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How to maintain an automatic coffee machine?
Maintenance of an automatic coffee machine is quite simple because it is highly automated. In most cases, the machine itself indicates in one way or another that a certain maintenance program needs to be performed. Maintenance of automatic coffee machines can be divided into daily and non-daily maintenance.
1. Fill with water and beans (if necessary).
2. If the appliance has a milk system, rinse it thoroughly by disassembling all parts of the milk system (even if the appliance has an automatic rinsing program).
3. Discard the grounds from the coffee grounds container, drain the water from the drip tray and wash it.
1. If you use a water filter, it must be replaced regularly (approximately every few months).
2. Descaling program. The automatic coffee machine asks for it. It is very important to do it on time and with special products indicated for that purpose (by no means with citric acid or vinegar).
3. Cleaning program. The automatic coffee machine asks for it. The program uses special coffee degreasing and residue removal tablets. A cleaning program should be performed about every few hundred portions produced.
4. Manual cleaning of the coffee brewing unit. Once a month, we remove the brewing unit, rinse under running tap water, dry and lubricate the moving parts with special grease. (This must be done for all coffee machines except JURA brand machines).
Which coffee machine makes the most delicious coffee?
The coffee machine won't make tasteless coffee taste better. Therefore, the taste of coffee depends largely on what you put in the coffee machine. But unfortunately, a coffee machine can very simply “ruin” good coffee. How? If it is not adjusted properly (grinding coarseness is set incorrectly, the wrong temperature is selected) or if it is dirty inside (clogged coffee system with old coffee residue, mold in the coffee maker), even the most delicious coffee may become tasteless.
Why then do the prices of coffee machines differ so much when the taste of the coffee produced can be the same?
When you buy a coffee machine, you pay for the variety of drinks available, the ability to adjust and program various settings, ease of operation, ease of maintenance, design, finish, and brand prestige.
What are the types of coffee machines?
Coffee machines can be classified according to their type as follows:
1. Automatic coffee machines. Makes coffee from whole beans at the touch of a button. Depending on the milk system available, you can also make coffee drinks with milk. They can be divided into domestic, office and vending coffice machines.
2. Semi-automatic coffee machines. Also known as espresso machines that make it possible to become your own barista. You can grind beans freshly in desired coarseness using a separate or integrated (if equipped) grinder, tamp ground coffee in the portafilter handle, insert the handle into the machine, pressa button and prepare one or two portions of coffee. You can froth the milk with a steam wand manually. These machines can be further divided into domestic and professional types.
3. Capsule coffee machines. Makes coffee from coffee capsules. Feature: Each capsule system uses only capsules adapted for that capsule system.
4. Coffee makers. Filter or moka type coffee makers that make coffee from pre-ground coffee beans.
5. Percolators. Appliances used to prepare large quantities of filter coffee, which are extremely popular in the field of Horeca.
6. Various coffee brewing tools. Increasingly popular variety of brewing tools to experiment with a variety of coffee flavours. Chemex, Aeropress, V60, French Press ...
What is the difference between automatic coffee machines?
With such a great variety of automatic coffee machines, many are wondering about the main differences between them. All the more so as prices range from 300 to several thousand pounds. Key differences:
1. A variety of available drinks. Some machines prepare only espresso and black coffee, while others make up to several dozen different recipes at the touch of a button.
2. Type of milk system. There are three main types of automatic coffee machines according to the type of milk system available: Machines with a steam nozzle (you need to froth the milk manually, like a barista), machines with an automatic frother, which is separate from the coffee system (the machine prepares the milk foam separately from coffee), machines with a fully automatic milk system (just press the button and the machine prepares a milk-based coffee beverage). There are several types of automatic milk systems: With a connected milk pipe (you can put it directly into the milk package) or with an integrated milk container.
3. Customization of taste. All automatic coffee machines have the possibility to adjust the grinding level, the amount of ground coffee used, the water temperature, and the portion size. The key question is: How much customization do you get? Can you choose from only a few levels, or from a dozen? High-end coffee machines even have the ability to adjust the flow rate of water through the coffee (depending on the consistency and taste of the coffee being prepared) and the consistency and temperature of the milk foam.
4. Programming features. In lower-end coffee machines, only certain coffee parameters can be adjusted. On high-end coffee machines, it is possible to program and save all your settings, not only for one person, but for the whole family by creating several user profiles. This way everyone can have their own separate menu named after them with their favourite drinks.
5. Type of control. Depending on the type of control available, the machine is easier or more complex to operate. It can be a small text screen with control buttons or a wide colourful touch screen with the ability to control the coffee machine via a smart app directly from your phone or another smart device.
6. Maintenance. In cheaper automatic coffee machines, the maintenance process is indicated by symbols - without the user manual, it can be tricky to follow the steps of a certain maintenance program. With a high-end coffee machine, everything is clearly displayed on the wide colourful screen - you just need to follow the instructions which are often in pictures. In addition, some machines are more automated and require less manual work, while others require more.
7. Design and finishing materials. Automatic coffee machines can have a simple plastic body, be metallic, shiny or matte, or covered in more luxurious materials. They can have water tanks or cup lighting, offer unique, interesting shapes and designs.