at the touch of a button or you might enjoy the process and ritual of making coffee so you prefer a more complicated machine. If you don’t already have a specific habit when it comes to making coffee, the machine you choose could be your chance to form one. The ritual, for some, is just as important as the consumption.
- Your Coffee Style
Your home machine isn’t only about the functions it performs but also about how it looks in space you put it. Your roll top desk, typewriter, and sepia colored parchment probably won’t be complimented by a sleek and shiny machine and your computer and high tech printers won’t look great next to a copper antique look. If you plan to keep your machine in your writing space, consider how it looks next to what you already have there. A traditional machine could complement your typewriter and antique feel with all the carefully thought out pieces you’ve curated for a specific look. There are many different kinds of machines and you’ll be sure to find one that complements your style.
- Overthinking Coffee
As with many things a writer does, it can be easy to overthink each of these factors and work yourself into a frenzy about your home machine. Don’t let all of the choices available get you confused. Take a deep breath, think about what you love, and find a machine that makes you happy. Study the features, call customer service and ask questions, and learn about the machine you like to be sure it’s what you really want. There are experts that can help you choose and it doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. Coffee is important to a lot of writers but it’s not everything. The caffeine sparks your brain into motion but you are the one that comes up with the ides, not the coffee.
Maintaining the Extra Use
Once you install your home machine, take some time to get to know it and learn about how to use it exactly right. This knowledge will help you keep your machine going longer and give you that precious coffee you love so much. Make sure you can start your day off the way you want to by maintaining your machine properly. Each type of machine has its own set of instructions for cleaning and maintenance. These instructions are likely included with the machine but if you have any questions, it’s important that you ask the manufacturer and find the right answers. The proper cleaning and maintenance will keep your machine a reliable piece of equipment that you can utilize in your writing process as much as you want.
Performances can range from concerts to dances, business presentations and lectures, and every one of them usually has some sort of intermission or a period of socialization at the end. At that time, it is common to offer the guests in your audience refreshments and often what you serve is either the icing on top of an excellent performance or the lackluster spread that is remembered instead. A cappuccino machine is one way to ensure that your refreshments fall into the former category and not the latter, giving your audience a reason to happily discuss what they saw, enjoyed, or learned with their friends and colleagues after they league.
- The Size of Your Audience
Before you purchase a cappuccino machine that’s too large or too small, consider the size of the audience you’ll frequently be serving. If you’re dealing with a sold out concert hall five days a week, a commercial machine will be a better choice but if your audiences are business meetings with a dozen people around a conference room table, a smaller machine will be less cumbersome and costly.
- Time Allotted for Intermission
Your audience is likely to love the cappuccino you provide, but not if they don’t have enough time to drink it because they’re waiting around for it to be made. If you don’t have much time allotted in your intermission, a fully automatic machine will give your guests the delicious beverage they’ve been promised without the disappointment of never receiving it after waiting through the whole intermission.
- Planning a New York Excursion
One of the most popular excursions that brings an audience are the many performances and even businesses that are visited in New York City, and one of them could be yours. If your audience is making their way to NYC to see you and your performance, it’s a good idea to provide them with tips about planning their excursion. You can give them a cappuccino machine and the best beverages they’ve ever had but if they never get there to enjoy it, how can you ever show off what you’ve done? To those who aren’t native New Yorkers, the city can be overwhelming and difficult to get around. By providing a bit of guidance, you’ll be going above and beyond to make sure your guests get the best experience possible.
Providing a cappuccino machine at your beverage station during intermission is a beautiful contribution, and pairing it with baked goods and other options for enhancement adds to the experience positively. Create a spread that looks and tastes wonderful and be sure to also provide napkins, plates, and utensils if necessary. People during intermission will be walking around and with a cappuccino in one hand and a baked good in the other, they won’t have any hands left to wipe stray crumbs or dabs of jam. It may even be a good idea to put a couple of small tables around at standing height for people to put down their cups, plates, or napkins and trash receptacles to discard finished refreshments. This will keep the area clean and everyone comfortable as they socialize.
Not everyone likes their cappuccino made exactly the same way. You can put out different kinds of sweetener, garnish, flavored creamers, or any other enhancements you can think of that help your guests enjoy their beverages exactly to their own specifications. If your audience is small, you could find out about specific preferences in order to add a personal touch to your presentation that makes every one of them feel like a VIP.
