ISSUE NUMBER 16.4
Lovers of coffee would no more consider a kitchen without a coffee machine than they would countenance a bedroom without a bed. With such an array of coffee machines on the market it’s easy to find the right machine for your tastes and budget.
When shopping for a coffee machine you must first decide whether you want a built-in model or a freestanding unit. You should also consider which features and functions are of particular importance as each machine can differ significantly in the functionality offered, making it hard to compare items.
If you are considering a built-in model, you will need to think about where it will be positioned in the kitchen and if there is sufficient set-down space adjacent to this location.
If you think a freestanding unit is more your style, you need to consider if you have enough bench space for it to take up permanent residency (some models can be bulky) and make sure you have enough room around the steam nozzle to easily manoeuvre a jug underneath.
Given that this is often a regularly used appliance, it’s worth looking into the maintenance and cleaning requirements. Look for a machine with easy-to-clean surfaces and removable trays that can be added to the washing up. Also investigate how easy it is to remove and refill the water container.
A pump or pump thermoblock machine is generally considered the best choice to produce a coffee with an excellent crema.
Automatic, Semi-automatic or Manual?
Automatic models grind the beans and produce a cup of coffee at the press of a button — all you need to do is top up the coffee beans and water.
Manual and semi-automatic machines both use pre-ground coffee, which is loaded into the machine every time you want a cup.
Semi-automatic models switch off when they have poured a preset amount of coffee into the cup, but manual machines must be turned off manually.
Experts from Jura Australia say, “The grind setting determines how finely or coarsely the coffee beans are ground. This affects the flow-through time of the water, the so-called extraction time. If the coffee is coarsely ground, the water will flow through more quickly than with the same coffee at a finer grind setting. A longer extraction time results in more flavours being extracted. If your coffee isn’t strong enough for your taste, you can select a finer grind setting and therefore extend the extraction time. On the other hand, if it tastes too strong or too bitter, select a coarser grind.”
Did you know?
The crema, the thick, golden-brown foam which is formed on the prepared espresso, is made up of oils, proteins and different types of sugar, and contains a major part of the espresso aroma. Courtesy www.au.jura.com
Tip: The main criterion for making a fine and creamy foam is the temperature of the milk, which should be between 4 and 8°C. The type of milk used and its fat content are not of great importance. The protein contained in the milk is responsible for the consistency of the milk foam, and not the fat. Courtesy www.au.jura.com
Did you know?
The berries of the coffee tree are first picked (usually by hand) then processed to remove the bean from the flesh. Then they undergo a drying process and are roasted at around 200 degrees Celsius to either a light, medium or dark colour. This caramelises the sugars within the bean and develops the flavour. The roasted beans are then ground before being brewed.
The luxury of a built-in coffee machine is one that coffee lovers do not take for granted. This sleek, sophisticated unit from Gaggenau features the Aroma Whirl System, which whirls the coffee powder while it is being brewed for maximum aroma while the Single Portion Cleaning system removes all residual water from the pipes after every cup. www.sampfordixl.com.au
For coffee lovers, an espresso machine is a must. Shown here is the DED700X model from DeDietrich, which has been installed outside the main area of the kitchen to ensure easy access to the appliance without encroaching on the working space of the cook. The unit features adjustable settings so you can personalise the strength and quantity of the coffee as well as the fineness of the grind and temperature of the water. www.meaappliances.com.au