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Best Espresso Machine Tips of 2015 by InlandCoffee

Posted by on Dec 6th, 2015 in Learn More | Comments Off

Best Espresso Machine Tips of 2015 by InlandCoffee

best espresso machine tips 2015

 

Last year we published a similar guide of the best espresso machines tips of 2014. This year we are doing the same with our renown “Espresso Machine Tips of the Week” Series that you see on our social media channels. Whether you are just starting out or you’re a seasoned espresso industry professional, we hope that you will enjoy our tips on commercial espresso machines, espresso grinders, water treatment and more; educational and maybe even a bit eye opening. Let Jump In…

 

Never let your espresso machine steam wand sit in heated milk

 

espresso machine repair

 

This is a very bad habit that is not only an embarrassing faux pas, it is an expensive and dangerous one.

If you allow your steam wand to sit inside the pitcher after steaming, it will basically turn into a thirsty straw, drawing the milk up into your espresso machine’s steam valve.

If you are fortunate enough to own a newer espresso machine with an anti-suction valve this awesome valve will prevent this from happening. For those of you working with basic valves, multiple things can happen to your components as the milk is drawn up, such as your valve, steam tip or pivot joint will clog. The dangerous part is that over time the gunk created by your milk will stick your steam valve open and you or your barista will be subjected to a boiling hot shower. Remember to always wipe and blow out your steam wand immediately after use.

 

Start using your angled group brush.

 

This brush is designed to reach under and dislodged coffee grounds that accumulate daily in your espresso machine’s group area. This brush is designed to reach under and dislodged coffee grounds that accumulate daily around your espresso machine’s group area. Before back flushing, take care to gently brush away this daily residue. This will help you avoid the buildup of coffee that over time, if left alone, turns into something pretty darn disgusting. If you’ve already tossed your brush, you can easily get one from your local espresso technician or supply store.

 

Nightly routine performed by professional baristas

 

professional barista using espresso machine

 

If you are particular about your traditional espresso machine, compare your cleaning routine with the nightly routine performed by professional baristas and recommended by prominent espresso equipment manufacturers.

Outside body of the espresso machine is wiped down with a damp cloth. Microfiber cloth recommended with particular attention focused on steam wands, group heads and hot water faucet.

  1. Steam tips removed and soaked in milk cleaner with a citric acid or phosphoric acid base.

  2. Steam wands soaked in pitcher of milk cleaner with a citric acid or phosphoric acid base

  3. Group screens and seals gently brushed with an angle bristle to dislodge any coffee grounds.

  4. All groups back flushed with cleaner.

  5. Port-a-filter bodies are disassembled and diffusers, screens, baskets and port-a-filter bodies are soaked in a cleaning solution.

  6. Drain tray is removed, rinsed and cleaned with a mild soap solution (if applicable)

  7. A pitcher full of hot water poured down drain

 

Consistent Quality Espresso will help you stand out among the rest

 

espresso machine tips 2015

 

Clean your grinder daily or at least once a week.

Surprisingly, not many espresso bars choose to add this simple task to their closing maintenance and cleaning routine but there are good reasons why you should. Plain and simple, the oil and residue left behind by your coffee beans looks disgusting, and it doesn’t taste all that great, either. Daily cleaning of your hopper will keep the gunk from building up and provide you with a showcase for your coffee beans that looks clean, and sanitary. Your coffee will be fresher and better tasting because your beans will no longer assemble in a rancid environment before brewing.

Cleaning your grinder will also prevent unnecessary service calls. Coffee oils tend to build up most at your grinder’s throat; the area where your beans enter the grind chamber. Excessive buildup in this space will cause your beans to form a bridge. The bridge will act as a barrier, which will prevent your coffee beans from dropping down and entering the grind chamber. Eventually, you will hear your grinder grinding but nothing will dispense.

To start, remember to never to use household cleaners or anything abrasive on your hopper to prevent etching or deterioration. If you do not already have a mini shop vac, you will want to purchase one. For sanitary reasons, dedicate it to maintaining your grinder only and do not use it for any other purposes.

 

  1. Start by removing your coffee beans from the hopper.

  2. Wipe the hopper with a damp cloth to remove oil and residue. I suggest soft cotton or microfiber towels.

  3. Vacuum out the throat area and wipe with a dry towel only.

  4. Make sure your hopper is thoroughly dry before replacing your beans.

 

NOTE: If your hopper is too far gone to be cleaned with just a towel, create a solution of back flush cleaner and try soaking your hopper in a bucket or sink. Don’t let the hopper soak overnight; because it will need time to thoroughly dry prior to the start of your next business day.

 

This tip is not just about cleaning your espresso machine

 

commercial espresso machine repiar

 

Nightly cleaning of your espresso machine to dissolve coffee oils from your brew valves, groups and screens will not only keep your coffee tasting great but it will also save you an ample amount of money in equipment repairs and parts replacement. For your closing routine, an equipment cleaning program can be an indispensable espresso machine feature that will simplify the task, as well as shorten the time it takes.

Unfortunately, over time, many equipment operators tend to forget about this smart program. This can also be true about many of the features that might come with an espresso machine. To prevent this, periodically take the time to review your equipment features, especially during times of employee turnover. Consider, asking your service technician to prepare a review of all your machine’s attributes as well as its maintenance protocols.

Take a tour of your espresso machine, as you did when you first installed it, to ensure you are using and caring for your equipment efficiently and properly.  You may be surprised to learn things about your espresso machine that you had forgotten or maybe never even knew.

 

Don’t bother purchasing a scale inhibitor for your espresso machine.

