Why Breville Oracle Touch The Perfect Coffee Machine

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it does a lot to try match the value, automating every stage of the coffee making process without compromising on quality.

You can do pretty much everything you’d want with the Breville Oracle Touch, and short of thinking even more expensive with a commercial-grade La Marzocco or Rocket, it’s the best for your home, even if you have no idea what you’re doing.

The super automatic coffee machine takes care of all the grinding (it’s a customisable burr grinder, so expect a fine, even extraction), tamping, and heating for you. And it’s consistent, so you get your ideal dose every time. The only real thing you have to worry about handling yourself is deciding on the coffee strength, and the texture worked up by the milk frother. Even if you’re brain is fried at 6am, good coffee from the Breville One Touch is often just a matter of pressing lightly on a LED screen.

The downside is of course that you’ll need to be discerning about which coffee beans you’re using if you want to milk out the best this machine has to offer. Bad quality will still mean subpar results, even if the machine works wonders. It also requires much more regular cleaning than a pod coffee machine would, and the 280g hopper on the top (where the beans go into) makes it tough to fit the brushed stainless steel body under shelfing units.

Also note that parts of the Breville Oracle Touch are not dishwasher safe, so it’s not as quick to clean.

If those small annoyances don’t matter, and price isn’t an issue, it’s tough to recommend anything that’s strictly for home use other than this dependable super automatic espresso machine. Although as you’ll read below, there are more than a few espresso machines that can compare

What To Look For In A Coffee Machine

What you’re looking for in a coffee machine is entirely dependant on your preferences, but there are a few features to keep in mind if you want value for money, and want to zone in on the machines coffee drinkers love the most.

If you like your milk based espresso coffee, like a latte, flat white, or cappuccino, then one of the primary features you’ll want is a dual boiler. This enables you to brew coffee and steam milk at the same time, so you can better align the textures.

Compare this to a single boiler coffee machine, where you’ll usually need to do one after the other, which either means your espresso sits there waiting for you to steam your milk, or your steamed milk loses its texture while it waits for your espresso shot to be prepared.

Another important thing to look out for is what kind of pump your machines uses, and what kind of pressure it’s capable of. This is important as it will effect how much coffee is extracted into your final espresso or cup of coffee. In order to propel the water as evenly as possible through a dense bed of ground coffee, your machine’s electric pump needs at least 9 bar of pressure – 15 bar if you’re really serious.

This pressure can come from either a vibration pump or a rotary pump. The latter is seen as the more elegant and modern way, with rotary pumps much quieter, complex, longer lasting, and more consistent with their pressure. Consistency is the key to even extraction, so these are often preferred by those who like their espresso coffee as close to perfection as possible.

The problem with rotary pumps is that they require a bigger machine, and hence are typically found in the more expensive prosumer models. Vibration pumps are less expensive, easier to replace (due to their simplicity), but louder and not as long lasting.

Vibration pumps also built up pressure slowly, and while this can be ideal sometimes, this is nothing when you compare to a rotary pump which can reach 9 bar almost immediately and typically extracts so well that you’d get a darker, more consistent crema that’s thicker, richer, and more complex.

Why is extraction important? Simple. Under-extracted coffee from an espresso machine typically means the espresso will be sour and salty with a thin, barely-there finish. Conversely, an over-extracted coffee would be too bitter, too dry, and just all around unpleasant.

A perfectly extracted shot of espresso should be sweet with a lot of complex acidity, and build up a longer, linger finish which is where much of the flavours of your coffee bean and the terroir it represents comes through.

Or you can just stick to capsule machines (AKA pod coffee machines). They’ve become much more reliable in the past few years with Nespresso picking up their game, especially when it comes to the more barista friendly single original pod options.

Next Generation Super Automatic Espresso Machine.

Automated, touch screen operation simplifies how to make your favorite cafe coffee in three easy steps – grind, brew and milk. You can easily adjust the coffee strength, milk texture or temperature to suit your taste. Then save it with your own unique name. Create and save up to 8 personalized coffees.

