What does carob coffee maker mean?
Many users do not fully understand what a carob coffee maker is. At its core, this is a coffee machine for making coffee in a special way. The design includes a horn or holder with a handle, designed for laying ground grains. Single- and double-horn devices are known, differing in productivity and volumes of the finished drink. A device with one horn dispenses no more than two cups, and models with two horns are used in offices and other places with a large number of people.
These coffee makers are distinguished by the following technical characteristics:
- Pressure. Crafted inside a filter container filled with coffee powder. In different coffee machines, this figure ranges from 2–6 to 8–9 bar. To achieve such indicators, the pump develops a higher pressure — about 15 bar.
- Type of coffee. Usually a ground product is used, which is compacted tightly after backfilling. The high density of the powder retains water and ensures the most complete extraction of nutrients.
- Cappuccinatore. Installed on every device. Its design is made in the form of a tube with a nozzle installed at the end. Hot steam is supplied through this nozzle. Cappuccinators are either manual or automatic.
- Volume. It depends on the amount of the finished product. Most devices have small volumes, since espresso shots are very small — 25–35 ml each.
- Heater. Structurally, it is a container inside which the heating element is located. In simple coffee makers, this is the water tank itself, and in more complex and expensive ones, special thermal blocks are installed.
Different models are equipped with automatic decalcification, anti-drip system, temperature control and hot water portions. A timer and other useful functions can be set.
- The first thing you should pay attention to is the material used to make the horn. It is best to purchase a model with a metal horn, as it is more durable and makes more delicious coffee.
- The higher the pressure, the stronger, thicker and richer the coffee will be.
- In addition, it is important to pay attention to the number of filters. This is an important indicator if coffee is prepared for a large family.
- For a large family, you can consider options with two horns so that you can prepare coffee for two family members at once.
- Many models can work with capsules. If this is important, then you should choose models with this function.
Watch a video about the principle of operation of a carob coffee maker
Types of carob coffee makers and coffee machines
There are two main varieties of carob coffee makers. They are divided according to the principle of operation associated with heating water and its passage through coffee powder. Hence, they got their names — steam and pump-action.
Features of steam coffee machines
This type of coffee maker is distinguished by the simplest design. The water in the sealed chamber is heated to the boiling point. Steam is formed, creating a pressure of about 4 atmospheres. The water that has not turned into steam, under the influence of pressure, rises up the tube and enters a container with ground coffee. Passing through the powder, it absorbs aromatic, flavoring and other useful substances. At the exit, the drink is completely ready to drink.
How did the device come about?
The very first model was invented at the beginning of the 20th century by the Italian engineer L. Bezzer, who patented his device. It was notable for its fast espresso brewing speed, but the coffee in it was bitter due to overheating of the structure.
Soon, several more masters began to conduct experiments, and one of them, D. Gadzhia, managed to place a piston inside, which helped the liquid pass through the ground tablet of grains without overheating them. As a result, a prototype of the future pressurized coffee machine appeared.
The principle of operation of the carob coffee maker
In most coffee makers, the drink is prepared by mixing ground beans and hot water. The horn device works in a completely different way. The coffee powder is placed in a holder and pressed. Further, water vapor or water heated to a high temperature passes through this mass under high pressure. During the passage, it absorbs all the useful substances and at the exit becomes a delicious aromatic drink.
This is a general scheme of operation, which may differ depending on the type of coffee maker — steam or pump. In both cases, coffee comes out without impurities, is prepared quickly and efficiently.
Main selection criteria
You need to know the main characteristics of carob coffee makers in order to make the right choice when buying it.
Horn material and size
When choosing, it is very important to pay attention to the material and size of the horn. It can be made of plastic or metal.
- The metal cone is more expensive, but it is also more preferable due to the fact that the drink is thicker and richer. In addition, the metal horn has an almost unlimited service life.
Steam pressure is one of the most important indicators, as it is responsible for the quality and speed of coffee preparation. The pressure can vary from 3.5 to 15 bar. A coffee maker with pressure up to 5 bar prepares a drink for a long time. In terms of strength, it is significantly weaker than the same coffee, but prepared in a coffee maker with a pressure of 15 bar. The higher this indicator, the faster and better coffee will be prepared.
Advice! For home use, options with a pressure of 8 to 10 bar can be considered. This indicator is considered the norm for making high-quality espresso.
