The preparation of that special cup of coffee has evolved over the years. In addition to the usual cup of coffee we loved and desired, thanks to specialty coffee shops, have we learned to love espressos, lattes, cappuccinos, mochas and more. But not only have the special coffees and the coffee shops that prepare them evolved, so has the equipment that is available to individuals evolved. This equipment may range from the simple percolator or drip coffee pots to the more expensive espresso machines.

Among the evolved machines, my favorite is the Saeco PicoBaristo Super-automatic Espresso Machine. As the name indicates, the machine is super-automatic. Not only can you brew the best cup of morning coffee, but you can also prepare your special espressos, lattes, cappuccinos, or mochas. Personally, I am not into these special drinks. I like just a great cup of coffee with cream and sugar. But even for the simple coffee lovers, there is a reason why an individual would desire the more elaborate equipment such as this.

There are many items that go into a good cup of coffee; roasting, grinding, brewing, etc. Like any produce we consume, it has a shelf-life. Coffee that has been ground has the shortest shelf-life, 3-5 months. That is the same whether open or unopened and stored in a pantry. Unopened ground coffee stored in a freezer has a shelf-life of 1-2 years. Whole beans last much longer. Opened whole beans last 6 months in a pantry and 2 years in a freezer. Unopened whole beans last 6-9 months in a pantry and 2-3 years in a freezer. The fresher the coffee, whether whole bean or ground, the better tasting the drink.

Once the coffee is ground, it begins to lose its flavor. To make your coffee last longer, it is favorable to purchase the whole bean and grind a little at a time. If you use a grinder, it is best to use a burr grinder rather than a blade grinder. With the burr grinder, you have more control of the grind from ultra-fine to extra-coarse, depending on the manufacturer.

So why is the Saeco PicoBaristo Super-automatic Espresso Machine my favorite? Simply stated, it keeps my coffee fresher, longer. And the fresher the coffee, the better the taste. This Saeco stores the coffee bean and grinds only what is needed for each cup of coffee. The built-in grinder can be adjusted to 10 different steps and can grind up to 20,000 cups of coffee before needing service. The machine has a 1.8-liter water capacity and a built-in Aqua Clean water filter. The filter allows up to 5,000 cups of coffee without descaling. It has an automatic milk frother allowing the preparations of 8 different coffee drinks. Because of the light aluminum and steel body, the water is heated quickly allowing for espresso and cappuccino quickly. And everyone can set the strength of coffee they desire. For certain, the cup has evolved, for the coffee and for the equipment.

Dwayne Collins

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Category: Espresso

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