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How to Use a Commercial Coffee Machine

Here is a basic idea of how to operate a commercial espresso machine

There are different types of commercial coffee espresso machines, but most of the commercial coffee machines that have been created make use of steam in order to be able to produce a number of coffee drinks including shots, cappuccinos, lattes, espresso and many others.

Cafes and restaurants have their own commercial espresso machines, and the staff has to understand how to extract from a commercial coffee machine in order to avoid destroying the machine, and to avoid giving a less satisfying coffee experience to clients.

Espresso machine making  strong coffee in shot glass

Espresso machine making strong coffee in shot glass

Here is a basic guide on how to operate some of the most common commercial coffee machines:

For espresso machines the first thing to do is to remove the portafilter from the group head, and then to drop the ground coffee inside the portafilter. After this, make sure to tamp twice to make sure that the grounds are well packed. Make sure that the portafilter is then placed back in the group head, and then turn it until it is tight. The next step is to turn the hot water knob slightly, and then for a few seconds to make sure that the water is already warm, and then turn the hot water knob in full mode again.The last step for the espresso coffee machine is to wait for about 40 seconds, until the shot has been poured, or until the espresso begins to look pale, and then finally to shut the water off.

Process of Making Lattes:

Latte is a well-loved type of commercial coffee, in order to do this, you need to prepare a shot of espresso first using the first method as shown above, and then to pour milk into the pitcher half full. The next step is to place the steam wand inside of the pitcher, make sure that the steam wand is sitting at a 45 degree angle, to the surface of the milk, with the end of the wand just off the center. Then turn on the steam to the wand and make sure that there is enough steam. This will ensure that the milk will begin to circulate around the pitcher, just make sure that the milk will not make a hissing sound. The milk needs to be steamed, so that it will circulate around the pitcher, using a regular whirlpool pattern, and will gradually climb on the side of the pitcher. After that, stop steaming the milk, then tap the pitcher so that the milk will settle, and then put the milk over the espresso in order to create the latte.

cappuccino foam with smiley face

Coffee cappuccino with foam or chocolate smiling welcome happy face in restaurant or hotel

Process of making Cappuccinos:

In order to make a cappuccino in a commercial coffee machine, you essentially need to make a latte first, then after that, continue steaming until the milk is solid. Afterwards pour the espresso shot, and then tap the pitcher on a counter while the shot is being poured. The next step is to notice the air rising to the top of the foam, when this happens stop tapping when the pitcher makes the hollow sound, and then pour the foamed milk over the espresso shot in order to create the cappuccino.

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How to Correctly Tamper Coffee

How to Tamper Coffee like an Expert

Nothing can be as refreshing as starting your day with a cup of coffee. To create a good quality coffee the correct way, coffee grounds need to be compressed, so that water passes through in a constant and uniform manner. This helps the aroma oils come out and brings the incredible taste of coffee. To tamp coffee properly, you need to have a good coffee tamper and know how to use the tamper.

barista with portafilter and tamper in coffee shop

barista with portafilter and tamper in coffee shop

Get a good coffee tamper

In the search of good quality coffee, an important tool has been overlooked – the coffee tamper. Though many machines come with their inbuilt tampers, many people choose tampers separately to fit their preferences. Due to numerous varieties of coffee tampers in the market, the first-time buyer may get confused on which tamper to buy. Below are the characteristics of a good tamper.

1. Choose the tamper made from the best material

The most common materials that make tampers’ include, stainless steel, aluminium or brass. Aluminium is subject to dents in the long run. It is also difficult to get a smooth and even tamp. However, it is light weight. Brass and stainless steel tampers are heavier than aluminium. However, they are more durable and are also good conductors of heat. With them, it is much easier to obtain a smooth and even tamp for better quality.

2. Choose the correct tamper size

For compatibility choose a tamper of the same size as your machine. The size of the tamper is an important determinant of the quality of your coffee. If you choose tampers that are too big, they wont fit your filter basket. Again, tampers which are too small won’t ground the coffee evenly. For a fine and even tamp, choose the right size.

3. Choose a tamper with a good handle

If you enjoy using the tamper, chances are high that you will brew good quality coffee. The choice of handle will determine the ease with which you use the tamper. A good quality coffee tamper should have an adjusting nut at the base to allow for adjustment of the handle. 

How to correctly tamper coffee

Once you have chosen the right coffee tamper. You need to know how to use it. The following tips will guide you on how to tamper coffee the right way for excellent results.

