A recent study showed that the average Canadian consumed 2.8 cups of coffee in a day, making it the most popular beverage after water. It also found that we prefer fresh brew coffee to instant, so not only do we like a lot of it, we like it to be good quality as well!
One of the most effective ways of producing that perfect brew is by using a bean to cup (B2C) coffee machine. These allow you to select your own beans, grind them just how you like and prepare your coffee with water heated to just the right temperature at exactly the correct pressure - all at the touch of a button! There are three main types of bean to cup options; automatic, manual and commercial grade.
The automatic model will offer computer controlled simplicity; just fill the hopper with beans, select your grind preference, fill the reservoir with water and press the button. The machine will grind, tamp and brew you the perfect espresso, cappuccino or latte.
A manual machine is a cheaper option but will require you to froth your own milk for any beverage other than an espresso.
For the dedicated 'caffeine head', a commercial grade machine will deliver the same automatic brew but is constructed from superior components. They will also generally offer a higher pressure rating, larger bean hopper and a faster brew.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
As any espresso lover will tell you, one of the most important elements of the perfect cup is the crema. This dense brown foam which rests on the surface of the brew is very hard to achieve even for the most experienced barista. A good quality B2C machine will crush the coffee beans as opposed to cutting them, allowing the oil to be extracted. This, combined with brewing at the optimum water pressure and temperature, will ensure that you achieve your ideal crema. The higher price models will also feature an integrated vacuum separation unit which will keep the brewed coffee separate from the grounds, minimizing the risk of any gritty debris escaping into the bottom of the cup.
An important thing to remember about B2C machines is to 'know your beans!' Your brew will only be as good as the beans you use, so do a little homework to find your favorite before you start. Generally speaking, Central and South American beans will produce a milder, smoother finish, while Ethiopian and Kenyan will provide a richer, more robust flavor. These make the better option for milk based beverages such as latte or macchiato as they maintain their strength.
Bean to Cup Machine Options
The following are just a small selection of the range of bean to cup coffee makers available from Quebec based supplier, Creative Coffee. They provide brewing solutions from the world?s leading manufacturers, offering the very best in quality and delivery.
The Swiss made, Jura Ena Micro 1 One Touch machine is a fully automatic, compact model which features a choice of three cup sizes; espresso, lungo and ristretto, each with two aroma levels. The special aroma preservation lid ensures that the coffee beans maintain their freshness. It has an integrated grinder and a micro-brew function which delivers the perfect espresso with barista style crema. The 37oz water reservoir and 7oz bean hopper will guarantee there will always be the ingredients for the first (or last!) cup of the day. Jura have even incorporated environmentally friendly features such as a high efficiency zero energy switch and a pre-programmable automatic switch off function. Prices for this model start from 899.99 CAD.
For a semi-automatic option, try the Italian designed, Vev Vigaro EspressaMente (from 999.99 CAD) which delivers a larger capacity with a 1.5 litre water tank and 200g bean hopper in addition to a pre-programmable beverage selection, cup warmer, adjustable ceramic grinder and a Panarello steam wand for producing the frothiest cappuccinos and lattes.
A treat for the real connoisseur would be the Gaggia Titanium Office machine. This super automatic B2C model features two independent stainless steel lined boilers, one for brewing and one for steaming. It is feature packed, offering 3 pre-programmable brewing options, 15 bar pump pressure, an auto-frother, a burr grinder with a choice of 18 different settings - and all operated from the one touch LCD control panel. The reservoir capacity is a generous 60oz with an 8.5oz bean hopper and the machine can accommodate a total of 6 demitasses cups at once so you can invite all of your friends around to show off your barista skills! The price for this super-brewing solution starts from 1,499.99 CAD.