Best espresso descalers

If you want to keep your machine in top condition the single most important thing you can do is descale it regularly.

When water is heated up the solid particles in the water separate and form over the heating element and inside the coffee maker.

In hard water areas this can happen at an alarmingly quick rate. Continue reading Best espresso descalers


Descaling an espresso machine

If you live in a hard water area it is a good idea to descale your espresso maker frequently as the build up can eventually cause a blockage and descaling becomes incredibly hard.

A scaled machine makes poor coffee as flow and pressure are affected and in bad cases the heating element is almost ineffective.

Using filtered water can help to minimize the limescale build up.

Bear in mind that most descalers take around 20 minutes to properly work.

How often should you descale an espresso machine?

Hard water areas with 6 uses per day should be done monthly.
Soft water areas with 6 uses per day – every 3-4 months.

Hard water areas with 12 uses per day should be done every 3 weeks.
Soft water areas with 12 uses per day – every 2-3 months.

Some espresso makers have a special descale program where they pulse water through at regular intervals to keep fresh descaler on the heating element. Ideally this will take a full reservoir of water and take the full 20 minutes.

If you do not have an automatic espresso descaler option you’ll have to do it manually.

Don’t run extract hot water from espresso maker continually for more than  a few minutes – most are designed for occasional use and you’ll burn them out if you are not careful.

The aim is short bursts over 20 minutes. Heat is not important for most descalers but do read the instructions, some require heat and a few will react violently if heat is used.

  1. Remove the portafilter so you can see what is going on more clearly. Ideally water will pour from the entire outlet but as machines silt up you’ll often end up with a single or double jet. This is a sign your machine needs descaling.
  2. Pulse a short extraction through the machine until it comes out of the portafilter feeder and then shut the machine off and allow it to cool for 4 minutes.
  3. Then pulse hot water through the machine for 2 minutes and wait for 4.
  4. Remember to include the steam wand in the hot water pulses every now and then for a few seconds.
  5. Turn off the machine and allow to cool for 4 minutes.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 until the water is running clear and from the entire water outlet or for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Flush the machine with two full reservoirs of water, in short 2-3 minute bursts.

If your espresso maker has a hot water option it is better to use this than continually run short burst through the portafilter. Switch the machine from time to time to flow through the portafilter and steam want to fully descale the machine.

 

Your machine is now ready to use again.

It helps to run a shot of water through the portafilter after every days use so it isn’t sitting overnight with coffee residue which will harden. Some users do this after every use but Coffee Revolution do not think this is necessary, unless it will be left to sit for a while.


Indonesian vs Greek vs Indian vs Turkish vs Italian coffee

Every part of the world has their own way of brewing coffee. Something I found very interesting is that in regions that are world renowned for their coffee quality, the bulk of people drink coffee in very “primitive” ways.

Most of the following are simply coffee grounds added to simmering or hot water and poured out. Continue reading Indonesian vs Greek vs Indian vs Turkish vs Italian coffee


Alternatives to milk for coffee

A few weeks ago I found myself the proud owner of a milk allergy. I never realized how much it limited my choice when it comes to coffee leaving me with an Americano or espresso.

I really like my Flat whites and Cortados, and sadly due to the amount of milk in them I am unable to order them so this page explores my foray into milk alternatives for all you like minded milk allergy sufferers. Continue reading Alternatives to milk for coffee


The waves of coffee

In the coffee world, a set of revolutionary technological advancements, when coupled together, declare a new “wave,” or point at which coffee became drastically more accessible than it was beforehand, or a shift in popular demand was significant enough to warrant specialty types of coffee.

Currently, there are three waves of coffee advancements that are recognized by the bulk of coffee lovers, with some even subtly declaring a fourth wave. Continue reading The waves of coffee


Coffee consumption trends

The world loves coffee, so much so, that over 2 billion cups are consumed per day. In the United States and United Kingdom, overall coffee consumption has increased dramatically in the past 10 years, and show no signs of stopping.

In the United States, the daily consumption of espresso based beverages has tripled since 2008, with a 45% increase in third-wave branded coffee.

This has partly to do with the widespread growth of places to get quality coffee, such as third-wave cafes, and the ever-present blossoming of Starbucks’ Reserve line stores. Continue reading Coffee consumption trends


How Instant coffee is produced

First invented in the 1770’s in Britain, instant coffee wasn’t able to easily be produced in mass quantities until much later in 1910, when the instant coffee business started to really take off.

There are two main ways that instant coffee is produced, the first uses dry hot air to absorb the moisture in the coffee, and the other uses a freeze drying process. Continue reading How Instant coffee is produced


How is coffee decaffeinated

The Truth about “Naturally Decaffeinated Coffee”

Many brands of coffee promote their decaf as ‘Naturally Decaffeinated’.

This might conjure up images of obliging coffee plants producing caffeine free beans or coffee producers tempting the caffeine out of the coffee beans with videos of baby pandas sneezing.

How to decaffeinate coffee

The truth has rather more to do with clever industrial processes than with nature. Continue reading How is coffee decaffeinated


Guide to coffee regions

With the seemingly endless amount of coffee beans produced in a plethora of growing regions each year to keep up with the demand of billions, coffee aficionados strive to find the best of the best.

One might wonder, “why don’t these people just grow their own coffee?” And while that is a legitimate question, growing coffee is a complicated process that can only be done successfully in certain parts of the world, specifically areas between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Continue reading Guide to coffee regions


10 espresso myths

Let’s take a look at some commonly held myths about espresso and put some facts out there.

1. What is the crema, and why is it so obsessed over?

Crema is the lighter cascading portion of an espresso shot, that slowly dissipates the longer the shot sits.

Crema is responsible for a ton of the espresso shot’s flavor, and is relied upon by those who make latte art. While striving to pull shots with perfect crema, there are a ton of variables that one should try to account for, such as the roast of the beans, how fresh they are, the kind of beans being used, and also the machine itself. Continue reading 10 espresso myths


History of Coffee

Coffee is a drink that has been around for a long time, since about 850 A.D or so, actually. Starting from humble beginnings, coffee has throughout the years has become a commodity that touches base with oil.

The first documented case of coffee consumption comes from the goat herder, Kaldi, in 850 A.D in what is present day Ethiopia. Kaldi noticed his goats started to act strangely energetic after eating berries from a certain shrub. Continue reading History of Coffee


Compare coffee types

Many people get confused with popular coffees so we are going to take a look at the most common ones people compare and see the differences in our coffee 1 vs coffee 2 guide.

Because coffees can have similar names or due to unfamiliarity it can be confusing so hopefully this simple pocket guide will help sort our the nuances of difference between the coffees. Continue reading Compare coffee types