Coffee, yes coffee and lots of it!
When we moved into the new house I spent the first couple of weeks laying flooring, installing blinds, light fittings etc and my wife bought me a surprise!
A DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 4200 Bean to cup coffee machine.
I’d bean (had to get a pun in somewhere) after a BtC machine for a long time, not that I didn’t like the Tassimo or the Nespresso but pod machines do have their pros and cons as do all devices, I love the Nespresso devices but the shots of coffee are short and trying to make a longer cup becomes more of an effort.
This is where a BtC machine comes in.
Whats in the box?
Well, the machine for a start, some instructions, Delonghi Coffee club information (more about this lower down) and a descaler. And several tons of protective polystyrene, which considering this was sent via Amazon is not a bad thing!
Find some space on your kitchen counter, read the instructions twice, then add water and plug it in.
And now the hard part, picking your beans……
For the initial setup I opted for a bag of Tesco Finest coffee beans as they were on offer making them quite cheap, I knew I was going to be playing around so expected a few wasted cups!
The machine has various settings, including a water hardness setting (there is a test strip included for you to test and then set the machine), water temperature, eco mode timeout, cup volume, coffee strength and grind consistency.
I worked on the principal of lowest settings and working my way up – the only exception being the Eco timeout, this is on by default and will turn the machine off automatically, for mine this is after 10 minutes of inactivity.
The first cup of coffee was like dirty brown water……down the sink it went, the 2nd and 3rd were better but not great.
There are 2 settings to control strength, the grind setting in the hopper and the coffee strength on the control panel – there is a balance for this.
- The grind gets finer the lower the setting, so for me my setting is between 1 and 2. To note, this grinds the coffee finer, which will extend the time to make your coffee, but it does improve the smoothness and flavour no end.
- The strength setting increases as you turn the dial towards the larger coffee bean, I’ve found (depending on the bean I use) that 80-95% towards max is perfect.