How A Coffee Machine Works | Mike Cooper

How A Coffee Machine Works | Mike Cooper


Welcome to Drinks Tube, I’m Mike and today we’ve come all the way to beautiful Florence in Italy. What better place than the home of the original espresso machine to show you how a coffee machine works. So before we dive inside let me introduce you to the 3 basic external features of an espresso machine. The group head which is where the water flows through the coffee. Steam arm for heating and frothing milk. And the hot water spout or nozzle for yep you guessed it, hot water. Used for Americanos or even making tea. For some reason. Anyway but with these 3 functions working together you can make all manner of wonderful hot drinks. You’ve probably seen them in action a load of times in your local coffee shops. But I’m going to show you what’s going on inside these machines and get you the perfect coffee every time. Drinks like the cuppacino, latte, americano all start with a shot of espresso. The ground coffee is placed into a device here, this is called a portafilter. And when you pull a shot of espresso the water is forced through it at the ideal pressure and temperature. Producing a fantastic coffee. But to get it absolutely perfect though, you need to get a lot of things just right. Here at La Marzocco factory they’ve been making espresso machines by hand since 1927. And have pioneered what’s called the dual boiler system. Now, that means that you can have your hot water and steam in 1 boiler at a higher temperature than your brew boiler. For making espresso, very important. Under the hood of a professional machine it’s easy to see these 2 large separate boilers. Perfect for when you need to make a lot of coffee in a busy shop. Now on a machine designed for home like this linear mini here, it works in exactly the same way but. The brew boiler is contained directly above the group head here. Very clever, the water is first heated to around 65 degrees celsius by passing it through the heat exchanger. Found inside the steam builder right here, then it’s rapidly heated between 90 and 96 degrees celsius. Through a coiled pipe giving you the perfect temperate for your espresso at home. Lower temperatures would cause the flavour to be too acidic whilst too high means your coffee is going to end up tasting bitter. And on this domestic machine you can adjust to your preferred temperature. Right here. You also need the water to be at a particular pressure to control the flow rate through the ground coffee. For espresso this here can be around 9 bars. Now the water is held at pressure in the boiler. So these things have 3mm thick walls of surgical grade stainless steel. Put together with some pretty serious welding. Every machine they make here is built by hand and rigorously checked. Multiple times before it’s allowed to leave the factory and is released out into the wild. The technicians make sure the brew boiler doesn’t lose temperate or pressure ensuring consistently good coffee. Espresso is great on its own especially as a little pick me up. But to make drinks like a cappuccino or latte. You need steamed milk and that’s where the genius of these machines having a 2nd boiler comes in. Now in the old days all machines used the same boiler for espresso and steam. When in fact you want 2 different temperatures so nothing was ever perfect. On this machine the steam boiler is set at around 123 degrees celsius and 1.5 bars of pressure. So the milk can be steamed perfectly and efficiently. When you turn this the water vapour is forced through into the steam arm and out of 4 little tiny holes in the bottom. Perfect for giving that nice silky textured milk. Nice. So that’s how a coffee machine works but what I really want to know is what you guys want to see next. So let me know in the comments if there’s something you want to learn about. Or if you think that there’s some drinks gadget that I should know about. And for more great coffee videos of course check out the playlist up here and make sure you subscribe to Drinks Tube. For loads more great stuff coming up. Ciao.

77 thoughts on “How A Coffee Machine Works | Mike Cooper

  1. This was so interesting! Mike, I would love to see you review some at-home milk steamer/frothers. I saw one by Nespresso that looks impressive, but I'd love your advice. Thank you!

  2. I love Mike and his enthusiasm, but watching these at the moment is torture! I've been put on decaf only for medical reasons. God I'd kill for a decent espresso right now.

  3. Wow, I'm a Barista at work and having one such Linea Mini at home would be such a sweet treat. It'll be awesome to practice some latte-art at home.

  4. can you guys make a comparison video about taste of coffee brewed from different methods? i always wonder is the new trendy "pour over" method producing the best tasting black coffee? It claims to be better than drip coffee machine and french press etc. I know to make a cappucino and other coffee drinks you have to use intense espresso coffee, so there's no need to comparing espresso with pour overs

  5. Check out Norwegian Akevitt! Especially since Christmas is coming, my girlfriend reckons that this should be explored!

  6. would love to see how the nespresso machines actually work! The fact they all have a 19 pressure pump, machine heats up very quickly, automatic power off etc

  7. I would love it if you could elaborate on the cold brew coffee. Ever since I saw your video I've absolutely fallen in love with a cold brew. But as a student, in Sweden where I reside, it's not the most cost effective but a little cold brew once in a while – wow!

  8. Your quality of videos on both DrinksTube and FoodTube is consistently increasing. keep up the good work folks!

  9. More coffee vids! I'm a Barista and find these really interesting. Love the vids, love the channel and now really want one of those machines….

  10. I'd love to know how coffee beans are grown, harvested, roasted, packaged and grinded before it arrives at the supermarket or gourmet coffee shops where we enjoy them! Thanks in advance!

  11. Hi Mike, we recently bought a semi – automatic espresso machine, like the one in the video, but I am a latte fan unlike the rest of my family. Could you make a video on how to steam milk properly? With and without machine. Thanks a million :).

  12. You are my favorite DrinksTube person : ) I own a little (DeLonghi) espresso machine and your tips will certainly elevate my preferences for when I purchase a new machine eventually.
    Very nice job, Mike! Thanks : )

  13. I ;d love to see more with those portable expresso machine! do they really work? could they really make good coffee? thx mike love your videos!!

  14. Okay I understand. This means we have to metaphisically transform the anima of the coffee via a multiverse transformator and then a rearange its molecules by forcing the upquarks into a hydroclastic downward spiral. Who would´ve thought it´s that simpel!

  15. if a counterperson at a coffee shop has one thing to do is to push a button on a machine that grinds, tamps, extracts and delivers espresso into a cup, can this person be called a barista?

  16. Hello Mr Jamie! May i know how a Casadio dieci a2 works? And is that possible to modified to be a better coffee machine?

  17. Sir you need to send this video to the airport because they obviously do not know how to make coffee as the coffee plus the cream and sugar should automatically make the water round 54 centigrade which is about the ideal consumption temperature but the coffee from the airport is no less than 100 centigrade and he literally had to swash it around with the straw for 15 minutes just to make it drinkable.

  18. Mike i truly look forward to watch new videos of you !! Your personality makes me so energetic and happy 😃😃
    Maybe a video about how to clean or manage my espresso machine would be very helpful 😁

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