From bean to espresso in under a minute

Remember the days when your morning coffee ritual consisted of dumping a few spoonfuls of freeze-dried instant into a mug? We assume you’re shuddering at the painful memory. Well, wake up and smell the good news: Thanks to huge innovations in coffee-tech, you can now enjoy barista-standard coffee at home.

You’ll probably be aware that specialty coffee has developed a committed following of impassioned experts, much like wine sommeliers.

There’s now a whole world of excellent coffee makers out there. From drip to cold-brew and everything in between, we’ve got your caffeine fix, fixed.

The black coffee types (maybe with milk or cream on an indulgent day), and the white-chocolate-flat-white-mochaccino-almond-milk-vanilla-syrup types.

Whichever category you fall into (and there are no judgments here), we have the perfect coffee maker for you. You’re now free to indulge in elaborate multi-hyphenated hot beverages or a refreshingly simple black coffee con leche.

Consider yourself clued up on coffee, fluent in flat white, an expert on espresso (okay, you get the idea) or you simply enjoy the buzz?

The Barista Express Espresso machine by Breville will have you expertly extracting rich black espresso with the perfect crema in no time. Featuring dose control grinding, hands-free operation and a great steamer for micro-foam milk texturing, it pretty much has it all.

If you didn’t know, micro-foam milk allows you to create latte art, ensuring that only the most aesthetically pleasing coffees are served at your home. You can also adjust the setting to double espresso shots for those mornings.

However, the best is yet to be served. This machine grinds your beans right before you extract your espresso, which is the bonafide best way to get the freshest coffee. Freshly ground coffee is super important for optimal taste, so this is an excellent feature.

We’ve rated this the best overall at-home coffee maker because of its user-friendly yet versatile settings. Plus, it’ll look great on your kitchen counter.

If you can’t function without your morning coffee but would rather face a spoon of instant than a zombies Starbucks queue, it’s time to invest in a proper coffee machine.

There is nothing quite like brewing a cup of cafe-quality coffee in the comfort of your own home and – thanks to ever-improving kitchen tech – it’s also easier to pull off than ever before.

No idea where to start? Not to worry. Our-round up of the best coffee machines on the market will point you in the right direction.
What type of machine is right for you?

There are a growing number of great coffee machines available to home buyers, but the ‘best’ type will largely depend on the kind of coffee connoisseur you are – or hope to be. Primarily, it’s a choice between pod coffee machines, filter coffee machines and bean-to-cup machines.
Pod or capsule machines

Should you want to make coffees with the pods or capsules you’ve seen on supermarket shelves, or promoted by a brooding George Clooney, you’ll need a coffee pod machine.

The pods and capsules themselves tend to be more expensive and less environmentally friendly than ground or instant coffee but, despite this, recent research has found that as many as 17pc of Brits own a coffee pod machine.

Pod or capsule machines are worth the investment if you are regularly in a rush, however, as they heat up quickly and typically brew a range of coffee drinks (and teas!) without hassle or mess.

Most are only compatible with the capsules and pods sold by the machine’s manufacturer, however; if you want to get creative with your coffee, a capsule machine might not be for you.
Bean-to-cup machines

This is the machine of choice for coffee purists and fans of barista-worthy lattes. Though bean-to-cup machines come at a higher price, they are as fresh as it gets; you simply pour coffee beans into the machine and sit back as they’re whipped into your perfect cup.

The machines use a built in grinder, many of which come with a variety of settings so you can decide just how fine you would like your beans ground, and pour your chosen drink automatically once finished.

Most bean-to-cup machines now a include a steam arm so you can froth milk when needed, as well.
Filter coffee machines

For people who aren’t too fussed about coffee creations and prefer a tried and true pick-me-up (or multiple serves of the good stuff), a filter coffee machine is a fantastic option.

Filter coffee machines work by dripping water through ground beans into a warm jug. They’re a bit more time consuming than other coffee machines, but they do let you brew great-tasting coffee for the whole family in minutes with complete control over the grounds.

An increasing number also let you set a timer on them, meaning you can prepare your grounds the night before and wake up to freshly-brewed coffee.