 

mineal buildup inside espresso machine

 

Minerals love to adhere to themselves and onto other things. Filters with scale inhibitors do not remove minerals; rather, they prevent minerals from sticking to tank walls and tubing. When water passes through a scale inhibitor, the minerals in the water are treated so that they more easily slip through and out of equipment such as coffee brewers and ice machines.

When it comes to a steam boiler, a lot of what goes into the boiler stays in the boiler. The reason scale inhibitors do not work specifically with espresso machines is because the water that enters your steam boiler is there for a purpose. That purpose is to become steam; and steam is water in its purest form. To pass through a steam wand, you have to be, well, steam. The steam wand is a VIP exit only. As water heats to boiling, minerals will separate from the water and, with really nowhere to go, remain behind in your boiler.

There is one other exit and that is through the hot water tap. Unfortunately, typical daily use of the hot water faucet is minimal in comparison to the amount of water that actually enters most boilers. Even if you use a lot of hot water, the high temperatures in your boiler create an environment that promotes larger levels of mineral extraction. Your scale needs to be able to stick with the water to pass through your faucet.

The best way to prevent your boiler from building up with scale is to prevent minerals from ever entering it. Purchasing a softener, such as a manual regenerating softener , is your number one defense in preventing build up and improving the longevity of your espresso machine.

 

When your steam wand comes up short.

 

espresso machine steam wand

 

I mean literally too short. There is a lot to think about when shopping for a new espresso machine; however, the one thing consumers rarely consider is the ergonomics of an espresso machine’s steam wand. Sure, everyone has their preferences. Knob or lever actuation, manual or automatic, but seldom is the steam wands length and maneuverability discussed.

Can you imagine how frustrating it is to baristas when they can’t quite get the steam wand to reach far enough into the milk pitcher? Why would anyone make a short steam wand? Whatever the reason, it is not as significant as how maddening a short or awkward steam wand can be to your barista.

So here is your tip; if you are using, or planning on using, larger than average milk pitchers for steaming milk, it would be helpful to place an emphasis on steam wand length and range of motion when selecting an espresso machine. Additionally, consider your largest steam pitcher with the steam wand inside. Is the pitcher able to maneuver within and around the machine’s deck without restriction?

Lastly, if you have found the right espresso machine, but the steam wands come up short, meaning the machine’s design just isn’t practical for your business’ daily needs, all may not be lost. If you are lucky, the manufacturer may already be prepared for your dilemma and offer, for purchase, longer steam tips or wand extensions that are designed to help in making things more manageable.

 

Please use your espresso machine groups evenly

 

pulling the perfect espresso machine shot

 

If you own a commercial espresso machine with multiple groups, use your groups evenly.

It is common for baristas to favor one side of an espresso machine over another. To be fair, this can be caused for multiple reasons such as the design of the espresso bar or the placement of the grinder. For whatever reason, using one group over another will cause you, the business owner, problems down the road.

As your groups wear unevenly, your grind adjustments or dosing amounts will begin to differ from group to group. The consistency of your customer’s favorite drink is now a thing of the past.

To bring consistency back, you can either abandon using one of the groups, or spend the additional money to replace all your machine’s groups so that they match, once again.

Depending on the manufacturer of your machine, the cost can run you as high as $400 per group. Ouch!  

Lastly, if you have already been faithfully using all your groups evenly, you can extend the life of your groups, even more, by replacing your group gaskets on a regular basis. Typically, every three months. As your gaskets age, your baristas will need to apply more pressure to seal the port-a-filter causing needless friction and wear to the groups.

 

What do you mean my basket is too small?

 

espresso grinder

 

Here is a quick tip to remember when shopping for your new espresso machine. Ask what size brew baskets are available for the espresso machine’s port-a-filter. If you are particular about the weight of your coffee, you will want to make sure that the baskets are the appropriate size, whether that be large or even small enough. Surprisingly, manufacturers are not uniform regarding this feature. If you are considering a super-automatic machine, find out how much coffee the brew chamber will accommodate. For many, this question can be a deciding factor when passing on the purchase of a particular espresso machine.

You Did What?

 

semi automatic espresso machine

 

Here is a common after-hours/early morning service request you can easily avoid. During nightly cleaning of espresso tips, screen screws and diffusers, use a strainer in your sink to catch these small but important espresso machine parts. Losing these parts might not be too bad if you have extra in the drawer, but if you do not, your espresso group and steam wand are officially out of business. If that’s not bad enough, some of these parts can be pricey too. Add the loss of business to the expense of emergency service and you can easily see that losing these little guys can be a costly mistake.

 

Back Flow Device

 

Here is a smart effective tip for those who are required to maintain a Back Flow Device by their state or local agency. Remember to place your device before your filtration and softening systems. If for some reason your back flow preventer begins to leak it will not be able to deplete your, typically very expensive, water treatment system at the same time.

To help keep your espresso machine’s drain clear, add this smart tip to your daily cleaning routine. Pour a pitcher of hot water down your espresso machine’s drain. This will clean out any residue grounds and oils and prevent clogging.

 

More Smart Drain Tips

 

For new construction, it is common for many to not put enough thought into the placement of your machine’s drain.  Save yourself future problems and remember to place your drain as close to your espresso machine as possible.

If you already have a drain and it is at such a distance that additional tubing or a creative solution is required, if possible, ask your plumber to install a hard line using ABS 1.5” or equivalent. This will prevent sagging lines and slow drainage. A common problem for those with misplaced drains.

Lastly, your drain line will periodically need replacing.  Forget about using hose from your local hardware store. As the hose heats, it will collapse and kink. Always use reinforced tubing with wire, which you should be able to purchase from your local service provider.