After you’ve gathered all of your enhancements and extras, you’ll have to arrange them with your cappuccino machine so that everyone can get to what they need in due time without jostling and congestion around the beverage station. Take into consideration once again the size of your audience, time allotted for intermission, and the amounts of extras and enhancements you want to display. Each one of these factors is important to the presentation and if you play your cards right, you’ll have a beautiful spread that flows well and provides refreshments to everyone in your audience.
- Travel and Safety
It’s likely that your beverage station won’t be a static part of your performance, nor will your performance be a static part of the area where the performance takes place. You’ll need to transport your cappuccino machine and everything else safely and efficiently. The best way to do this is to create a designated travel box or container for your items that you can add padding or other protective material each time you transport. Organize your other items and create a designated container for them as well. If you’re transporting in a personal vehicle, you should also put your containers on the floor or somewhere else where it is least likely to slide around or fall forward.
Choosing Your Machine
After you’ve decided on all the particulars, it’s time to choose your cappuccino machine. Use the information you’ve gathered to figure out which machine will be able to accommodate your needs as well as hold up to the amount of service you’ll be providing. In the case of putting out a machine that is meant to wow audiences, you should also think about aesthetics. The machine should look great as well as operate the way it should and the best way to do that is to go gourmet. All in all, scrutinize every feature that the manufacturer offers on the machine you are considering and if you have questions, call the customer service line and ask them. When you’re finished and you’ve made your decision, you’ll be happy that you took the time to think about these and your guests will be too! Every performance you put on will have an intermission that leaves them comfortable, refreshed, and ready to enjoy the rest of the night.
Traditionally, the espresso machine is used to make espresso and the steamer wand (or wands) that are attached to the machine are used to steam milk for lattes, also made with espresso. The art of the hot beverage has come a long way and, in some cases, very old traditions have been revitalized to create brand new beverages that you may not even realize you can make using the machine that sits right in your kitchen. Explore the ways you can create lattes with tea or mix tea and coffee for combinations you’ve never imagined that will dazzle your taste buds and have you using your machine in many exciting ways.
- Learn How to Steam Properly
It’s likely that the steamer wand on your espresso machine has instructions that are included in the user manual, but the process can still be a bit confusing if you’ve never done it before. Trial and error might cause a lot of scorched milk, foul odors, and even injury but if you learn how to steam properly, you could turn out beautiful stiff and shiny foam for your hot beverage. Watch how it’s done, either on video or the next time your at a local café and you’ll find out that the process isn’t all that difficult once you know the details.
- Tea Lattes
Once you know how to make the right foam, you can top off your favorite tea to make a latte. The product of your espresso machine might be a dark brew that gives you an excellent jolt but it’s actually very light and the foam you top it off with is even lighter. The process that steamers conduct while they’re at work adds air to the milk so even though it looks thick and stiff, it’s incredibly versatile. When you top off your tea with foamed milk instead of simply adding milk after it’s brewed, you’re giving it an aesthetic charm as well as a feather light and tasty addition. Drinking tea with milk can often feel like the tea has sort of lost its constitution because the milk is a bit heavy but foamed milk is wonderfully light, giving you the creamy texture and taste you want without compromising the texture of the beverage.
- Frothing Different Types of Milk
Rest assured, dairy allergy sufferers, there are ways that you too can enjoy a latte. You can steam almond milk, soy milk, and a few other types to add a topping to your beverage that doesn’t upset your stomach. The milk steamers on your espresso machine can handle this job the same way they handle any other type of milk. The catch is that these non-dairy milks steam into froth at a different temperature than cow’s milk. It will take a little bit of trial and error before you’re really able to get the perfect texture but when you do, you’ll be happy you tried. In most cases, nut milks and soy milk have a much lower fat content so you won’t have to worry much about them burning or getting to hot as you steam since it’s the fat that mostly threatens the idea of “cooking” when you steam milk.
