Pod-based coffee machines often have more than one trick up their sleeve when it comes to brewing. It's easy to miss all the tips in the owner's manual when you're excited to put your machine to good use, but there are features you should know about for cleaning the machine, preparing your basic coffee, and also getting the best use out of the huge range of pods available. Nespresso's Vertuo machines have a barcode system that will brew your favorite capsules automatically at the proper setting, but there may be times when you want to override the program to get a custom brew. For example, if you're in the mood for an espresso drink, but you've only got coffee pods on hand, knowing how to get a more concentrated brew is key.
Although all Nespresso machines can be set to brew a custom volume from any pod, the newest versions of the machine have a concentrated extraction mode which transforms almost any pod automatically into a single or double espresso with just an extra push of the start button. This setting does more than just restrict the amount of water, it sets the heat and time to get a balanced flavor espresso with minimum effort.
Becoming An Expert On Your Machine
If you've got a Vertuo machine, you can easily check to see if you have the concentrated extraction mode by pressing the start button twice on your next brew cycle. If the light on the button turns turquoise, your regular coffee pod will be brewed as a double shot of espresso. Lungo and double espresso pods will be concentrated to a single shot, and single espresso pods will become the strongest version, ristretto. This quick tip does not change the settings of your machine, just the current brew, so you can easily switch between strength levels at a touch.
If your machine is older and doesn't have the automatic feature, but you prefer your cup more or less concentrated, all of the Vertuo line machines allow you to stop a brew cycle by pressing the start button while the machine is working or top off the cup with a bit more volume with another push. While not quite the same result as the concentrated extraction, this tip will let you get some control over your cup of joe.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.