The basic equipment you will need to make coffee

Espresso machine

These are the machines that have a pull lever and a portafilter. Some of them have a steam milk function.

If you love strong and intense coffee, an espresso machine would be your choice. It first heats up the water to the optimum temperature at about 90C (Coffee tip: boiling water will ruin the coffee by giving it a bitter taste). Then, the hot water passes through the ground coffee at a certain bar pressure in order to produce a small cup of strong coffee.

How to use an Espresso machine:

  • Fill the portafilter with ground coffee
  • Tamp the coffee according to your preference
  • Attach the portafilter to the machine and turn until tight
  • Start brewing
  • An espresso should be ready in about 30 seconds

Stovetop coffee maker

If you don’t want to spend money on an espresso machine, stovetop coffee makers are the alternative. They are considered as cheap coffee maker and are heavy-duty equipment as compared to a modern machine.

Moka coffee maker is a coffee pot that needs to be used on a stove-top.Originated from Italy, they are now being used globally to produce a fine strong coffee. The history of coffee makers starts with the cultivation of coffee bean since the middle of the 15th century. The early coffee makers were just like a pot or pan and they were used to boil water. The modern coffee maker is an evolution of that simple pot. “Moka” is a modern form of coffee makers used in the early 18th century, designed by Alfonso Bialetti, an Italian aluminum worker.

The brewing mechanism is based on steam pressure technology. The steam builds up pressure in the pot that helps to dilute the coffee. This technology is used to get intense flavor. It produces a dark and strong conventional coffee – that’s why people sometimes call it the poor man’s espresso. Though, it produces coffee on lesser pressure than Espresso.

How to use the Moka maker:

  • Put plain water in the kettle or boiler keeping an eye on safety level
  • Fill out the filter with quality coffee ground coffee. Do not press it and fix it in the kettle
  • Put coffee collector over the kettle and twist to the fixed end. Heat it up by using a stove
  • Use low heat to boil the water Take out coffee collector from the stove when you hear the sound of “gurgle” from the pot
  • Put the drink in the cup and enjoy

Coffee grinder

One important part in making a great tasting coffee brew is the grinding process. Having a good coffee machine with grinder is like having whipped cream on top of your hot chocolate. A coffee grinder is not necessary as you can just buy ground coffee in the supermarket. But if you are after a perfect cup of coffee, a grinder is something that you should consider getting in the future.

Milk frother, Milk Jug and Thermometer

To make a latte or cappuccino, you will need to froth/steam your milk. It is easy if you have an espresso machine with steam milk function. If not, you can still use the tools below to make your froth milk.

Manual milk frother

You can start frothing milk for your coffee beverage by submerging whisk in milk and pressing the button to turn on frother. You should slowly move frother around while frothing to allow milk to froth evenly.

The minor disadvantage of the handheld frother is that you cannot leave the frother to froth the milk and do something else.

Automatic milk frother

The automatic frothers do not require any user intervention or activity when frothing. It is as simple as pouring cold milk into a frothing jug, covering the jug, pressing the button to froth cold or warm milk and pouring the frothed milk from jug when machine stops.

  • Milk jug is used to contain the milk while frothing.

Thermometer is used to ensure that the milk and the coffee don’t overheat.

How to choose the best milk frother

Things you should factor in mind is the handling, ease of cleaning, best foam results, and whether it is manual, automatic or electric.

There are several types of frother on the market – some with their own unique functions. Before purchasing your frother, here are some basic questions to get answered:

  • What type of milk frother do you require?
  • What are the basic function/features of the milk frother that you want?
  • What additional items will you need to froth milk?
  • What is the best choice of milk for your frother?

Basic features of milk frother

To find the best frother that suit all your requirements, you must consider the features of the machine you are going to purchase. The following are seven basic features you should take note of before purchasing:

Speed of Frother

The speed of the frother is very important as this will determine the amount of bubbles that can be incorporated into the milk for best results. More air will be incorporated into milk with slower motors, because it will take a longer time to froth milk. The speed will be determined by how powerful the motor is and the power available in the batteries (for hand held Frothers).

Temperature Control

Some electric models will allow you to control the temperature of frothed and steam milk. Temperature of milk will be indicated on base with led indicators. This will let you choose the temperature you require for your frothed milk.

Dishwasher Safe

 The jug on most electric models is dishwasher safe for no hassle cleaning.

Outcome of Frothed Milk

The outcome of frothed milk will be determined by whether or not the milk is done at the right temperature, thickness of wand and where wand is connected to the body.

Ease of Use

You can start frothing milk with little or no instructions by using any of the milk frothers. Frothing and steaming (with electric frother) is done at the touch of a button.

Design

The design of the frother will complement ease of use and safety. For example, some machines have rubber gripping on base and handle. Also check the button position on wand frothers and electric frothers. With some electric models, you have to hold the button to steam and press and release to froth, while others have two or more buttons to do the job. There is also the subject of the click-button; these buttons requires you to click to turn on and off the frother.

Weight

Lighter milk frothers are easier to handle, which makes it easier for you to move the machine where you want to.

Types of milk frother

Hand Held Wand Milk Frother

Hand held Frothers are battery operated and have a whisk at the end of a wand for frothing milk. They are the perfect choice if you are not frothing large batches of milk.

PROS

  • They are the least expensive of the frother types
  • They can be used to froth hot or cold milk

CONS

  • Frother cannot steam the milk. Milk has to be steamed on the stove or microwave before
  • frothing Batteries need to be
  • changed often It takes longer to froth milk with hand wand

Hand Pump Milk Frother

This type of frother comprises of a stainless steel or glass pitcher, a mesh screen attached to a plunger handle, and plastic or rubber rim that prevents milk from spilling. You are required to

manually pump the milk in order to get it frothed.

PROS

Dishwasher safe

Easy to use and inexpensive

CONS

  • Only cold milk can be used in hand pump frother
  • Will do small batches of frothed milk

Steam Frother

The steam frother works by steaming and frothing milk simultaneously. This feature is normally produced by steam wand attached to an espresso machine.

PROS

  • It is great for making large hot batches of frothed milk
  • You will get a perfect microfoam

CONS

  • You will have to purchase an espresso machine to get access to steam wand
  • It requires practice and wand positioning to get the best quality froth from the milk

Automatic Milk Frother

These are small electronic devices resembling an electric kettle or small blender. The electric milk frother normally comes equipped with a jug to pour the milk in, a base, a motorized cover and a wand extended from cover with a whisk on the end.

Some machines have a motorized base where the whisk is placed inside the jug. The jugs are normally recommended milk level markings inside. They froth and steam milk at the push of a button. The machine will automatically shut off when the milk is at the desired temperature.

PROS

  • The machine will automatically froth or steam milk
  • It can froth large batches of milk and the end quality is excellent

CONS

  • It is a bit pricey, depending on brand and features
  • It takes up to three minutes to complete frothing milk
  • Some brands can be a bit noisy
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