Is an Espresso Machine a Good Choice?

Drive through any city and it is practically impossible not to see at least one coffee shop. The reason for this goes beyond coffee and lies in espresso and coffee based drinks like cappuccinos and lattes. Consumers have come to realize that an espresso machine for their kitchen might be a better choice than a coffee maker. Before going out and buying an espresso maker from the nearest big-box retailer, consumers should weigh whether or not it will be to their advantage.

A home espresso machine can be a money-saving appliance if the owner is a heavy coffee drinker who prefers cappuccino or latte over a typical cup of coffee. The average price of a latte or cappuccino can be upwards of $5. This can become an expensive habit that owning an espresso machine can help to eliminate.

On the other hand, the coffee drinker who only rarely drinks cappuccino or latte may wind up spending money on an espresso maker that they rarely use which means they don’t get their money out of it. These coffee drinkers are probably better off simply stopping and getting their favorite drink when they have the urge.

Many people avoid purchasing an espresso maker because they are afraid it will be hard to use. That might have been true years ago before the designers made espresso machines for home use. Learning to pull a shot of espresso with the older machines is a complicated experience and not something many people would want to do every morning.

Today’s espresso machines are available in fully automatic models that require little more than adding water. The fully automatic models dose the coffee into the filter basket, brew the coffee and empty the basket all without any input from the coffee drinker. This eliminates the need for lengthy studying and reading manuals to make a cup of coffee.

One of the best reasons for owning an espresso machine is the convenience of having a coffee shop at home anytime the urge hits for an espresso or after dinner drink made with a coffee base. True coffee lovers will attest that not much can be worse than craving a steaming hot cappuccino or espresso and realizing that to get one means leaving home and driving to the nearest coffee shop. Having an espresso maker at home makes it easy to brew up an espresso anytime day or night.

An espresso machine is an excellent choice for coffee drinkers who like their espresso, cappuccino or latte drinks and don’t want to continue shelling out the big bucks necessary to have on every day. Today’s home espresso makers are simple to use, take up very little space and can be purchased relatively inexpensively. Coffee lovers should consider this when making decisions for the small appliances they want in their kitchen.

Guide to Using a French Press

Many people receive a French press and immediately wonder what it is and how do they use it. At first glance it simply looks like a coffee mug; however, a closer look reveals the inner working of the French press including the plunger filter and the gift recipient realizes this is no ordinary coffee mug. This would be a good time to learn how to use a French press to make rich hot coffee and hot teas anytime.

The first step is to make sure the coffee beans are fresh and ground coarsely. There are several ways to do this. The first is to go to the local coffee shop and purchase coffee beans that are ground to any specification. This option may be a little more costly than purchasing the beans at the local grocery store and grinding them either at the store or at home.

Regardless of where the beans are purchased and ground the main point to remember is to make sure they are ground coarsely. If the grind is too fine the coffee may seep through and around the filter and cause the coffee to have a bitter taste. On the other hand, if the grind is too coarse the water may filter over the coffee too quickly and not have a chance to absorb the coffee’s flavor.

The coffee is placed in the bottom of the press. Hot water is then poured over the coffee grounds. The water should have been brought to a boil but not boiled continuously or the taste of the coffee will be altered. Once the water has been poured on top of the coffee the plunger filter assembly should be placed back in the cup but not pushed down yet.

The lid should be placed on the coffee press and the pot allowed to steep. The French press should be allowed to steep for approximately four minutes. This gives the water time to absorb the oils from the coffee and make a rich cup of java.

When the coffee has finished steeping the French press should be held securely with one hand while the plunger is pushed all the way down using the other hand. The plunger traps the coffee grounds underneath. Before the coffee is poured into cups it should be allowed to sit about thirty or forty-five seconds to allow the sediment time to settle.

After the coffee sediment is settled the coffee can be poured into cups for drinking. Because the French press does not use a hot plate to keep the coffee warm it should be enjoyed quickly before the coffee is cold.

Using a French press is simple and the coffee is excellent when used properly. Knowing how to use the French press can be a handy bit of information when one is received and no one knows how to use it.

Finding Gourmet Coffee

Gourmet coffee is prized by many coffee drinkers for its super richness and delectable aroma that surpass the average cup. There are many different places to find gourmet coffee beans. A few of the places to find gourmet beans are included here for coffee lovers to add to their shopping list.

The local grocery store or supermarket would not seem like the best place to look for gourmet coffee beans. However, the explosive popularity of coffee has made it possible to find some excellent gourmet brands at the supermarket.

The neighborhood coffee shop is probably the best local place to purchase gourmet items and coffee beans. These shops have more access to beans from gourmet suppliers and specialty plantations than many retailers do and can offer a wider variety to the public. Coffee shops also often have gourmet offerings that are not available to grocers or supermarkets.

Coffee roasters who want to keep up with the gourmet world often turn to the Internet and gourmet clubs and websites to stay up-to-date on what is new in the coffee club. Gourmet clubs offer coffee drinkers monthly subscriptions that send them the latest beans along with a description of the bean and what to expect.

Many of these clubs also allow the members to customize their subscription plan to include only certain types of coffee based on criteria set by the member. For example, if the subscriber prefers coffees from Ethiopia, they can specify that in their subscription and they will only be sent beans from Ethiopia.

Gourmet club members are often the first people to get the new coffee bean selections before they are released to the general public. Subscribers can be the first people to taste a coffee and send their feedback to the roaster to help them determine if the coffee should be released as a gourmet coffee or simply another brand of coffee bean.

Coffee drinkers do not have to join a gourmet club to find gourmet java online. There are many websites that offer gourmet coffees along with a variety of coffee accessories that the public can purchase for a discounted price.

Gourmet coffee can be found in many different places, from the gourmet kitchen shop to the local grocer. The Internet and the local coffee shop are also popular locations for finding gourmet beverages and other supplies. Gourmet drinkers have many different choices when searching for a coffee to please the palette.