There’s something for everyone among our pick of the best coffee machines, from the espresso enthusiast to the cappuccino connoisseur…

If you’re looking for the next best thing in coffee tech, look no further than Sage’s Oracle Touch. Then, perhaps, brace yourself for the price tag.

This touch-screen coffee machine truly brings the coffee shop experience home with no compromise between convenience and quality. Once programmed, you simply swipe to select your espresso, long black, latte, flat white or cappuccino and let the innovative tech do the rest. It even cleans itself.

Like a commercial machine, its integrated conical burr grinder automatically grinds, doses and tamps your beans while temperature-controlled (PID) technology brews it to perfection (temperature is near impossible to control in other machines). Without delving too into the technical deep, what you really need to know is that the Oracle lets you customize the smoothest and creamiest cuppas imaginable. There is little to dislike, bar its astronomical price.

Serious coffee lovers can look no further than Breville The Oracle Touch – a bean to cup machine that takes on the grinding and tamping of the coffee, leaving the strength and milk texture down to you.

Known as Sage The Oracle Touch in the UK, this coffee maker produces smooth, intense coffee every time. Using separate boilers for milk and coffee, the Oracle Touch produces enough steam pressure to create that ever-elusive microfoam, too. While digital thermometers cut off the steam to stop the milk from scalding, so all you have to do is pour it.

The Breville Oracle Touch is a bulky coffee machine and it comes with an eye-watering price tag, making it the most expensive coffee maker we’ve tested, but if you’ve always fancied yourself as a would-be barista, it’s worth the investment.

What to consider when buying a coffee maker

There are so many different coffee makers on the market that it can be hard to know which is the best option for you.

If you enjoy a simple americano and don’t like milk-based drinks, then a drip filter coffee maker will be a great option. Plus, these machines can make as many as 12 cups of coffee in one go. If you just want small quantities of coffee, we’d recommend a single-serve coffee maker from Keurig or N espresso.

If you do like milk-based coffee, then there are quite a few options available. Some coffee machines are fully automated and have a built-in frother that will be able to create a variety of milk textures. Alternatively, some espresso machines have steam arms which you place into a jug of milk and froth the milk yourself. There’s a third option too – and this includes buying a separate milk frother which is a stand-alone machine. You’ll be able to use these to make everything from lattes to hot chocolates, and they make a great accompaniment to a pod coffee maker.

Coffee drinkers that like plenty of customization options will be best suited to a coffee maker that lets you adjust the strength of your brew and brew different sizes of hot drink. Many premium espresso makers will let you do both of these things, but you can also adjust the strength and the aroma of your coffee with a good drip filter model.

The final thing to consider is how involved you’d like to be in the coffee-making process. Some machines are smart-enabled so you can simply switch them on from your phone, however, others will require you to compact ground coffee and pull your own shot of espresso before frothing the milk yourself. Others have self-cleaning systems which purge the steam wand to prevent milk residue drying in the pipes, and some have systems to flush out any build-up in the machine.

If you’re still not sure, you can find a more detailed breakdown in our article covering which type of coffee maker to buy.
Can Espresso machines make regular coffee?

Espresso machines can be used to make an americano if they have the functionality to add hot water to a shot of espresso (which many machines do). If you want to make milk-based drinks, you’ll need to ensure that there’s a steam arm on the machine, or alternatively, you can purchase a separate milk frother.
How coffee makers work

With so many different types of coffee makers on offer, it’s no surprise that each type of machine works slightly differently. Here we focus on espresso machines and pod coffee makers but for a more detailed explanation, head to our feature on how coffee makers work.

