Category «Home & Outdoor»

Making Espresso At Home with a Good Espresso Machine

drink espresso
Making espresso at home can be as easy as buying a good espresso machine, a good grinder, some fresh beans and voila, you have the right stuff to make an espresso without going to Starbucks.

So what’s a good espresso machine? Here are reviews for the best espresso makers by real people. I picked the reviews for the most popular best espresso machines.

DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Espresso Machine

“I have the EAM3200, which is the previous model version. The differences are slight but noticeable to the newer. These machines are the best in class for price and performance, produce a great espresso, and are maintainable in ways that other manufacturers models are not. The coffee from the Delonghi is just as good as from Jura and even some manual models such as Expobar and Rancillo. It is very close to what you find in Italy – not quite, but for the price it is worth it. Great crema, hot temperature, rich flavor. And the best part is you can pull out the brew mechanism and clean it – VERY key. This will ensure sound operation and function for many years. – Vatsug”

“We bought our Magnifica after using a similar machine while visiting friends in Germany. We have been using it for over 3 years now, and are still quite happy with it. My wife and I both drink a lot of coffee — tall Americanos most of the day. I am a full time telecommuter, so I will average 3-5 a day in winter, 2-4 in summer. We also love being able to fill a couple of 16 oz. insulated cups before leaving on a road trip. I would say this machine probably gets more use than the manufacturer intended. – Dale B”

Breville BES870XL Barista Express

“I’ve had the Breville BES870XL for about a week now, and I’m thoroughly pleased with the product and the quality of the espresso it can make. I upgraded from a simpler machine and a separate burr grinder, and one of the attractive features of the BES870XL was the integrated grinder. The other thing that appealed to me was the ability to adjust lots of features. – Food lover

“For expectations, here’s what I believe to be reasonable for this machine-
-It will make a mess. If you’re looking for a mess free experience, you may want to double or triple your spending and look at fully automated machines.
-You are not a hardcore espresso drinker who is looking for the perfect shot and the best components for the money. To get that, you should be looking at separate grinders and espresso machines most likely totaling more than this.
-You are looking for convenience, but something that still leaves some room for experimenting.
-You better be comfortable with having a 2 in 1 machine. If the grinder or the espresso machine goes kerplooey outside of warranty, you have half a machine left. You might look a little silly when friends come over. They’ll be expecting something super fancy from you because of all the espresso machines on your counter… – armaraas”

DeLonghi EC702 Espresso Maker

“When it was time to purchase another espresso maker, I chose the DeLonghi EC702. What a nice surprise! It heats up really quickly, and despite the owner’s manual that says let it warm up for 15 minutes before you brew the first cup, I find you can get a perfect cup after only about 3 minutes of warm-up. Then, hit the ‘milk steamer’ button and in just one more minute it’s hot enough to do the milk for a great cappuccino. The steamer nozzle is the first I’ve seen that can be EASILY dismantled (two small pieces to pull off) and rinsed. Former models had to be scrubbed with a scouring pad occasionally to scape off the residue left on the nozzle. This DeLonghi setup is far better and the steamer nozzle is always clean and ready for your next cappuccino. The drip tray (plastic with a metal grid) pulls off for easy cleaning too. Being a coffee-hound, I use the double-filter basket to make a single cup, although the photo shows two demitasse cups being filled side-by-side. Really, I’d recommend this machine without reservation. – T.Pajak”

There you go, 3 very different types of espresso machines, one of them bound to suit you.

How to drink espresso like an Italian – BusinessInsider

Great Beans Make Great Espresso

Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee BeansI’ve been shopping around for a good medium to dark roast whole bean coffee to use for Lattes and Espresso, and after several misses and near hits, I have settled on this – Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans (but will always be keeping my eyes and nose open for other beans to try). I have a semi automatic espresso machine (espresso machine reviews favor this type) that I use from Breville (with the best espresso maker reviews) that allows me to set the grind size, amount, temp, volume…etc and steam the milk.

I have tried coffee from Kicking horse, Lavazza Super Crema Espresso and other Lavazza coffee, illy, and others not worth naming before finding this gem. The care is apparent in the aroma when you first open the bag and view the shiny dark beans for the first time. I like my coffee fairly strong and this intensifies the buttery light flavor of the Lavazza I mentioned above and borders on a darker roast just shy of bitter.

This packs the extra flavor I was missing in the buttery coffee without going overboard to the land of bitter. Grind size and temp can play a roll here but this bean seems to be pretty forgiving. Occasionally when I want something lighter (or straight without milk) , I find I like to mix it half and half with the Super Crema above, but for Lattes and Cappuccinos this product is perfect. By Max C.

How to Drink Espresso: 5 Easy Stepsthecoffeecompass

Order your espresso. “One espresso for here please.” should be sufficient. Most shops worth visiting only serve espresso in ceramic, but asking for the demitasse identifies yourself as a serious customer. You might be asked, “Single or a double?” Unless you’ve already had too much caffeine, make it a double.

Drink your water. The barista will probably serve you a glass of sparkling water. This is to cleanse your pallet. You’re paying a lot for that ounce of liquid, you want to taste it!

