Getting the Best Coffee from Your Fully Automatic Coffee Machine

We’re here to help you make great coffee within the comfort of your home every day. Sure, sorting out a cup of flawless espresso begins with a reliable fully automatic coffee machine, but these machines too require some tweaking and dialing-in.

Here are some tips, tricks and everything you need to know to ensure you are getting the most out of your fully automatic coffee machine.

Already know what you want? Visit our De’Longhi eshop.

The Beans

a lady opening the lids of 2 coffee bean hoppers
Getting the best from your fully automatic coffee machine. Photo from De’Longhi

We’ll start with the star of the show — the coffee beans.

A fresh cup of coffee starts with high-quality coffee beans and proper storage to maximise their freshness and flavour. Your coffee beans’ greatest enemies are air, moisture, heat, and light.

Store your beans in an opaque, air-tight container at room temperature, and keep them in a dark and cool location.

Tip: Experiment with your grind and adjust the setting to draw maximum flavour out of your beans. Start by setting your grinder as fine as possible before taking it up a notch until coffee is extracted slowly, smoothly, and surely. You’ll see a syrupy appearance to the drawn coffee.

Not sure which coffee beans suit your taste? Try these to start with. Make sure you keep a steady supply by signing up for a coffee bean subscription.

The Water

a glass half-filled with water
Our secret to best-tasting coffee is to use filtered water. Photo from Stephan Müller

98% of the liquid in coffee is water, which makes it an important element in your coffee-making process.

Some people define clean water in their coffee as flavourless and odourless, but our own general rule is, “If you wouldn’t drink a glass of it, don’t make your coffee with it.” Make sure you change the water in the tank frequently to ensure best-tasting coffee.

Tip: Use the litmus test paper provided with your De’Longhi fully automatic coffee machine to check the level of water hardness. Our best solution is to use filtered water.

Although water plays an important role in coffee, it is a menace to coffee machines. Here’s why.

The Milk

a coffee machine milk dispenser dispensing foam milk into a cup
Use fresh milk to ensure a tasty coffee, time after time.

Apart from the coffee beans, the milk is every bit a part of your resulting coffee too, as your choice of milk affects how your brewed coffee will ultimately taste.

One rule of thumb — only use fresh milk. By fresh, we don’t mean getting your milk from the supermarket every single day, just straight from the refrigerator.

Our recommendation for the LatteCrema System carafe is semi-skimmed milk with 1.5% fat for the best foam consistency, volume, and taste. Your coffee will have just the right amount of frothy milk and foam.

Trust us: We did the research.

Tip: To guarantee the best-tasting espresso, keep all the parts of your coffee machine that come in contact with the milk clean. If you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of cleaning and degreasing all parts in your coffee machine that come into contact with milk and just want to get the cleaning part done right and fast, De’Longhi Milk Clean is a great choice.

The Cup

three different types of coffee - an espresso shot, latte, and cuppucino
For espressos, a conical-shaped cup enhances the flavour of your coffee by allowing the formation of the best crema.

When you think of what affects the flavour of your espresso, you are likely to factor in brew ratio, grind size, water temperature, and water quality. But, do you know that the shape of your coffee cup can also impact the profile of your coffee?

A conical-shaped cup enhances your espresso flavour. It allows coffee to flow into the cup without breaking the layer of cream on top of the espresso, yielding the best, velvety crema possible.

Lattes and cappuccinos, nearly all of which are served in thick ceramic mugs in cafes, will be comfortable to drink from but result in quicker heat loss.

Shop here for conical-shaped cups that are perfect for lattes.

Tip: Warm the cup before making your coffee by rinsing it with warm water or placing it on the warming plate on top of the machine.

Cleaning your machine

By nature, coffee is a very oily substance. Over time, coffee oils accumulate inside the machine, forming a residue. Without cleaning, your coffee will taste bitter and produce an acrid smell. In the long run, clogging of coffee residue may also render the machine spoilt.

Cleaning your coffee machine, especially the components that come into contact with coffee grinds or beans, such as carafes, brew chambers, portafilter baskets and grinder burrs, will ensure a fresh coffee every single time.

In fact, we’d recommend a deep clean every week. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Descaling your machine

Having a nice, clean shot of espresso at the start of each day is nice, but it’s not quite as nice, however, when you notice that your fully automatic coffee machine is full of limescale.

It is the white, chalky residue left behind by dissolved minerals (mostly magnesium and calcium ions) in your tap water. While the limescale buildup in your coffee machine is not dangerous or harmful, it can contribute to poor-tasting coffee.

Limescale in your coffee machine prevents water from being optimally heated, and extracting the full flavour of your coffee beans will be futile, resulting in weak coffee. Your coffee won’t be hot enough to enjoy too.

For this reason, we’d highly recommend descaling your coffee machine regularly.

Purchasing your first fully automatic coffee machine? Visit the De’Longhi eshop.