Archive for May, 2010

I have never used an espresso machine before so I would like something simple and easy to use, but at the same time, would still like quality drinks.

The following are my two finalists:

Any recommendation?


They both look like good machines.

DeLonghi – This machine claims that it makes a crema. This is the frothy caramel fluff on top. Most home espresso machines don’t actually produce a crema, which is supposed to signify a perfect espresso. I would be wary though of whether or not is actually does make it. Having a 1 litre tank of water seems quite excessive for home use. Each espresso is only 2 ounces, and you should always use fresh cold water. That means that you can either use stagnant water that has already released some of its oxygen to make your espresso, or you can refill it each time but I can’t see if you can just open it or if you would actually have to remove it to do so. If does not appear to use a traditional carafe, which can be a good or bad thing. The good side – you don’t have to clean the carafe. The bad side -you don’t have a choice as to whether you want to use (and clean) 2 separate cups or espresso shot glasses if you want to make 2 drinks at once with a proper measurement for each. It doesn’t look like it has an interchangable piece for disbursement, so you will always have to use either one large glass or two small glasses. It looks like it will only do 2 shots worth at a time. It has 2 thermostats for separately controlling water and steam pressure, which is cool but I believe pretty unnecessary. It looks like the pressure knob is on the top. Most machines have it on the left side, so I’m not sure how awkward it would be to use it on the top. I suppose it’s only a minor thing. Overall it looks like a nice machine.

Capresso – This machine can do 4 shots of espresso at a time, which is pretty standard. It uses the traditional carafe, which will allow you to measure the shots accurately when pouring into glasses and also gives you the steam bar. When the espresso fills to the steam line, that tell you that you can begin using the frothing wand. It’s a handy thing for new users. If you were to release the pressure too soon, the espresso may not have built up enough pressure and it will be a waste. This appears to have the traditional pressure knob too. Located on the left side, the pressure knob allows you to control the pressure balance between the frothing wand and espresso output. You can open and close the frothing wand steam as needed. It also serves as a safety valve. You always need to open the valve to allow the excess pressure to leave the machine before opening the water reservoir or brewing more, or it could literally explode. It’s a good design to have the valve on the opposite side of the frothing wand. This means that if the steam gets out of control, you don’t have the same risk of burning your hand on the steam when you go grab the knob. The picture of the machine with the espresso shows a crema on it. As before, I would be wary of whether or not a home machine would actually create a crema. I own a machine of the same style and I love it. It’s simple and makes a good espresso, I get compliments every time I serve it.

Summary – They both look like good machines. It seems like the differences would be a matter of taste. Carafe or no carafe, 2 cup or 4 cup, knob on the left or job on top. I personally would prefer the Capresso. It doesn’t look aesthetically fancy as the other, but as far as practical use I think it makes more sense.

Don’t forget about the espresso grounds – it’s pretty much impossible to find pre-ground espresso at a grocery store. You can either go to a store with a grinder and choose the espresso setting, or just go to a local coffee house (or starbucks) and ask to buy 1/2 or 1 pound of grounds for an espresso machine. They’ll give you a paper bag of grounds for usually about $8 a pound, which is a good deal for the coffee house quality considering that price would only get you 2 cups of their stuff if they brewed it for you.

Grinder Grounds Comparison

Kat & Gail show the finest and coarsest grinds available on the capresso infinity, Baratza Maestro & Virtuoso, Rancilio Rocky and Macap grinders.

Duration : 0:5:9

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When it comes to coffee makers there are thousands to choose from. Among these thousands there are differences in price, functionality, warranty and style. Sure, you can go to the closest big box store and pick one up for about 20-bucks, but generally the machine is just plain boring. Why not spend some more cash for better longevity, better functionality and sexiness-factor? We all like to be sexy, so why not your kitchen?

The roasting drum roll please… The top 5 snazzy, sexy and sensational coffee makers for 2005 are to make your coffee making process and kitchen look fantastic:

1. The Cuisinart Grind & Brew Thermal Coffee Maker: Best of all is it’s timed grinding and brewing feature. You wake up in the morning to the sound, smell and taste of the freshest ground coffee. This model is very tall and looks exceedingly modern with all of it’s stainless steel. You have to ensure you have enough space in your kitchen for the Grind & Brew – not only in terms of the overall length, but the lid, which is located on top, has to open to pour the water in. It has a thermal carafe, so it doesn’t burn your coffee and you can get warm coffee up to 2-hours later. It also uses charcoal water filters to clean the impurities out of your water. It has a 3-year limited warranty and good with any coffee beans.

2. The Melitta Javapod One:One, Coffee Pod Machines: This is a space age looking coffee machine which makes one cup at a time. The only bummer with this type of coffee maker is it can’t be used in high elevations…or kaboom! It comes in five snazztacular colors: red, white, black, mango and kiwi. It makes one bold cup of coffee in about a minute. It can host many other brands of coffee pods, so you are not just stuck on one kind and it can also make tea. It has a 1-year limited warranty.

3. The Hamilton Beach Eclectrics Coffee Makers: These metal beauties come in the most fantastic modern-retro designs and colors. Colors really wow you with intensity. Think about this…we pick paint sometimes because we like the name and now you can pick a coffee maker for the same reason. The Eclectrics series comes in Intrigue Blue, Apple, Moroccan Red, Sugar (ok, this one’s white), Pineapple, Licorice (black) and Seabreeze. For color and design alone these coffee makers are snazzy, sexy and sensational. An added bonus is its warranty: 3 years, one of the best in the industry.

