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How to get the Most from Home Espresso

Here are some guidelines:

1- Remember always that you have a small home model in use. Do not apply espresso techniques of commercial machines, just because that is what you see when you buy a cup of cappuccino. You have not seen the time and labor the store manager spends on cleaning the commercial machines.

2- Most home models have a Oscillating pump. Do not grind beans into powdery form because it increases unnecessary load on the pump. Maintain the grind like the table salt grains.

3- Strong espresso is not due to excess quantity of ground coffee. For a single shot, it should not exceed 7 gms. To make a strong espresso, reduce the quantity of water from 3 oz. to 2 oz. instead of increasing quantity of ground coffee from 7 gm to 9 or 11 gms.

If a single shot of 2 oz. espresso is not enough, use two shots in two cycles.

4- If you are used to 6 or 8-oz. Americana coffee, try to add hot water from the machine by opening hot water knob. It will retain good espresso taste and aroma but it is diluted. Extracting  6 to 8 oz. espresso adds burnt taste and extended extraction brings out unwanted elements from the coffee. For those who like the aroma from espresso beans and like to maintain 8 oz. size of coffee, they should use drip coffee maker with espresso beans.

5- Cleaning up after making coffee/espresso is very important. Flush the steam wand/frother. Flush the hydraulic system through which espresso passes. To get the idea of how bad the unclean parts stink, smell the drip tray or portfafilter. 

Cleaning is simple:

Make it a routine to make a fake espresso (without coffee) first . It helps to warm up the metal parts and long narrow passage of espresso.

Serve your self espresso/cappuccino. Before you turn the machine off, make a final fake espresso to flush out the espresso left inside the valves, screen and filter cup holder. Rinse the drip tray and frother.

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