Appliance power and water tank
The power of the device affects the speed of preparation of the drink. For example, coffee makers with a power of 1000 W can brew one cup in 2–3 minutes. More powerful options with power up to 1500 W prepare espresso in just 30–40 seconds.
The volume of the water tank varies from 0.2 to 1.2 liters. Models with a large tank are not recommended for purchase, as the coffee maker is designed for only a few cups of coffee.
Modern models of carob coffee makers include many additional features. Many of them are really useful and convenient, some are just a marketing ploy to attract customers.
- Cappuccinatore is not available in every model. Its presence allows you to make espresso coffee with milk foam. The presence of this function will allow you to prepare cappuccino in its classic form. The cappuccinatore can be mechanical or automatic. The mechanical version works as follows: a tube is lowered into the glass, through which steam passes, making foam.
Automatic cappuccinators fully automate the process. All you need to do is activate the cappuccino mode on the control panel. Many models have a function that allows you to adjust the density of the foam.
- Adjusting the bowl feed will help you find the optimal position of the bowl. This function allows experienced baristas to vary the density of the foam and its height.
- Additional functions also include heating the drink. The functionality of the device can be accompanied by light indicators.
- Any coffee maker comes with a removable drip tray. This is necessary so that after making coffee, do not stain the surface.
- The power-on indication indicates that the device is in working order.
Advice! Before buying, you should familiarize yourself with all the additional features and choose from the list those that will definitely come in handy in your case.
How to choose a carob coffee maker for home
There are a large number of models of this type, therefore, many users experience certain difficulties in choosing. Experts recommend not focusing on the brand and cost of the device. The main attention should be paid to the design and the presence of additional functions.
Outwardly, each coffee maker is very similar to its counterparts. Their designs are also about the same. But for the home, it is better to purchase an inexpensive steam-type device, designed for small portions. A pump coffee maker with a large tank and high performance is recommended for the office.
What types of drinks can be prepared?
There are not so many options for making coffee. In steam varieties of devices, these are espresso and cappuccino. In pump action, lungo, americano and latte are added to the list.
Important. In coffee makers, not only ground coffee is used, but also special compressed tablets called pods. They simplify the cooking process and allow you to somewhat diversify the taste.
How to use a carob coffee maker coffee machine
The principle of operation of these devices underlies their practical application. Regardless of the type of coffee maker, all actions are performed in a certain sequence:
- Purified or bottled water should be prepared in advance. Ordinary tap water spoils the taste of the drink and contributes to the formation of scale.
- Grind the right amount of coffee, since only coffee machines are equipped with a built-in coffee grinder, and even then not all.
- Coffee is poured into the horn and pressed to the most dense state. Powder dust must not enter the thread.
- The filled holder is installed in its place.
- The device turns on and the cooking process starts. It remains only to wait for the finished drink.
- If desired, you can use the cappuccinatore and create milk foam. It is added on top after milk is poured into the finished espresso.
The most popular coffee recipes
In the carob machine, you can prepare various coffee drinks. The main thing is to strictly follow the instructions in the recipe.
To make espresso in a carob coffee maker, you will need the following ingredients:
- 9 g coffee powder;
- 30 ml of water.
The following manipulations are performed:
- Coffee powder is placed in the horn and rammed with tempera.
- The tank is filled with water.
- The cups are heated with steam and placed on a stand.
- The device turns on.
- After 30 seconds, the cups are filled with hot espresso.
Making an Americano is incredibly easy. To do this, brew espresso according to the above recipe, but pour it into larger cups. Then it remains only to pour an additional 60 ml of hot water into the finished drink.
To prepare a latte, you will need the following products:
- 50 ml espresso;
- 200 ml of milk;
- 3 g cinnamon;
- 3 g chopped nuts.
The following actions are performed:
- Beat pre-chilled milk with a cappuccinatore.
- Pour it into a tall glass goblet.
- Gently, along the wall, pour into the same glass of espresso.
- Put milk foam on top.
- Sprinkle the surface with cinnamon and nuts.
To get a gentle cappuccino, you will need the following products:
- 50 ml espresso;
- 100 ml of milk;
- 50 ml whipped cream;
- 20 g chocolate.
Perform the following actions:
- Milk is heated to 80 ° C and poured into a glass.
- Add hot espresso to the mix.
- Spread whipped cream on top.
