How to Use a Cheap Espresso Machine

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Some things are best made by hand: bread making, stick shift driving, and of course, brewing espresso. Brewing your espresso at home gives you the greatest connection or link to your brew. However, do you know you can learn how to use a cheap espresso machine?

Making espresso may not be an easy task; however, following these tips I am about to give you, you will have no problem going through the usual stress of learning.

6 Steps: How to use a cheap espresso machine

To make a very good espresso, there’s a need to get the right equipment and possess the necessary skills.

Switch on and Preheat your Cheap Espresso Maker

To get the very best from your espresso machine, there’s a need to preheat the machine. This could take about 25 minutes, but it is worth it to warm up your machine beforehand.

Measure your Beans and Grind it

Set the grinder to give you a fine grind. Get your scale and place your portafilter on it. Next, fill the portafilter with about 20 grams of your grounded coffee. Please ensure you keep tabs of the amount you’ve used, to help you stay consistent while dialing in.

If you are lucky that your best cheap espresso machine comes with an in-built grinder, then all you need to do is to grind it into the portafilter.

You will have some ground coffee in the basket of your portafilter. Using your hand, shave away this excess coffee and smoothen it down to help you start applying pressure with the help of your tamper.

Tamp your Grounds to Get the Bed Even and Flat

For sure, you want your beans to be evenly and roughly distributed before you tamp. You can accomplish this by using your hand to tap the portafilter’s side lightly, or you can make use of the side of your finger to level the espresso grounds off.

As soon as you are done with this, then you are set to tamp.

To tamp, you have to press down straight; this is the key because you will not want to get an uneven puck. There may be a need to use some pressure here. One good rule to work with is to tamp until you see that the grounds have stopped settling. By this, you are ensuring that the top is level.

Pull the First Shot

As you pull this shot, record the time taken to reach 2 ounces (a double shot usually has a size of 2 ounces. Normally, you should have about 20 to 30 seconds for each pull.

If you achieve this range, then technically speaking, you are through and you’ve just made your espresso. Hopefully, it is dark, rich, and sweet. But, the truth of the matter is that this initial shot you’ve just made is the baseline.

Dial in the Shot

If you are making use of the best espresso machine under $200 that has a pressure gauge, ensure you check the pressure attained. With this, you will be able to easily adjust the next shot if there’s little or too much pressure.

If there’s no gauge available, just taste your espresso and make your decision. Jot it down. If you notice that you pulled thus espresso too quickly, you may need to change to a better grind. On the other hand, if your espresso took too long to pull, then you may need to consider a coarser grind.

Get your Milk Steamed

Hopefully, your machine may come with an in-built steam wand. If this is not the case, you may need to get a milk steamer to get your milk steamed.

If your cheap espresso machine comes with a steam wand, start by pouring cold milk into your milk pitcher, which is usually made from stainless steel. Then turn this steamer wand on briefly to help in getting rid of any condensation that somehow piled up in the wand.

Then, place the tip of the steamer wand underneath the milk’s surface. Switch on your steamer and get the milk frothed till you get whatever consistency you desire. Ensure the steamer wand is kept underneath the surface while carrying out this process.

Once you attain the desired frothiness, keep steaming until you get the right temperature you want.

Final Thoughts

Creamy, flavor-filled, and rich: There’s everything to love in an espresso. Be very patient and have the learning mindset and to know how to use a cheap espresso machine to get the very best espresso. We are sure that by reading this article, you will master the techniques.

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