Espresso machines work by using a pump to push pressurized water through coffee grounds so that it infuses with the water to make a smooth shot of espresso. If an espresso machine has a milk frother, it will use a boiler to push steam out of the machine which is then used to give the milk a velvety texture. Pod coffee machines work by using a compacted capsule of coffee and piercing a hole in the capsule. Hot water is then powered up through the machine and pushed through the capsule to create a coffee. Some more advanced pod machines, such as the N espresso Vertuo Next, spin the coffee pod around at high speeds so that the contents evenly infuse with water for an even smoother cup of coffee.
How to clean a coffee maker

Keeping your coffee maker clean will not only ensure it looks great, but it’s crucial for maintaining working order and keeping it hygienic. We’ve written a full feature on how to clean a coffee maker and all its parts but the good news is that you’ll be able to clean thoroughly using products you’ve most likely got at home already. To clean your machine’s water tank, you can make a solution with one part water and one part white vinegar and simply leave it to soak inside your water reservoir for a couple of hours. To give the pipes a good flush through, let the vinegar solution run through the machine by switching it on as you would do normally for water.

Breville vs De’Longhi: Which’s Better for YOU?

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Breville and De’Longhi are two of the top brand names in espresso machine production. Each lineup has its own assets, making it difficult to choose between them.

But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Read on for a brief overview of each brand plus a breakdown and comparison of their best machines.
More Like Bae-ville

Founded in 1932, Breville is a prominent household name, especially in its mother country, Australia. They’ve been on the espresso market since 2001, but they got their start with radios during the Second World War.
Now, they are based in Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the United States, though some of their machines are manufactured in China. They are also renowned for their superior customer service and top-notch quality.
In for the De’Long-haul

Originally a manufacturer of household appliances, De’Longhi is a family-owned Italian brand. Their presence in the realm of espresso machines started in 2008, and they produce a variety of semi-automatic to super-automatic machines.

Further, De’Longhi is most well known for its accessible product range and is one of the brands responsible for bringing espresso bar capabilities to the general public. Even with their budget-friendliness, their products’ designs are still sleek.
Top Picks Showdown
Semi-Automatic

Our first category, semi-automatic espresso machines, tends to be our personal favorite. Semi-automatic machines are often a good indication of the versatility of a brand’s mechanics and design. They also give the user the best balance of flexibility and convenience.

Additionally, semi-automatic machines allow the barista to start and stop a shot with the push of a button but usually require him or her to manually tamp the grounds.
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

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First, the Barista Express is one of our favorite espresso machines, period. This machine sleek semi-automatic puts a lot of the competition to shame with its user accessibility and brewing flexibility.

Like many semi-automatic machines, the Barista Express has automatic redundancy features. That means you get the programmability and personalization options that come with semi-automatic machines but can still take advantage of automatic conveniences on occasion.

With the more mid-range price the comes a plethora of improves and additional features as compared to the De’Longhi model. The water reservoir is considerably larger at 67 fl.oz (2L). It also includes a 1/2 pound sealed bean hopper and a stainless steel conical burr grinder, so you won’t need to purchase a stand-alone grinder to enjoy fresh espresso.

Other things to note are the clean-me light, 54 mm tamper, 360 degree swivel steam wand, and included frothing pitcher. Even with all the extras, this machine is still relatively compact, measuring 13.25 x 12.5 x 15.75 in. However, it still requires a sizable amount of counter space, so make sure you measure BEFORE you buy.

One of the only drawbacks we’ve found with this machine is the lack of a water-sensor. That means you’ll have to make sure you have enough water for the beverage you’re making before you set the machine to run. Otherwise, you may damage the internal mechanics as the machine tries to pull a shot without any water.
Overall, this machine is often at the top of at-home baristas’ wish lists and is likely worth the investment if you want a top-notch machine without completely draining your savings. That’s why you’ll find this machine at the top of most espresso machine rankings.
This super budget-friendly machine is perfect for beginner baristas, as it offers decent brewing at a reasonable price.

This semi-automatic machine is a single-boiler system that is compatible with both pre-ground coffee and coffee pods/capsules.

The water reservoir is a little on the small side with a maximum capacity of 35 fluid ounces. But this size is comparable to other machines in the price range. Plus, the smaller reservoir means less counter space you’ll have to sacrifice.

All things considered this machine is pretty compact, but that doesn’t mean you forfeit much functionality. The EC155 features a swivel jet frother, self-priming operation, and two independent thermostats. These let you for prepare specialty drinks, save startup time, and control water and steam temperatures respectively.