This is the name of a popular drink in Hong Kong that’s made from a mixture of tea and coffee. Without the same tea that they use in the region, it won’t be exactly the same when you try it at home but the alternative is still delicious. Try using one part espresso and three parts herbal tea to start out making this drink. If you use a spiced herbal tea like Bengal spice or a cinnamon blend, you can use the milk steamers on your espresso machine to create a topping that complements the brew nicely. Sprinkle a small bit of cinnamon or nutmeg on top for a special touch. Yuanyang can be enjoyed piping hot or over ice so it’s a delicious treat any day of the year. Try using different herbal teas with your espresso to create flavors you never dreamed possible.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
Unless you’ve used a milk steamer before, you’re probably not going to get it right the first time and you shouldn’t be discouraged by this. Keep trying and each time you’ll get better at it. Also, what works for everyone else may not work for you. There is a certain way to use the steamers on your espresso machine, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll want exactly the same consistency as the pictures or videos that teach you how to use your equipment. You may enjoy a lighter froth or a stiff and stable foam and you may not be sure what you really love. The only way to find out is to try and keep trying until you discover the best way for you. That’s the beauty of having your own machine, though. You get to use that trial and error method to find out what you like instead of simply accepting what is given to you.
Temperature Gauges and Other Such Things
There is more than one type of espresso machine out there that uses milk steamers and while many people will tell you that a temperature gauge isn’t necessary, it can come in handy when you’re steaming different types of milk or when you’re figuring out the consistency you like best. Some machines also come in the fully automatic variety so you don’t have to learn as much in order to operate them. You’re best bet is to go gourmet, and when you do it’s a good idea to pour over every feature that the machine has. Ask questions, call customer service, and find out what the machine can really do. You won’t be sorry when you’re machine is installed and you see how easy it can be to brew and top the perfect latte in the comfort of your own home.
There are several debates over whether or not drinking coffee every day is good for one’s health and there are new articles cropping up all the time that continue the debate. The facts appear to depend on many factors, like the other things that occur in a person’s daily routine, how they exercise and eat, pre-existing health risks, the body’s natural tolerance to caffeine, and what is added to the coffee that is drunk. The physical effects aside, here we explore how coffee can affect your mood and how the mere aroma and appearance of a good home machine brewing a gourmet drink can make everything about your environment feel better than ever.
The Coffee You Already Drink
Think about how you feel when you drink a cup of coffee. It may be something that you do a few times a day out of habit without even thinking about it and the feeling you get doesn’t register for you anymore. Your day is always the same and coffee is a part of it. You can change that with a home machine that brews better coffee than what you already drink. Instead of adding more coffee to your day and risking jitters and a crash, try new tastes and aromas that awaken your senses and give you a surge of positive energy.
Coffee and Depression
A study cited by Psychology Today in 2012 explores the evidence of coffee as an effective antidepressant. Most of the results suggest that there is no definitive proof that coffee can be used to stave off depression the same way as other clinically proven techniques, but it does stand show that many people who drink coffee in moderation are essentially happy. The facts from the study also state that “80% of the caffeine in the world is consumed as coffee.” Caffeine itself does have the power to lift your mood and the world loves to consume it in the form of coffee. If you have to moderate your coffee habits, your best bet is a home machine that gives you an excellent product.
Taste and Aroma
These things matter and they’re different for everyone so if you’re jaded by the coffee you drink now, it’s a good idea to explore new coffee strengths and flavors to discover something you truly love. There’s more than simply the kinds of beans you brew in your home machine. You can also try to find out how milk steamers can be added to your home café implements to give you new drinks you never imagined you could make at home. Grinders are also important because different machines and coffees require different consistencies of the grounds. If you’re not sure what you want to try before you buy your own machine, try out new drinks at your local café to see what you like and then learn how to make them at home.
The Way Your Machine Looks
Your home machine is more than a great coffee maker, it is also another addition to the design of your kitchen. You want it to look beautiful as well as deliver a gourmet brew to your coffee mug. Look at your kitchen and measure the empty spaces before you shop for a new machine. Find out exactly how it will fit into the places you already have and if you’ll need to move things around to make room. You may find that this is an opportunity to create a whole new look to the place you use every day. Those changes on their own can help your environment feel better and you may also want to consider a classic look for your machine or something new that highlights the changes you make.
Coffee At Work
Nearly every workplace has a break area that includes a coffee station and it’s not just a place to get a jolt during the day. Many employees will socialize in this area, take a few minutes to relax and gather themselves, and savor a good cup of coffee. Include a new gourmet machine in this area to make your employees feel good about the coffee they drink. They’ll waste less time trying to run out to the café for something satisfactory and the company will save money ordering out. Any clients who come in for a meeting will be impressed by what you serve them and it will be available right in the office every time.