If you have considered connecting your espresso machine to a hot water source, in hope of better heat recovery, you are not alone. Many have considered this seemingly convenient option but espresso machines, surprising, can not function using a hot water source. Espresso machines, especially those with heat exchanger systems, operate on thermal dynamics for heat stability and are scientifically designed to operate with cold water. Furthermore, many of your machine’s parts, including its internal pump used for boosting pressure, are also fashioned to work with cold water. If hot water is used, your pump and some parts will soon fail.

You have probably heard this too many times to count but, when selecting an espresso machine, it is imperative that you do not purchase a machine that is too small. Always consider how many beverages you wish to serve, but more importantly, how quickly you wish to serve them. Typically, brewing shots will not be the blame for your machine’s plummeting pressure; it will be your customer’s demand for heated milk, that will be the cause for bringing your machine to the state of being luck warm and completely worthless. To heat milk you will need steam pressure; to create steam pressure you will need boiling water;  to have enough boiling water, you must either have quick heat recovery or the perfect amount of heat and pressure in the first place.

 

When it comes to buying espresso equipment, don’t make this easy but costly mistake.

 

commercial espresso grinder for sale

 

Before purchasing an espresso machine or grinder, for your food service business, make sure to check with your appropriate local and state agencies to ensure the equipment meets their standards. Obviously, determining needed certifications such as UL, ETL, NSF or CSA is important, but there may also be additional requirements that your espresso machine must meet to be permitted for commercial use in your area.

Also, if you are considering the purchase of used equipment, make sure the serial number and all testing and certification stickers have been preserved on the machine. If these items are missing, your local or state agency may ask you to remove the equipment and you will be stuck with equipment you cannot use.

 

Don’t overlook this important detail when considering a used espresso machine.

 

professional coffee machine

 

When shopping for used or refurbished equipment, remember to check how far the portable filter assembly or assemblies move to the right before securely locking into place  under the brewing group. Ideally, the handle should be close to center. This important piece is often disregarded ;  however, your portable filter assembly must fit correctly or you will undoubtedly have trouble maintaining shot consistency. Cost to replace this necessary tool is between $80-150 for each assembly.  Consider asking the seller to replace the assemblies that do not fit correctly or at least come down on their price. You should have one double assembly for each group and you may also want at least one single. Check out our article on what you should know about refurbished equipment.

When shopping for used or refurbished equipment, remember to check how far the portable filter assembly or assemblies move to the right before securely locking into place. Ideally, the handle should be close to center.

This concludes the tips we have gathered from our hard working espresso machine service technicians. If you have questions about these topics or need assistance selecting an espresso machine or  a good espresso grinder that is designed for your business environment, we would enjoy the opportunity to assist you. Ether Give us a call @ 1-(855)-839-5665 or email us @ customercare@inlandcoffeesolutions.com

We wish you all the best for the new year ahead. Come Say Hi on our Social Media Channels, Links Below.

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Tall Espresso Machines Improve Beverage Delivery Speed

Posted by on Aug 30th, 2015 in Learn More | Comments Off

Tall Espresso Machines Improve Beverage Delivery Speed

tall espresso machines

 

Your Tall Commercial Espresso Machine’s Deck Could Equal Quicker Beverage Delivery

If you’re a business owner shopping for a new traditional commercial espresso machine, undoubtedly, the question of deck height has or will eventually come up. For traditional espresso machines, there are two options, tall espresso machines with raised brewing groups or traditional espresso machines that pour into small espresso cups.

When discussing deck height, industry terminology can be a bit confusing, however all terms are referring to the distance between the brew group and the drain tray.

espresso machine with tall brew groups

Another way to look at it would be the space between where the coffee pours out, and the shot glass or cup sitting immediately below, for the purpose of receiving the dispensed coffee. A tall espresso machine would indicate a farther distance between the two points.

You may also hear someone refer to the espresso machine deck as short to declare that the area between the two points are further apart. A traditional deck would refer to a shorter distance between the two points, however distances will always vary between commercial espresso machine brands regardless of being labeled as a tall espresso machine, short or traditional.

No matter how spoken, the ergonomics and design of commercial espresso machines play a significant influence on the job of the barista. If you are wondering why deck height is a feature or selling point for the commercial espresso machine, you simply need to consider the U.S. consumer’s demand for faster service and larger beverage sizes.

To save time, a tall espresso machine offers baristas a way to brew directly into their customer’s cup without having to brew first into a shot glass.

espresso machine tall

Classe 7 Espresso Machine Tall by Rancilio

 

At one time, the deck area on some machines was so small that taller cups such as the cappuccino cup could not be placed under the brewing area. With the best espresso machine manufacturers producing machines with larger areas, cups of varying size can now be placed directly under the brewing group.

 

The down side to this way of brewing is if a cup is used in which the barista can no longer observe the shot pour, the quality of the beverage could sacrificed.

 

Some manufacturers will offer the taller deck on manual/semi-automatic dosing espresso machines but we would not recommend this option. Unlike the volumetric dosing machine, the semi-automatic machine is dependent on the barista to manually stop brewing.

Today, there are a few semi-automatics with features to indicate the volume of water dispensed but for most machines, the barista must use time and visual tools such as a measured shot glass to know when the appropriate amount of water/coffee has been poured before turning off the brewing cycle of the espresso machine.

 

Without some type of ruler, the barista would need to guess at when the brew cycle should be stopped and product consistency would no longer be attainable.

The taller deck feature is better purchased with a volumetric dosing machine.

 

Volumetric dosing machines free baristas to perform other duties because the machine is programmed to consistently end the brewing cycle once the appropriate amount of water has been dispensed.

