Calling all Baristas and Espresso Connoisseurs — The Bump
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Calling all Baristas and Espresso Connoisseurs

I got an espresso machine a while back, but have been hesitating to actually try it. (I have this one)

I got all of the things to make an eggnog latte, but it involves:
1. steaming milk
2. steaming eggnog (I think)
3. making espresso (2 shots)

My machine can make a double shot, and I bought a bag of espresso beans and had them ground already.
Is this going to be super difficult? I have made 1 shot of espresso with my machine and it tasted a bit burnt - thoughts?

What are your best espresso tips or recipes?

Re: Calling all Baristas and Espresso Connoisseurs

  • It will take some practice ;)

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  • Don't let the shot sit very long & steam milk from the bottom up moving slowly upward to froth. Don't over steam stop at 140*F on the thermometer.

    Thanks that's helpful! I will have to practise quite a bit I think :)
  • Did you let the espresso sit? Sometimes it tastes burnt if it sat too long. 

    Tip: The thicker the milk is, the harder it will be to make foam (skim milk foams the easiest). 
    TTC #1 since 8/2013
    DX: Unexplained infertility 11/2014
    Hysteroscopy, D&C 11/17/14
  • That one is fancy! We just have an old school one that we heat up on the stove. I don't have any tips but enjoy! :)
  • Also, don't overfill the espresso or press it down too hard. My old boss told me that the perfect shot should come out looking like a rat's tail and there should be a little foam (crema) on top. Enjoy your espresso machine! I'm jealous.
    TTC #1 since 8/2013
    DX: Unexplained infertility 11/2014
    Hysteroscopy, D&C 11/17/14
  • Don't let the shot sit very long & steam milk from the bottom up moving slowly upward to froth. Don't over steam stop at 140*F on the thermometer.
    Yep, this!  Don't let the shots sit.  If they're black before you're adding it it's burnt.  Add it to your milk when it's still golden brown.

    Also, make sure you're completely submerging the steam wand into your milk and down into the carafe.  If it's up at the top you're going to get nothing but foam instead of frothy milk.

    Also, check your grind.  Espresso grind is much finer than a traditional drip grind.  Make sure you're getting specifically espresso grind for your beans.

    This takes me back to my SBUX days!  Love it.
    I bought the bag from Starbucks, and I made the first shot after grinding it myself, but I don't think it went as fine as I needed it, so I took the rest of the beans back and asked them to grind them for espresso. So hopefully they are good now!

    Also, when everyone is saying don't let them sit, when exactly? After it has dripped into the cup?
  • This makes me want to run out and get a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks. Yum.
    Married to DH (aka the love of my life) since June 17th, 2006

  • Make sure you don't let that shot of espresso sit for more than 30 seconds. Depending on how it was roasted it will turn between 30 sec and 1 minute. It is recommended that you steam your liquids completely first then brew your espresso. That way it doesn't have time to turn before you pour your espresso into the mix. (This is a time sensitive process! So don't walk away to do something else between... It won't taste right otherwise!) 
    I am assuming that since you on this board, also make sure you clean the milk wand thoroughly every single time. If you let the milk build up it will grow listeria! So wipe it every single time. And take it apart and clean it thoroughly at least once a week!  
    Hope this helps. I also believe they add vanilla... So even just 1/4 tsp of vanilla will probably make it taste just right, if it seems off. (Starbucks LOVES adding vanilla to everything...) 
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  • Everyone else pretty much hit the nail on the head. Also, like coffee, if it's preground, keep it in the dark in a nice air tight sealed container. My biggest aha moment was to steam the milk first. Also, it should have a little bit of a foamy look to the top of it when it's finished, before you Add the milk.
  • I'm envious of your machine and luck @piedpiper07 !  
    I had a cheap machine before but I was always unhappy the espresso, and ended up selling my soul to Nepresso (which I shamefully love, love, love every single morning.) 
    Good luck! And if you figure out the perfect proportions for the eggnog goodness, let me know! 

    TTC since Sept. 2013
    09/14: New anterior 3cm Fibroid on U/S, no change in size 11/14
    10/14: SA normal
    12/14: next RE appointment - cancelled due to BFP
    BFP on 11/21/14, EDD 08/03/15

    [Deleted User]
  • @ShellyR I used this recipe, and it turned out great! Was a bit different than starbucks, but really good. I think I did something funky steaming the milk/eggnog, but otherwise it went well thanks to everyone's tips!!
  • I agree with everyone about not letting the shot sit for long. Also, you don't want to tamp the espresso down too hard. You could time the shot while it is pouring. A good rule of thumb, is that you want it to pull between 18-22 seconds. Under 18 seconds under done. Anything above 22 seconds will probably taste burnt.

    Good luck! I'm sure you'll get the hang of it after a few times :)
    BFP #1: 5-14-2010, DD born 1-22-2011
    BFP #2: 4-20-2012, Natural MC 5-1-2012
    BFP #3: 7-19-2012, DS born 3-27-2013
    BFP #4: 9-13-2014, MMC discovered 10-27-14 at 10w, d&c on 11-6-14 

    [Deleted User]piedpiper07
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