Coffee In Espresso Machines Tastes Different

Why does coffee brewed in an espresso machine seem to have less complex flavors than coffee brewed by other methods?

One may have noticed that the coffee made using espresso machines tastes way better than the one prepared using other methods. At cafes, you will usually find one of the best bunn coffee makers which are used to prepare your delicious coffee beverages. Whereas if you try to make the same drink at home, it won’t taste as delicious as it was at the cafe. To know the reason behind this, let’s explore the factors behind coffee making through espresso machines.

Reasons Why Coffee Made From Espresso Machines Taste Different

Below are some of the most probable reasons for which the coffee’s taste is different when it is made with the help of espresso machines.

The Grind of the Coffee

One major factor that makes the coffee taste less complex using espresso machine than being brewed through other method is how well the coffee beans are grinded. Check out list of all factors which affects the quality of coffee. If grinding is not up to the mark then your coffee won’t taste as good as in cafes. Volatile flavors and aromatics of coffee beans can only be extracted through perfect grinding. While making coffee, the first thing you must do is to crush the coffee beans into small pieces and add it to water. Your next move will be to grind the coffee before brewing it. Espresso machine has high quality grinder that mixes the coffee beans with water easily and extracts the best flavors whereas other methods are incapable of extracting all the flavors of coffee.

Temperature of Water

Every substance comes with an ideal temperature at which it reacts at an optimum level. Same is the case with coffee made using espresso machines. The ideal temperature for extracting best flavors of the coffee beans is between 195 and 205 Degree Fahrenheit. At this temperature, coffee beans release their flavors into water. The flavor mixes well producing best taste and aroma of the coffee. Espresso machines come with temperature monitoring system that focuses on maintaining the ideal temperature for best outcome. Coffee made with other methods lacks this feature and thus it becomes difficult to control the temperature of water disallowing you to experience the best taste of the coffee.

Water Quality

Quality of water is an important factor for making good quality and taste of the coffee. Roughly 98% of your finished cup consists of water, so it’s necessary to use best quality water. If we consider making coffee using other methods, we might usually use tap water that consists of lot of bacteria that couldn’t be flushed out without using a good filtration system. While all the other methods lacks in proper filtration system, espresso machines is equipped with the best in class filtration technology. This filtration system helps in removing all the harmful substance from the water and thus increasing the quality of water. Some of the best Bunn coffee makers come with advanced filtration techniques and systems. Better the quality of water, better will be the taste of the coffee.

The Last Words

These are the possible reasons due to which your coffee doesn’t taste as good as the one using espresso machines. To make your coffee taste pleasurable, buy one of the best Bunn coffee makers available as you can find them at a cheaper rate, they are packed with advanced features and modern technologies. Now you know the reason behind the huge taste difference that exists between these two methods. If you have access to a decent espresso machine, you must always try making your coffee with it.

Running a Marathon [Literally]

Full disclosure: this post has nothing to do with food.

Well, in the photo above my brother is holding a banana.  So it’s sort of food related.

Ok, other than the banana, this post has nothing to do with food.  But I hope you will read it anyway.

My little brother Justin is the greatest. Really, I couldn’t love him more. I mean sure, there was that time when we were little and taking a bath together and he pooped in the tub. And the time he used a spoon to sling-shot sand into my eye while we were playing in the little green turtle sandbox in our yard. And the time he “accidentally” knocked out my two front (baby) teeth WHILE I WAS TRYING TO SAVE HIM FROM FALLING DOWN THE STAIRS.  But honestly, all is forgiven.

So anyway, my brother. He’s amazing. He’s one of the best friends I could have asked for (even though he is a tub pooper).  And five years ago, at the age of 23 he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). After undergoing months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Justin received a hematopoietic stem cell transplant which was followed eventually by a double lung transplant in April 2012. These past few years have been an incredible challenge for him and for our entire family, to say the least.

Today, my brother is not just alive, but thriving.  And a few weeks ago Justin made the commitment to run the NYC Marathon as a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training (TNT) in order to raise funds to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma.  I am incredibly proud of my brother, and in an effort to support his run and support the LLS, I have committed to run the marathon with him.

Ok, people who know me well are laughing really hard right now at the idea of me running a marathon, because they know that I absolutely hate to exercise and that I firmly believe that running should be reserved for situations in which one is being chased by the police, or a bear, or what have you. BUT, I love my brother so much and I want to support him, so I’m going to willingly break and sweat and run 26.2 miles. After everything he has been through, it seems like the least I can do.