Let me warn you here, unlike brewing into a shot glass, in which case, the barista can visually see and time the pour at many angles and distances, utilizing any type of opaque cup demands that the barista stay close enough to see the pour from an angle above the cup.

 

professional barista using espresso machine

 

Unfortunately, during busier times, your barista may be tempted to leave the espresso machine and neglect this step. With precision machines that have group temperature control and shot timers, more and more businesses are approving this practice, however the risk of jeopardizing a customer’s beverage exists.

As a business owner, it should be your decision to allow a barista to disregard the visual pour of your customer’s shot and a machine with a taller deck feature could assist in undermining your authority. The decision to use a tall or traditional deck is a personal preference and the tall deck is but only one way you, as a business owner, can improve the speed in which your customer’s beverages are delivered.

 

commercial espresso machine repiar

 

Lastly, if you are considering the purchase of the taller deck, in most cases, this will increase the cost of your espresso machine, so consider first what is really important to your customers before spending the additional money.

I recently read an article in which the writer expressed how speed in the delivery of the drink is key to the espresso business, however, he did not discuss quality. Speed may be important for this particular writer but for me, quality of espresso product is much more imperative.

I am willing to wait and even pay more for my beverages but even still, I am probably not your customer and neither is the above mentioned writer.

My point is that it does not matter what I or anyone else wants. What really matters is what your customers want. I wrote an article, “Cost, Quality, and Speed, Choose Two”. It is a short but an important article that offers insight into what you as a business owner must consider before developing a successful espresso bar.

I hope this article was helpful in your quest for a new espresso machine. If you need assistance with espresso machine features or would like to discuss other options in improving the speed of your espresso beverages, we would enjoy hearing from you and you can easily reach us here at Inland Espresso Solutions 1-855-839-5665.

How often Should I Clean my Espresso Grinder

Posted by on Jul 26th, 2015 in Learn More | Comments Off

How often Should I Clean my Espresso Grinder

how often to clean commercial espresso grinder

 

How Often Should you Clean your Commercial Espresso Grinder

 

Clean your commercial espresso grinder daily or at least once a week. Surprisingly, not many espresso bars choose to add this simple task to their closing maintenance and cleaning routine. Here are a few reasons why cleaning your espresso or coffee grinder is beneficial to your long term business success.

 

Daily Cleaning of your Espresso Grinder will improve espresso quality

espresso grinder cleaning how often

 

 

Plain and simple, the oil and residue left behind by your coffee beans looks disgusting, and it doesn’t taste all that great, either. Daily cleaning of your hopper will keep the gunk from building up and provide you with a showcase for your coffee beans that looks clean, and sanitary. Keep in mind that your grinder determines espresso machine ability to produce quality espresso shots.

 

Your coffee will be fresher and better tasting because your beans will no longer assemble in a rancid environment before brewing.

 

Cleaning your grinder will also prevent unnecessary service calls

 

how often to clean grinder

 

Coffee oils tend to build up most at your grinder’s throat; the area where your beans enter the grind chamber. Excessive buildup in this space will cause your beans to form a bridge. The bridge will act as a barrier, which will prevent your coffee beans from dropping down and entering the grind chamber. Eventually, you will hear your grinder grinding but nothing will dispense.

 

How to clean your Espresso Grinder

 

To start, remember to never to use household cleaners or anything abrasive on your commercial espresso grinder mythoshopper to prevent etching or deterioration. If you do not already have a mini shop vac, you will want to purchase one.

For sanitary reasons, dedicate it to maintaining your grinder only and do not use it for any other purposes.

 

  1. Start by removing your coffee beans from the hopper.
  2. Wipe the hopper with a damp cloth to remove oil and residue.(we suggest soft cotton or microfiber towels)
  3. Vacuum out the throat area and wipe with a dry towel only.
  4. Make sure your hopper is thoroughly dry before replacing your beans.

 

  • If your hopper is too far gone to be cleaned with just a towel, create a solution of back flush cleaner and try soaking your hopper in a bucket or sink.
  • Don’t let the hopper soak overnight; because it will need time to thoroughly dry prior to the start of your next business day.

 

If you are looking for more infomration on espresso machine grinders then take a look at our coffee grinder guide.
I hope you found this tip helpful and informative. If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you. 1-(855)-839-5665 or write us using the contact form.

Espresso Machine Repairs – Taking Control of What You Are Paying for

Posted by on Jul 12th, 2015 in Learn More | Comments Off

Espresso Machine Repairs – Taking Control of What You Are Paying for

commercial espresso machine repiar

 

Don’t let anyone come in between you and your espresso machine service technician

 

When it comes to product quality, it is better to personally handle the repair of your espresso machine and avoid delegating this responsibility to another. It is true that the repair of espresso equipment is often a simple matter of parts replacement; however, detecting the cause of your deteriorating espresso quality might not always be that easy. Your barista, coffee, environment, grinder, and machine all work in collaboration, which really makes espresso brewing equipment diagnostics more complicated than often recognized. I am not saying that every repair issue is going to need a technical Sherlock Holmes but complications and miscommunication can easily occur if your espresso machine service technician does not have you as an active partner and participant.

espresso machine repair

Rancilio Classe 9 Commercial Espresso Machine

If your repair service technician discovers that your problem is a training or maintenance issue, the information he or she provides will be the key in resolving your product quality difficulties. This information will cost money and it will not be tangible.

 

The best and most effective time for a service technician to explain this information and the details of their findings is while standing before your machine.

 

During its repair, your equipment’s internal system, will more than likely, be exposed and it will be much easier for a technician to point out and demonstrate their discoveries. Your technician will also have an effective means of answering your more detailed questions. At this point, if the espresso machine owner is not the one working with the service technician and overseeing your equipment’s repair, the chances of a misunderstanding significantly increases.

