Accessories For Your Espresso Machine
You finally bought the espresso machine that you had wanted. It’s shiny, it looks impressive and you can’t wait to make your first espresso drink. Wait a minute, where is the milk pitcher? Did this machine come with a tamper for the ground coffee? Maybe you aren’t quite ready yet for that first cup of espresso from your new brewer.
Most espresso makers will work without too many additional tools, but you will be surprised at the difference a few accessories can make. You want to make the perfect espresso, you will want a few of these key accessories to make your life easier and your drink better.
Espresso Machine Basic Accessories
Having a milk pitcher for frothing milk is a must-have for any espresso lover. Your espresso machine probably has a steam wand, if not, you will need other accessories. The purpose of the steam wand is to froth liquids, especially milk, for your espresso drinks. The higher the fat content in the milk, the frothier the milk after using your steam wand. Look for a stainless steel milk pitcher that has measurements imprinted on the inside. Most will come with a latte pen. You can use this tool to create designs in your drink and use it to control the flow of milk from the pitcher into the drink.
One of the key parts of making espresso is making sure that the finely ground coffee is tamped tightly into the filter holder. You can always tamp the coffee down with a spoon, but using a well designed coffee tamper will do a much better job. It is also easier to use a tamper, they are round and have a smooth, flat surface. This will help to make sure your coffee is tightly packed.
What the heck is a knock box and why do you need one? This is a key accessory that is overlooked by many espresso brewers. Coffee shop baristas know all about them, they are the boxes that help keep counters clean after making an espresso shot. A knock box is just what the name says-it’s a box that you knock the used coffee grounds into. Brewing espresso can be a bit messy, having a knock box makes it easier to keep your kitchen clean. If you use old coffee grounds in your garden or plants, you will be able to scoop out the grounds easily. If you just want to toss used coffee grounds, you can knock the box against your garbage pail and the mess is gone. For even easier clean up, look for a knock box that is dishwasher safe.
Is this the complete list of espresso machine accessories that you will need? No, but it is a list of the three most important tools that you should make sure to have. Other accessories that you might want to look into will be a thermometer, cleaning tablets, cleaning cloths and portafilters. You also might look at how you are storing your coffee beans. Keeping them fresh until you grind them will help to ensure a great cup of espresso.