But if I’m ever going to reach the finish line with my brother, I’m going to need your help. I have pledged to raise at least $3,900 to support my efforts with TNT and help advance research for cures. If you are able, please consider making a donation today.  Your donation, no matter the size, will be incredibly important to me and deeply appreciated. 

There are also other ways for you to show your support. Please share my fundraising page widely with your networks (roll over the “Tell Your Friends” menu on my fundraiser page for some easy, one-click options) and tell your friends and family about the mission of my TNT and LLS.

Thank you in advance for your support. I look forward to updating you on my progress over the next few months!  Oh, and I promise to post something food related soon too!

–Sara…

Canning Swap Tomorrow & Pickled Beet Demonstration

Just a quick reminder to everyone that tomorrow, November 3rd from 12:30 – 3:00 pm is the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange’s first Canning Swap! The swap is being held at the new Pittsburgh Public Market location at 2401 Penn Avenue in the Strip District. Here is a schedule of the day’s events:

  • 12:30 PM: Canning Swap participants arrive to set up and Pickle Contest entrants drop off their two jars of pickles for judging.
  • 1 PM: Canning Swap commences!
  • 1:45 PM: Canning Swap ends; pickle and Crested Duck Charcuterie tasting begins. Legume’s Trevett Hooper speaks on cooking with preserved food.
  • 2:15 PM: Cook.Can.CSA.’s Sara Kreidler (that’s me!) does a beet pickling demonstration; Pickle Contest winner announced!

I hope to see lots of you guys at the Canning Swap tomorrow, and hope you will stick around for the pickled beet demonstration I’ll be doing towards the end of the swap. If you can’t make it to the swap tomorrow and are looking for information on pickled beets, here is my recipe.…

Late Summer [Beef Stroganoff]

It’s been almost 2 months since my last post. I still love this space, but so many good late summer adventures have kept me away.

Shortly after my last post, Toby and I headed out for our belated honeymoon in Portland, Oregon. In the two weeks before our trip and the four weeks after we returned, I put up approximately 1 billion pounds of tomatoes, not to mention various pickles. I used some old recipes, and some new ones. I tried my hand at some new jams and jellies. I made kimchi and a blackberry shrub. I scrawled notes in cookbooks and on scraps of paper that were meant to become timely canning posts, but will instead become untimely posts that go up over the winter. I shuttled heavy, jewel toned jars down to my basement larder, and felt proud that I met all of my canning goals for the season and then some (posting a final jar count and a photo of the full shelves is also on my blog to do list). In my canning frenzy, I fell progressively behind on my weekly CSA posts and accompanying recipes, which seemed like such a great and do-able idea at the beginning of the summer; c’est la vie.

spicy dill pickles.

In addition to madly canning in the four weeks after we returned from Portland, I spent gobs of time preparing our house for a new family member.  I scrubbed floors with diluted vinegar (the strange fact that I was basically pickling my floors was not lost on me), found all-small-things-which-could-be-swallowed and stashed them away up high, put up baby gates and brought home loads of new gear. On Sunday, September 23, a fluffy, peppy, snuggly 8 week old puppy joined our brood. Her name is Dilly Bean (Dilly for short) and she is pretty much the greatest dog ever. We are teaching her to sit and lay down, to chew on her toys and not our walls, to walk on a leash without pulling and to pee outside; she is teaching us to be calmer, to slow down and rest, to speak softly, and to make time to play (the vacuuming can wait).

they grow up so fast!

About that trip to Portland.  We visited waterfalls, mountains, gardens, evergreen forests, the desert and the beach.  We drove on crazy back roads and saw the most gorgeous landscapes. We drank pretentiously good coffee whilst listening to the Shins.  We made countless Portlandia jokes (truly, that show hits the mark).  We spent time with some dear old friends, and scored some new cookbooks at Powell’s.  We attended a cooking class. We sipped wine at a vineyard and I geeked out at a super cool jam shop. And we ate, and ate, and ate, and ate.

homemade ravioli filled with braised pork, served at EVOO cooking school.

