A barista-style latte is an essential part of Jo De Bono’s daily routine. Her fully-automatic is set on timer so that by the time’s she’s downstairs and ready to start her morning, so is her coffee machine.
“I have a café quality coffee every morning with the press of a button. It’s exactly the way I like it and perfect, every time,” says the Melbourne-based Graphic Designer.
For Jo, who is also a Mum to two teenage girls, being on the go is the norm. Which is why she shifted from a manual espresso machine to a fully-automatic to begin with. Now she can’t imagine reverting back to the manual, not just because of how fast and convenient her De’Longhi Magnifica is, but as a matter of personal taste.
“I enjoy a decent coffee. I do love going to a café and having a barista make me a coffee – just as there is great pleasure in going to a restaurant for a nice meal – but I have to say I often still prefer the coffee I make at home because it suits my palate,” explains Jo. “Also, the automatic just delivers, every single time – it doesn’t have an ‘off’ day. I wouldn’t trade this machine for any other, except maybe a newer model in a few years’ time!”
When it comes to coffee, taste is of course subjective, with a number of factors influencing the way a brew will be perceived.
For Cheryl Bosworth, whose life’s mission has been in learning all facets of the coffee industry – from being a barista, to roasting, to learning the mechanics of espresso machines, to the sales and training side of the business – the coffee experience remains a highly personal one.
“Taste will be 99 per cent subjective with coffee because it’s such a personal experience. I could come to you with what I believe to be the best beans in the world, but you will have an entirely different tasting experience,” says the Product Trainer for De’Longhi Australia. “This is because it’s also an emotional experience for most people. It’s not just about the beverage, but the moment it creates.”
On this point, Jo wholeheartedly agrees. The coffee experience is as much about personal wellness for her as it is in enjoying the drink itself.
“It’s definitely an important part of my day, as it’s when I have my ‘me time’. I’m generally not one to sit on the couch or be idle. But when I have my morning coffee, I take the time to sit down, and take a moment,” she explains. “I enjoy that nice easing into the day, having my coffee and casually flicking through the news on my tablet or phone.”
According to Cheryl, Jo is among a rising throng of coffee enthusiasts who are opting for a domestic machine that will give them a barista-quality coffee in their own home, consistently.
“One of the key factors driving the domestic market is increased consumer knowledge of how a coffee is made, and then wanting to replicate that experience at home,” says Cheryl, who has been in the industry for 25 years. “There’s a sense of achievement in being able to make a café quality coffee at home, but also – and more importantly, in creating one that is perfect in terms of the flavours you personally want to get from that cup.”
However, there are many variables when it comes to creating perfect-tasting coffee, personal taste buds aside. One of the most common issues consumers face is in over- or under-extracted coffee.
“Whether it’s the grind setting or the amount of coffee used, or even the wrong temperature, this is the most common problem domestic users face,” says Cheryl.
This is why fully-automatic machines are a good fit for consumers who want to enjoy a barista-level brew, but without all the effort that goes into making the coffee manually.
“De’Longhi are one of the few companies that make it really easy for coffee-lovers to personalise their coffee. There are traditional settings, such as the grind setting, which you match to your beans, but then you can personalise the volume, aroma, and temperature,” Cheryl explains. “Another important feature is that the spout is adjustable. Everyone has that perfect coffee cup or mug at home, and this allows you to customise to your cup size.”
Importantly, the automatic experience doesn’t prevent domestic users from learning more about the coffee-making process. In fact, it can encourage more creativity and experimentation.
“This is especially true as the machines become more digital, with more guidance as to how you can change your settings. Our De’Longhi coffee link app will allow consumers to adjust their settings or even create new coffee recipes from their phone – whenever inspiration strikes,” enthuses Cheryl. “The ‘My Function’ is also fantastic, as it shows you how to adjust the settings visually. It will also take you through a live recording of how your coffee is made, so you can learn and gain a thorough understanding of each of the steps involved. Then you can save those settings so that you have a one-touch experience next time you come back to the machine.”
Cheryl recommends that domestic users keep experimenting too, even if they’ve found their perfect coffee settings.
“Taste isn’t permanent. It keeps changing, because we keep changing. Experimenting with your machine and exploring new flavour profiles will allow you to adapt and evolve along that personal coffee path,” she advises.
And with that comment, the timeless question arises: is the coffee experience about the journey or the destination for you? Cheryl often uses the analogy of a road trip when discussing manual coffee-making and the fully-automatic process.
“For some coffee aficionados, or die-hard baristas, it’s all about the journey in the making. There’s a romance in making your coffee manually. While for others, it’s about getting to that really good cup of coffee really quickly,” she says. “Secretly, despite having been a barista all my life, there are some days where I absolutely love using the automatic machine. I press one button and get an awesome cup of coffee.”
Certainly, this was a deciding factor for Jo, who was originally inspired to buy a manual domestic espresso machine after being introduced to one at work.
“I loved that manual domestic machine but going through that manual process in the morning was too much,” says Jo. “Having the fully-automatic De’Longhi makes it easy for me, and gives me a quality coffee every time. And what I also love about it is I can quickly make coffees for my family when they visit, exactly how they like it. My husband also has his own settings, tailored to what he likes. We can all have a café standard coffee to our individual preference, without all the hard work and time that goes into making the coffees manually.”
To learn more about how De’Longhi fully automatic machines can create barista style coffees in your home, click here