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How to Make an Espresso and Cappuccino With a Coffee Machine

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If you’re someone who usually goes to specialty coffee shops to get your daily dose of caffeine and are planning to buy a coffee machine, 5-Minute Crafts is offering you a basic guide to make sure that you craft espresso and cappuccino the right way from the comfort of your own home. This way, you will be able to enjoy a cup of your favorite beverage every single morning.

What you’ll need

  • 1 espresso machine
  • 1 coffee measuring spoon with a tamping device
  • 1 milk-frothing jug
  • 2 tablespoons of ground coffee
  • 1 cup of water (250 ml)
  • 1 cup of milk (250 ml)
  • Sugar and cinnamon to taste

Instructions for making espresso

Step 1

  • Unscrew and open the lid of the water tank of your machine.
  • Fill the tank with water to the maximum level, according to the instructions for your particular model. This quantity may vary but you should add at least 1 cup of water.
  • Screw on the lid until it’s properly closed. Make sure it fits tightly to prevent water pressure from opening the lid or causing steam to seep out.

Step 2

  • Place the ground coffee in the filter using the measuring spoon. You will notice that some models come with the numbers 2 and 4 marked on the inside. These indicate the levels according to the number of cups you wish to prepare, so if you want 2 cups, you should fill the filter to level 2, and if you want 4 cups, fill it to level 4.
  • You can also just fill it halfway or up to the top, depending on the intensity of the coffee taste that you’re looking to obtain.
  • Slightly press the coffee with the tamp that is located at the other end of the measuring spoon. This allows the water to pass through the filter homogeneously. If you don’t have this particular tool, you can gently press the coffee with a spoon.

Step 3

  • Insert the filter holder into the brewer and “screw it” to the right to put it in place.

  • The filter handle will be properly secured when it’s located directly in front of the brewer, as shown in the image above (see the right photo).

Step 4

  • Turn the knob to turn on the machine. Set it to “espresso” mode. This icon may vary depending on what coffee machine you’re using, so once again, if you’re in doubt, just check the instructions.

  • In 1 or 2 minutes, you’ll notice that the coffee will start to drip into the cup. Be careful when handling the metallic parts of the appliance — at this point, it will heat up and you could burn yourself if you touch the filter holder or the water tank area, for example.

  • Remove the container by grasping the handle and pour the coffee into your cup. Sweeten to taste.
    If you’re not going to use it from this point on, turn off the machine. Wait for it to cool down for at least one hour before disassembling and cleaning it, following the instructions in your manual.

If you want a cappuccino

Step 5

  • Follow steps 1-4 until you get a cup of espresso. Instead of turning off the brewer, rotate the knob or press the “pause” button.

  • Pour the milk into the jug. It’s recommended that you use a stainless steel product designed exclusively for frothing milk for the best results. Keep in mind that the steam can become very hot and you could get burned when the handle heats up, so handle everything with care.

Step 6

  • Turn the knob to the “steam” icon and place the jug slightly tilted under the spout. The spout should be submerged in the milk you’re about to froth.

  • Hold it tightly, and as the steam comes out, the milk will heat up. Slowly move the carafe up and down until the desired amount of froth is obtained. This operation should take at least a couple of minutes.

  • When it’s finished, rotate the knob to the off position. Keep the container in place for a few seconds until you feel that the coffee maker no longer produces steam. This way, you’ll avoid getting burned in case there’s still hot water dripping from the machine.

Step 7

  • Pour the frothed milk into your cup, a little more than halfway up. Then pour the espresso until full.

  • Add sugar and cinnamon to taste. You could also sprinkle a little nutmeg or add a few drops of almond or vanilla essence.

Use and maintenance tips

  • It’s important to store coffee beans or ground coffee in airtight containers, glass jars, or in plastic bags with zippers (Ziplocs). If you just store it in its original packaging after opening, try to remove the air from its interior as much as possible and seal it well with a pair of tweezers.
  • Store it in the cupboard in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing it in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that humidity will spoil its texture, flavor, and aroma.
  • Before using a coffee maker for the first time, check the instructions in the user manual of the model you own. Each machine works in a slightly different way.
  • The water you use when brewing coffee can change the taste of your drink. While some people recommend using only bottled water, doing that doesn’t really guarantee you’ll get the best results.
  • After using the coffee maker, allow it to cool down before handling any of its parts. Remove the filter holder and throw away the wet ground coffee. Rinse and dry it well. If the steam nozzle is removable, take it off and wash it.
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