Coffee continues to be the most popular drink in the UK – more popular than tea. Coffee house culture continues to thrive on the high street, with new independent cafés and coffee chains continuing to open all the time making us spoilt for choice when it comes to our caffeine fix! We have become a nation of coffee aficionados – demanding the same cappuccino or flat white experience at home as we would have in a café. For many, a traditional cup of humble instant is no longer an acceptable beverage to offer to anyone who pops round for a coffee! We welcome back our guest contributor, Tiffany Grant-Riley of Curate & Display who shares her thoughts on how to achieve the perfect barista style coffee at home.
"I have a confession to make. For the past six months, I’ve been cheating on my stovetop percolator. I’ll admit that as a bit of a coffee snob, I’ve not had a great opinion of home coffee machines in the past. For the most part, it’s the lack of control over your preferences that I didn’t like, so for that reason I’d kept to stovetop. That is, until the Miele CM5300 coffee machine completely changed my mind. I’m going to take you through the features that won me over and how you can bring a touch of barista style coffee to your kitchen.
How do you like your coffee?
The Miele CM5300 coffee machine offers an extensive selection of coffee and beverage options, including Latte Macchiato, Ristretto, Espresso and your basic Americano coffee which are all included as one touch options on the front of the machine. Additional beverages, including Cafe Latte, hot milk and frothed milk are found under ‘Other Drinks’ using the drop down menu screen. Apart from the fancy art you’re used to in your local café, there’s very little this beauty cannot do.
When you are making a coffee for the first time, it’s a good idea to set your own preferences which can be programmed as the machine makes the beverage, using ‘Parameters’. You can decide on your perfect brewing temperature and ratio of coffee to hot milk and froth before saving your settings.
Fill the bean container or ground coffee chute with a blend of your choosing and it takes care of the rest, including grinding each portion if you’re using fresh beans.
Right Bean, Right Cup
It might seem obvious, but choosing the right bean for the type of cup you’re brewing will make all the difference. Firstly, did you know that most of what you buy from the supermarket is already stale by the time you get it home? By the time a bean is roasted it takes only a few weeks for the full flavour to diminish. Try to find small batch roasts with a roast date on the packet - there’s some brilliant small scale roasteries in the UK offering subscriptions and supporting independent farmers.
Whole bean is better for freshness too - the CM5300 grinds for you in the machine so you don’t need a separate gadget.
Which roast to choose? Much like wine, discovering coffee is like falling into a rabbit hole once you start exploring flavours and origins. In my humble opinion you can’t go wrong with a medium roast, it’s a great all-rounder for espresso and your straight cup of coffee. Of course, the flavour will depend on where the bean was grown and the time of year. It’s a mix of trial and error to find what works for your daily cup, but that’s all part of the fun of experimenting.
Coffee for Sharing
The machine has a double spout for serving up two cups at one time but can also brew up a whole pot. If you need a large quantity for entertaining, there is the option to make up a six cup pot and the spout is height adjustable for larger vessels. This is also great if you want to make up a batch of cold brew to last you through the day as I did this summer.
Do You Take Milk?
Forget about heating the milk for your cup separately. The Miele CM5300 coffee machine has built in capabilities for both hot and frothed milk to brew the perfect cup with an additional milk flask. The Cappuccinatore is built into the central spout at the front and connects to the flask with a tube, allowing the milk to be drawn through, heated and delivered straight to the cup.
No Nonsense Maintenance
Whenever you turn on and switch off the Miele CM5300, it automatically rinses itself as well as the milk pipe if you use the additional flask for hot milk. Aside from a quick and easy clean of the drip tray and waste container (I use the grounds on the garden) there’s very little maintenance required to keep things running smoothly. When the machine does eventually need descaling, it will count down the number of uses you have left before it takes you through the step by step fifteen-minute process. It will also remind you when the brew unit needs cleaning. Part of this feature requires the machine to stop brewing coffee, meaning that it can’t be run into the ground if you forget to clean it in the meantime. You can purchase additional descaling tablets from Miele to use for this.
Coffee with Style - Set Up Your Space
There was very little we could change structurally with our kitchen as we gave it an update last year, but the one thing high on our list was to have a proper, grown-up area for making our coffee. However you like your cup, improve your experience with a dedicated coffee corner. Trust me, it will save your sanity to have everything you need in one place. Carve out a space in which to store the beans, scoops and favourite mugs. Not only will it look great, it’ll mean you won’t be tripping over anyone else while you’re at it.
Have I piqued your interest or helped make up your mind? While there are some things definitely not worth the investment (I’m looking at you, Light Saber immersion blender) this one most certainly is."
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