Coffee is certainly the most loved and most consumed drink in the world. Although it is impossible to give up the pleasure of a nice espresso at the bar, today you can find different types of coffee machines on the market that allow you to get a quality drink even at home or in the office. Among all, automatic coffee machines are those that, due to the type of technical characteristics offered, can reproduce the espresso in the bar more faithfully.
Automatic coffee machines are machines that involve the use of coffee beans, and, as their name suggests, they are characterized by having an automatic operation: just press the preparation button and the appliance performs all the necessary operations by itself.
The coffee machines of this type are equipped with an internal grinder that allows you to grind the coffee beans immediately before preparing the drink, and thus obtain an excellent espresso: instant grinding, in fact, ensures a very intense aroma and always fresh.
Let’s see in detail which drinks can be prepared with an automatic coffee machine:
- Espresso: the classic espresso can be short or long, single or double. All the machines offer these possibilities of choice, but as we will also see in the paragraph dedicated to the functions factor, according to the sophistication of the coffee machine it is possible to set the degree of length of the drink, the intensity of the coffee and the degree of grinding wants to give to the beans.
- Cappuccino: what differentiates an automatic coffee machine from another is the ease with which it is possible to prepare the soft and white milk foam that can be used for cappuccino, macchiato or latte macchiato. Some models in fact provide for the presence of a classic milk frothier, or a spout that delivers steam to be inserted inside a jug containing milk until the desired cream is manually whipped.
- Hot water: there is a specific function to dispense water heated and ready immediately to be used to prepare a tea or herbal tea.
THE DIFFERENT SETTINGS
In this paragraph we will describe in detail the different settings and the most common settings to customize to obtain a perfect coffee, as good as at the bar.
The grinding of espresso coffee is one of the finest and its grains are so small as to be almost impalpable. This is necessary to minimize the contact time with boiling water. Finding the right level of grinding for espresso coffee may not be easy because it depends on personal tastes and on the humidity of the environment: in humid environments the grinding must be greater. Our advice is to carry out some tests until you find the grind that fully satisfies you.
One of the fundamental steps for quality coffee is pre-infusion, a process that frees the coffee beans from carbon dioxide to make room for water. Pre-brewing is a process that takes place just before the coffee is brewed. It is used to increase the contact time between water and coffee powder. It is a very delicate step and it is important for the carbon dioxide to be eliminated from the coffee cells. This is to facilitate the passage of water and maintain the purity of the coffee. To activate the process, you need to know how to adjust the coffee machine. Then you must wait a few seconds before proceeding with the actual extraction. If you are wondering how long the pre-brewing should last, know that there is no precise rule. The pre-brewing time is a parameter that varies according to the type of drink to be prepared. For an espresso coffee you can give a pre-infusion ranging from 3 to 5 seconds. While in more elaborate coffees, the pre-brewing time can range from 30 to 40 seconds.
COFFEE TEMPERATURE AND BREWING
A perfectly prepared coffee is reduced to complex variables of temperature, time and pressure, which must be perfectly synchronized. Setting the exact temperature, the correct preparation time and the right pressure are fundamental actions to obtain a perfect coffee, enhancing all its taste and aromas.
The temperature of the water during preparation affects the flavour and extraction of the coffee, allowing it to release its rich and full-bodied aroma. The ideal preparation temperature is between 90 ° C and 95 ° C. If too low, the flavour will be impoverished; too high and the coffee will be bitter, with a burnt aftertaste.
The amount of time the water stays in contact with the coffee powder is the main factor in determining its extraction and taste. Too long an infusion produces a flat and bitter coffee, while if it is too short, a concentrated and extremely strong espresso is obtained. Preparation time is also important in determining the degree of grind.
THE QUANTITY AND LENGTH OF THE COFFEE
The automatic coffee machines allow the customization of the amount of coffee to be ground for dispensing the chosen beverage and the “length” of the coffee dispensed. The amount of coffee determines the body and aroma: the more coffee is ground and dispensed, the stronger and more intense the drink obtained is. The term length, on the other hand, refers to the amount of water that is infused into the coffee and which determines the size of the drink (Ristretto, Espresso, Long Coffee).
THE BODY OF COFFEE
The coffee body is the perception of the consistency and density of the coffee. It is a feeling of heaviness, of some solidity that we can feel with the coffee in the mouth, especially by pressing the tongue against the palate. The definition of body is used to indicate the structure of the drink and corresponds to a certain consistency of the coffee felt on the palate. The term body describes the physical properties (“heaviness” or “palate”) of the coffee as it settles on the tongue, which manifest themselves in tactile sensations perceived by the mouth. Professional automatic coffee machines allow you to customize this parameter according to your personal taste.
AMOUNT OF MILK
Milk coffee, latte macchiato or cappuccino? Apart from the presence of foam in the latter, the three drinks look the same. They differ from several points of view, starting with the percentage of milk and coffee used in each and the different preparation methods. To prepare a cup of latte or cappuccino coffee, you need 120 ml of milk and 30 ml of espresso coffee. The difference between the two drinks is the presence of milk froth in the case of cappuccino, absent in latte coffee. Latte macchiato, on the other hand, is composed for the most part of milk and a reduced dose of coffee, maximum 20 ml. The professional automatic coffee machines allow the customization of the quantity of milk to be heated and dispensed and, in some cases, also the presence or absence of milk froth.
THE BEST PROFESSIONAL AUTOMATIC MACHINES
Within this paragraph we will present two models of professional automatic coffee machines that allow very high levels of beverage customization.
GAGGIA ACCADEMIA RI9702 / 01
The Gaggia RI9702 / 01 Accademia is a super automatic espresso coffee machine, equipped with a control panel consisting of 4 buttons per side and a central color display. It is possible to customize the temperature, length and intensity of the espresso and brew up to two coffees at the same time. It has an integrated ceramic grinder that prevents the beans from overheating and gives the machine a considerable duration. The integrated cappuccinatore carafe makes creamy and dense milk-based drinks like those in the bar, plus it is possible to adjust the milk emulsion. On the opposite side there is the hot water dispenser for the preparation of tea and herbal teas. The machine has various automatic periodic cleaning and descaling programs, it switches off automatically after being in stand-by to help save on electricity consumption.
SAECO AULIKA TOP HSC V2
Saeco Aulika Top HSC RI V2 is an automatic coffee machine available in two colors, very versatile thanks to its use in the professional field. The high-speed function and One Touch operation can greatly shorten the time up to the enjoyment of coffee. The product offers a One Touch display, high speed milk function and pre-grind function, heating pump system, pump pressure: 15 bar. Power: 1400 W. Automatic descaling program with text and symbols display. Pre-ground function. Aulika represents a perfect combination of aesthetics and professional performance. A design with attention to every detail, clean and rational and unprecedented technology: double hydraulic circuit, conical grinders, large water and coffee capacities (for the Aulika Top High Speed Cappuccino model). Features that make it perfect for locations with high daily consumption.