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Make Good Coffee

Revised on

Coffee is the the blood of life...

The Perfect Latte

The key to a good espresso drink of any kind is the beans and the grind. After that, you just have to figure out how to make your machine give good coffee.

With an Espresso Mini or Il Primo from Krups, this is what I do:

What You Need

  • Peet's Major Dickason's Blend or their House Blend. Peet's is much better than Starbuck's, so does Consumer Reports.
  • Stainless steel pitcher for steaming milk.
  • 14 oz. (425 ml) of milk (I prefer nonfat).
  • 6 oz. (250 ml) of water.
  • 2 containers (one marked for volume--like a measuring cup).

What You Do

  1. Throw away the weird thing that attaches to the steam spout--it's worthless.
  2. Pour water into machine.
  3. Turn on machine.
  4. Place metal filter thingy into handle and gently pack it (don't shmush it--if it's too packed, the machine will EXPLODE! with an effective yield of about four kilotons). Use about 2 1/2 of the scoops that came with the machine (this scoop is what is referred to in both Peet's and Starbuck's literature as one Standard Coffee Measure.
  5. Place handle in fitting and crank it hard.
  6. Open up steam spout.
  7. When steam starts to come out, close spout. These two steps prevent water from coming through before it is hot enough to make espresso.
  8. When 4 oz. (~165 ml) of coffee has come through, take out the first container and place the second one under the spout.
  9. Place milk (in stainless container) under the steam spigot, and open up steam all the way.
  10. Adjust attitude of milk container so that milk is flowing in a vortex and this vortex is sucking a small amount of air into itself (this makes the froth at the top while the steam heats the milk). Continue to do this until the side of the stainless container (now you know why it has to be metal--it conducts heat) is the temperature that you want your coffee to be.
  11. Turn off steam.
  12. Pour milk into tall cup or glass (I use clear lucite).
  13. Pour coffee (in first container) over milk in glass.
  14. Enjoy!
  15. Turn off machine when it decompresses.