1. Keep a straightened wrist

When tamping, your elbow should point to the air and your bicep and forearm should form a right angle. Hold the tamper with your thumb while the index finger touches the base. This will help you achieve total tamping control and also help to maintain the level of your ground coffee.

2. Move your wrist

For better results, apply 40-50 pounds of pressure to 12 grams of coffee grounds. To feel the 40-50 pounds, use the bathroom scale. Use the scale until you can apply the pressure without any strain. Hygiene is important. Always wash the tamper after using the bathroom scale. Apply the same pressure to the filter basket and give a quarter twist. Pull the tamper out of the basket as you continue with the twist. Twisting ensures that no grounds cling to the tamper.

3. Tap with the right speed

Speed is important when tamping but care should be taken not to bump the filter basket. Uneven hits will result to uneven distribution of coffee grounds. This creates short cuts for water passage. The area where most water is passing will be over extracted at the expense of the rest. This results in a white creme.

Tamping coffee

Process of tamping the coffee for espresso preparation

4. Getting a fine polish

If you wish to get a fine polish, don’t twist the tamper when applying a downward force. Twisting under pressure disturbs the carefully arranged coffee that is already packed in.

5. Clean it up

To protect the portafilter basket and keep your machine clean, brush away any coffee grounds that could be remaining at the top of the basket or the portafilter. You can either use your index finger or your palm to do the clean up.

Differences Between Coffee and Tea

Coffee vs. Tea

Coffee and Tea are some of the most consumed beverages in the world. There are people who find it tremendously difficult to go about their daily lives without consuming one, if not both, multiple times throughout the day. I count myself as one. Excess intake of these beverages can be proven to have an addictive effect, and in some people result in negative effects on health. There is a lot of similarity in the content of these beverages as well as the effects they have on a person. Conversely, they also have a number of differences, some of which include the different medicinal qualities. The difference is also due to the biological effects they cause, their molecular composition as well as the effect they have on lifestyle. Their popularity and price range also create some distinction between the two.

Coffee vs tea

A biodegradable coffee cup 

Unlike coffee, tea has been known to have a number of medicinal effects. Tea has been known to reduce the growth of cancerous cells. However, research is still underway to establish whether the caffeine in coffee is one of the risk factors or not. The caffeine in coffee has a negative effect on pregnancy as it may cause anxiety. Although tea should also be avoided, coffee is restricted the most among pregnant women. Tea is very helpful in improving digestion after a meal. A contrary explanation is that coffee on the other hand, is a very strong stimulant and if taken after a meal and especially dinner, it will alter with sleep.

Most of the research shows tea to having a lot of effects in enhancing health compared to coffee. Coffee has one proven positive effect on health. The stimulant in coffee due to its high caffeine content has been used in the treatment of asthma. Tea also contains a compound that helps fight allergic reactions. It also reduces cholesterol in the blood and fights a number of viruses. In addition, it also helps in cases of food poisoning.

Coffee is extracted from a bean while tea is from a leaf. This is what brings about the difference in their flavors in that, coffee is known to have a stronger and bitter taste compared to tea which has a mild taste.

The content of caffeine in these two products also differs. The difference is determined by the effect they each have when taken. For instance, the caffeine in coffee is absorbed at a faster rate into the blood stream and can cause anxiety. On the contrary, caffeine in tea is said to enhance the ability of smell and taste as well as improve concentration.

There is a popularity difference in these two beverages. This varies with population and their preferences. Most Americans for instance, are known to consume more coffee than tea. Tea on the other hand is more popular in the African regions. The prices of these products vary depending on the flavor as well as the brand.

For people sensitive to the high amount of caffeine in coffee, they can have tea as an alternative. Despite the various criticisms associated with the intake of tea and coffee such as the caffeine content and its effect, their popularity still remains high.

And at the end of the day, coffee arouses the senses and tastes too damn good to live without.

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Top 5 Barista Mistakes

People are normally forgiven for so many different kinds of things. However, there are a few things that must be done right the first time since there is very little room for forgiveness in some areas. One of which is that first cup of coffee, early in the A.M. This is one of the main reasons why business owners should not underestimate the need for the best barista training. Listed below are five mistakes that can be avoided with the proper training.