One of our favorite meals (although honestly it is hard to choose a favorite) during our trip was at the Joel Palmer House, where the menu focuses on mushrooms and wine.  Everything we ate that night was out of this world good, but the beef stroganoff was the most memorable. I wanted to try to recreate the dish at home and was lucky to find the recipe online. We made a few small tweaks to the recipe (I didn’t have a 1/2 cup of Oregon white truffles, sadly) and were thrilled with the results.  I’ve reduced the quantities from the original recipe (which made a whopping 1 1/2 quarts of sauce) — my version yields enough for 4 dinner portions, but you can easily double the recipe to serve a larger group.  It is actually a really easy meal to put together, and would be great for a dinner party (just realize that it is a super rich and filling dinner, so just a salad on the side is all you will need to round out the meal).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds top sirloin or tenderloin (we used top sirloin which was much cheaper than tenderloin but still very tender and flavorful)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 small onion, minced and divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried chile flakes
  • 2 1/4 cups water, divided
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/8 cup pinot noir (or other red wine that you like and have on hand)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chinese oyster sauce
  • 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups room temperature heavy cream
  • 1 cup room temperature sour cream

Instructions

  1. Liberally salt and pepper both sides of the steak.  Allow steak to come to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  2. In a medium sized pot, combine the rice, 1 teaspoon minced onion, thyme, chile flakes, 2 cups of water and a generous pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, stir, cover and reduce flame to low.  Cook rice for 10-15 minutes, or according to the directions on your package of rice.  If your rice is done cooking before the sauce and steak are ready, simply take it off the burner and keep a lid on it until you are ready to serve.
  3. In a small jar, combine 1/4 cup of water and the cornstarch, screw the lid on tightly and shake vigorously (do this over the sink in case your lid leaks a bit). Set aside the slurry.
  4. In another medium sized pot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium flame.  Add the minced garlic and cook until the garlic is soft and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the wine, beef stock, chicken stock, remaining minced onion, oyster sauce, mushrooms and soy sauce, mix well and simmer for 5 minutes. Add heavy cream and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to make sure the cream does not burn. Once the sauce has come to a boil, give the jar of slurry another good shake and pour about half of the slurry into the sauce and stir well — the sauce will thicken up very quickly. Add more slurry if needed (I didn’t need extra, but you may).  Reduce flame to medium low, add sour cream and stir until completely incorporated.  Taste test for salt and pepper.  Cover pot and reduce flame to low to just keep it warm while you grill the steak (give the sauce a stir every few minutes, just to make sure you don’t scorch the bottom of the pot).
  5. Use remaining tablespoon of butter to grease a grill pan.  Heat pan over high flame, add steak and grill for about 2-3 minutes per side (our steak was about 1 1/2 inches thick and this cooking time yielded a medium rare steak, but you will need to adjust your cooking time based upon how thick your steak is, and how rare/well done you prefer your steak).  Transfer grilled steak to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 2-3 minutes before thinly slicing into bite sized pieces (note, the steak in my picture isn’t sliced as thinly as it could be — I would slice it thinner next time).
  6. To serve, spoon rice into the bottom of 4 large bowls. Divide sliced steak among the four bowls.  Ladle sauce over the steak and rice. Serve hot, with the rest of the bottle of wine (you only used an 1/8 cup in the recipe, so you might as well drink the rest of the bottle now that it is open).

CSA Week 11 Recipe: Canned Peaches in Medium Syrup

Those really are peaches in there, I swear. The trouble with canned peaches is that they don’t photograph well.  Heck, even when you take them out of the jar, they’re not going to win any beauty contests — they look a bit water-logged, to be honest. But the taste, especially in the middle of winter, is amazing.

Last year I canned our peaches in light syrup.  This year I went for medium syrup because the higher sugar content is supposed to help the preserved peaches last longer.

I processed 20 pounds (2 pecks) of peaches, which yielded 17 pints.  The recipe below is scaled down to 5 pounds, in case you are not insane.

Adapted from the Ball Blue Book

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds peaches
  • 3 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 cups water

 

Instructions

  1. Prep your canning station.  I used pint jars, but you could put up your peaches in quarts if you prefer.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill two large bowls with ice water.  Cut each peach in half and blanch in the pot of boiling water for 1 minute.  Transfer blanched peaches to one of the bowls of ice water. Use your fingers and/or a pairing knife to remove the peach skins. Remove the stone from each peach as well, and discard skins and stones.  Cut the peaches in half again (so now they are quartered) and use your knife to scrape any fibrous flesh where the pit used to be.  Place the peaches in the second bowl of ice water. Repeat until all of the peaches are skinned and pitted.
  3. Combine sugar and water in a medium pot and heat over medium flame.  Stir to make sure the sugar dissolves.  Cover to keep warm.
  4. Drain the peaches. Fill the jars with peaches, taking care not to smash or mangle the peaches as you fill the jars. Ladle in the hot syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top of the jar (the bottom line of the screw marks on the jar is a good guideline for ½ inch of headspace). Use a chopstick to remove the air bubbles, and add more hot syrup if needed to maintain ½ inch of headspace after the jar is de-bubbled.
  5. Process jars for 20 minutes (25 minutes for quarts).