4. Kitchen Aid Pro Line 12-cup Coffee Makers: So you like coffee and you like lot’s of it. This machine will be your Godsend. It comes with a portable second warmer. This second warmer is great for those winter Sundays, where you can put it on your bedside table to read and drink coffee all day long, without having to get up. It is also great if you want to brew two types of coffee like decaf (it even comes with an orange lid) and regular at the same time. It’s made of die-cast metal, has a timer and a two temperature heat setting. For great tasting coffee this gem comes with a Ion exchange water filter. It has a 2-year warranty and if you, for some reason, get a replacement the replacement has a 2-year warranty.

5. Capresso CoffeeTEAM Luxe Coffee Maker : Capresso coffee and espresso machines are simply the crème de la crème of coffee makers. This pearl has a programmable grind and brew feature, it holds a quarter pound of coffee beans and it has a filter indicator to tell you when your water filter is pooched. It brews to over 200 degrees, so it really extracts the flavor from the beans. It has a one year warranty, but I doubt you will need it. It only comes in black or white.

There you have it, 5 snazzy, sexy and sensational coffee makers to make your kitchen smile with pride. Do yourself a favor, buy a good coffee maker. It will last longer and it looks good in your home…best of all your coffee will taste better.

Kate Simpson

Jura E8 is having problem of brewing espresso. You will notice that the coffee flow is inconsistent and dripping.

SPEC: Less than 1,200 Cups, 9 Month Olds, Only use filtered water.

Reason: The tamping chambers has oil build up.

Remedy: Open up the drawer. Clean the brewing unit, you can access this part without disassemble the unit.

TIP: You can use a small mirror and a flashlight to locate this part. It is behind a plastic flap and it is a part of the circular unit. The exact part is a metal ring with a screw in the center. You can access the part with your finger.

Duration : 0:1:10

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Tips For Buying A Great Espresso Maker

Most people who love specialty coffee drinks eventually purchase an espresso maker. With a good one, you can make all your favourite drinks in the comfort of your own kitchen and try out a new recipe or two. Since this is a large investment, you should spend some time learning about these machines before you buy. Learn about the features available and then read some reviews to find the best machine for your home.


Common Types of Espresso Maker


Manual Espresso Makers

Manual machines require you to do all the work. You measure and grind the beans, tamp the grounds and brew the coffee. These are the least expensive machines. Some avid espresso drinkers will only use a manual machine.


Semi Automatic Machines

Semi automatics do some of the work for you. You adjust the water temperature and pressure. Grind and tamp the beans and the machine will do the rest. They are more expensive than a manual machine, but much more affordable than a fully automatic model. These machines are a good first cappuccino maker.


Automatic Machines

Automatic machines do the whole job for you. All you need to do is add the water and the beans. With the touch of one button, you will have a great cup of your favourite java drink.


Super Automatic Machines

Super automatics do everything from grinding and tamping the beans to the finished product. They pre infuse the beans with water for more flavour than other machines. The entire process is faster than regular automatics. These machines are often found in restaurants and coffee bars. 


Great Espresso Maker Features

The features vary from machine to machine. When comparing two models, look at the features included with each to determine which will suit your needs better.


Bean Grinder

More expensive machines often have a built in grinder. The beans are ground for each individual cup. This results in more flavour from the oils inside the beans. The drink will taste fresh with this feature.


Milk Frother

For cappuccino or latte drinks, you will need a frother. This can either be a frothing wand or a separate milk container. More expensive models have a container.


Pod Compatible

Pods are small packets that consist of a filter material on the outside and ground beans on the inside. The pods are pre measured for one cup. Just put the pod in the machine and brew your coffee. Most people either love the pods for the convenience or hate them and lament the bitter taste.


Water Filter

Some of the more expensive machines have a built in water filter to remove chlorine or other chemicals from the water prior to brewing. These are mostly carbon filters. If your water is heavily chlorinated, you will notice the difference with a built in filter.


Cup Warmer

A cup warmer keeps the cup warm before brewing. This results in a hotter drink. This feature is usually located on the top of the machine.


Hot Water Dispenser

Some machines have a separate valve for dispensing hot water. This feature is great for making tea or hot chocolate. Most machines used in commercial establishments have this feature.


Some Other Things to Consider


o Steel or brass machines are best. Some people detect an aftertaste with aluminium machines. 

o Look at the pump pressure on home coffee makers. More powerful pumps work will with finer grounds. You should have a minimum of 14 bars or more for pump pressure. 

o Look for a removable water tank. This is easier for cleaning or emptying and will prevent stagnant water from collecting at the bottom of the tank.



Koshering An Espresso Machine?

I have an Espresso machine that was previously used with non-kosher coffee beans and probably also with non-kosher milk. The machine has been used only a couple of times in the past, and has been rarely used over the last couple of months.

Here’s a link for the Espresso Machine:

My question is, can it be koshered (I assume so)?
If so, what shall I do to Kosher it?


Utensils that have come into contact with non-kosher food may not be used with kosher food.

You may wish to speak to a Rabbi about the Kashrut laws.

Grinder Buying Guide – Part 1 of 3

Gail introduces us to the world of coffee grinders. Part 1 includes general information on grinders, what you get when you pay a higher price and reviews of the capresso infinity and Baratza series — Maestro, Maestro Plus and Virtuoso.

Part 2 of 3:

Part 3 of 3:

Duration : 0:9:44

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