ImageI first received a Presso as a gift for becoming a father nearly 4 years ago, and ever since (until recently getting a ROK), I’ve used it daily. It was certainly a godsend in those first few months of family life, and continues to be the most used appliance in our kitchen.

As a working Barista on and off for the last 15 years I surprisingly never gave too much thought on how I could enjoy coffee at home, apart from the occasional Plunger brew. Suffice to say I was hooked (all over again).

I got a rough guide on how to use it, and ‘pressed’ on. I had no interest in getting a grinder for home – as I woke at 4am to get ready for work, noise in the kitchen at that time isn’t cool, regardless of a new Baby in the house.

I continued grinding beans from whichever Café I was working at at the time, to take home to use in the Presso, knowing, (but stupidly choosing to ignore the importance), that using freshly ground coffee makes an insurmountable difference. I was just happy enough to with a half decent home made coffee. “I’d have a ‘real’ one when I get to work” I thought. Little did I realise that my bad habits and techniques prevented me from having an awesome coffee at home.

One of the benefits of joining the team at Espresso Unplugged, is that I scored a whole new kit. A Rok, Porlex Grinder, a Handpresso and an Aeropress. After recalling old advice, watching a few Videos (http://vimeo.com/presso) and reading up on different techniques, I decided it was time to really get serious about my home-brews.

Firstly, grinding coffee in the Porlex is easier and quicker than I thought, and boy did grinding for each cup bring completely different results to my espresso! Again, I knew this from being a Barista, and whatever excuses I gave myself for not doing it sooner seem now somewhat embarrassing.

I had consistent Crema, the Coffee flavours and tones were noticeable and the taste was no longer bitter and weak from stale grounds.

Also, pre-heating the ROK helped a lot; Before preparing the shot, I would flush some boiling water through, then quickly dry out my portafilter, ready for the real deal.

I’m still having fun experimenting with different measurements and doses – after all, it’s still all about making coffee the way you like it – but once you make a coffee better than your last, you can’t go back!

I also found, that after a long time making coffee professionally, it re-ignited my passion, made me focus more attention on each cup, and sharpen my skills at work. Commercial Espresso Machines are a different kettle of fish, however the same basic principles still apply.

It is important for us to note, though – you do not have to have any professional coffee making background to use and enjoy any products from Espresso Unplugged. They’re simple to use, and the more you do, the better you will get at it.

I’m looking forward to getting together and working with our team to learn more, try out new brewing methods, roasts – and drinking a lot of coffee!

What am I drinking today? I’m finishing off some Black Label Espresso beans from Moonshine Coffee, using the ROK, and the Handpresso.

– Dan