Friends and Family
A new home machinecan make your own environment happier but it can also do wonders for the way you entertain friends and family when they come over for the next gathering or party. You can bring smiles not only to your own face but to the face of everyone else who graces your home with their presence. You’ll have the pleasure of being the hit of every party and holiday you host and the best part is that you won’t be expending a huge extra effort! Your home machine will do all of it for you.
Let the Magic of Coffee Change Your Life
You might already know the wonders that coffee can do but there is so much more that you can enjoy with a gourmet home machine. Before you make your purchase, know about all the things the machine you’re considering can do and research those features. The best way to be sure your getting a machine with which you’ll be satisfied is to choose a gourmet machine but do not do so lightly. Talk to customer service and read your user manual carefully to be able to use each part of your machine correctly and to get the best brew. Using proper maintenance and use, you can enjoy the magic of excellent coffee in your life for several years (or even decades!) to come.
You are a conscious human being that enjoys recycling and other such sustainable practices in your daily life. You grow food in on your balcony and you use your own ceramic cup at work instead of discarding several paper ones. However, when it comes to brewing coffee in your home machine, you may be surprised to know that many of the regular habits that come as second nature do not support a healthy eco system. Learn about how you can change some of your habits to include brewing coffee with the rest of your repertoire of sustainable practices and continuing being the conscious human being you so love to be.
- What is Sustainable Coffee?
If you look this term up online, you’ll find many articles not just about sustainable growing practices but also about marketing, fair trade, and other things that seem extremely complicated. There’s a simple way to define what sustainable coffee is and that is the same way that other practices conscious to how they affect the earth are described. As a consumer, you can research the companies you purchase coffee from before you use them in your home machine. You may find that the your conscious is not the only thing that is lighter when you do, for many fair trade and sustainably farmed coffees have a more interesting flavor profile, taste fresher, and last longer.
- Doing Your Research
There is a multitude of information on this subject readily available with a few strokes of the keyboard but the best way to find out about the company you want to purchase from is to ask them. If the company is dedicated to good sustainable practices, they’re likely to be transparent about how they grow and market their product. Of course there is the label on the product itself but if you want further proof, look up the company itself and find out how to contact them. Not only will you find out about the company, but this is also a very good way to learn about sustainable practices in general, straight from the people who farm it themselves.
- Extend Your Education
Once you’ve learned about where you’re purchasing your sustainable coffee and from whom, you can use similar practices at home. A lot of this is common sense, especially if you’re already aware of how to be conscious about the environment. When it comes to brewing in your home machine, try a few changes to get started instead of changing everything all at once.
- Start a recycling receptacle specifically for coffee grounds. You can use them in compost or find a place that will accept them for the same purpose. After brewing your coffee, empty the grounds into this receptacle instead of the trash.
- Be conscious of the amount of water that goes into your home machine. If you know you won’t use what’s in the tank, use less water so that you don’t end up dumping out what goes to waste sitting unused in the tank.
- Most pod machines use plastic coffee pods for the single serve cups they so conveniently produce. However, those plastic pods are not recyclable and it’s an extreme hassle to get the used coffee grounds out of the pods to put in a recycling receptacle. Instead, opt for a machine that uses pods that are recyclable or reusable pods that can be filled with the sustainable coffee you purchase for regular use.
- Choose a fully automatic machine as an alternative to the average single serve pod machine. The operation and cleaning won’t be as labor intensive and recycling used coffee grounds as well as choosing the type of coffee you use with be easier.
- Choose Your Machine Wisely
One of the best ways to extend sustainable coffee brewing practices in your home may be to purchase a new home machine. The machine you currently use might have been faithful to you for many years but it may also use more electricity and water than a newer model. Go high-end and use something that not only helps you continue your love of the environment but also brews your coffee in a better way with more options for new drinks you couldn’t make at home before. A smaller home machine made for the home or office will use the amount of water and electricity appropriate for the type of use you need.
- Use Your Imagination
These guidelines for sustainable coffee practices at home are an excellent start but you can find new ways to use your home machine conscientiously. Creativity breeds ingenuity in these matters and if energy conservation is your passion, you can make all kinds of habits that integrate into your daily life and your love of coffee. There is no limit to the possibilities and every home, office, and kitchen is different. Use your own unique design to your advantage!