Weak or Cold Coffee

One of the best ways to lose a customer is to serve coffee cold or too weak. While there are some versions of cold coffee on the market, people who ask for a hot cup of coffee a special way do not want their coffee lukewarm or cold. In fact, some people like their coffee steaming hot even if it may burn their mouth or tongue a little. In these situations, some people simply like to sip their coffee until there is no more in the cup.

Wrong Type of Milk

All milk will taste the same in a cup of hot brewed coffee. Although this may sound feasible to some people, this is far from true for many since they can tell the difference between whole milk, skim milk, soy milk and the like. So, it is important for each barista to understand that the type served will make the difference between a cup that they enjoy and a cup that may offend the individual’s taste buds or diet.

Serving Good Coffee with a Bad Attitude

Some people may associate their coffee with a relaxing time, while they prepare themselves for a lengthy day on the job. Consequently, no one likes to encounter a barista who has a bad attitude, especially in their earliest part of the day. As a result, it is extremely important for baristas to check their bad attitude at the door before they start greeting customers.

Overheated Milk

Making a cup of coffee does require a certain amount of skill to get it right the first time. While some people prefer their coffee black, others may prefer their cup of coffee with milk and other kinds of additives. So, it is important for the barista to take special care with the milk so that it will not be overheated. When the milk is over heated, it can overwhelm the flavor of the coffee and certainly upset the customer.

Dirty Machines

When the coffee machines are not cleaned properly the coffee drinker may experience a diversity of things including having a very bitter and unpleasant taste in their mouth. This unpleasant taste may be from oily junk that builds up in the equipment because it has not been cleaned for an extended period of time. In fact, most training courses will tell their baristas to clean the equipment multiple times a day.

Just remember, customers are very easy to upset, but very difficult to win back.

How Commercial Coffee Machines Work

If you are interested in how commercial coffee machines work then you will be interested to know that all coffee machines work in a similar manner. First of all water will be boiled and then dripped over the coffee grounds. Liquid is then passed through the coffee grounds and then it steeps and mixes with oils that are in the coffee. The liquid usually passes through a filter in order to prevent the grounds from draining. This liquid is then passed into the decanter that is holding it. The following are some of the technologies that are used in coffee making.

Percolation is how commercial coffee machines work and this is an improvement of the stovetop boilers that were being used earlier. The interior heating element in such a machine is used to activate its boiler. When water has reached the boiling point, there is pressure that builds up in a pot and this pushes water through the stem of the machine. This stem feeds the water towards the top and this water will then come out of this stem and into a basket that is holding the coffee grounds. After water has seeped through this basket, the coffee grounds are saturated and the flavor from the coffee grounds is pulled and it goes into a basin.

This percolation is done at a time that is pre-programmed and once the pot has finished brewing the coffee, this process stops. Percolating is a process that produces very good coffee and such a machine is popular with many coffee shops. The drip coffee maker is also how commercial coffee machines work and basic gravity is used in brewing the pot of coffee. The way in which the machine works is by pouring water into a certain reservoir depending upon the amount of cups that a person would like to brew.

When you turn on the machine, there is the heating element that is used in raising the water temperature. This creates a vacuum between this heated water and the tube that is carrying the heated water from a reservoir to the spigot. The outlet will then dispense the water into a filter basket and it is then mixed with the coffee that has been premeasured. The coffee and the water will then blend together and flow from the filter into the pot.

To be able to understand how commercial coffee machines work, most of the establishments that brew coffee use high capacity drip machines. A large filter is used to load the coffee and then it is set between an outlet and a unit that is holding the coffee. Dedicated water supply is used by these commercial machines and water flows into the boiler and fills it up completely depending upon an amount that is required to brew the batch. Water is heated just like in a drip machine and it then flows from a reservoir and into a coffee basket. The coffee that has been brewed will then be dispensed one cup at a time and this is how commercial coffee machines work.

Coffee and Alzheimer’s Disease

There is some interesting research concerning coffee and Alzheimer’s disease. This research shows that there is an unidentified compound in coffee that may protect against Alzheimer’s disease. As most individuals are aware Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. According to the research, individuals who had higher levels of caffeine in their blood developed Alzehimers two to four years later than those who did not. Some individuals who had mild cognitive impairment did not go on to develop full blown Alzheimer’s at all.

