Espresso at home, steps to follow are:

  1. Make sure your machine is clean and in good working order.
  2. Use freshly roasted, medium-ground coffee beans.
  3. Measure and tamp the coffee grounds evenly in the portafilter.
  4. Use the appropriate amount of water for your machine and make sure the temperature is between 383- 397°C (195-205°F).
  5. Extract the espresso shot for 25-30 seconds.
  6. Clean the machine and the portafilter regularly.
  7. It is also important to experiment with different beans, grind sizes, and tamping pressure to find the right combination for your machine and taste preference. 

Pro Tip: A looser tamper results in better coffee flavour with the benefit of saving money on beans.

Making the perfect espresso coffee at home using a machine is simple. Clean water, fresh coffee, good milk, and using the correct temperature for the coffee style of choice as you extract the liquid from the beans.

It is also important to experiment with different beans, grind sizes, and tamping pressure to find the right combination for your machine and taste preference. The looser the tamping, the better the coffee extract, as the water can easily penetrate all of the coffee grinds. Tightly tampered portafilters make it harder for the water to soak the grind and extract the full flavour from the beans.

    Espresso At Home Using A Cheap Espresso Machine

    A cheap espresso machine is considered to be a lower-priced model espresso machine used to brew espresso. They typically cost less than $500 and may not have as many features or as high a build quality as the more expensive commercial models.

    They are often smaller and more compact, designed to fit into the average home kitchen, and may not be as durable as higher-end machines. Some styles are a smaller version of the brand’s industrial machine scaled down, while others look nothing like commercial-grade machines.

    Traditional manually operated espresso machines have now added a new version with the invention of Nespresso and the automated coffee pod. Nespresso machines, and those like it, take all the experience and manual handling away from the user making the skills of a barista redundant. Once the user places the coffee pod into the machine, the machine does all the work and delivers the finished product.

    How To Use A Nespresso Coffee Pod Machine

    To use a Nespresso coffee pod machine, follow these steps:

    • Ensure the machine is plugged in and the water tank is filled.
    • Turn on the machine by pressing the power button.
    • Allow the machine to heat up for a few minutes before using it.
    • Open the pod holder by pressing the lever and insert a coffee pod.
    • Close the pod holder and select your desired cup size using the buttons on the machine.
    • Press the start button to begin brewing.
    • Once the brewing is complete, dispose of the used pod and enjoy your coffee!
    • Some models have an automatic shut-off feature, so if you don’t use the machine for some minutes, it will shut off by itself.
    • Additionally, some models have a built-in milk frother so that you can make cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos.
    • Always remember to clean the machine regularly according to the user manual instructions.

    A Bad Coffee Is Not The Machine’s Fault

    Any tradesman will be familiar with the saying, ‘A bad tradesman always blames the tools’.

    In the world of the barista, you cannot blame the coffee machine for producing bad coffee. The machine is an inanimate object, and it is the responsibility of the barista to ensure that the machine is cleaned regularly, the cleaning product has been completely removed from the inside of the machine with repeated flushing before making coffee for customers, and that the coffee beans are not stale or rank, having gone off while in storage, or if incorrectly stored once the original packaging was opened.

    Bad coffee is the result of  not doing the necessary checks before making coffee with the machine. You can read our related articles at the bottom of the page for further knowledge, on three reasons why it is imperative you clean the internal workings of your coffee machine regularly.

    Cheap does not mean bad. Coffee machines that retail for under $300 are amazing and compare equally as well with the industrial or more expensive brands for use in the home. It can also be shown that owning the most expensive machine on the market is nothing more than to the wealthy as a status symbol. Both machines can produce bad coffee that is unpleasant or undrinkable.

    Reasons Your Coffee Tastes Bad

    Cheap Machines:

    There are, of course, cheap machines that are clearly going to be prone to producing bad coffee as the components used to make them might have been cheap metals or plastics.

    These metals easily corrode, or plastics do not last long and retain traces of milk that, if not correctly cleaned can cause bacteria and a range of food poisoning pathogens to be ingested creating illnesses.

    Your Equipment Is Dirty:

    Leaving water to sit in coffee machines is another key reason for bad coffee. Water that sits still in any environment has bacteria numbers growing and reproducing in it. When that environment is exposed to heat, the bacteria can build up and cause the water to taste bad. Bad water makes bad coffee.

    Using Tap Water:

    Using tap water is also another reason that coffee can taste unpleasant. In Australia, our tap water contains chemicals that prevent bacteria from building up and that help to protect the enamel on our teeth and prevent tooth decay.

    Both chemicals are in trace amounts, but over time, if the machine is not thoroughly cleaned and flushed out with the cleaning solutions, hard minerals can form in the pipes and tank that can cause the water to taste bad. That is why draining the water tank after each use in the home or at the end of each shift in a coffee shop is a wise idea.

    Using bottled water that does not contain chemicals is one option for making clean-tasting coffee. It can also get costly for small businesses, so there is a trade-off in some cases. To the average tastebud, there is no noticeable difference between tap water and filtered bottled water, but for those with a refined palate and hyperacute taste buds, the noticeable difference might be enough to ensure they only use filtered bottled water in their machines to make the perfect cup of coffee.

    Take A Barista Course Online

    Another way to ensure that you always make the perfect cup of coffee is to take a barista course. You might not have the time to spend scouring the internet for a course nearest to you.

    Skills Training College has several barista courses available across the country. From a basic barista course to an advanced barista course with a Latte Art course to top off your coffee creations with a flourish, there is something for anyone seeking to learn more about coffee and gaining certification as a barista.

    Links To Related Coffee Blog Articles You Might Like To Read