Spread the Word
Sustainability may begin at home but you can do even more to practice energy conservation habits that last. Share your experience with your home machine and sustainable coffee to let others know what they can do to make better habits at home. Use social media to post pictures when you purchase a new machine or to share photos of the new practices you enact in your own home. Talk to your employer about using similar practices in the workplace and encourages others to conserve energy and recycle when it comes to the way they brew coffee. You may even be able to persuade your employer to add a new machine to the coffee area at the office! This will encourage good habits concerning conservation and your coworkers will applaud you and your employer for getting a better machine in the office that gives more options for gourmet coffee beverages at work.
The Artist’s Toolbox
Consider this term and you’ll probably conjure images in your mind of paintbrushes, pencils, sketchbooks, and other common mediums but these are not the only tools you can use to create beautiful art. Your home machine can be the best new tool to expand your creativity to make, serve, and enjoy coffee drinks that will give you a delightful boost for your day as well as the looks on the faces of every guest that comes over for a gathering.
- Coffee Freeze
Often, we make coffee, cappuccino, or espresso from a home machine and we’re in a hurry. The beverage is too hot to sip but the idea of adding an ice cube feels wrong because you’re sure that you’ll water down the coffee. Try brewing some coffee, letting it cool, and then pouring it into ice cube trays to freeze. Next time you need to cool down your coffee, you can add a coffee ice cube and never worry about watering down your beverage again.
- Latte Art
If you’ve ever been to a high-end café (especially during the holidays), you may have noticed the intricate designs done in the foam on top. Some of them are simpler than others and some involve garnishes and other additions. You can produce a similar creation from your home machine with the help of one of many kinds of milk steamers. You can purchase a machine with a steamer wand built in or buy one separately and you’ll be able to steam milk to the desired foam consistency and pour it into a design all your own. Use premade instructions for a design you know or make up your own signature symbol that everyone will remember whenever you serve lattes at your home.
- Whip It
This technique refers to whipping cream, which you can have homemade with a whisk or the whisk attachment on an electric mixer. All you need is whipping cream, the whisk or electric mixer, and some confectioner’s sugar. A little bit of cream goes a long way because when you whip it, you’re adding air that will double (or more) its volume. The confectioner’s sugar will sweeten and stabilize your whipped cream so that it stands on top of your coffee beverage or can be put through a pastry bag with a decorative tip. It will take at least twenty minutes to whip the cream, a little less if you use an electric mixer, and the more confectioner’s sugar you use, the more stable it will be when you’re finished. You can also use vanilla pudding or jello powder mix to stabilize and flavor the whipped cream. Try adding a shot of cooled espresso from your home machine to your whipped cream. Use extra confectioner’s sugar to account for the added liquid and top brownies or chocolate cake with a coffee flavored whipped cream!
- Layers and Texture
Your home machine may have attachments for plain hot water and milk steamers. You can layer coffee or espresso with foam, tea, spices, and chocolate shavings in a glass mug to create something similar to sand art that you can also drink! Experiment with different mixtures of flavors and layers to find combinations that excite your taste buds. Find yourself some extra glass mugs in different heights and invite some friends over to make coffee art with you. Post photos and recipes on your social media pages to include the rest of your friends and family in the fun.
- Embrace Traditional
There are other ways to make coffee beautiful and artistic besides the actual coffee that comes out of your home machine. Some machines have a traditional look with shiny brushed copper or gold colors, rounded shaping, and dials that match the whole scheme. Add a piece to your kitchen that complements your style and brings out your creative nature. Every time you use your traditional machine or entertain in your home, you’ll feel inspired and distinguished seeing the way it works and tasting the product it serves.
- The Art of the Dunk
For a long time, donuts, cookies, and biscuits of all kinds have been dunked into coffee beverages to soften them and make them taste better. We enjoy these two things hand in hand and we can do so even more with a few creative twists. Think outside the box and try something new like dunking a mint chocolate cookie into a latte for a mint mocha taste or adding caramel drizzle to biscotti before dunking it in cappuccino. Don’t worry about the idea of messes and drips when it comes to this part of enjoying coffee! Let yourself have a treat and simply savor the taste and texture of your creative endeavors.
Go For the Best
When you’re looking to use your home machine for creative coffee, you’ll want the best machine you can find. Gourmet coffee, espresso, and cappuccino deserves a gourmet machine and you may find that the extra features on a better machine than the one you have give you more options than you ever imagined. Any artist knows that the more tools you have, the more ideas you’ll have to choose from. Consider the types of drinks you want to make and the ways you want to be creative with your coffee before you decide on a machine to purchase. Check out all the features of the machines you are choosing from to be sure that it can do everything you want it to. In addition, inquire about customer service and warrantee information. You may want to look for customer reviews on these matters or ask the company for customer testimonies. If and when your machine needs to be serviced or you’re confused about how to operate it, you’ll be glad that you purchased from a company that can deliver top-notch service. Once you’ve made your decision and had your machine installed, get creative, entertain, and enjoy beautiful coffee!
