Everything You Wanted to Know about Coffee

 

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 | אביזרים | קפה בעולם | קישורים | מאמרים וסקירות | שאלות ותשובות | קליית קפה | Isomac Millenium |

 

My Machines

Over the years I have owned several espresso machines. The first one broke down after a year and  a half and I could not get any service for it, despite the fact that it was purchased locally and similar machines are still being sold (there is no guarantee of future service for a machine that is only imported one time).

My next machine was a gold Gaggia Classic with which I did not get good results, due to uneven grinding where I purchased the coffee (sometimes too coarse and sometimes too fine). Furthermore, the machine got rusty despite its gold coating. At the same time I bought a Nespresso C150 capsule machine for my office. This machine served me well. The importer's service is very good. When I have realized that capsules are quite expensive and I wanted a better quality, I decided on another upgrade.

My next machine was an automatic Opal Schaerer that contains a grinder. I still have and use this machine. Another machine I own is an Isomac Millenium, a professional model that replaced the Isomac La Cappuccina by the same company. For grinding I have 2 options: Cunill El Cafe Tranquilo (made in Spain) and the Swiss-made Mio Star  (same as the Solis 177). The used grinds are put into a Knock Box, keeping the area clean, and expediting the process of brewing several cups at a time.

I would like to emphasize that in order to get good results in making espresso and other drinks, there is no need to purchase expensive equipment as I did, although professional equipment helps the process: You can make espresso or froth milk without having to decrease the water temperature (as required with a machine with only one boiler), stable water temperature and better extraction of coffee.

The stating point for coffee lovers should be an espresso machine and a grinder to grind your own coffee. The initial cost of those two items is (espresso machine + grinder) is approximately NIS 1500 – 2000 at May 2002 prices (around $320-$425).

The ultimate test for coffee drinkers is individual taste. There are some coffee lovers who find it sufficient to use a machinetta (moka pot) for coffee and a plunger for froth. If they are satisfied there is no use in spending thousands of shekels instead of tens.

 Opal Schaerer

I acquired this machine in September 2000. It has two separate boilers which enable coffee preparation and frothing at the same time. There is a heating surface for cups and one can use tall glasses in the machine. I am happy with its performance; however, I had to learn to operate it properly. Since the machine has some internal tubing, you have to let some hot water run before making espresso (not so important when making cappuccino), otherwise you will get cold espresso.

The first mechanical problem occurred after 17 months. The service was very good and all was handled professionally. All in all, the machine is easy to operate and maintain. After learning how to use it you can, by pressing a button, get better coffee than that of some coffee shop. 

Here are a few details about the machine:

Recommended usage: up to 100 cups/day

Initial warmup: 2 minutes

Measurements (W/H/D): 310 / 415 / 395 mm

Water tank: 2.4 liters

Electric specs: 10A, 230V - 2200W, 50/60Hz

Length of electric cord: 1.1 meter

Options: can be connected permanently to water supply

 

Electronic control panel

 

Removable water tank with 2.4 liter capacity

 

Coffee grounds are automatically put into an easy-to-clean tank

 

Easy access for internal cleaning of the machine and piston. The machine has 3 automatic cleaning cycles.

 

The machine has a professional grinder that can be adjusted for the desired grind.

 

You can also use already ground coffee (for example, decaffeinated).

 

 

Here are examples of drinks I have prepared using the Opal Schaerer:

three color coffee

espresso

 

Isomac La Cappuccina

This machine served me for 16 months. Mostly I used it to prepare espresso up to 8 times a day. It is a nice machine for home use. The machine has a copper boiler and a stainless steel body. The top part of the machine has a heating area for warming cups. During the time I had the machine, it had only one mechanical problem (heating element). It was speedily and professionally repaired (under the machine's 2-year warranty).

 

Here are a few details about the machine:

Weight: 9 kg

Measurements (W/H/D): 380 / 360 / 260 mm

Pump: 12/14 atm

Water tank: 3 liters

Electric specs: 230V - 1000W 50Hz

 

 

Here are some examples of drinks I prepared using the Isomac La Cappuccina:

 

Isomac Millenium

I have had the Isomac Millenium since April 2002. This machine is categorized as professional and provides steam and hot water continuously  when connected directly to a water source.  The machine can also be bought with the water source being a 3-liter water tank (this is the option installed in my machine). When using the Millenium with the water tank option, there is a safety feature that turns the machine off when the water tank is empty.

 

Here are a few details about the machine:

Weight: 22 kg

Size (H/W/D): 390 / 290 / 445 mm

Pump: 12-14 atm

Permanent water connection or a 3-liter tank

Electric specs: 230V - 1400W 50Hz

 

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