Plus, for such a budget friendly machine, this De’Longhi can pull an excellent shot. So you’ll likely be able to enjoy your caffeine fix without needing to dilute the drink too much with milk products or sweetners.

Because the EC155 doesn’t have a built-in grinder, you’ll need to get a separate coffee grinder if you really want to get the most out of this machine. Alternatively, you could use ready-ground coffee, but the flavor and freshness of your espresso will likely suffer.

A few known drawbacks for this machine include volume and demitasse clearance. This machine can get a little noisy as it vibrates quite a bit, and the max cup height is 2.5 inches, making larger drinks (like lungos) more difficult to brew.
However, for the price, a beginner barista still gets some serious bang for his or her buck, which is why this machine is consistently ranked as one of De’Longhi’s best.
Automatic

Fully and super automatic machines give you the full extent of a brand’s functionality capabilities. These generally include “flowmeters” to monitor shot pulling for you. Super automatics will often also grind and tamp the beans for you.

This category is best for those who aren’t looking to contend with much of a learning curve and care more about efficiency and convenience than customization. Automatic machines also tend to be pricier than semi-automatics.
Breville Barista Touch BES880BSS Espresso Machine

If you’ve got a big budget and are on the market for a truly luxurious machine, then this Breville option might be for you.

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With a colorful, touch screen LCD display, users can make their perfect cup of java in just 3 steps: grind, brew, and milk. You can adjust just about everything from strength, to texture, to temperature. Plus, once you’ve figured out what you like, you can name and save up to 8 personalized coffees.

This machine also features a 1/2 lb bean hopper capacity and an integrated, stainless steel conical burr grinder. The water tank is located at the back of the machine with a capacity of 67 fl.oz.

The only bones we have to pick with this machine is the lack of auto-tamping and the location of the water reservoir. Everything else is pretty stunning, as should be expected at this price point.
De’Longhi Magnifica ESAM3300 Super-Automatic Espresso Machine

De’Longhi’s Magnifica is closer to their top of the line offerings, but it still comes at a pretty reasonable mid-range price.
This is a super-automatic machine with bean-to-cup capabilities thanks to the 8.8 ounce bean hopper and integrated burr grinder. Additionally, you can enjoy a sizable 60 ounce water reservoir.

The steam wand swivels 180 degrees and their patented frothing system produces a rich, creamy froth. Plus, as far a programmability, the rotary and push button control panel is easy to use and includes programmable menu settings. These specs let you get almost as much flexibility with this machine as a semi-automatic.

The main complaint this machine gets is about its volume. The grinder is on the loud side. However, with top-notch features and a mid-range price, it’s no surprise that this continues to be one of De’Longhi’s best sellers.
This machine is best for newer baristas, though anyone can enjoy the reliably great shot pulling.

The Verdict

Breville vs De’Longhi: Which’s Better for YOU?
When you get down to it, there’s a reason that both Breville and DeLonghi are such popular brands. They both make great espresso machines. So the best one is liable to be the one that meets your individual needs.

Go for Breville if:

You want the option of manual control.
You regularly drink milky drinks.
You enjoy the characteristic style of Breville machines.
You prefer a larger water reservoir.

Go for DeLonghi if:

You prefer “set it and forget it” style programming over manual control.
You have a small space and want to prioritize a compact machine.
You want a durable casing on an affordable model.

If you have a larger budget and more experience with at-home brewing, chances are you’ll be better off with a Breville.
On the other hand, if you’re new to the espresso scene or you’re wallet-capacity is a little more modest, you should probably be looking at De’Longhi.
Either way, you’re getting a quality, reliable espresso machine.

What You’ll Need to Make an Espresso / Drip Coffee

Espresso is the base for many coffee drinks like latte and cappuccino. 
Drinks to Make with Espresso
    Latte
    Cappuccino
    Cortado
    Americano
    Macchiato
    Flat White
    Most Popular Coffee Drinks

What You’ll Need to Make an Espresso / Drip Coffee
Espresso machine 
To make authentic espresso, you’ll need an espresso machine to get the proper amount of pressure. To get espresso-like coffee, you can use a Nespresso, Aeropress or a Moka pot.
Coffee grinder
If your espresso machine doesn’t have one, you’ll need to get one that can finely ground coffee for espresso.
Whole coffee beans
Use coffee beans you already have for your coffee machine, or one that’s recommended for espresso.
Filtered water
Always use good quality water to make any coffee drink.
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How to Make Espresso at Home

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe.

