Here are 5 simple tips for those of you who are new to pulling shots on a single boiler semi-automatic machine.  Some of the most popular espresso machines are the Gaggia Classic and Rancilio Silvia but these tips should be helpful with many other units as well.   


You always want to use the freshest beans possible and grind them just before brewing. Even a few minutes can make a difference.  So you really want to take your fresh ground coffee right from the grinder directly to tamping and brewing.  If you don’t have a local coffee bean roaster down the street, make sure you bu?yola-link-is-coming=truey coffee that is properly packaged. Look for bags with a one-way gas release valves.  Then store your beans correctly too, which means in airtight containers and away from light and heat.


Turn your machine on at least 15 minutes before use. The bigger your machine the longer it takes for everything to get up to brewing temperature.  While the machine is heating up, keep the portafilter locked into the grouphead so it gets warm too. You will want your cups warm as well so put them on the warming surface.  Many people will run a blank shot into their cup (just hot water, no  coffee).


So if you are making a milk based drink and steaming the milk first, you’ll have to cool down the boiler and refill it before pulling espresso again.  After steaming there may still be a bunch of steam in the boiler. If you go to brew an espresso that steam is going to hit the coffee and scald it. So check your owners manual on the procedure for cooling down and refilling your boiler after steaming. Continue reading: Whole Latte Love