Research has shown that there is some as yet unidentified element in coffee that protects against Alzheimer’s. Whatever the compound is, seems to protect against the effects of the disease. Research done with mice at the University of South Florida shows that the compound seems to protect research mice against the disease. This research is going to be featured in an upcoming issue of the Alzheimer’s Reseach Journal. Previous research has indicated that the consumption of coffee in mid life and also old age protects against the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The new research seems to indicate that a compound by the name of GNCSF tends to increase the level in the blood that can decrease the levels of cognitive impairment. This compound in conjunction with caffeine can work to prevent full blown and chronic aspects of the disease. In the clinical studies with the mice neither caffeine taken alone, or simply decaffeinated coffee caused the beneficial effects.

This is not the only study that showed the link between the consumption of coffee and Alzheimer’s prevention. Another study studied the results of 124 senior adults ages 65 to 88 with mild cognitive impairment. They consumed coffee daily and researchers discovered that the level of cognitive impairment did not increase, and individuals did not develop full blown Alzheimer’s. The magic number seems to be 3. 3 cups of coffee seemed to mitigate the effects of the cognitive impairment. Individuals with Alzheimer’s have a 50 percent lower level of caffeine.

The results of the clinical research with humans has not been publicized widely, but the results of the studies are encouraging and more research on the link should certainly be forthcoming. It should be noted that drip coffee was used in these studies, the results are not known if individuals who consume instant coffee will benefit.

Individuals who do not currently drink coffee may want to start. The research seems to indicate the effects of coffee is beneficial for preventing cognitive impairment. Individuals beginning in their 30’s should start drinking coffee especially if they have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease.

Is Coffee an Aphrodisiac?

Coffee is one of the most unique and revolutionary discoveries of all time. A cup of freshly ground coffee, apart from being a stimulant, has other useful but rarely known facts that are quite astonishing. For example..

  • Ground coffee can ward off insects like ants, and slugs and snail.

  • It can help you get glossy and healthy locks.

  • The smell of coffee freshens up your nose, and can greatly aid in distinguishing different scents.

  • Used in a great home remedy for reducing cellulite

  • Fresh coffee can mask or reduce odors.

  • A great aroma therapy ingredient.

  • Smell of freshly ground coffee can turn a woman on.

The last fact indeed is the most interesting fact about coffee. It is indeed true that coffee can turn a person on. A new study found that the smell of freshly ground coffee is one the most arousing for single women. This scientific research conducted by a renowned coffee machine maker De Longhi, sheds some light to the overly used verse at the evening date: “do you want to come in for coffee?”

The research was accomplished by measuring the single women arousal level when looking at various images of men, while smelling different aromas. Aftershave topped the list of the aromas, coffee came in second beating natural scent. Apparently coffee aroma will have a more positive result than body musk; a shocking revelation.

This experiment was conducted at the Mindlab International Laboratory facility in Sussex. The main participants of this biophysical study were female aged 18-57. Their heart rate and skin conductance was measured using ECG (electrocardiogram) and EDR (electro-dermal response). Apparently, bigger coffee fans perceived men as more attractive, intelligent and fun when their images were coupled with freshly ground coffee aroma. Overall, all female, both coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinker, perceived men more attractive when they were smelling the coffee aroma, than with no smell at all.

The coffee aroma is such an evocative smell, but instant coffee won’t do the trick as better as freshly ground coffee, so next time you invite a person in for coffee keep that in mind. Coffees ability to create a turn on has been an inherent fact that was confirmed by research. This explains why more people usually prefer their first date as a coffee date. Instinctively, this perception is indisputable.

On the other hand, another research reveals that caffeine; a stimulant found in coffee, enhances sexual arousal. Scientist did the study using female rats as test subjects, this study revealed the female rats that injected with a shot of caffeine were more motivated than the rats that were not caffeinated. This show the effect of caffeine on sexual arousal.

The two studies done indicates that coffee aroma, and drinking coffee enhances sexual arousal in women. The fact that female find men more attractive when they smell coffee coupled with the fact that caffeine enhances sexual performance on leads to the conclusion that indeed coffee is a turn on.

Coffee and Cancer

Coffee and Cancer: What’s The Relationship?

Coffee is consumed by billions of people throughout the world, which makes it an ideal beverage to conduct health studies on. Recent research has shown there may be some benefit to drinking coffee and preventing cancer, yet for a very long time it was thought that coffee was actually the cause of many types of cancers. Fortunately for us coffee lovers, there was never any research to adequately support those claims. An example of a recent study was one conducted by the Harvard Medical School. It resulted in a finding that showed those who drink coffee are 50% less likely to get liver cancer.