Ready cappuccino is recommended to sprinkle with chocolate chips
Irish coffee drink
To make incredibly delicious coffee in a coffee maker, you need to take care of the following products:
- 18 g of crushed coffee beans;
- 60 ml of water;
- 15 g of granulated sugar;
- 60 ml cream;
- 30 ml whiskey.
The recipe involves doing the following:
- Brew two shots of espresso.
- Mix a tablespoon of water with granulated sugar and simmer on the stove for one minute.
- Add whiskey and freshly prepared syrup to espresso.
- Pour the resulting mixture into a tall glass.
- Spread the whipped cream evenly over the surface.
Caring for carob coffee makers
Timely cleaning is the key to long-term operation of any coffee maker. Clean and well-maintained equipment keeps the taste of the drink at a high level.
First of all, the coffee oils left after brewing are removed. It is they who create a beautiful foam, but being deposited on the details, they spoil the taste of coffee, making it rancid. Another serious problem is scale. It is gradually formed even from pure water, disrupts the operation of mechanisms and can lead to premature failure of even the most powerful coffee maker. Finally, milk residues deposited in the cappuccinator tube cause the appearance and development of pathogenic microorganisms.
Not every carob coffee machine supports automatic cleaning. Therefore, the following activities are regularly carried out in manual mode:
- After each preparation, the horn is washed with clean running water.
- The cappuccinatore is cleaned with a dry cloth. If dried dirt has formed, it must be removed, soaked in a cleaning agent and then rinsed thoroughly.
- The horn must be cleaned monthly with special cleaning tablets. They are laid instead of powder, after which the coffee machine must be put into operation. Shutdown is carried out immediately after the start of water supply. The contaminants dissolve for about 15 minutes, after which the device is turned on again to rinse the horn with water. The appliance is considered clean when at least two liters of water have come out.
- Planned decalcification is carried out approximately once a year. To remove scale, use special products recommended by the manufacturer.
Carob coffee makers may include additional features that make it easier to use and maintain.
Light indicators indicate the process status and the presence of water. Some models are equipped with a display that shows information about the running program, the number of servings, as well as warnings about a malfunction or lack of water.
A convenient option for carob-type coffee makers is support for the use of pods (packaged coffee). However, it increases the cost of the device.
Protective functions — automatic shutdown from an overheat and steam valves. These options ensure safe operation and extend the life of the instrument.
Some pump coffee makers are equipped with two pumps, which allows you to prepare cappuccino and espresso at the same time. Modern models have a “stop” button, which can forcibly stop the operation of the device if something goes wrong.
Cooled coffee loses its taste and aroma, so many electrical appliances are equipped with the function of maintaining the temperature of the finished drink.
An important option for coffee makers is support for the use of pods (packaged coffee). These are convenient paper bags with portions poured crushed grains. This option allows you to prepare high-quality espresso in seconds, and also facilitates the process of caring for the coffee maker. However, the presence of this function affects the cost of the device, increasing it several times.
An important criterion when choosing a coffee maker is pressure. The higher the value, the richer and more aromatic the coffee will be. The maximum allowable pressure is 25 bar. Many standard instruments have readings of 10–20 bar.
A useful feature is automatic decalcification. It is designed for effective self-cleaning of the device from deposits and various kinds of contaminants.
Malfunctions of carob coffee makers
Getting used to using a coffee maker every day, every coffee lover experiences serious discomfort in case of a device malfunction. But do not despair, because many breakdowns can be fixed on their own. Let’s consider possible malfunctions and ways to eliminate them.
With normal care, the carob apparatus lasts a long time and rarely breaks. However, sometimes it still happens and looks like this:
- The water supply has stopped. Immediately you need to check its presence in the tank. The filter may be dirty and the float showing the water level may be malfunctioning. First of all, you need to clean the internal elements of debris and scale.
- The water does not heat up and the coffee is warm. Check settings, repeat cycle if necessary. This happens during long periods of downtime.
- Water flows out from under the horn. Most often, it is enough to clean the O‑ring from coffee residues and other contaminants. It may need to be replaced. If the ring is normal, you need to clean the filter in the horn.
- The finished drink flows out in the form of a thin stream with a whistle or hiss. The filters will most likely need to be cleaned. If auto-cleaning is available, perform it completely, and clean the removable parts manually.
- The power indicator is on, but cooking has not started. Check the tab of all components, as well as the buttons for sticking. If the machine does not work, you will have to turn to the services of specialists.
