Articles From Whole Latte Love

Just Got A Machine? ...Now What?

Posted: 02/08/13

Along with the ubiquitous holiday sweater, seasonal socks, and Christmas chocolates, did you happen to un-wrap a shiny new espresso machine this year? If so, lucky you! Now that it’s out of the box and sitting on the kitchen counter with the promise of many-a-lattes, cappuccinos, and espressos ahead, we’ve got some tips and suggestions on how you can make the most of your new machine.

Super-automatic machineFor Super-Automatic Owners
If you have one of these turnkey wonders, you’re way a head of the game. Not only do you have an espresso machine, but also grinder to boot! To keep your super-automatic machine in tip-top shape, make sure you have the appropriate water filters and cleaners on hand. Not sure what to buy? See our Maintenance Guide.

When it comes to performance, make sure you’re taking full advantage of your machine’s capabilities; start by taking a quick read through of our “How to Get the Most out of Your Super-Automatic” article. While you familiarize yourself with the cool, time saving features of your new kitchen companion, keep in mind that great brews almost always start with good coffee…and sometimes syrup! To find your ideal beans, be sure to check out our article entitled “Which Coffee is Right for You,” and our blogs will also have the latest buzz about coffee and espresso to keep you well informed.

If you’re a true coffee lover, join the Whole Latte Love Spot, where you can socialize with other espresso fans, interact with our knowledgeable staff, and participate in exclusive contests. For new espresso machine owners, the Spot is an invaluable resource for info.

Semi-automatic machineFor Semi-Automatic Owners
Like super-automatics, your machine will also need periodic maintenance to brew at its best; to review the appropriate products check out the Maintenance Guide. You can choose to have your machine cleaned by a Whole Latte Love tech, or if you’re a do-it-yourselfer take a quick look at our Cleaning Tips before getting started.

Both super and semi-automatic owners should also browse through our video selection for helpful tutorials and overviews of the biggest brands and most popular machines. Got a nagging question about your machine? Simply log in or create a Whole Latte Love account, locate your specific model, click the “Ask the Expert” button and post your query!

If you have a semi-automatic espresso machine and still need a grinder, you’ve come to the right place! Throughout the years, we’ve also noticed that certain machines pair particularly well with specific grinders. For example, the Gaggia Classic and MDF make a great couple. And, the Rancilio Silvia and Rocky has always been a fan-favorite combo. But, that’s not to say you have to stick with machines and grinders in the same brand family. Feel free to shop around and make sure you check out our “Coffee Grinder Buying Guide” and “Grinders 101—A Beginner’s Guide” for a much more in-depth look at your grinding options.

For those who may have gotten a French press, coffeemaker, or semi-automatic or manual machine, a good grinder is a fundamental necessity. If you haven’t already done so, consider investing in a quality grinder. The ability to grind fresh coffee beans, seconds before brewing, will enable you to extract the most aromatic, flavorful espresso possible. There are two types of grinders available: blade and burr. Blade grinders have the advantage of a lower price point; one can be had for as little as $19.99. However, they do not have grind settings, are not recommended for espresso and may fall short if you require a specific grind. Burr grinders, on the other hand, will let you adjust your grind fineness. They are known for generating less heat and, thus, are better at preserving the flavors and aromas of your beans.

espresso accessoriesAccessories
To brew like a pro, you’ve got to have all the professional tools. We’re talking tampers; knock boxes, frothing pitchers and the like. Aside from the usual fare, you can also spice up your coffee routine with collector’s cups and specialty serving pieces such as this Gaggia Platinum Cup Collection. If you’re looking to dabble in creative side of coffee, consider the Gaggia Latte Art Pannarello Wand. We’ve also got a great article to walk you through the entire process, step-by-step. 

Our Spot, blogs, articles, and videos are just some of the resources available to you to ensure that you have many happy years with your new espresso machine. Be sure to explore the Whole Latte Love Knowledge Base in its entirety; we’ll have you brewing like a barista in no time!