Fill and tamp your portafilter with finely ground coffee.
Pull 1-2 shots of espresso.
Serve and drink immediately.

BARISTA’S TIP: Getting a great shot of espresso takes a lot of practice. What you want to look for is crema, the light brown froth that sits on top of the liquid. The crema gives espresso more flavor and indicates a good shot. Freshly roasted coffee beans will have lots of gas, so the crema will be very thicker than older coffee beans.
Expert Tips

Espressos are drinks meant to be served immediately. It’s advised to make them to order, not to make a batch at a time for a large group of people.

Some folks, especially in Italy, might not even say “espresso” but simply order a solo or doppio. This refers to a single or a double shot of espresso.
Most brewing devices for espresso purposely don’t have paper filters and that’s on purpose. Part of the flavor of espresso is the insoluble oils and compounds that are in coffee. They give espresso its mouthfeel and syrupiness.
It’s common to see home espresso machines boast how many bars of pressure their machine can achieve. 9 bars is optimal and more than that will pull out unfavorable flavors in the coffee.

Questions You May Have
Can you make an espresso without an espresso machine?

You can only make espresso-style coffee without an espresso machine.
An espresso machine uses 9 bars of pressure (about 130 pounds per square inch). Stovetop espresso makers (like the Moka pot) and Aeropresses use pressure to brew coffee but don’t use as much pressure as an espresso machine so while they make concentrated coffee drinks, the coffee produced isn’t authentic espresso.
Can you make espresso in a Nespresso machine?

Nespresso machines make espresso that’s similar to one made in an espresso machine but it’s technically not considered espresso. Nespresso also use pressure to extract coffee out of coffee grounds and most machines are designed to make espresso-based drinks. Nespresso machines have pre-portioned espresso pods that you can use to make espresso. The resulting espresso will look a lot like the espresso you’re used to seeing—highly concentrated with a crema on the top.
Can you make espresso in a Keurig?

Keurig can also make espresso-style coffee, but it’s not recommended. There are certain Keurig machines that are designed for espresso, but Keurig machines are much more tailored to drip coffee.
Can you make espresso in a French Press?

No. Espresso requires high pressure to be applied to the ground coffee which isn’t possible with a French press.
Is espresso stronger than coffee?

The strength of your drink depends on how much ground coffee you use. A 10 ounce cup of brewed coffee uses about 20 grams of coffee — that’s about the same amount of coffee you’d use for a double shot of espresso.
What is crema?

Crema is a frothy, light brown layer that sits on top of the espresso. The crema traps a lot of aromatic compounds, so it dissipates quickly. Drink the espresso while there’s still a layer of crema on top.
How do you drink espresso?

As the name implies, espresso is meant to be drunk quickly, in 2-3 sips. You can add sugar if you’d like and you can use a demitasse spoon to incorporate the crema and the espresso together.
What kind of coffee do you use for espresso?

You can use any kind of coffee you’d like! Traditionally, coffee for espresso is roasted a little darker than for drip coffee but that’s not a rule and you can try drinking espresso with any of your favorite coffee beans.
Can you eat espresso beans?

Yes! Chocolate-covered espresso beans are a common treat, and you’ll still get the caffeine benefits from eating espresso beans as you would drinking espresso. Although these are popular treats, that doesn’t mean you’ll like just grabbing espresso beans by the handful. Espresso beans can be hard to chew through and they generally don’t taste super pleasant—that’s why they’re often served dipped in something sweet like chocolate.
Why is making espresso called pulling a shot?

Older espresso machines applied pressure to coffee using a lever and a set of springs. Baristas would literally pull a lever down and activate a spring that would push water through espresso. That’s where the term comes from.

Espresso is the base for many coffee drinks like latte and cappuccino.

