Seven Keys To Get An Excellent Coffee At Home
Professional coffee makers have come to the home, it is a reality that makes the best coffee possible without leaving home. But it is not worth just having a coffee machine, there are several factors that will make your mornings have the perfect taste.
A true coffee lover always demands the highest quality in each cup and does not settle for just anything. Italians know all the secrets of its preparation but you don’t have to travel to Italy to taste an authentic espresso or the creamiest cappuccino.
Technology makes it very easy for us to enjoy the best fresh coffee thanks to the excellence of semi automatic espresso machines. Do you know what are the characteristics that make it unique?
Here we reveal the seven keys that will allow you to get an excellent coffee at home at any time.
1. The best fresh and freshly ground coffee beans
It all starts with the coffee beans. It is the fundamental ingredient of any preparation and, as in any recipe, you have to choose the best raw material. For this, it is essential to always use fresh, freshly roasted and freshly ground coffee beans for each cup; only then will we have the maximum flavor and aroma.
We can choose between the two main varieties of coffee, Arabica and Robusta , and their different blends. Arabica coffee is considered higher quality due to its complexity of flavors and a more intense, fruity and delicate aroma, with less caffeine and low acidity. Robusta, on the other hand, is cheaper but its flavor and aroma nuances are poorer, with earthy and somewhat toasted notes.
Coffee beansThe moment it is roasted, it begins to lose aroma, so it is advisable to buy coffee in small quantities so as not to accumulate too much at home. It should be kept in a clean, sealed glass or metal container at room temperature, in a dark, dry place. It is not recommended to store in the fridge or freezer because moisture could spoil it.
2.The grinding process
The variety of coffee matters little if it is not prepared correctly; even the most exclusive coffee in the world will be mediocre if there are flaws in its production. Coffee beans are very delicate and begin to oxidize as soon as they are ground, accelerating their loss of flavor. That is why coffee must always be prepared with fresh beans just ground at the moment.
Super-automatic espresso machines have a built- in high-precision grinder that instantly grinds coffee to the precise quantity just before brewing each cup. In this way, all the properties of the bean are preserved to obtain a coffee rich in nuances, tasty and with an intense aroma, making the most of all its qualities.
These coffee makers can have a pre-configured grinder to directly prepare any coffee recipe with the push of a button. If necessary, it is also possible to readjust it to correct the degree of grinding. For example, a coarser grind provides a more balanced, smoother and less bitter coffee.
3. A perfect foam
The first defining characteristic of an espresso prepared in the Italian way is the foam that covers its surface . It is an emulsion that is produced during the extraction of the infusion of freshly ground coffee, and it is only achieved with the right pressure, filter and temperature.
A good crema is recognized by its thick layer and honeyed texture , formed by microscopic air bubbles and drops of the essential oils of coffee. The color should be hazel brown, without spots, sometimes with light striped veins but always in a homogeneous and compact combination.
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Only with the instant extraction achieved by a super-automatic coffee machine is it possible to obtain dense, rich and long-lasting foam. If you use an old ground coffee that has lost its aroma or if the temperature is not suitable, you will get a poor quality crema. Besides being a pleasure for the palate, a good foam protects the coffee and keeps the temperature stable.
Other preparations such as cappuccino or latte coffee are also recognized by a good foam, in this case based on milk foam . It is only possible to achieve the same results as an Italian bar coffee with a technology that easily achieves a dense and smooth foam at the perfect temperature.
4. Body and density
In a coffee tasting, special attention is paid to two key values: body and density. In barista language, the body is the sensation that coffee produces in the mouth , its texture, flavor and persistence.
Density is linked to the perception of the body, it is the ability of coffee to flood the palate with its touch and aromatic notes. A good coffee is intense but balanced in its flavor , resounding and well structured. That is why espresso is served in a small cup, because it does not take a large volume to taste all its qualities.
Freshly ground fresh beans and automatic extraction at the correct temperature allow to obtain all the
flavor, texture and aroma of each coffee. Only then will the full body and its full density be appreciated.
5. A suitable temperature
In coffee making, chemical processes come into play in which each temperature variation will affect its quality . If the water has not been heated enough, the extraction will be poor, resulting in a coffee with little body and somewhat tasteless, hardly with good cream.
On the contrary, if the coffee is extracted with too hot water, it could burn and degrade all its qualities. A coffee that is too bitter, unpleasant in the mouth and difficult to drink without adding milk or sugar could be a coffee that is too hot.
At home you don’t have to obsess over it as a super-automatic coffee machine precisely adjusts the degrees to produce the proper extraction. There are also models that allow you to customize the final temperature of the drink by easily adjusting the intensity manually, always guaranteeing a perfect coffee.
If we prefer to taste the hottest coffee, or to avoid it getting cold too soon in winter, the coffee maker also makes it easy for us. With the hot water function it is possible to rinse the cup before brewing , or we can use the cup warmer on the top, like professional barista bar coffee makers.
6. The importance of water
An espresso coffee is 98% made up of water; It is therefore logical to consider that the quality of the water is another key factor to achieve an excellent drink. Water affects the flavor and aroma of the infusion and could completely spoil the coffee even if it is prepared correctly.
Tap water can be used as long as it is of good quality, tasteless, odorless, and free of foreign colors or substances. Ideally, use the same water that we use for drinking, ensuring that it is always fresh, renewing the tank frequently.
Depending on our area, the water could contain too much lime that in the long run affects the taste of the coffee and can also spoil the coffee maker. Using the test strip supplied with some De Longhi super-automatic coffee machines it is possible to program the water hardness.
It is also advisable to install a softener filter in the water tank that will improve the quality of the coffee and, in the long run, guarantee a better operation of the machine.
7.The quality of milk
We have already mentioned that a cappuccino is distinguished by its foam, but to achieve it, you also have to take care of the quality of the milk . The better the taste of the milk we use, the better the coffee drink we prepare will be. It has to be at the level of the coffee itself or it could spoil the whole brewing.
But the secret of an authentic Italian cappuccino or a creamy latte macchiato lies in the ability of the super-automatic coffee maker to achieve a dense, rich and long-lasting foam. For best results it is recommended to use very cold semi-skimmed or skimmed milk , taken directly from the refrigerator.
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It is also possible to prepare these drinks with lactose-free milk or with soy, almond or rice vegetable drinks, although the final consistency may vary according to each product. The key is to use a very tasty and cold milk to taste different coffees crowned with that delicate and firm cream with a spongy texture.
Only with the most precise extraction of fresh coffee beans, freshly ground, will we be able to taste always perfect coffee. It is thanks to the technology of the best De Longhi super-automatic espresso machines that we can become baristas in our own home.
Innovation, tradition and design come together to taste the best coffee to our liking, at the touch of a button and at any time.