In this world where we constantly use our days off to attend to long forgotten chores and trying to organize outings with family and friends and we try so hard to cram weeks of activity into a few days, hoping we won’t waste one second. We forget about making time to be ourselves, to relax, and do nothing at all but enjoy a delicious beverage and take in a scene of something beautiful. Let your cappuccino machine be the star of your next day off and take the time to truly have a few moments of tranquility.
- Re-introduce Yourself
If you already have a cappuccino machine that you use every day, it’s possible that you know the wonders of starting your day with a premium beverage. This doesn’t mean that your days off with cappuccino have to be any less amazing. Take some time to re-introduce yourself to your machine and to all the ways you can make a cappuccino drink that makes you feel good about your day. Learn everything about your machine, find new recipes you want to try out, and different types of coffee and flavoring to enhance your experience.
- Step in Lightly
Heading right to a day off where you do nothing all day might be a little too much to handle for any person with an incredibly busy life. If you find yourself bouncing off the walls looking for things to do, try adding cappuccino to the things you want to do in order to associate it with happy times. Use a bulk cappuccino recipe to serve at a party or get together or serve frozen treats made using your cappuccino machine to friends and family. Everyone will have smiles on their faces that radiate to your own and you’ll have more memories to add to the happy bank in your mind. Whenever you sip a cappuccino at work or before the start to any busy day, you’ll have those moments to think about.
- Take it Outside
Scenes of nature are can be relaxing even in they’re simply computer printouts or photos you keep at your desk where you can see them. Your cappuccino machine is not limited to beverages that you have to sip at the table. Bring your coffee outside or take it to go in a travel mug and absorb the beauty of nature. You can choose your own backyard, a favorite park, a nature preserve, or even a stop on a hiking trail you love. Breathe in the aroma of your cappuccino along with the scents of trees, flowers, fresh air, and earth. You’ll find it difficult not to relax in such a setting.
- Try Something New
The cappuccino you drink every day might give you the energy boost and good feelings you need to be excellent but on your day off, your concentration is likely to be something different. Use your cappuccino machine to make a new beverage that you begin to associate with these moments you get to have for yourself. Try blending it with ice cream, adding a garnish of crushed nuts or chocolate shavings, or even pour a kick into your cappuccino like a liquor that complements the taste. Whenever you want to relax, you can make your special cappuccino drink and put yourself in the mindset you’ve been trying to achieve.
- Get a Free Cappuccino
A cappuccino machine at home is a thing to appreciate but there is also one day out of the year where everyone in the country celebrates this wonderful beverage. November is home to National Cappuccino Day and many establishments honor it by offering free or discounted items to allow everyone to enjoy. Find out if an establishment near you knows about the day we all fall in love with cappuccino and if they don’t already know, tell them! Who knows, you could get a special favor for showing them a strategy they never knew existed.
- Cappuccino Marathon
There is a term making its way around the virtual world for those of us who choose to curl up on the couch with as many pillows and blankets as we can find and marathon as much of a TV show as possible during our days off. The term is “Netflixing” and it means that you either don’t have time to keep up with the episodes of the stories you love or you want to save it all for one or two days where you get to relax and recharge. Include your cappuccino machine in your Netflixing habits and you’ll be able to enjoy more of the shows you want to watch with the energy you get from a beverage you also enjoy. Pair it with delicious baked goods and your Netflixing days off couldn’t be more complete.
- Go Gourmet
Of course, there’s the instance where you don’t yet have a cappuccino machine or you’re looking to upgrade. In this unfortunate case, consider going gourmet and purchasing a machine that can do more than cappuccino and will give you options to have greater control over the way you make your drinks. Take a look at every feature as well as the kind of customer service and warranty that comes with the machine should you happen to need them. You’ll probably end up spending more than you would on a lesser machine but the product you get from it and the years that it lasts will be well worth it.
Be Kind to Your Machine
When using your cappuccino machine during times of relaxation, it can be easy to forget some of the maintenance and cleaning that is involved in keeping it in top shape. Don’t let a lazy day be the reason that your machine falls into disrepair. Be sure that you clean and maintain it properly so that every day off can be as good as the first time you include cappuccino in your relaxation.