If, for some reason, there is a communication breakdown between the technician and your employee, the information you receive regarding your machine will be incorrect. If your employee disagrees with a service technician’s findings, they will, more than likely, not be able to accurately explain why the technician ultimately came to their conclusions. Leaving you with someone else’s opinion other than the one you just paid for.

 

coffee machine repiarEspresso Machine Owners direct involvement saves time, money and produces quality espresso

 

Lastly, without your involvement, if the information provided by your technician is not correctly distributed to all relevant employees, your problem will periodically pop back up, which could easily lead you to the assumption that your espresso machine technician did not adequately resolve your concerns. Any one of the above scenarios could prompt you to request a return visit by your technician but the results might only be that you will end up paying for the same information twice.

Receiving information about your equipment second hand is just what it is, second hand.

 

Establishing a professional relationship with your espresso equipment service technician while they are at your establishment and actively working on your behalf is really about taking control of what you are paying for and why you are paying for it.

 

Of course, you could speak with your technician at a later time, but your technician’s memory will not be as fresh. With your equipment no longer next to them, their ability to demonstrate their findings will be nonexistent and they will have to lean on their memory to explain the details of your circumstances. You may also find it difficult to reach some field technician because of driving demands and strict repair schedules. You may even find your technician a little dismayed if they have to speak with you during their break or lunch period.

There will always be circumstances when it will be necessary and unavoidable for you to contact your service technician but the most beneficial and informative time will be during your equipment’s service appointment.

Protecting your business’ reputations starts with guarding your espresso product quality. Being an active and present partner with your espresso service technician is not only smart, but it also has the potential to save you a lot of time and money. It will also place control over the fate of your product quality and your business’ reputation where it belongs, in your hands.

 

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For questions related to this article or espresso machine repairs, contact us at 1 (855) 839-5665. We have worked in the coffee industry for over thirty years and will be able to discuss options best suited to your unique business and personal needs.

Road blocks for your new electronic espresso grinder

Posted by on May 6th, 2015 in Learn More | Comments Off

Road blocks for your new electronic espresso grinder

espresso grinder

 

Your new electronic grinder will only get you so far

 

More and more coffee lovers are realizing that quality espresso grinders are key to making great coffee. Purchasing a new precision electronic or on-demand espresso grinder will give you a consistent grind, and in most machines, incredible dosing accuracy, but be aware that pairing your new grinder with some espresso machines will not solve all your problems.

 

Older Commercial Espresso Machines

 

Mineral Build up on heat exchangers causes temperature fluctuation or low temperature brewing. Your commercial espresso machine has to have brewing temperature stability to serve a great tasting cup of coffee or your customers will run to your competitor looking for consistency.

 

Worn Group Heads

 

If you use your espresso machine group heads differently and they are worn dissimilar, your port-a-filters will not seat the same. This is evident when you find that you are shimming or using a thicker gasket on one group and not the other. Basically, your coffee is sitting in relationship to the shower screen at varying degrees of distance. This can cause different problems depending on the manufacturer of your machine. You may find some solace by varying your tamping pressure or adjusting your dosing amount to accommodate your worn side. Sadly, you will find yourself adjusting everything to help your machine but not for improving your coffee’s taste.

 

Commercial Espresso Machine Design

 

Less expensive machines are designed to save you money. Manufacturers do their best to narrow temperature swings while reducing cost for consumers, but in the espresso world, you really get what you pay for. Your new on-demand grinder will not be able to cure or work beyond the quality of your commercial espresso machines, especially, when operating in an environment in which it was not designed to be placed in.

Do not let me talk you out of buying a new electronic grinder.

 

Even if you have all of the above problems you will never regret buying a superior grinder. In the end, an electronic grinder will save your barista’s time, and you money. Your coffee will be much more consistent and that will make your customers very happy.

If you would like to read more about espresso grinders see are  in depth guide espresso grinder guide.

We know that your time and business are important to you so we hope you found this article insightful. If you need personal assistance or have any questions when it come to espresso grinders, feel free to contact us at Inland Espresso Solutions, we are always up for a chat– 855-839-5665

How to Buy an Espresso Machine

Posted by on Apr 14th, 2015 in Learn More | Comments Off

How to Buy an Espresso Machine

commercial espresso machines sales and service

 

Getting the most out of your espresso machine sales and service company

 

When considering the purchase of new espresso equipment, finding relevant information can be difficult. Roasters, on-line forums and personal recommendations can be helpful but also limited, especially if you want to compare and contrast equipment features. Finding a knowledgeable and qualified sales and service company is important because they can offer you a larger selection, pricing options, and additional information other sources may not have access to.

Below are a few helpful suggestions on how to work with a sales and service company.

 

1. Try to refrain from stating up front the espresso machine or grinder you are considering.

 

A sales person wants to make a sale. They will either agree with you to make the sale or agree with you to avoid offending you. Allow the sales person to suggest equipment that they feel is right for your business and operating environment. This will open up a dialogue that should prove to be educational.

 

2. Beverage volume, barista skills and equipment’s future operating environment.

 

Do not be afraid to divulge your business plan. No one can suggest the best espresso machine if they do not know what features may be needed or valued. Operating volume, barista skills and specific environmental challenges will all play a part in the equipment your sales person suggests. If your sales person is asking specific questions related to your unique business this is a good sign that they are working in your best interest.

 

3. State your espresso equipment budget.

 

You may not want to reveal this information but it is helpful. Espresso equipment manufacturers actually design equipment with budgets in mind. Your sales person will quickly narrow your selection and may get creative with their ideas, such as suggesting different manufacturers for machine and grinder. They may even have a deal in the back room just for you. Some operating environments require specific equipment, if your budget is to low your sales person will offer a rational explanation on why you should consider increasing the amount of money you are willing to spend and the consequences if you do not.