Size and material
An important selection criterion is the dimensions of the coffee maker. Small models with a capacity of 0.2–0.6 liters have a pressure of 4 bar, and larger devices (up to 1.5 liters) — 15 bar.
The size is also important to consider for the convenience of placing the coffee maker in the kitchen. She should have a stationary place so that you can make a cup of aromatic coffee at any time.
The body of the coffee maker can be made of plastic or stainless steel. The second option is more practical and fits perfectly into any kitchen interior, but it has more weight and is more expensive. Plastic appliances are cheaper and lighter, but there is a high risk of damage on impact.
Sergey A.: “I like German technology for its reliability. I have been using the Melitta coffee maker for several years, and there has not been a single failure during this time. It is made from very durable materials. And the coffee is excellent.”
Lisa G.: “I have used Delonghi appliances before and recently bought a Delongi EC 685 R coffee maker. Looks great in the kitchen. And what an espresso! We have a Smeg coffee machine at work that is fancy, with different functions, and my coffee turns out just as well.”
Olga K.: “I wanted to choose something original and functional for the kitchen, and I bought an Ariete Cafe Matisse coffee maker. It is named after Henri Matisse. You could choose black or beige, but I liked red more. Like “Red Fish” (this is his picture). The coffee maker has a transparent water tank on the back, it is very convenient to control how much water is left in it. In general, everything in the coffee maker is thought out, every detail. Very convenient.”
Extraction: technology of proper coffee.
Coffee brewing (extraction) is the process of transferring aromatic substances from the bean into the water. The taste of the final drink will depend on the degree of grinding and extraction time: coffee will release more aromatic and flavoring substances if the area of contact of water with coffee particles is larger and the extraction is longer.
To get delicious coffee (regardless of the method of preparation), the drink must contain 20% aromatic and flavoring substances. If there are more of them, the coffee will taste unpleasant, and if there are less, it will be flat. To measure the percentage of aromatic substances, there is a special device — a refractometer. If you don’t have it, you can base it on your own taste preferences by carefully balancing extraction time and fineness.
The coffee will brew stronger if the particles spend more time in the water. At first glance, it may seem that the contact area will be larger if the grind is coarser. However, this is not the case: the coarser the grinding, the smaller the contact area.
The image below clearly demonstrates why this happens:
Because finer coffee particles have more sides in contact with water, they brew faster. Like salt, which dissolves faster in water when finely ground, finely ground coffee brews stronger and faster than coarse coffee. When brewing coffee in a cone, too coarse a grind will force water through the coffee too quickly, so it will not have time to brew. Too fine grinding will not pass water well, and the coffee will turn out too rich.
Possible problems and malfunctions
If water splashes out of the horn, it may be because the pressure is too high. To remedy the situation, you can turn off the steam function.
If the coffee maker works intermittently, you need to check if everything is fine with the mains voltage. In addition, malfunctions can be caused by poor quality connections and seals, which happens with cheap equipment.
If the milk does not whip well, the problem is most likely in its quality.
Try to replace it with another one. The problem may also be that it was not chilled enough, and the cappuccinatore was immersed too deeply in it.
If the coffee has a plastic smell, you need to run the water through the coffee maker several times and drain it.
How to take care of the design
In order for the carob coffee maker to serve you faithfully for many years, you need to properly care for it. Use it carefully and clean it from contaminants in time. First of all, cleaning requires a coffee holder:
- Remove the horn from the holder.
- Remove any remaining pressed and ground coffee from the container. You can use the help of a special spoon.
- All components of the holder must be washed under running water. Do not use abrasive products, aggressive detergents, or products with a pungent odor. The latter can give the coffee drink an unpleasant aftertaste and aroma.
- If you prefer to use natural types of detergents, then use soda or special household chemicals that do not contain chemicals, fragrances and other harmful compounds.
- Before returning the washed holder to its place, dry it thoroughly.
The holder is an important element for most coffee maker models, so pay enough attention to cleaning it. Sometimes the taste of the finished drink will directly depend on how well you care for the pressed coffee horns.
