When we think of top-quality coffee machines, we think of Breville and De’Longhi espresso machines. Both companies offer a range of semi-automatic coffee machines, with several standouts in each of their line-ups.
However, having a coffee machine on your countertop does not guarantee you the best cup of espresso–you have to really understand your machine and how to use it. Each machine is uniquely designed, so operation differs from machine to machine.
For example, cleaning your De’Longhi espresso machine is different from the way you would clean your Breville espresso maker. But don’t worry–we’ve got you covered with all the information you need to understand your machine.
In this article, we will specifically look at how to use a Breville coffee machine.
Getting Started With Breville
Brewing your espresso at home is not the easiest task, but we’re here to help you understand the art and science behind using a Breville coffee machine. With a little bit of patience, you can make the perfect espresso at home. So, let’s first look at some of the preliminary steps you need to take to get started with your Breville machine,
Step 1: Instructions Are Important
Each Breville coffee machine comes with a detailed instruction manual. We suggest you read this carefully, as it will guide you through setting up your machine properly while also helping you also understand its operation.
Step 2: Check the Water Level
Unlike other automatic machines, the Breville coffee machine does not warn you when the water level is too low. To avoid burning any of the parts, always check the water level in the machine before you turn it on.
Step 3: Preheat
Once you turn on the machine, all six buttons will light up to indicate it is ready. This usually takes up to a minute, but to get an espresso shot full of flavor, let it preheat for at least 15 minutes. If the parts are too cold, it can affect the flavor of your espresso. While the machine preheats, you can use the warming tray on top to have a warm cup for your espresso.
Now that your Breville coffee machine is all set up, it’s now time to start brewing your espresso.
Step 4: Load the Hopper
Add the coffee beans of your choice to the hopper at the top of the machine. There is no specific recommended amount–just add enough to do the job.
Step 5: Weigh the Portafilter
The portafilter is where the ground coffee goes–make sure it’s completely dry and use a scale to weigh it before you begin grinding. If you weigh the portafilter first and zero it out, you will have the exact amount of coffee you want each time. After weighing it, place it in the ‘grind outlet.’
Step 6: Grind the Coffee
You’ll need to adjust two settings to get the perfect grind: grind size and grind amount. The middle setting of the range is a good place to start, and you can later adjust them to your ideal setting as you gain more experience with the machine. Once you’ve set the grind size and grind amount, press the filter size button to select the espresso size you want–single or double. To start grinding, gently press the portafilter.
Step 7: Weigh the Ground Coffee
When the grinding is complete, use your scale to weigh the amount of ground coffee. For a single shot, it should weigh between eight and 10 grams, and for a double shot, it should weigh between 15 and 18 grams.
Step 8: Tamp the Coffee
Place the loose grinds into the filter so they don’t spill when you tamp. Then, press the tamper down to get the ground coffee flat and even–if you twist the tamper before you pull it out, it will help make your grinds more leveled. Note that finding the right tamping pressure to use takes practice, and usually you figure out the ideal pressure by trial and error.
Pro tip: Remove any loose grinds on the sides of the filter post-tamping. If there are any loose grinds on the sides, it will not seal properly.
Step 9: Run a Cup of Hot Water
Before you place your filter in, press the ‘1 cup’ button to run a single cup of hot water into your coffee mug, and then dump the water out. This will help stabilize the temperature of the machine and your cup.
Step 10: Make Your Espresso
Finally, insert the portafilter into the ‘group head’ and turn it to its locked position. Press either the ‘1 cup’ or ‘2 cup’ button to make a single or double shot of espresso. Watch the needle go to the espresso range and voilà–you have your espresso!
Pro tip: Watch the needle to help you adjust the tamping pressure. If the needle goes under range, use more tamping pressure next time.
You can be certain that this information will help you establish a solid foundation in making espresso. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can play around with the different settings and features of your machine to make the perfect espresso shot!