Skim the crema (optional). A freshly pulled espresso should have some nice, rich crema floating on top- a by product of escaping co2 and nine bars of pressure. Although thick, reddish crema often designates a good shot, it doesn’t actually taste very good. Some espresso aficionados recommend skimming it off with your spoon. This barista usually can’t wait that long to dig in though!
Give the espresso a stir. Espresso is not homogenous, the thick, syrupy part of the shot tends to sink to the bottom while the brighter notes float on top. To get a balanced tasting experience, give the espresso a good stir with the little spoon. Your taste buds will thank you later.
Take a sip. Let the coffee cover your tongue. Does it taste sweet? sour? Pay attention to the aftertaste. What lingering flavors are still in your mouth? Don’t be afraid to slurp!

I was successful in planting hydrangeas!


I have always loved hydrangeas and have always wanted to have even just a pot or (my dream) an entire garden of them. The problem is that I have zero experience being a gardener and I have no idea where to start planting hydrangeas! So, I tried searching through some gardening books in the library or sites online that might be able to help me.

I found that it is important to plant them where they get pretty good exposure to the sun. They do not do well if they are under the shade all the time. One tip that a gardener told me about planting hydrangeas was to check if grass grew in the area; if there is no grass, then hydrangeas may not thrive or grow in this place (usually a shaded place!). Full grown hydrangeas may also reach up to four (4) feet tall so it is best to plant them in a place where they can reach their full potential and not be constantly pruned or cut.

My efforts were not wasted when it came to growing them (I opted to buy several small, potted hydrangea plants from a nursery). The plants I bought from the nursery were already in bloom when I got them. This is so that I know exactly what I was getting and not be surprised when the plants turn out to be something else. Some nursery workers have difficulty cataloging the plants if there are no flowers. I positioned my plants in a place that received a lot of sun during the morning and around noontime. During the afternoon, it was shaded. I planted them over soil that drained well ( I added some roughage to ensure that the roots will not rot) and I did not over water the plants. My hydrangeas turned out well! They are now about three (3) feet tall and thriving.

Bought My Espresso Machine

Something is really wrong with this world. Nowadays, we can often find ourselves buying the products that we do not really want and that is solely because of the influence given by the salespeople of the product. Well, I would say that is the power of persuasion – it drives people crazy. This time round, I decided not to listen to the salesperson when I buy my coffee machine. Instead, I read espresso maker reviews and ratings to aid my decision making. These ratings are just so awesome.

DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Machine
“I put off writing a review in order to make sure that the DeLonghi was going to last until we had at least broken even on it. We received it in mid-July and since then it has produced about 200 double shots flawlessly. By my reckoning, that’s about $400 worth of Americanos at the local cafe. Even considering the price of the coffee, we have more than broken even. So, here’s our pros and cons:

– Price–we paid $91.28.
– Crema Production–this unit consistently produces a thick layer of delicious crema.
– Powerful Stream Wand–Easily froths milk.
– Mechanicals–After six months of nearly daily use this mighty-mite works as well as it did the day it arrived.
– Easy Cleanup–Filter cleans easily.

– Ergonomics–As other reviewers have noted, there could be a little more room between the area where the cup sits and the output nozzle. Also the steam wand could be longer.
– Features–No cup warmer. Not a big deal to us, especially considering the price of the EC155, but it will put off some buyers.”

By OhioGardener

Mr. Coffee ECM160 Steam Espresso Machine
“I’ve had this machine for over a year. I have tried other machines, even a pump. It makes good cappuccinos/lattes when the milk is steamed properly at the right temperature. If your only into espresso shots, I would go with a different pump driven machine.

-Inexpensive, Small
-Frother is strong, plastic tip is removable
-Quiet (then a pump machine)
-Latte art hearts (SEE picture)

-Supplied tamper is just a slightly flattened end of the coffee scooper.
-No frothing pitcher.
-Multiple shots requires de-pressuring the machine.”

By Dassit

DeLonghi ECP3420 Espresso Machine
“I’ve had this machine for a month and so far it’s been fantastic. I love lattes and mistos and having to go to Starbucks every morning just isn’t something I want to do.

So, armed with my espresso beans, my white mocha sauce and my Keurig, I’ve been able to make my favorite drinks from the comfort of my home!

What I’ve found so far:

– The froth, though not very dense, is great. It wand will froth 6 ounces of soy milk in less than 45 seconds.
– The warming plate gets hot!
– I turn the machine off when I’m done so warming it back up takes less than 30 seconds before the green light turns on
– The water level is visible so you know when you need to add more without moving the machine

– The warming plate gets hot! It’s a little too hot in my opinion but I don’t use it.
– The water reservoir MUST be all the way down. When it arrives, it’ll look like it’s in place. It isn’t. Gently push it down.”

By Caiapfas

Buying my espresso machine after looking at the best espresso machines 2016 would be the same like buying one after consulting for advice from professional users as these ratings are written by product testers who are experienced in such field. Well, at least I won’t have to listen to unwarranted claims by irresponsible salespeople whose aims were just to sell their products. Now, I can judge for myself what is good and what is bad for me, without having to be influenced by anyone.