Think about the way you like to have your coffee. Is it extra hot with foamy milk on top, a shot of espresso straight with gourmet flavor, or maybe a cappuccino with sweet additions and a beautiful garnish? You may not know what your perfect coffee drink is whether you’ve been an enthusiast for years or you’re just starting to whet your coffee curiosity. You might be surprised to know that the way you like your coffee can say a lot about you or even that the way you are could determine what your coffee bliss could be. Learn about the fun of matching coffee to personality and find the home machine that will deliver your coffee soul mate whenever you want it right in your own kitchen.
- What Your Favorite Drink Says About You
If you already have a favorite coffee drink, it will be fun for you to learn a little bit about what it says about you. Maybe your favorite drink doesn’t match your personality quite like you thought it would and you could be compelled to try something new, which leads to all kinds of delicious possibilities. According to an infographic that Time.com put out in April of 2014, there are a few personality traits that match up with all kinds of coffee drinks. Discover more about yours and you can find the home machine that completes you. Remember, don’t take it too seriously, coffee is about fun and energy.
Let’s explore some of the things that are attributed to most espresso drinkers. The straight shot of espresso is usually drunk by those who lean toward leadership roles, and these people mean business. They don’t have time for a full cup of coffee. They want the quick burst of gourmet flavor and boundless energy that helps them tackle challenge after challenge throughout the day. If this sounds like you, an espresso machine is a wonderful addition to your kitchen. Get your fix in the morning, after lunch for a quick boost that gets you over the midday hump, or at night when you need a little extra to keep you going until the wee hours of the morning.
- Black Coffee
Many people, especially enthusiasts of the best kinds of coffee, will tell you that black coffee with no extra additions can taste truly amazing. Sure, you’re skeptical, but if you’ve ever tasted what comes out of pod machines, your mind might be changed. There are a lot of flavored coffees and robust tastes that can be added to pod machines to give you the perfect cup in minutes with the touch of a button. The drinker of black coffee doesn’t want to bother with adding milk and sugar. They are the ones that give it to you straight and often the most honest of people. They want coffee in its true form, not with flavor that’s been obscured by additions. If that sounds like you, pod machines might be something you want to take a look at.
The cappuccino has layers, much like the person who loves to drink it. Cappuccino lovers tend to be the most imaginative of the coffee personality bunch and they’re very friendly and good at talking to people. The Frappuccino lover is similar but a little more daring. The iced nature of the drink and the embellishments on top denote a person who is very artistic and probably impulsive. We all need a little cappuccino in our lives but those who love to have one every day will benefit from the home cappuccino machine and having the ability to spark their creativity whenever they please.
The latte is like an espresso that has been dressed up and there are many kinds of espresso machines with the attachments for you to do it all in your own kitchen. The latte drinker, like the espresso drinker can be hard working but also like those who love to dress up, they also enjoy pleasing others. The latte drinker is a gentle soul, who enjoys cutting the bitterness of a strong espresso with the velvet smoothness of steamed milk. You can find an espresso machine that is all dressed up, just like your espresso will be when you turn it into a latte.
- The Importance of Getting the Best
Whichever home machine you choose, you should take care to choose one that is among the elite. There are a lot of different machines out there and the choice can seem almost as difficult as choosing your favorite coffee drink. Be sure to look at every feature, see how they work, ask questions about maintenance, so that you know you’re choosing the machine that matches you and your lifestyle. You’ll want something that you can operate easily and clean safely. If you take a look at a complicated machine, however shiny and enticing it is, and you’re not certain you’ll be able to operate it once it’s installed, you’ll end up with that machine sitting on your countertop unused.
Share Your Thoughts
Choosing coffee drinks according to personality traits is incredibly entertaining, as you may have learned while reading this article. Share your thoughts with your friends, including the thoughts you have about which home machine you want to include in your kitchen, and you’ll find yourself laughing and having a lot of fun choosing which coffee drinks match each other well. Who knows, you might discover a few things about yourself, your friends, and the kinds of coffee you love. Explore the gourmet experience and enjoy the nuances that every taste has to offer. There is a lot to learn about coffee and the many ways it can be prepared. When you install your new home machine, there will be no end to the combinations you’ll want to create!
