From Whole Latte Love Support Library
- Find a swanky spot in your home for your new machine to live, preferably where the morning sun can strike the mirror-finished housing so you can fully appreciate the bright idea that is your purchase.
- Get the power cord and the accessories out of the box.
- Plug the machine directly into an outlet. Don't plug it into surge protectors, extension cords, or timers.
- Fill the water tank.
Get it Good & Hot
It's time to get heated.
- Turn on the machine.
- Lock the portafilter into the group head.
- Wait 30 minutes.
- Take this time to start reading up on how to brew and froth below, if this is your first machine or you're new to pulling shots.
Get a Handle on your Tamp
- Level off the grounds in your portafilter
- Keep your tamper level with the basket
- Apply consistent force downward, evenly, and level with the portafilter
- 30 lbs. of pressure is a good rule-of-thumb to follow for beginners
- Lock the portafilter into the brew group.
- Lift the brew lever all the way up.
- Aim for 2 to 2.5 oz. in about 25 seconds.
- Drink your shot to test.
- Repeat until properly motivated to get work done.
The big secret to finding that exact flavor you're after, that big punch-in-the-mouth feel, is dialing in your grind. For a basic rule-of-thumb, a coarser grind makes for a lighter, fluffier coffee, and a finer grind makes for a more intense, flavorful espresso. Check out the video on the right for more info.
Brew the Best You Can Brew
For more control, you'll want to know about how brew ratios and weighing your shots can help you keep a recipe so you can repeat your favorite results. Brew rations and weighing take all the guesswork out of the process so you always know what you're going to get.
Preinfusion and You
You can think of preinfusion is sort of a special trick to help bring out the best flavor in your coffee just before extraction. The idea is to softly wet the grounds before pressure is exerted by the pump.
- Bring the brew lever to a 45 degree angle. You will feel it stop there.
- Lift the lever slightly higher. This will allow for water to flow, but with no pressure from the pump.
- Lift the lever fully when satisfied and you're ready to brew.
If you like cappuccinos, lattes, Flat Whites, and other milk drinks, you're gonna need to know how to froth.
For a few quick tips to improve your frothing technique, check out the video on the right. You'll learn a few tricks to make your drinks even better.
Frothing and Habits to Avoid
Frothing can be a delicate process. There's a number of mistakes you can make that really bring down the quality of your drinks. Check out the video on the right to learn some easy things you can avoid going forward.
Steam & the Heating Sweet Spot
The literal sweet spot for steaming milk falls between 140°F and 155°F, with smaller drinks on the lower end and larger drinks on the higher end. A quick rule-of-thumb we follow is to steam just until the frothing pitcher becomes a little too hot to hold comfortably.
Steam with Thermometers
If you're using a thermometer, you'll want to learn about lag time and how to read a frothing thermometer to correctly gauge the steaming process.