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These coffee machines work by heating the water and then forcing the heated water through the ground coffee. As the heated water moves through the grinds, the water extracts the flavor. The coffee used is ground finer than for regular coffee. Steam is also used to froth milk for cappuccino or lattes.
Types of Cappuccino Makers
There are two basic types of machines for brewing specialty coffee drinks: steam and pump models. Pump machines are the best rated for heating water to the optimal level quickly. The most expensive models all work with an electric pump. They make a great cup of espresso with good crema. Crema is the foamy layer on top of a cup of espresso and is considered an important feature that coffee lovers look for.
Steam models are less expensive and are capable of brewing a good cup of espresso. Steam models have less pressure and less power. They are more affordable and make a good first machine. These products are definitely a step up from standard drip coffee makers.
A variety of coffee types are available for making espresso at home. The grinds are finer than standard coffee. Individual pods are available to fit most models. Pods are pre filled filter packets with the ground coffee measured and sealed inside. Some people love the convenience of pods and swear by them. Other people feel the quality of the drink is much lower when pods are used. The finished drink can be weak or bitter, depending on the brand of coffee and how it is prepared.
Super automatics are the top of the line in home cappuccino making. Super automatics can make all specialty coffees including espresso, cappuccino, lattes and mochas. An automatic milk frothing system prepares the milk according to your taste.
Super automatics are grind and brew devices that do everything for you. They grind the beans, tamp the grinds, measure the water, brew the coffee and froth the milk. Used grinds are dumped into a waste box, which you empty to dispose of the used beans. You program it according to the strength, quantity, and temperature desired in the finished drink. You can brew two mugs at once with super automatics.
Burr grinders are used in most super automatics. You can set the grinder for the consistency you want in the ground beans. Super automatics measure the beans for you, depending on the number of cups you will be brewing.
Cleaning a Cappuccino Machine
Proper cleaning is important to keep your machine working well and making great tasting drinks. Follow the manufacturer's directions for proper cleaning. The components vary from product to product, so following the directions is important.
The machine should be cleaned inside and out to keep it working well. How you will clean it depends in part on the material used in construction. Stainless steel is the easiest to clean and maintain. Follow the directions included to keep it working well.
You will need to descale and decalcify the machine regularly. This is necessary to remove build up caused by particles in your drinking water. Over time, these particles can clog the machine and interfere with the operation. How often you will need to do this depends on the quality of your water and how often you use the coffee maker. One way to avoid this build up is to use distilled water.
The brew group will need to be cleaned about once each weak. A removable brew group is easier in terms of cleaning. You slide the brew group out through the service door and rinse it regularly. This removes coffee residue and grinds and results in a better tasting drink.
A non removable brew group should be cleaned with the automatic cleaning cycle. You program this feature and it cleans the brew group for you. Cleaning tablets are sold for non removable brew groups. Follow the directions on the package for proper use.
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