Any espresso lover will tell you about the wonderful feeling they get when they take the first sip of a good cup of their favorite brew. Chocoholics worldwide spout the beauty of chocolate with flowing poetics. Imagine the fantastic deliciousness you’ll discover when you combine the two. There are many ways to use chocolate with your espresso machine, and all of them come with their own recipes and maintenance concerns for your machine. Learn about how you can create smooth and chocolaty espresso drinks right in your own kitchen.
- Food and Espresso Combinations
Of course, the most common way to enjoy the chocolate and espresso combination is to involve chocolate infused baked goods and other foods. Your espresso machine will produce a very strong gourmet coffee and sweet desserts are an excellent way to cut the bitterness of the drink. Chocolate brownies, cheesecake, fudge, and other rich foods have a good taste combination as well as texture, especially when the espresso is hot. Spruce up your desserts or reduce the portion of food and have a special snack that will make any day better than ever.
- Adding Chocolate to Espresso Grounds
Ground dark chocolate can be added to grounds before you put them into your espresso machine to brew. There are several things you need to do to prepare this mixture in order for it to combine smoothly. A burr grinder is your best option to get uniform particles that will mix well with the espresso grounds and brew correctly. Dark chocolate crumbles best and it should be dry and cool before it’s ground. Espresso is packed very finely into the basket and pressurized hot water is put through the espresso machine to make your drink. These considerations prevent clumps from forming in the basket when the grounds are tightly packed so that the water goes through them properly and your brew is smooth.
- Types of Chocolate to Add
As indicated in the previous step, dark chocolate that is cool and dry is the best for adding to grounds that will go into your espresso machine. There is a lot to understand about chocolate and your main issue with adding it to any kind of coffee is combining smoothly.
- Ground chocolate is not the same as melted chocolate and if you’re looking for a sweeter taste, you can melt melted chocolate to add to brewed espresso.
- Milk chocolate will clump when it’s ground up so it’s not a good idea to add it to espresso grounds before brewing. You can add milk chocolate shavings to hot espresso and it will melt on its own if you don’t want to melt it before adding.
- Flavored chocolates can be added but filled chocolates don’t melt very well. The same rules apply as with unflavored chocolates. Flavored dark chocolate that is cool is and dry can be added to grounds and milk chocolate can be melted and added to a brewed drink.
- Cold Drink Additions
When we think about mixing chocolate and coffee, we often think about melted chocolate but there are a few ways to add chocolate to iced espresso drinks that is still well blended and delicious. The ways that additions to coffee grounds before they’re added to the espresso machine can still work with cold drinks because the espresso is first brewed and then shaken or blended with ice. You can also use chocolate ice cream, chocolate shavings, chocolate mousse, or chocolate yogurt to blend your drink. Simply add them to the ingredients to the blender and blend with chilled espresso until smooth. These drinks are perfect for a hot summer day or to serve at a party.
- Other Additions
Chocolate itself can be bitter when certain kinds are used and espresso is also a little bitter when served alone. There are additions that can enhance the flavor of chocolate and espresso to cut that bitterness. Sugar, flavored creamers that are typically added to coffee, and even flavored syrups are all things you can add to the chocolate. It’s a trial and error process and you’ll have to do a little experimentation to specify your drinks to your own tastes.
- The Importance of the Machine
The espresso machine that you choose to brew your drinks with or without chocolate plays a huge role in the finished product. A sub par machine won’t be able to give you a smooth brew, mostly because the pump may not work right or the other parts won’t last as you try to brew more than just espresso. A gourmet machine is best for any kind of high volume or extra additions. You’ll be able to experiment with your brews more and learn about making espresso in newer and better ways. When you look at the different machines, you might find that the gourmet machines do cost more but the extra money you spend will be well worth it.
Maintaining Your Machine with Additions
When you decide to use chocolate in your espresso machine, there are a few extra things you should do to maintain it. You should always look at the user manual to find out how to properly clean and maintain your machine and if you have any questions, don’t ever be afraid to call customer service. The user manual is not likely to tell you how to maintain your machine when you grind up chocolate to add to espresso grounds. Be careful of clumping and any clogs in the spot where the coffee comes out into the cup. Before you check, make sure that the machine is turned off and cooled to prevent injury due to hot water or espresso. Be careful when you melt chocolate to add to coffee for the same reasons. Otherwise, add your chocolate and enjoy the delicious combination of chocolate and espresso in your own kitchen every chance you get!