 

4. Ask about espresso machine limitations.

 

All espresso machines have them, even the most expensive precision equipment will have certain draw backs such as design flaws, high maintenance costs or even difficulties in operation. Be aware that your sales person may not intimately know everything about a specific model but they should have resources to obtain additional information.

In other words, if your sales person is telling you that the machine you are considering is a work horse and you will not regret purchasing it, this typically means they have limited knowledge and information. You will most likely get buyer’s remorse down the line. Keep shopping.

As you may already know, Inland Espresso Solutions is a premiere sales and service company. We place personal attention to our customer’s unique business needs. These tips come from our field service team who work closely with espresso equipment in varying operational environments and enjoy developing personal equipment solutions. We hope you will consider contacting us when you begin searching for your new espresso machine.

For any questions or comments please contact us or give us a call at 1-(855)-839-5665

Best Espresso Machine Part 3-Your Barista

Posted by on Mar 1st, 2015 in Commercial Espresso Machines | Comments Off

Best Espresso Machine Part 3-Your Barista

Barista_Inland_COFFEE

 

The Barista’s Impact On Your Business [ The Best Espresso Machine Part 3 ]

The barista’s impact on your business can be immense because of their personal influence over product quality, presentation, and customer satisfaction. Considering your barista’s professional experience, methods, and the expectations you place upon them, in addition to coffee preparation, will be key in determining the best espresso machine for you and your business.

The barista’s primary objective is not only to deliver quality beverages but to also deliver those beverages tasting consistently the same. Baristas who work with traditional style espresso equipment are closely involved in the steps that prepare coffee beans for brewing as well as the timing and observation of the poor. Additionally, some baristas are also engaged in profiling. Profiling requires a high level of understanding about coffee, something similar to a wine steward or sommelier. Baristas, who are responsible for profiling determine the best dosing weight, water volume, and brewing time to highlight and feature the unique qualities of the specific coffee within the roast. This article will only focus on the barista who has been provided an established profile and is responsible specifically for the constitution of the beverages presented to the consumer.

barista espresso machinesFor many of us, a part of espresso style coffee is thought of as creative or artful which means we have an expectation or assumption of human influence. Traditionally, espresso equipment has been made, whether purposefully or not, to allow a barista points of influence or the ability to bring a definitive skill to the espresso experience. The problem with the human influence is that it can, and often will, create variation. Although you may believe variety is a good thing, and it is in some circumstances, inconsistency is considered something to avoid in the food and beverage industry.

Consistency for the espresso business has been so difficult to secure that many well-known retailers have abandoned the traditional espresso machine and have turned to the super-automatic espresso machines. Minimally, super-automatic espresso machines eliminate the influence of the barista during dosing and tamping, the preparation steps in which most errors or inconsistencies occur and are proving that not only can they deliver high quality beverages, they can do it dependably. Super-automatic espresso machines are also safer for baristas because they provide protection against repetitive motion injuries The change toward the newest generation of super-automatic espresso machines has been met with mixed reviews, maybe only because the loss of the barista’s influence just feels wrong nevertheless; retailers who use super-automatics understand consistency is imperative to a successful espresso bar business.

I am not saying that if you want consistent beverages you need a super-automatic espresso machine. What I am saying is, if you want to work with traditional espresso equipment and remain dedicated to offering espresso style brewed coffee, your biggest challenge will be delivering quality consistent products. In many ways, even though this may seem odd, you need your barista team and equipment to act very much like the super-automatic espresso machine, functioning and working the same way, all the time.

 

professional barista using espresso machine

 

There are some simple reasons an espresso bar will lack consistency in its beverages and those reasons center around the barista and the equipment. Establishing preparation and adjustment procedures is the easiest and most important step anyone can take towards eliminating or reducing inconsistencies. If baristas measure, dispense, or tamp differently the change in the end product can be dramatic. This is easily recognized when customers request specific baristas. Unfortunately, customers quickly realize it will also be a gamble if they stop off at your business and may decide to move on.

Just like variance in product preparation, baristas need to clearly know what actions to take in regards to addressing equipment issues. Maintaining product quality will become difficult or impossible under some conditions, such as when equipment is too small for the operating environment, worn, or in poor working conditions. Other reasons your equipment may affect your products is when brewing temperatures or pump pressure become unstable. Whatever it is, your barista will be required to take action to overcome these circumstances. How your barista reacts should be strictly defined by you.

 

Hiring a Barista

hiring a barista

When hiring experienced baristas remember they have a way of doing things, a method. Be aware that hiring an experienced barista means you will also be hiring that method, any incomplete training, or developed habits they may have obtained on the way to your employment. Experienced baristas view the way they prepare coffee and react to equipment issues as the correct way. Asking someone to change their method can be challenging especially, if their way of doing things has worked for them in the past. Train all your baristas the method that you select, which should also include procedures that address equipment behavior and product quality.

 

Aspects of quality espresso beverages

Lastly, there are three aspects to an espresso beverage:

The cost, its quality and the speed in which it is delivered. If your customers expect their beverages to be delivered quickly and at a reasonable price, you may want to consider working within the broadest range of your coffee’s profile. The importance of speed and reasonable cost may be important enough to your customers that waiting for your barista to refine their shot will not be worth it to them. Consider purchasing equipment that has strong brewing stability and features that help compensate for product preparation errors. On the other hand, if your business caters to a more relaxed clientele and the price for your beverages is higher than the average drive-thru, your parameters should be more strict and narrow. Purchasing equipment that aid your barista to meet those stricter parameters should be a priority.

