Menu
Lifestyle

Bean longing for a perfect home brew?

COFFEE lovers will gladly sacrifice a few dollars for a cup of coffee made by a professional barista but advancements in technology have made it easier for individuals to make top quality coffee at home.

With so many different brands and models available and with prices ranging from under $100 to more than $3000 how do shoppers decide which machine is best for the home?

Electrical retailer The Good Guys say the best buy will depend on the budget and the level of automation.

There are four main types of coffee machines, manual, semi-automatic, automatic and fully automatic. The more automated the machine the more it will cost you.

The manual machine: Understanding how to use a manual machine will help you decide on the level of automation you would like. The manual machine requires users to fill the water reservoir, place the ground coffee into the portafilter (also called a group handle) and turn on the water when the coffee machine is ready.

If steamed milk is desired the user must half fill a small stainless steel jug and place it under the steaming tube, turn on the steam and heat and froth the milk then pour the frothed milk into the cup with the coffee.

Semi-automatic: It switches off the water after a set amount goes through the coffee. This removes the risk of allowing too much water through the ground coffee. A semi-automatic still requires you to load the ground coffee, heat the milk, and empty the portafilter manually.

The automatic machine: These machines will automate the process of making the espresso, although you'll probably still have to froth and pour in the milk. The automatic will use whole coffee beans which you will need to keep full. The automatic will grind the coffee beans and start and stop the water. And because the automatic grinds the beans just before it makes the coffee, you will have a superior coffee to one made using pre-ground coffee.

Fully automatic: These systems are ideal in offices or if you want luxury service at home. All you must do is load whole coffee beans and arrange a supply of milk and water. Some machines allow you to have a second coffee type, such as decaffeinated, although this often must be a ground coffee rather than beans. On top of all that, some fully automatics will even perform their own maintenance.

Time capsule: A recent variation on the espresso machine is one that uses coffee capsules. These sealed coffee capsules have pre-ground coffee inside them. Simply insert the capsule in a machine that can use them and then run the machine.

Once the coffee is made, eject the used capsule and throw it away. These systems produce a reliable quality coffee. They also save time and mess.

For more information or advice on buying a coffee machine visit thegoodguys.com.au.

Making a great coffee

Expert tips from Merlo Coffee

  • Always pre-heat your cup or glass before introducing the coffee. A cold cup will cause the cream to break up
  • When filling the group handle with coffee, do not leave the handle pre-filled in the machine for any period of time, as the ground coffee will burn
  • Keep your machine clean - after every few coffees, wash the group handle. Backwash your machine every day with espresso machine cleaner
  • To build a thick, smooth froth it is essential to always use fresh, cold milk
  • Pour only as much milk as you need into the frothing jug
  • A good method for regulating the temperature, when frothing milk, is to keep your free hand patting the bottom of the jug. When it's too hot to allow you to hold your hand on it, it's hot enough.

Visit merlo.com.au for more tips.

>> Read more lifestyle stories.

Topics:  barista coffee



Roadcraft boss calls for national 'safe' driver program

TOO MANY DEATHS: Crash investigators at the scene of a double fatality on the Bruce Highway two kilometres north of Tiaro. Gympie Roadcraft CEO Sharlene Makin is calling for a national driver education program on how to drive safely.

Gympie Roadcraft boss calls for a national program on safe driving

If you grew up in Wolvi, you know who this is...

An Olympic Torch for the 2000 Sydney Olympics holds pride of place amongst other precious memories for this Wolvi local legend.

Check out how this Wolvi community pillar spent this milestone.

Roadcraft CEO: Driver education reform needs to happen

Sharlene Markin CEO of Road Craft Gympie.

"We set people up to fail in front of their peers

Local Partners

premium_icon Our top 50 schools for OP scores

THE state’s best performing OP schools have been revealed, with a southside Brisbane school leading the pack. SEE THE LIST

Homeless drug addicted Rocky mum turns life around

FILE IMAGE

Her mother's terminal cancer diagnosis was the catalyst for change

Two boys impacted by organ donation join forces

KICKING GOALS: Liver recipient, 11-year-old, Max Bishop from Ipswich and organ donor James Ackerman's six-year-old son Ollie from the Sunshine Coast, walked out together to deliver the match ball for the Bulldogs v Raiders match.

Son of organ donor and a footy-fanatic recipient join together

Parents in favour of new vaccination laws

VAX LAWS: North Coast Health District officials are hoping new vaccination laws which prevent children not yet immunised from attending day care will persuade parents to protect their youngsters.

Children's lives saved through vaccination laws

How to add to your family in the sweetest way possible

How could you possibly say 'no' to that face?  Meet Bounty and nine other Gympie RSPCA orphans looking for homes.

Check out these adorable orphans needing your love at Gympie RSPCA

Cost of having children soaring sky high

Katie Lavercombe – with Xavier, 2, Bella, 4, and eight-month-old Archie – says the cost of having a child is deterring wannabe parents from taking the plunge.

Cost of children soaring as trendy baby accessories increase spending

These are the sex capitals of Australia

Sex is in demand.

Data reveals surprise Australian suburbs where people want sex the most