Comparative characteristics of coffee makers
|Make and model||Compound||Cost, rub.||Advantages||Flaws||Points on a 10-point scale|
|Smeg ECF01||metal||38 790||
|De’Longhi ECP 341 Distinta||metal||10 740||
|De’Longhi EC.680.M||metal, plastic||15,000||
|Gaggia Carezza DeLuxe||metal||21 900||
|Ascaso Dream Ground||metal, polished aluminum||42 990||
|Polaris PCM 1523E||metal||11 485||
|De’Longhi ECP 33.21||plastic||12 000||
|Vitek VT-1516SR||stainless steel, plastic||7990||
|KRUPS Calvi XP 3440||plastic||18 990||
Both domestic and foreign manufacturers offer a wide selection of carob coffee makers. They have everything you need for home use. They are compact and easy to operate. The devices load instantly and prepare the drink just as quickly.
Carob coffee machines by type or which one to choose?
Carob coffee machines are divided into lever, automatic and semi-automatic
Lever coffee machines
- These are classic manual coffee machines in which water is supplied to groups using a lever and hand strength. The barista manually controls the flow of the group, lowering and raising the lever-lever — each cup requires his undivided attention. Lever coffee machines are suitable for professionals who want to control the process of making coffee, as well as coffee shops and coffee-to-go outlets with a low seating position and low traffic. Otherwise, the barista simply does not have enough time to serve all the visitors.
Lever coffee machines have a high reputation among espresso connoisseurs — the owner, as if from the doorstep, declares that he understands coffee, and his baristas are professionals in their field. Only highly qualified baristas can really use lever coffee machines. In addition, there are few lever coffee machines in Russia, and it is not so easy to find original spare parts and specialized services. In the event of a coffee machine breakdown, you will have to replace it with another one (not a lever one), and the barista will have to rebuild. Semi-automatic coffee machines
differ in that the strait in them is carried out with the help of a button — the barista turns it on and off on his own. The big advantage of this type of coffee machines is the low cost and excellent taste of coffee, which depends on the correct compaction of coffee in the sieve filter of the cone and the dosage of the water spill. A semi-automatic coffee machine is suitable for places with little traffic, since the preparation process requires the full attention of the barista. It is also suitable for those who like to experiment with the taste of coffee and bring it to perfection. Semi-automatic coffee machines have a good reputation — they are “Italian” classics. Such coffee machines are easy to maintain: a large number of service centers, a wide range of spare parts and the possibility of renting and leasing. In almost every brand, you can choose a semi-automatic coffee machine for any budget, design and taste.
Automatic coffee machines
- perhaps the most popular type of carob coffee machines. They are great for coffee shops that prepare a variety of espresso-based drinks. The spillage of water in such coffee machines occurs automatically and does not require the attention of the barista to each cup. The quality of coffee depends solely on the coffee beans and the quality of the grind. First, for each group, the amount of water that must pass through it is set, after which, by pressing the button, the coffee machine spills the specified amount (± 2–3 ml).
The main convenience of automatic coffee machines is that the barista can program the coffee machine in the morning and not be distracted by the group’s flow rate, but simply press the button. These coffee machines are ideal for high-traffic areas and coffee shops where there are chef baristas and novice baristas. Despite the excellent reputation and popularity, automatic coffee machines are much more expensive than semi-automatic ones. Such coffee machines look modern and presentable, and at the same time they are powerful. Even an inexperienced barista can handle them: the chef barista can set up the coffee machine, and the rest can use it. Keep in mind that you need to set up an automatic coffee machine every day — an experienced chef can teach beginners how to set up a coffee machine according to the instructions to secure them.
Differences between coffee machines: what can influence the choice?
First of all, coffee machines differ by number of pumps
- devices that create pressure in the coffee machine and pump water into the boiler.
Coffee machines with one pump.
In most cases, the pump performs several functions at once: it creates pressure, spills water in the coffee group, and pumps water into the boiler for heating. Thanks to one pump, the same pressure is set on all groups, at which espresso is prepared. The pumps of some coffee machines work only on the passage of espresso — in order to pump water into the boiler, they use the pressure in the water supply system. When the water level drops, the pump does not turn on, but only the valve opens. If the coffee machine is powered by bottled water, you should use additional pumps that create pressure.
Coffee machines with multiple pumps.
Some coffee machines have separate pumps for each coffee group. The main advantage of such coffee machines is the ability to adjust the pressure individually for each group. The disadvantage is that they are significantly more expensive than single-pump coffee machines and take up a lot of space. A multi-pump espresso machine will suit you if you plan to use different recipes on different coffee groups with different pressures.