As you shop for new espresso equipment, fully consider the responsibilities and expectations you place upon your baristas, as well as any physical limitations they may have. For many, the duties of a barista are secondary to their primary position and responsibilities, simplifying the process should be a priority in your equipment considerations. Today’s espresso equipment can offer multiple options or features that assist baristas in controlling, monitoring and refining parameters as well as help them in compensating for preparation errors. If you have heard that a specific espresso machine is best, it is probably because it is viewed in a certain type of operating environment where unique conditions are not considered or acknowledged. All espresso machines have limitations, even the most expensive. Purchasing a machine that lacks operational characteristics for your specific dynamics only means you could have had something that would have worked better for you. Find a company dedicated to espresso equipment, such as Inland Espresso Solutions, where you can receive solid advice on equipment designs and attributes that will meet your budget, as well as your unique challenges.

We hope you will continue following us and look for the conclusion of our series “The Best Espresso Machine

 

If you have questions or comments regarding this article, we would really enjoy hearing from you. You can reach us at solutions@inlandcoffee.com or 1-855-839-5665.

Quality Espresso – Speed, Quality, Cost [Choose 2]

Posted by on Feb 21st, 2015 in Commercial Espresso Machines | Comments Off

Quality Espresso – Speed, Quality, Cost  [Choose 2]

barista espresso machine

 

Espresso Quality

 

There are three aspects to your favorite espresso drink. Its cost, its quality and the speed in which it is delivered. Whether you like it or not, you can only select two of these aspects.

 

Espresso style coffee in not a fast food product. Of course, we are not saying espresso beverages cannot be served quickly. What we mean is that, some may have the belief, because espresso is brewed rapidly, 20-30 seconds, the preparation and delivery of an espresso drink should also be accomplished quickly. Unfortunately, to deliver a quality espresso beverage, a level of skilled preparation and individual attention is required, in which takes time on the baristas part.  

Think about the last really bad cup of coffee you experienced. My guess is that you either paid a cheaper price for it or it was delivered quickly, with little personal attention placed on its preparation.

 

pulling the perfect espresso machine shot

 

For a morning drive-thru or coffee bar to deliver quality espresso beverages at a speed demanded by the average commuter, they will need to operate and maintain appropriate equipment, as well as, staff baristas that are capable of meeting that demand. They will accomplish this through a higher cost in their beverages.

 

In today’s economy, many baristas are asked to perform additional tasks such as cross selling items, cashiering and customer service. In the end, the personal attention to the quality of your espresso beverage will be dependent on the skill of your barista. Which brings us to our series “The Best Espresso Machine”. Next week, we will continue by exploring the barista’s relationship to the espresso machine and equipment.    

Espresso quality

So here is our “Tip of the Week”.

 

Decide what is important to you. We hope it is the quality of your beverage. Then select speed or price. If it is speed, be willing to pay a higher price for your drink in order to receive a quality, consistent beverage. If it is price, we hope you understand how much your barista appreciates your patience while they take the time to place personal attention to the quality of your beverage.

Either way, your satisfaction with your drink will come easier from the understanding that espresso style coffee was not originally created to be a fast food product for today’s accelerated consumer lifestyle.

 

Need help finding the best espresso machine? Contact us now for personal assistance at 1-888- 839-5665

 

Breaking down the cost of espresso machines

Posted by on Feb 1st, 2015 in Commercial Espresso Machines | Comments Off

Breaking down the cost of espresso machines

quality espresso machine

When considering the purchase of a traditional espresso machine, the following  four basic features will define the category in which the espresso machine is placed. These features will also significantly increase the price of the espresso machine. We’ve listed the features by  cost, beginning with the basics. The first two features listed, place a machine in our Traditional espresso machines category and the last two features, place a machine in our Traditional Precision espresso machine category. We hope this information will be helpful in determining the traditional espresso machine right  for you or your business. As always, we are  here to clarify and answer any questions you may have, so please feel free to contact us.

1.  Quality

stainless steel espresso machineMetal, stainless Steel, and a lot of brass will significantly drive the cost of a basic commercial espresso machine upwards. A quality traditional espresso machine is designed for brewing temperature stability. Many manufacturers can reduce the cost of their machines by the materials they use for frame, body, and internal construction. Although external features such as industrial plastics used for siding will not affect the quality of your coffee, weaker framing, which is responsible for holding group heads and components firmly in place, may. Other materials, such as the quantity of brass in group heads can mean abrupt temperature swings.  You may be able to reduce the cost of a quality espresso machine by selecting a manual or semi-automatic operating style.  A basic two group volumetric dosing machine will range, depending on quality of materials, from approximately $6000 to 14,000. Tag: Traditional (Essential)  View Machines  

  2.  Digital Display

Classe 9 with Digital Display

Classe 9 with Digital Display

Adding a digital display to your traditional espresso machine will help simplify the brewing process. Traditional espresso machine’s featuring a digital display offer a superior level of temperature stability and are manufactured using high quality materials. The digital display offers tools such as shot timers, pre-infusion delay, hot water temperature adjustment, on/off programming, filter or regeneration replacement prompts, cleaning programs and equipment diagnostics. These non precision machines are typically available in volumetric dosing only and a two group machine will range from approximately $10,000-$14,000  Tag: Traditional (Essential)  Tag: Digital Display    
View Machines

