Saturday, July 16, 2016

I finally got it right

I'm testing this Hamilton Beach espresso maker for the Amazon Vine Program and finding out how little I knew about espresso and cappuccino.

I've been using a modest Mr. Coffee espresso maker that my son Steve gave me years ago and expected the Hamilton Beach unit to deliver similarly satisfying coffee drinks.

But when I loaded it with my usual Starbucks Italian Dark Roast coffee, the result was a thin, watery brew that left me unimpressed.

Then I did some research and figured out what wasn't spelled out in the owners manual. Unlike my less expensive model, this unit demands finely ground coffee. The regular Starbucks grind lets the water blow through without picking up enough flavor to make it interesting.

So I put some Starbucks into my coffee grinder and reduced it almost to a powder, filled the brewing cup with it and tamped it down with the included tamping tool. The result was the satisfyingly rich espresso I had been hoping for.

The Hamilton Beach unit sells for $123 on with these specs:

15 bar Italian pump for excellent extraction and rich crema
Patented Slide & Lock filter holder makes setup easy
Swiveling steam wand for steaming and frothing milk
Removable water reservoir and drip tray
Pressure pump for excellent extraction and rich crema

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