The DeLonghi Perfecta Super Automatic Espresso Machine is a professional quality home- or business-use espresso machine. The machine comes with a 25-oz. container that attaches for steaming milk to make cappuccinos and lattes, and espresso beans are ground fresh for each shot. A high-end machine, the DeLonghi Perfecta sells for about $1800 new, but if cared for, the machine can last well over a decade.
The Water Tank
The DeLonghi Perfecta has a built-in water tank that holds 60 ounces of water for your espresso shots and steam. The container easily pulls out of its spot at the lower right side of the Perfecta machine to simplify cleaning and filling with water. The water that you put into the water tank runs through many parts of the Perfecta machine, however, and this is sometimes overlooked by owners who use the machine at home only. The DeLonghi Perfecta has a water filter that requires replacing when the red filter light comes on. To maintain the machine's components, only fill the water tank with filtered water and replace the water daily to prevent bacteria build-up or deposits from calcium, lime or hard water.
The DeLonghi Perfecta allows you to customize a "My Coffee" setting where you can select the size of the espresso shot, from one to four ounces, as well as the coffee taste, from extra-mild to extra-strong. The factory settings are for the middle options of both categories offering a "standard taste" and one ounce shot. Typically, shots that run long can be bitter tasting, so it's a good idea to experiment with the settings before making a full espresso drink. Once the settings are the way you like your espresso shots, the machine stores this information so you just press the buttons and go.
Coffee grinds in your cup or espresso shots that run by drops instead of a normal stream of espresso are easily adjusted with the coffee mill knob. The coffee mill is where the espresso beans are stored to be ground and the knob adjusts the grind. If your shots are coming out drop-by-drop, turn the knob one click downward, toward the number "5" or "7" to make the grind a bit coarser. If your shots are pouring fast and may seem watered-down, turn the knob upward toward the "3" or "1" to produce a finer ground espresso. If you are finding espresso grinds or powder in your cup, the grind may be too fine; try adjusting down one or two clicks on the knob.
The DeLonghi Perfecta makes steaming milk easy with the milk container. If you want a latte, the result should be a cup containing espresso and steamed milk, but little or no foam on top. To produce this type of steamed milk, flip the milk steamer dial upward to the "café latte" position. Cappuccino also contains steamed milk and espresso, but nearly a third of the cup contains a top layer of milk foam. To produce the right foam effect in the steamed milk, slide the milk steamer dial downward to the "cappuccino" option. If using the steamed milk for hot chocolate or a green tea latte, use the "café latte" option since these drinks also do not use a lot of dry foam. For ideal foam and steaming, use cold fat-free or reduced-fat milk direct from the refrigerator.
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