3. Brew Temperature Adjustment
(Dual-Boiler System)

Linea PB with Dual-Boiler

Linea PB with Dual-Boiler

These Precision (Traditional) espresso machines are designed with a temperature controller for the brew boiler. This feature is for those wanting more control over their brewing temperature and who wish to avoid temperature variance that can be experienced in the traditional (Essential) espresso machine. This type of espresso machine operates with a dual-boiler system, utilizes a PID, comes with a digital display and is constructed using high quality materials.  Machines are available in several different operating styles and you may be able to reduce some cost depending on which operating style you select.  A two group machine in this category ranges from approximately $13,000 to 18,000. Category:  Precision (Traditional)  Tag: Brew Temperature Adjustment Dual-Boiler System.     View Machines

4.  Precision Individual group temperature adjustment
(Multi-Boiler System)

Black Eagle with Multi-Boiler

Black Eagle with Multi-Boiler

These Precision (Traditional) espresso machines are designed with multiple-boilers advanced temperature control technology for individual brewing groups. This feature is for who want definitive control over brewing temperature, wish to profile coffee, or serve more than one coffee roast. These espresso machines usually have a higher-end or distinctive design, a digital display with an abundance of barista controls, and are manufactured with high quality materials. You will not have a large choice of operating styles if you are considering this type of espresso machine. A two group machine with precision individual group temperature adjustment ranges in price from approximately $13,000 to $22000. Category: Precision (Traditional)  Tag: Brew Temperature Adjustment for Individual Groups Multi-Boiler System.     View Machines 

 

If you have questions or comments regarding this article, we would really enjoy hearing from you. You can reach us at solutions@inlandcoffee.com or 1-855-839-5665.

Best Espresso Machine Part 2-Your Grinder

Posted by on Jan 29th, 2015 in Commercial Espresso Machines | Comments Off

Best Espresso Machine Part 2-Your Grinder

coffee grinder

 

As a premiere sales and service company for commercial espresso equipment, one of the easiest ways to determine the category of espresso machine someone should consider is by discussing the grinder they will be using with their machine.  Often under-valued, the type of espresso grinder will determine the challenges a barista will face when attempting to deliver a quality consistent product. For many, the grinder seems to be a very simplistic machine and therefore, not as imperative. Ultimately, the espresso grinder can, and often will, undermine even the best espresso machine. A lot of the basics about espresso grinders are covered in our article “Commercial Espresso Grinder Guide.

 

For many, the grinder is a simplistic machine and therefore, not imperative

 

Consider the La Marzocco GS3 espresso machine. You can take a look at it here. By far, this espresso machine offers home baristas superior tools and is considered one of the best home model espresso machines offered in the U.S. The most significant feature of the GS3 is its ability to define brewing temperature. For years, baristas have battled consistency in their beverages because of temperature variations. The GS3, and other precision espresso machines ,  solves this problem by integrating a tool, often referred to as the PID however, there are also other technologies, which allows baristas to set their exact brewing temperature.

Temperature variation is, now, all but a thing of the past. The problem that inhibits most from the GS3 and almost any other precision espresso machine with this feature is cost. The GS3 comes in at a price close to $7000 and pricing only goes up from there.  If the expense for precision temperature brewing is impractical for your operating volume or business model, you are not alone, but here is the good news, consistent brewing temperature is a very important aspect to espresso style brewing, just not the only aspect.

Dosing weight, water volume and brewing time are also equally important and two of those aspects are addressed first, during grinding.  Your espresso grinder is the piece of equipment that is not only responsible for dosing weight, it also impacts brewing time by the even cutting of the individual beans. Dosing weight and brewing time, two of the four aspects of your roaster’s profile.

A common misconception is that the cost of an espresso grinder should proportionally decrease with the price of an espresso machine. There are two types of grinder dosing styles, traditional or manual, which utilizes a dosing chamber and on-demand, in which beans are ground only when needed for brewing.For the traditional dosing chamber to dose effectively, the dosing chamber needs to be full. Unfortunately, unless you are producing a lot of beverages, this will typically mean, your grounds will be left to age and deteriorate in the dosing chamber.

A common misstep in thought is. the cost of an espresso grinder
should proportionally decrease with the price of an espresso machine

If you have yet to close out the GS3 page, go back and view the grinders La Marzocco is suggesting with their GS3. Did you notice what was missing? Grinders with dosing chambers. La Marzocco and many other manufacturers understand that if consumers are placing a higher value on their coffee by selecting machines such as the GS3, accurate measured dosing and product freshness, found with the espresso grinder, will be obligatory.

If you cannot afford a precision espresso machine such as the GS3,
does it reason that accurate measured dosing and product freshness are no longer important to you?

The next prevalent misunderstanding is considering the purchase of a smaller grinder to save money to afford the best espresso machine. Trying to save money by purchasing a grinder too small for your application only means your grinder will quickly over heat. Heat is very bad for a food product, especially fresh coffee beans that have been roasted to perfection. If your grinder is too small or not made for commercial use, the best espresso machine and barista will only compensate for so much.  Ultimately, your beverages will be inconsistent and taste bad, too.

 

espresso grinder

 

There is a lot to consider when selecting a commercial espresso grinder, such as dosing style, thermal elements and size.

The point to all this is, that you will never be as satisfied with any espresso machine unless
you place careful consideration with your espresso grinder.

Before you select the best espresso machine, first, select the best espresso grinder. As you begin shopping for espresso equipment, declare a budget, know your traffic or potential traffic patterns and speak with a knowledgeable sales and service person. Acknowledging your espresso grinder’s significant role in espresso style brewing, is your first step in greater satisfaction in the espresso machine you ultimately select?

If you missed the first part of our series “The Best Espresso Machine” you can take a look here: The Best Espresso Machine Series – Your Coffee or continue on  to part 3 “The Best Espresso Machine-Your Barista

 

 

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