Also coffee machines may vary by pump type
They have a simple device and, due to their compact size, are installed on semi-professional and household coffee machines with low productivity. Such pumps cannot regulate pressure, therefore, an excess pressure valve is additionally installed on coffee machines with vibration pumps — it helps to relieve excess pressure and set the desired value. The advantage of such pumps is the affordable price (15–50 euros), and the disadvantage is a lot of noise.
Rotary pumps are usually installed on professional coffee machines with medium and large capacity. In addition to the pump itself, they have an electric motor that rotates the blades inside the mechanism. The main difference from vibration pumps is that such pumps create more stable pressure and are less noisy. At the same time, they take up much more space and are more expensive (about 200 euros without an electric motor). Rotary pumps can be located both inside the espresso machine and outside. For example, remote pumps can be installed in a cabinet under the coffee machine to make it easier to change pressure settings. Coffee machines may also vary according to the method of heating regulation
Coffee machines with pressure switch.
The main function of the pressure switch is to maintain the set pressure range and temperature of the boiler in the coffee machine by turning the heating element on and off. As the water in the boiler boils and a certain pressure level is reached, the circuit closed by the spring pressure opens and the heating stops. The pressure and temperature can be higher if the compression ratio of the spring is increased with the adjusting screw — thus the circuit will open later. The advantage of such coffee machines is the low cost, and the disadvantage is the difficulty in controlling the temperature.
Coffee machines with PID controller.
The PID controller is a proportional-integral-derivative controller. In coffee machines with a PID controller, a pressure switch is not installed. It constantly checks the temperature with a sensor and switches the heating element on and off as needed via SSR (Solid State Relays). Coffee machines with separate boilers are usually controlled using a PID controller. Its advantage is that it controls the water temperature in the boiler as accurately as possible, and the main disadvantage is the price (it is several times more expensive than a pressure switch). Coffee machines may vary by the number of boilers
Single boiler coffee machines with heat exchanger.
Such coffee machines are equipped with one large boiler (more than 5 liters), which maintains the required pressure and temperature of 120°C. When preparing espresso, the pump turns on, and cold water from the water supply enters the heat exchanger, after which it heats up and enters the group, and then into the coffee tablet. Steam for frothing milk is obtained by opening the steam valve connected to the top of the boiler. For such coffee machines, the size of the boiler is important: the larger the boiler, the less likely it is that the temperature will drop on an intense flow. We recommend choosing coffee machines with boilers from 10 liters. The disadvantage of single boiler coffee machines is that the water temperature during espresso preparation is not stable and it is extremely difficult to adjust it accurately. It is either too high at the beginning of the extraction, or becomes insufficient after a few cappuccinos have been made and water from the boiler has been used. Another disadvantage is that it will take extra time to make espresso — after warming up the coffee machine, there is superheated water in the heat exchanger, and its temperature is too high for making espresso. Before preparing a cup of coffee, a “dry flush” should be carried out to drain the superheated water into the drip tray. The advantage of single-boiler coffee machines is the low price.
Multi-boiler coffee machines with separate boilers for steam/boiling water and espresso.
These are two‑, three- and even four-boiler coffee machines, in which, in addition to a boiler for steam and boiling water, there is a separate espresso boiler for each group. The temperature can be adjusted individually for each group — this is especially convenient if you plan to prepare different coffees on the same coffee machine at the same time: for example, lighter and darker roasts. The main advantage of a multi-boiler coffee machine is that, unlike a single-boiler one, it does not require an “idle flow” — each boiler has its own PID controller set to a different temperature. The steam and hot water boiler is maintained at around 120°C and the espresso boiler at around 93°C at the standard factory setting. Even when preparing a large amount of espresso, high thermal stability is maintained. The coffee machine also has a heat exchanger that runs through the steam boiler. The heated water flows through it into the espresso boiler. In such a coffee machine, it is possible to adjust the exact temperature of the water in the espresso boiler and separately in the steam and boiling water boiler. In addition, the espresso boiler does not form calcium (scale) because it is maintained at a temperature of 90 to 95°C — thanks to this, the coffee machine will last longer. Compared to single-boiler coffee machines, the disadvantage of multi-boiler coffee machines can be called a high price. Coffee machines can be equipped economizer
(from the English economizer) — a hot water mixer that regulates the temperature of the water leaving the coffee machine and optimizes the efficiency of the system. It adds cold water to boiling water in a certain proportion, thereby stabilizing the heat balance of the coffee machine. Professional models of the single-boiler coffee machine lines are equipped with an economizer — with the help of it, the barista regulates the temperature of heating hot water.
