A starter guide on how to run your espresso machine

Are you a coffee aficionado just like us? With an espresso machine, you can work on making your brew at home without having to go out and line up in the coffee shop. With just a little bit of practice, you can create a delicious cup straight from your kitchen and enjoy the comfort of your home. 

Of course, before you can do this, you first need to know how to run the coffee machine and that’s where we come in. Here at South Philly Barbacoa, we will help you make the most out of your espresso machine and create the best cup of coffee you will ever have at home. Follow the guide below and brew your masterpiece! 

Get to know your machine 

It would be difficult to work on your espresso machine if you don’t know all the parts of your rig. Grab your machine’s manual and take note of the following parts that you might see: 

  • Portafilter – this is composed of the brew basket, a spigot and a handle. This is where the espresso grounds would go before it is brewed. 
  • Grouphead – this is where the portafilter is attached during the brewing process. Large machines often have one or two group heads just like in coffee shops. Inside this grouphead, you will find a metal filter and a rubber gasket to ensure that there would be no residues on the machine. 
  • Steam wand – this is the long metal tube that releases the steam. It is usually controlled by a long lever. 
  • Hot water spigot – this spits out the hot water from the machine. It is perfect for creating teas and americanos.
  • Shot buttons – these buttons will send water through your machine down to the portafilter.

Select a shot 

Now that you know the parts of your rig, you can attempt to make your homebrew. The first thing that you need to do is to place the portafilter in the grinder and select the option that would work for what you are making. There are usually two settings in a grinder: the first is the double shot and the other one is the triple shot. 

Use metal tamper 

The next thing that you need to do is to use the metal tamper to push ground coffee beans down on the little puck of your machine. The top of the coffee ground should be smooth and levelled without cracks and straggly bits. Make sure to wipe down the excess coffee from the edges of the portafilter. 

Place the portafilter in the grouphead 

Make sure that the metal tabs on the side of your portafilter are connected to the slots in your grouphead. Check if the portafilter is secured tightly on the grouphead with no chances of it falling off. 

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