The popularity of coffee is at an all-time high with the marketing of the drink as a work booster in our times of work-obsessed and work-frenzy environments. Popular culture and popular media have contributed to this perception of the drink, which has also contributed to the skyrocketing of the drink. You just need to find out how does a bean to cup coffee machine work to make the best coffee, so find the answer further below!
As such, the knowledge about the various kinds of coffee and how to brew them is especially growing among layman consumers of the drink. Therefore, the ever-present cafe scene where the layman coffee consumer goes to have their drink can no longer just offer instant coffee as their primary coffee beverage.
Instant coffee is often seen as an inferior kind of coffee to the kind that is filtered or brewed otherwise. Therefore, an instant coffee being served in a high-end or mid-end cafe would be seen as preposterous.
On the other hand, the cafes cannot go back to conventional coffee-making processes because it will cut them back on time immensely.
The process of filtered coffee making is intensive and therefore in times of fast consumerism, automation of the coffee-making process which attempts to preserve the rich and authentic experience of the filtered coffee or at least provide a close equivalent is required to keep pace with the growing demand.
This is where the bean-to-cup coffee machines come into the picture with their automation and efficiency in making quality coffee brews within a short amount of time to match the demands of fast consumerism.
Further, these machines not only help the cafe owners to run their businesses like a pro but also provide those who can afford to have a machine, the experience of having rich coffee in the comfort of their homes without any hassle.
How Does a Bean To Cup Coffee Machine Work?
With that being said, let us take a look at how the bean-to-coffee machines work. But first, we have to understand the principle behind making an espresso, which is the base product that such a machine makes as an output product.
Principles Of Making An Espresso
An espresso is a strong brew or “shot” of coffee that can be served as is in small glasses or can be used as a base for other coffee-based drinks such as the cappuccino, the latte or the mocha and such.
Therefore, making an espresso is the basic groundwork for making any other kind of fancier and more delightful brews of coffee. As mentioned previously, espressos are generally made in “shots”, which basically means a small condensed or strong brew of the coffee.
To make one shot of espresso, the process usually involves passing hot water through ground coffee at high pressure. When made correctly, the resultant shot should be ideally dark brown in color with a rich brownish foam on the top of the liquid surface. This brownish foam is called a crema and its richness is a sign of fresh espresso.
The quality of the espresso shot and thereafter any other drink that uses it as its base is dependent on the pressure at which the hot water forces through the ground coffee, the temperature of the water, the quality of the ground coffee along with the quality of the coffee beans used.
With so many variables involved in the process of making an espresso shot, the end result can be tweaked to the drinker’s preference with a little bit of practice. As such, the process of coffee brewing acquires an artistic quality that can vary from person to person.
Having understood the principles of making an espresso, let us take a look at the bean-to-coffee machine whose explicit purpose is to make this espresso shot.
The Working Of The Bean-To-Coffee Machine
The bean-to-coffee machine performs two different sets of functions to make an espresso shot. These two functions are:
- Grinding the coffee beans.
- Forcing hot water through the ground coffee at high pressure.
Now, let us look at each of these function sets in detail to understand the science behind the art of coffee brewing.
Grinding The Coffee Beans
The quality of the espresso or any coffee brew depends immensely on the quality of the coffee beans used and the consistency and texture to which they are ground, along with the freshness of the process of grinding.
While the general quality of the beans cannot be controlled by the bean-to-coffee machine, advanced models of the machine can control the consistency and the texture of the ground coffee which can be adjusted for taste, feel and time by the coffee brewer.
Furthermore, since the bean-to-coffee machine grounds the coffee beans freshly every time it makes a brew, it retains the oils that are inside the coffee bean to provide a rich freshness to the ground coffee. This provides an extra edge to the espresso shot that is made with such a machine.
Forcing Hot Water Through The Ground Coffee At High Pressure
After the coffee beans have been ground, the next step that the bean-to-coffee machine does is to force hot water through the ground coffee at high pressure.
In this machine, there is a water reservoir in which the water is heated through a device called the thermoblock.
The thermoblock is designed in such a way that it only allows water to be heated one way and reduces wastage while providing these machines with the capability to heat water instantly on-demand as soon as the coffee beans are ground.
Through another valve design, the heated water is then forced through the ground coffee at high pressures, often in the range of 15-19 bars to produce the espresso shot.
As mentioned earlier, the number of variables in this process are numerous and while the basic bean-to-coffee machines just serve the above two functions with a preset arrangement of these variables, the advanced models allow for control and regulation of factors such as temperature and pressure for the perfect brew.
Now, you know how the bean-to-coffee machines work and every time you work in a cafe next and the barista makes the coffee to your liking, you now know the know-how.