Was your first cuppa a little watery? Was the crema not on point? Does it not quite taste the same as the ristretto you’re used to?
There’s a bit a knack to getting the most out of your new reusable coffee pods, but once you’ve nailed it, you can enjoy kicking back with great coffee and a clear conscience.
Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to use your new Nespresso pods, and few nifty tricks to get the best tasting coffee out of them.
When buying pre-ground coffee, make sure to look out for the size of the grind. You’ll want a medium to fine grind for our capsules, but be aware there’s no universal standard in naming and measuring grinds. Classifications of grinds can vary quite a bit from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Watch out for extra-fine or ‘espresso grade’ coffee. This dust-like powder is designed for espresso machines which have a lot more pressure than your counter-top Nespresso machine. They tend to clog the capsule and will result in little-to-no flow.
Play around – you may have to try a few different bags and brands till you find the right grind.
We use our own mill and grind the coffee fresh as we need it. It’s important to note that not all mills are created equal. Look out for a ‘burr grinder’ – these are the way to go. Unlike the food processor type blade grinders, a burr grinder ensures every particle is of a similar size. You can pick one up from here for only $40.
Add the coffee into the capsule until completely full. We’ve found the following weights work best for each of our different pods:
- Nespresso – 5-6 grams
- Dolce Gusto – 7-8 grams
- Caffitaly 8-9 grams
Start with these amounts, then try a little bit more or less until you’re happy with the result. And let us know what you find works best!
Now here’s where the magic happens. Use the tamper provided, or you can improvise with a cork (good excuse to open a bottle of wine if you ask us). Tamp enough so that the coffee is compacted and it doesn’t fall out when turned upside down, but don’t overdo it. Countertop coffee machines don’t have as much pressure as commercial machines, so they wont be able to force the water through if it’s too tight.
Aim for the espresso shot to take around 25-30 seconds to extract. Any shorter – tamp more. Any longer – tamp less.
Time to put the lid on.
Make sure there’s a little bit of a gap between the tamped coffee and the lid. We’ve found if the lid presses down into the coffee it can clog the inlet filter and lead to a weak pour.
Now that all the hard work is done, let’s see the fruits of our labour.
- We recommend using a single shot (the small cup icon on your machine). Any more than 30-50ml and you’ll start getting some bitterness come through.
- For a strong coffee, use two pods.
Be careful removing the used capsules from your machine. The metal can sometimes be hot.