10 Steps How to Make the Perfect Espresso / Drip Coffee

What is Espresso?

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Espresso is a method of making concentrated coffee. An espresso machine forces hot water through finely ground coffee using pressure (around nine bars). The espresso coffee drink that’s produced is called an espresso shot and the process of making the drink is called “pulling a shot.”
Coffee made in a French press, Moka pot, and Aeropress is NOT espresso since it isn’t made using nine bars of pressure. The French press uses the immersion method, not pressure. The Moka pot uses the percolation method and the Aeropress use the pressure method but not enough pressure to call the drink espresso.
A single espresso shot can be ordered at Starbucks but most coffee shops make the drink with two shots.

Making great espresso is difficult. It requires at least delicious coffee beans, excellent brewing recipe, good and clean espresso machine and grinder. Also you need to know the best practices on how to actually pull an espresso. Here are my tips about the practices and my routine how I make espresso.

I have been studying espresso for years. First as a barista and coffee lover then later even more profoundly as a barista trainer and a roaster. I feel that after tens of thousands espresso shots made and consumed I have great insight for the topic. With this blog post I want to share some of the things I have discovered. So here are best tips from me, enjoy! If you prefer watching a video on how to make espresso, see this!

  1. Clean your portafilter
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Before dosing the coffee to your portafilter, make sure that the portafilter is clean and tidy. Both moisture and leftover grounds might (and most likely will) make your future espresso taste over-extracted = astringent and bitter.
Use a cloth to clean your portafilter

  1. Dose correctly
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This should be pretty easy. With on-demand grinders you just need to push a button with your portafilter or hand and the grinder will dose your pre-set dose. If you want to be a really professional and geeky barista, check your dose on a scale before distributing and tamping. This way you can be quite sure that your extraction will be correct because your dose won’t be too much or little.
dosing espresso

  1. Distribute your grounds in the portafilter
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Most likely your grinder will dose the grounds to the portafilter’s basket to a mountain or a pyramid shape. This means that you have uneven distribution of the grounds so some parts of the basket will have more coffee and some parts less if you don’t distribute them before tamping. Bad distribution of the grounds might lead to channelling.

You can also use distribution tools if you want to get geeky. Distribution tools are really great way to enhance the consistency of your espressos and their extractions.
espresso distribution

  1. Tamp evenly and consistently
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I had my first barista training in 2012 when I was taught that I should tamp with 20 kilos of pressure. After “a few” tamps and several years, I still don’t know how much is 20 kilos of pressure. So let’s kill that popular myth.

So let’s tamp in a more modern way. The aim of tamping is to remove any air pockets in the coffee puck and do this so that the puck is completely leveled. Tamp so long and “hard” that you feel that the puck is compressed (in other words it doesn’t go down anymore). Pay attention that the puck is horizontally leveled so that you avoid channelling and over, under or uneven extraction.
tamping when brewing espresso

  1. Rinse your group head

Before inserting the portafilter to the group head, you might want to rinse the group head to remove any old coffee from it. Easy way to keep your espresso machine clean. Rinsing will also make sure that your group head is properly heated and this way you might be able to extract more your coffee.

6. Insert the portafilter and start brewing immediately

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After rinsing, insert the portafilter to the group head and start brewing IMMEDIATELY! If you don’t start brewing immediately, the heat from the group head might “burn” the surface of your coffee which leads to bitter notes in the cup.
Fun fact: in World Barista Championships you will lose a point if you don’t start the brewing immediately

  1. Be aware of the yield & brew time
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Now you are brewing your espresso. If you are using a volumetric machine, be aware of you brew time. In the case of too short extraction time (under-extraction) or too long extraction time (over-extraction) you might want to make a new espresso and/or check your grind size and dose. If you are using a manual espresso machine, be aware of your yield e.g. if your espresso is running a bit too fast, you are just diluting (making it milder) your espresso and possibly also over-extracting at the same time.
brewing espresso

  1. Serve with a smile

If you followed these steps and you’re using a good brewing recipe, most likely you will have a tasty espresso in the cup. It is important to remember that we baristas are in the hospitality business so be sure to serve your customers well. Tell them a little about the coffee you’re using and what kind of flavours should they be expecting from the espresso. And most important of all; SMILE. With a tasty espresso served with smile you can make someone’s day.