Types of Cancer It Helps Prevent and Treat

There are several types of cancers coffee has been said to help cure or treat. One of the most prominent is oral cancer. It has shown that those who drink coffee frequently were much less likely to suffer from oral cancer. There has also been a study that has found that women who suffered from breast cancer in a postmenopausal state showed a slight reduction in breast cancer by drinking coffee. There have also been links to prove that women who had endometrial cancer experienced reduced signs of cancer after drinking coffee.

Possible Reasons Coffee May Help

There are a number of theories as to how coffee is able to help treat or prevent cancer. Some evidence has shown that while it acts as an antioxidant, it helps remove poisons that could cause mutations in cells that cause cancer.

Coffee is Not a Cure

Unfortunately coffee has not been proven to be able to cure any types of cancer so if you feel you may be at risk, you need to talk to your doctor. Above all, be careful and vigilant about your health because it is the most important part of your life.

How Decaffeinated Coffee is Made

Decaffeinated coffee has always suffered from the challenge of maintaining the same qualities and flavor characteristics as regular coffee but without the caffeine content. Many people choose decaffeinated coffee so that they can still enjoy a cup of coffee without experiencing the effects caffeine has on the body. This is why it is important to make sure decaffeinated coffee is processed in way that ensures quality, flavor and freshness is not compromised. There are various methods used to extract caffeine from coffee beans. Here is a description of each –

Swiss Water method

In this process, the caffeine is extracted using coffee flavored water together with carbon filters and it is proved to produce 99.9% coffee beans free of caffeine. This process is very simple and is one hundred percent chemical free hence it does not interfere with the original quality of the coffee apart from removing the caffeine.

Direct method

In this process the decaffeinated coffee beans are produced by soaking the beans in a solvent that absorbs the caffeine. The solvents that are mostly used are ethyl acetate and methylene chloride. After the caffeine has been removed, the solvent that now contain the caffeine is separated from the beans and this is done repeatedly until the beans are free of caffeine.

Indirect method

In this method the beans are soaked in water, then a solvent is used to remove the caffeine from the water that was used in soaking. The coffee beans are taken through this cycle until a given percentage of caffeine is extracted which can take some time.

Decaf Stick method

This is very different from all the other decaffeinating processes in that with this method they use the decaf stick after brewing the coffee. The stick is inserted in a cup of coffee and used to stir it for a few seconds. The decaf stick absorbs the caffeine from the coffee meaning that the quality of coffee is not interfered with in any way, however the effectiveness isn’t guaranteed.

The best decaffeinated coffee is one that will come from the natural caffeine free coffee that containing the exact same qualities as traditional coffee beans. Scientists have now discovered a coffee plant that produces coffee free of caffeine. This is promising to be the future of decaffeinated coffee.

Does coffee help you stay awake?

coffee mug

coffee mug

Coffee is the most consumed beverage throughout the globe. It does not matter where in the world you are, a piping hot cup of coffee won’t be too hard to find. Many people religiously depend on coffee to kick-start the day. It’s also heavily relied upon to get through those painfully boring business meetings. In truth, there are a wide variety of reasons people choose to drink coffee every day, but outside of the sheer ritual the key reason is too make you feel that little bit more alive.

As we all know well, coffee and tea are the best ways to prevent sleep. Whether coffee helps you stay awake is a common question that comes to the mind of many people. Coffee acts as a stimulant to your body and increases blood pressure. Downing a cup of coffee dilates your blood vessels and allows more O2 to get to your brain providing a boost of energy. Coffee’s key ingredient is caffeine; once it reaches the brain it can block or control sleep receptors. If you need to hash together that last minute college assignment, let there be no doubt, coffee can certainly help. It won’t block sleep receptors for a life time, but will do the job for a good couple of hours.

In addition to being energy in a cup, coffee is beneficial to your health. Having a cup of coffee every day can help you stay regular as coffee acts as colon cleaner. Be warned though! make sure to not consume it in excess. Excess of anything is bad, and coffee is no exception.

Coffee can provide a unique taste and freshness with every serve and is also healthy tonic for the liver. Coffee is even recommended by doctors to prevent certain diseases when consumed in an apt amount. It can be said coffee is next the best thing after water. Most of us cannot imagine their day without a cup of coffee. A morning cup of coffee our life is like putting diesel in your car. According to recent research around 98% people depend on coffee to help stay awake and remain alert throughout the day. It’s time to go and get yours.

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