Canned Pickled Beets

We canned for the first time last year, and our first canning experience was pickled beets.  Toby’s mom and kind enough to come over and spend the day teaching us.  We learned that (1) canning wasn’t so scary after all, and (2) canning beets was a LOT of work.  Today, we revisited the second lesson.

If you follow this blog, you know that we’ve put up a ton of food this summer (most notably, 180 pounds of tomatoes which yielded 80 quarts of crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce), so we’re not strangers to waking up early on weekends, spending a good chunk of the day prepping and canning food and cleaning up the aftermath.  We’ve had many canning adventures this summer, and even on the longest, messiest days, I found myself thinking well, it’s still not as bad as canning beets.

Today, we canned a half bushel of beets (plus about 5 more pounds that had accumulated in the fridge), which yielded 28 pints.  We started at 8 am and finished up around 1:30 pm, and it would have taken a good deal longer had we not used our patented double kettle technique. Canning beets is a ton of work and it makes an incredible mess; I had to wipe down the counters, cabinets and floors several times because first they were splattered with dirt from the scrubbing phase, and then they were splattered with red beet juice from the canning phase, and then I found more places where somehow dirt and/or beet juice had landed.  But the hard labor is well worth it; we love having these sweet, tangy, earthy beets all winter long — they make otherwise dull winter salads taste amazing.

We adapted the Ball Blue Book recipe of pickled beets; the Blue Book calls for adding cinnamon and allspice to the brine, but Toby’s mom doesn’t add those spices to her beets and we wanted ours to be as close to hers as possible.

The following recipe is for approximately 5 pounds of beets, which will yield 5-6 pints (we just multiplied the recipe by 5 to cover our 25 or so pounds of beets).

Adapted from the Ball Blue Book

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beets
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Instructions

  1. Wash the jars in the dishwasher.
  2. While the jars are washing, scrub and rinse the beets to remove as much dirt as possible.  Place the washed beets in a large pot and fill with water.  Bring pot to a boil and cook beets until fork tender (it took about 45 minutes for us, but the time will depend upon the size of your pot and the size of your beets). Drain beets and discard cooking water.  Allow beets to cool slightly.  Wearing food safe latex or rubber gloves to prevent your hands from becoming stained, peel the beets by scrubbing them with a paper towel — the skins should slip right off, but you may have to cut away stubborn spots with a pairing knife.  Discard skins. Cut off and discard any bad spots on the beets. Cut larger beets into chunks.  Set prepared beets aside.
  3. Also, while the jars are washing, prep your canning area.  I like to put down old (clean) kitchen towels and hot pads so I don’t have to worry about scorching the counter.  Get your jar lifter, lid wand, ladle, rings, lids, and wide mouth funnel ready.  I use a chopstick to remove air bubbles, but you can also use a small plastic spatula or plastic spoon (just don’t use a metal utensil, which can scratch and/or crack your jars).
  4. Remove hot jars from dishwasher, place inside canner and fill the canner with hot water so that all of the jars are full and covered by 1 inch of water.  Put the canner on your largest burner and bring the water to a boil.
  5. Bring a small pot of water to a simmer.  Add the lids to the simmering water; do not boil the lids.
  6. Combine the sugar, salt, vinegar and water in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Stir to make sure the salt and sugar have dissolved.
  7. Remove the pots of simmering lids and brine from the stove and place on hot pads near your jar filling station.  Place the beets near your filling station.  Have the canning tools listed in step 3 handy.
  8. Remove 1 jar from the canning pot and dump out the water.  Pack the beets in the jars. Place the jar on the counter, place the funnel on top of the jar and ladle in the hot brine, leaving 1/4 inch headspace at the top of the jar. Take the funnel off of the jar and use a chopstick to remove the air bubbles; add more brine if needed to maintain 1/4 inch of headspace after the jar is de-bubbled.  Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel.  Use the lid wand to remove 1 lid from the pot and place it on top of the jar.  Screw the ring onto the jar until it is finger-tip tight (you don’t want it to be too tight or the air won’t be able to escape during processing).  Repeat with each jar until all of the jars are full.
  9. Return the jars to the boiling water in the canner.  The water should cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Place the lid on the canner and process at a full boil for 30 minutes. Remove the jars from the canner and place on a towel on the counter.  Do not disturb the jars while they cool.
  10. Label the sealed jars and store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.  If any of the lids fail to seal, the unsealed jars should be refrigerated because they are not shelf stable.