The use of an economizer is recommended by coffee industry experts and specialists to reduce energy use and prevent uncontrolled water and steam escaping. It has been proven that the efficiency of boiling water increases by 30% through the use of an economizer. In addition, the economizer saves water and energy consumption and can be adjusted independently.
Coffee machines also differ by number of groups
. The group is the main unit of the coffee machine. Group throughput reaches 60 cups of espresso per hour: 30 seconds per espresso and another 30 seconds to prepare the holder and group for the next cup. The more groups the coffee machine has, the more cups can be prepared at the same time. As a standard, coffee machines have 1–4 groups, however, on request, you can put up to 18 groups in a row. So one group is 60 cups/hour, two groups is 120 cups/hour, three groups is 180 cups/hour, and so on.
By group height
coffee machines are divided into:
- High groups
- for tall glasses “to go”: 13.5–14 cm
- low groups
- for standard espresso cups: 8.5–9 cm
- Adjustable groups
- for different cups and glasses
The choice of group depends on which drinks you plan to focus on. Takeaway glasses, latte macchiato, etc. are better suited for a high group. For espresso, a high group will not work — you will have to use a stand to avoid splashing and loss of temperature. Low groups are the most popular, as they are suitable for any coffee drinks.
What other options can a coffee machine have?
Almost all modifications of coffee machines will have electric active heating of cups at the top as an additional option. It’s no secret that it’s best to pour espresso into a warmed cup. Thanks to the large non-stop boilers, the usual passive area on top also heats up perfectly, especially in two- and three-group versions. Therefore, the cup warmer function does not play such a big role.
On many coffee machines, programmable buttons for turning on and off the strait in groups are installed, allowing you to “remember” the right amount of water. In simple models, the barista turns on and off the strait on his own — such coffee machines require the constant attention of the barista, so they are suitable for places that are not the most passable. In coffee machines with programmable buttons, the flow starts at the touch of a button and stops when the set amount of milliliters is reached. This is convenient because the barista can program the coffee machine in the morning and not be distracted by controlling the flow rate of the group.
This option is similar to a programmable flow. The main difference is that the scales do not measure the amount of water that is supplied to the groups, but the actual weight of the cup — this allows you to quickly adjust the espresso.
This is a very convenient option: the seconds of the flow are displayed from the moment the pump is turned on until the pump is actually turned off — there is no need to use a separate timer.
Pros and cons
Carob coffee makers have many advantages regarding both the operation of the device and the quality of the finished product.
Here are a number of positive points for which they are appreciated by users:
- lack of coffee grounds in the cup of the finished drink;
- the ability to preserve the unique aromas of the used coffee variety (a list of all coffee varieties with their characteristics is presented here);
- high extraction (carob coffee makers extract up to 25% of valuable substances from raw materials, in conventional devices this figure is barely close to 18%), due to which coffee is spent less;
- the speed with which it is possible to prepare coffee;
- the ability to prepare drinks according to different recipes, thanks to the presence of additional functions.
They usually talk about the disadvantages of the device by comparing it with other models. For example, carob coffee makers are very rarely produced with a built-in coffee grinder, which for some users is a significant minus. An overview of the best coffee grinders can be found here.
It is problematic to make hot chocolate or cocoa in them, which can be done using coffee machines of different brands. How to make hot chocolate at home we talked about in this article.
Carob coffee makers require some additional devices — for example, a tempera (press) for compacting coffee, as well as skills in working with this device.
Advantages and disadvantages
To clearly see all the pros and cons, check out the table that will help you choose the right device for you.
|coffee machine||Coffee maker|
|The grinding of grains is carried out directly in the machine immediately before making coffee||High price||Affordable price||Grains must first be ground|
|Possibility to adjust the temperature||Impressive dimensions||compactness||No temperature control|
|High brewing speed||Noise at work||Low noise||Speed is lower than coffee machines|
|Built-in milk frother||Ease of device and repair||The foam must be beaten separately|
|Deep taste and aroma of coffee||The use of pre-ground raw materials can adversely affect the taste.|
|Possibility to prepare several varieties of drink at once|
As you can see, the pros and cons of these devices are almost polar to each other. To make your final choice, please refer to the following table.