MISCELA (the coffee beans)
Try to keep the beans as fresh you can. When you open a new packet, let them breathe for 10 minutes before use. And after 72 hours in oxygen they will be dry, so use a De’Longhi vacuum canister to keep them as fresh as possible after opening.
MACINATURA (the coffee grinder)
Use a good quality, conical burr grinder and make sure it is adjusted to the perfect position; this will vary depending on the beans and the humidity. The grinder should be set so that the coffee extraction is slow, yet fluent. Good espresso has a goldcoloured crema – if your grind is too coarse, the coffee will be wick with little flavour and a white-coloured crema. If you grind too fine, your coffee will burn; it will taste very strong and have a dark crema. Finally, always remember: only grind immediately before you make your coffee, not in advance.
MANO (the barista)
This relates to the hand and experience of the barista. When using De’Longhi’s fully automatic machines there is less room for error, but on a manual machine a barista needs to be very well experienced. Baristas should know the exact amount of beans to use per shot and compress it with the perfect amount of force.
An obvious one - keep your machine clean and descale it regularly. Descaling is the process of removing hard deposits left by chemicals in tap water. These deposits accumulate over time and, depending on the water quality, descaling should be carried out every couple of months. De’Longhi machines will tell you when descaling is necessary; however other machines may not so keep an eye on the water tank.
MACCHINA DA CAFFE’ (coffee machine)
The overall quality of the coffee machine has a huge effect on the end product. Use a good quality, proper espresso machine with real beans.
If you use sugar, put the sugar in your cup before the coffee. Doing so will ensure it caramelises with the coffee, giving a long and satisfying after-taste