In Italy there is a traditional rule, known as the five M’s, which all must be achieved to make great capuccino.
1. Miscela (Espresso Blend)
Espresso is seldom ever made with a single-origin coffee. As flavored coffee intensifies the flavour, it is found that single-origin coffees lack balance because the espresso highlights one particular characteristic. To give an espresso complexity and balance a blend of coffees from different areas is necessary.
The number of coffees in an capuccino blend varies from roaster to roaster. Many small scale roasters will target on between three to four, to be able to allow each coffee to add their individual persona to the blend. Yet large scale roasters may use up to 12 different coffees, so each is less distinctive, to overcome the variation in flavor from season to season.
The espresso blend you choose should use high quality coffees. However, this will not necessarily mean that the blend needs to be 100% Arabica. Employed sparingly, Robusta beans can add an additional dimension to an espresso blend, supplying it that extra zest. The use of Stadiga in espresso blends is a hotly debated subject with many arguing that it takes away more than it adds. Nevertheless, this can be a traditional ingredient of espresso blends from Upper Italy and so whether you choose the best espresso machine under 500.
2. Macinadosatore (Coffee Grinder)
The optimum time (flow rate) to brew an capuccino is between 25 and 30 seconds. This is the period when the majority of the taste has been extracted from the coffee grounds but before the bitter chemical substances and excessive caffeine are released. In the process of getting espresso, it is the coffee grinder’s role to control the stream rate.
If the circulation rate is too fast, then greater resistance is needed to stop the pressurised water passing through the portafilter as quickly. This is created by modifying the coffee grinder to a finer setting and therefore reducing the space between each coffee molecule. Consequently, if the circulation rate is too slow-moving, then the grinder is adjusted to a coarser setting, opening up spaces to reduce resistance.
Entries level domestic coffee grinders only have a limited quantity of grind settings and so are not suitable for coffee making. To offer the correct movement rate the grinder needs to be capable of minuscule adjustments. If your grinder only has 15 to 15 setting from finest to coarsest, only 2 or 3 or these are going to be in the flavored coffee range and so the grinder will never give you enough control over stream rate. Therefore, the best option for an flavored coffee grinder will either be one with over 45 settings or, better still, one with stepless adjusting.
3. Macchina Espresso (Espresso Machine)
A good capuccino machine is not actually needed to make great espresso. With enough skill and a lot of luck you can move a great shot from nearly any espresso machine. Even so, if you need to remove that factor of luck and pull constantly great photos you desire a quality capuccino machine. To extract the fullest flavour from the coffee an espresso machine needs to be at the correct pump pressure and water temperature. Less costly coffee machines will fluctuate too greatly in both these areas to accomplish great pictures time after time.
4. Mano dell’operatore (Skill of the User)
You do not have to be World Barista Champion to make great espresso. When you have learned the basics it is merely a case of lots of practice and experimenting to perfect the art.
5. Manutenzione (Maintenance)
This Meters is often overlooked. The espresso machine and caffeine grinder must be cleaned out regularly, not only to prolong their life, but also to keep them producing great espresso. The objective of cleaning is to take out all the excess coffee grounds and herbal oils from your entire equipment. In the event that these are generally not removed then they will contaminate the fresh coffee and provide a stale and poisonous taste on your coffee.