Cappuccino Machines For Home Use
It used to be that cappuccino machines were enormous, loud, complicated machines with lots of levers and knobs that were only found in coffee houses.
With the increasing popularity of gourmet coffee, however, machines have gotten smaller, easier to use, and more practical for the home cappuccino maker.
To better understand the types of machines available, you should understand how a cappuccino is made.
How they work
The first step is to brew (also known as pulling) the shot of espresso. In manual machines, as in most coffee houses, the espresso grounds are put into a basket. The barista then tamps the grounds by applying pressure with a tamper to press the grounds into the basket.
Cappuccino machines that are automatic, the tamping is done for you. The tightness or looseness of the grounds affects how much water is passed through the grounds, which affects the brewing of the espresso.
Hot water is then passed through the grounds to brew the espresso. In fully manual machines, the barista starts and stops the water, but in automated machines, the amount of water needed is programmed into the machine, so all you have to do is press a button to pull the shot of espresso.
As the espresso comes out of the machine, it should be a thin stream of brown liquid that looks like a mouse’s tail. When it is finished, there should be a thin layer of lighter brown foam on the espresso.
Cappuccino machines also have a tool used to steam and froth milk, which is the next step in making cappuccino. Milk is steamed and frothed with steam mixed with milk at a high pressure.
Manual machines allow you to adjust the pressure of the steam used, and many baristas know when the milk is steaming properly by the sound of the steaming wand in the milk as it mixes.
Again, automated machines are usually pre-programmed with the right settings to steam your milk. The milk is ready when the steam sounds like a low rumble, and the milk has a smooth, velvety texture with very tiny bubbles. When your milk is ready, simply pour the milk over your espresso, garnish with a little cinnamon, and enjoy!
Most cappuccino machines for home use are fully automated, making it very easy for you to make the espresso and froth the milk for your cappuccino. However, it’s also possible to get machines that give you more control in the creation of your cappuccino at home.
Which Machine To Choose
There are many brands of machines available and in a variety of budgets. It should be noted that these machines are more expensive than regular coffee machines because specialized features are needed to make the espresso and steamed milk.
Bunn, a common name in coffee machines, makes a variety of machines for cappuccino from a simple one-spout home machine to a five-spout automatic machine often used in restaurants. Bunn makes it very easy to maintain the right temperatures.
Another good name in cappuccino at home is Nespresso. Their machine makes espresso, and has plumbing for water used to steam and froth the milk. These machines are for home use and may be more affordable for some people.
For coffee lovers who just can’t wait to get to the coffee house for their morning cappuccino, there is hope! Bring the machine home, and before you know it, you’ll be coming up with great recipes all on your own!
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