TIPS FOR MAKING GREAT ESPRESSO BASED BEVERAGES
Great espresso requires clean fresh-tasting water. Make sure your water supply is filtered, in some localities non-chemical water softening devices will enhance the quality of your espresso and extend the life of your espresso equipment.
Every morning, flush the water from each group head for at least a half-minute to get rid of yesterdays' stale water left in the brewers system.
Store espresso cups on the brewers warming rack upright and not upside down to prevent customer lip-burn on first contact with rim.
Use fresh beans. Squeeze each bag of beans before you open it, and smell the aroma coming from the one-way valve. When fresh coffee smells good. If it does not, do not use that bag. and smell the aroma coming from the one-way valve. If it smells of really fresh coffee and the bag is nice and plump, your beans will be in optimum condition. Alternately, use an espresso pod that has been manufactured expressly for your size portafilter.
Retain freshness by filling your bean hopper only half-full.
Grind only as your needs require as ground coffee stales in hours. It is best to grind small batches often.
Check the grind setting often and change if necessary. Gillies espresso thrives on a very fine grind.
Use 6 - 8 gr. of coffee for a single shot and 12 - 15 gr. for a double shot. Use the right portafilter. Don't put 6-8 gr.of espresso in a portafilter made for a double shot.
Tamp twice to the right pressure: the correct weight applied should be around 30 LB (about 14 Kg) for the 1st tamp and 40 LB (about 18 Kg) for the 2nd tamp. Using a slight twist while tamping applies the pressure more evenly across the bed of coffee.
At sea level set espresso machine boiler at 200˚F. For an Italian style espresso set water temp. at 190˚F. (check with your espresso equipment supplier for recommended high altitude temperature settings).
Clean the group-head and portafilter immediately after each use to avoid stale and/or scorched-tasting coffee remains from tainting the following shots.
To insure a tight seal into the group-head, wipe excess grains of coffee off rim of the loaded portafilter basket before inserting it into brew head.
To retain proper temperature, and prevent customer complaints of “cold” coffee, empty, clean group-handles/portafilters should always be locked into the the group-heads. Where this is not the practice be sure to pre-heat the portafilter prior to brewing.
For a perfect espresso, the espresso extraction rate should be approximately 20-25 seconds in length for a long shot (2 oz.). This is timed from the moment the espresso leaves the tip of the filter until it reaches its proper 2 oz. dose.
You should time every shot. When using an automatic machine, make sure to press the correct button for the size of the pour you want ( single or double shot ).
If the espresso comes out too quickly, then the grind is too coarse. Adjust the grind finer. If the espresso comes out to slowly, then the grind is too fine. Adjust the grind coarser.
Purge the steam-wand before each use to get rid of excess water inside.
Purge and wipe the steaming-wand clean with a damp cloth after each use to void milk that may have crept inside, or built-up on the outside of the wand during steaming. Warm milk residues are a breeding ground for bacteria.
Aways froth just the amount of milk you need using a clean pitcher. Holding old milk creates a bacterial health hazard, and in addition may negatively effect the quality of the foam.
Do not mix fresh milk into old frothed milk and new, this will affect the quality of the foam.
After foaming, gently rapping the foamed milk pitcher on the counter will eliminate large bubbles creating a tight velvety foam. A gentle swirling movement of the pithcher will will produce a gleaming silky appearance.
For best results serve all coffee beverages immediately.