  1. Discard the puck, clean the basket and rinse the group head.

After serving keep the places neat and tidy. Clean the basket from any old coffee and moisture, rinse the group head and insert the portafilter back to the group head. It is much easier, faster and nicer to make the next espresso when places are in order.

  1. To become a great barista one has to have a combination of mechanical skill set and service attitude. You must know how to handle your equipment and coffee as a compound but also to be a great service person for your customers.
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With time and experience – and let’s not forget the fancy barista tools – your steps may change. They will become more advanced, evolving with you as a barista. There is always more to learn in this industry (which is what makes it so fun!) However, if you begin with this process, you’re off to a very good start.

How to Make Espresso / Drip Coffee at Home

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The morning trauma of being stuck between instant coffee at home and overpriced barista joe on the way to the office should be a distant memory by now. The financially literate coffee lovers amongst us have long invested in a good, long-lasting coffee machine to save money, cut time, and pump out consistent, satisfying brews so the working day starts off on the right foot. Problem is, the market is stacked right now, with coffee machines for just about every budget, taste, and preference, whether its bean to cup, espresso, capsule, pour-over, or filter coffee fused with the glory-giving grace of technology. To cut through the noise, we’ve rounded up the best coffee machines you can buy in Australia right now, from brands like DeLonghi, Breville, Rocket, Sunbeam, and Gaggia.

To make true Italian espresso at home that rivals what you’d get in a coffee shop, you need an espresso machine. These range from manual machines (where you tamp and brew everything yourself) to automatic and capsule machines (where you press a button and the machine does the rest). While coffee experts generally prefer manual machines for the level of control they grant them over their espresso, we found in testing that automatic, super-automatic and capsule machines like the Nespresso VertuoPlus and Breville Barista Pro are the easiest to use for beginners and give consistent results.
If you’re not working with capsules or a machine with a built-in grinder, here’s what you’ll need:

A good coffee grinder to get a fine espresso grind. We like the Breville Smart Grinder Pro for espresso because the finest setting produces fine, even results that don’t clump together. Make sure to use quality, dark roast coffee. A milk frother, if you want to make a latte or other specialty drink with milk. A kitchen scale. You'll want to consider having one on hand to weigh your grounds if you’re serious about learning to dial in the perfect shot of espresso.

How to make espresso with an espresso machine

Grind and measure your beans. Using dark roast coffee beans and a quality grinder, grind enough beans to make one or two espresso shots. An average single espresso shot will require between 6 and 8 grams of coffee grounds, although this can be adjusted up or down. For a double shot, about 15 grams. Your grounds should be powdery and fine, so go ahead and use the finest setting on your grinder. If you want to be sure you measured correctly, you can weigh your grounds on a kitchen scale — just make sure to tare out the portafilter first.
Distribute and tamp down your shot. Once you have an amount of grounds in your portafilter that you’re happy with, distribute the grounds evenly with a finger, place the portafilter on the countertop or other flat surface, and then use the tamper to tamp down on the grounds. You’ll then have a compact disk of espresso in the portafilter.
Pull your shot. Before you start, run the machine briefly without a portafilter in place to clear the ground head. Then, lock the portafilter into the machine, position your demitasse glass or other vessel underneath, and start your shot. The espresso should be ready after 25 to 30 seconds, but it will take practice with your specific machine and lots of taste tests to achieve shots to your liking. (Some machines require you to time it manually, while others offer different settings.) The final product shouldn’t be too light or dark in color, shouldn’t taste too acidic or too bitter, and should have a fine layer of caramel-colored crema on top.
Prepare milk if using and enjoy your espresso. If you’re trying to make a latte or other drink with milk, you’ll then need to steam your milk (we’ve included step-by-step milk steaming instructions in our latte how-to). If not, enjoy your espresso as is! Make sure to clean and dry the portafilter, as well as purge and wipe down the milk frothing wand, when you’re done.