The Uber Cool Tips and Tricks That Espresso Coffee Maker Owners Should Try

The path to making that perfect cup of espresso can be arduous and tricky, my friend. Buying the espresso machine is just the first step. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make a better shot of espresso and to make the best use that slinky machine of yours-

First, keep in mind the five integral factors that come into consideration while making a great cup of coffee – the Grind, Coffee Beans, Water, the Espresso machine and You.

1. Grind

In your quest for coffee apprentices, remember, chose your grinder wisely.

This, is the make or break component of the espresso. You must aim for the perfect coffee grind, therefore, the grinder is integral to the process, if the coffee grind is too coarse there won’t be optimal extraction since the pressurized water will pass through too fast, and, if the grind is too fine, the water won’t get through and it will clog up the filter.

Your grind should feel like table salt rather than sugar or flour.

You will be forced re-calibrate your grinder many times, in some instances even for the same batch and roast of coffee. So invest in a good grinder.

Keep in mind that mastering this skill is something that takes time, practice and patience. Yet, once you get the hang of this, not only will you be able to taste the finer, intricate notes of the coffee but most importantly you will be able to adjust it to your liking.

2. Coffee Beans

Excellent coffee beans= Excellent espresso.

Fresh coffee beans make a huge difference in the flavoring and taste of your espresso. Ideally, your roast should be three days old for the best coffee experience, pass the five-day mark and your beans start to get stale and lose their intensity.

Ideally, freshly roasted beans are recommended for espressos.

Roast your beans in small batches and DO NOT refrigerate. The condensation residue formed on the coffee and the oils inside that crystallize ultimately serve to distort its flavor. Temperature control is part of the preparation as it preserves the unique taste of your coffee.

Always keep your roasted beans away from sunlight, moisture, and oxygen.

3. Water

Water is key in the brewing process since it makes up 98% of your coffee. Water acts as a solvent to extract and dissolve the flavor compounds, therefore it can increase or decrease body, impact acidity and influence the filtration.

The best water to coffee ratio is 17.4 units of water to a unit of coffee.

Avoid using ionized or distilled water. Distilled water has a tendency to wear away the machine in order to extract minerals. This erosion will eventually damage your boiler, fittings, and pipes. Also, your espresso will taste weird.

Moderate soft water is recommended since hard water will eventually leave residue in your machine.

Filtered, cool, fresh water ensures the best results.

4. The Espresso Machine

Remember to read the manual closely since each machine is different. Take the time to learn the process of making the espresso and enjoy it.

Maintain your machine and clean it regularly.

5. You

Espresso making is an art form and people sometimes spend lifetimes searching for their espresso. An espresso machine allows you more control and choice but it is important to learn and experiment in order to get your ‘god ‘ shot. The perfect espresso is subjective even if it hits all the checkboxes of quality. You will learn about yourself, your machine and your coffee while making it. It is a journey.

Time, patience and experience are key.

Now, a few tips and tricks to help you use your espresso machine better,

  • Always preheat your machine, portafilter, and cup using a ‘blank’ shot before you start making your espresso so that it doesn’t cool the extraction down when you’re pulling the actual shot.
  • Don’t delay. Lock the portafilter handle into the group head and start the extraction process immediately. Coffee left in the portafilter will burn quickly.
  • Time your brewing. The pour time has to remain constant. Stay between 28 and exceed 30 seconds. A single shot of espresso should ideally produce 25- 30 ml in approximately 25-30 seconds. A double shot of espresso should have 60 ml in 25 seconds.
  • Keep in mind the type of cream you are looking for, white crema means it was extracted too quickly while dark brown indicates it was too slow. The idea cup of espresso will have a golden layer of crema on top.
  • Do a light tamp before the heavy tamping to ensure that the coffee is evenly distributed and always brush the excess remaining grounds off the portafilter rim as these will eventually wear out the group gasket.
  • Don’t tap the portafilter after tamping. After tamping, you have a compressed cake of coffee and the shock of tapping can crack it. Any fissures in the puck at that point are not likely to be sealed up properly by a second tamp, and they’ll create pathways for the water to channel through the puck instead of evenly saturating and extracting it.
  • You can do it before tamping while the grounds are loose, it helps settle and re-distribute the grounds, which can be a good thing.
    Once the puck is tamped, leave it be and pull the shot.
  • You should clean the group and the portafilter periodically. When cleaning the equipment, your goal is to break down the remnant old oils and eliminate them. Don’t use harsh soaps to clean any of your espresso-making equipment as it can taint the flavoring of your espressos.
  • Make sure your portafilter and tamper match, otherwise there will be problems with consistency which will lead to channeling, so make sure they are the right match.

Hopefully, these tips will help you on your path to the ‘god’ shot comrades. Remember practice and experimentation is vital for brewing the best espresso possible.…

Application Process for Marijuana in Detroit

Medical marijuana has actually been around in Michigan for quite some time – believe it or not, state voters approved the original legislation way back in November 2008. However, under a new set of laws that went into effect back in December 2016, the state is finally starting to see its expected surge in MMJ applicants. And fortunately, the new application process is very streamlined and simple.

To help you navigate the process read this article exhaustively.

First, though, it’s important to understand that only applicants through the official Michigan Medical Marijuana Program may obtain a registry ID card. There have been reports of third-party licensing and rumors that a physician’s recommendation and a completed application may serve as a temporary registration card, but this is not true.

Also, if you are applying for a medical card in Michigan or have applied for one in the past, it is important to understand the following:

  • All aspects of medical marijuana registration are administered through the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation (BMMR), which is housed in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)
  • Any other vendor(s) claiming to supply marijuana ID cards – or claiming to be able to issue them in the same day – in MI are not legitimate.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card?

Residents of Michigan actually have it relatively easy compared to other states in the country in terms of applying for medical marijuana. Here are the basic steps for how to apply for a medical marijuana card in Michigan:

Update: As of December 6, 2018, recreational cannabis is legal in Michigan (due to the passing of Proposal 1). However, recreational dispensaries will not be up and running and adults will not be able to access any marijuana products until early 2020. For the time being, applying for an MMJ card is still the only way to purchase and use legal medical marijuana in Michigan.

You don’t need to be michigan medical card application any form of physician, you just need to be a certified physician by the State of Michgan.

Step 1 – Download the official application and meet with a doctor

The first step to applying for a medical marijuana card in the state of Michigan is to download and print the official MMMP Application Packet.

Once you have the application, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with a currently licensed/practicing doctor in the state of Michigan to see whether or not you have a condition that qualifies for treatment with medical marijuana (see list of qualifying conditions below).

On the last page of the application is the Physician Recommendation Form – this will need to be filled out and signed by the recommending doctor and submitted along with the other documents in the application packet.

Also, it is important to understand that the state of Michigan does not supply a list of marijuana-recommending physicians – you will need to take initiative and get in touch with a physician’s office to see if a cannabis recommendation is a possibility (feel free to get in touch with us for recommendations on where you can go).
Also, beware that many offices will charge a consultation fee that is additional to the state’s application fee.

Step 2 – Complete the application packet and gather supplemental documents

After you have visited your doctor and he/she has filled out the Physician Recommendation Form documenting that you have a medical marijuana-qualifying condition, you will need to proceed with filling out the rest of the Application Packet.

Please note that in order to get a Medical Marijuana Card in Michigan, you MUST be a resident of the state. You will need to provide proof of residency via one of the following ways:

  • A valid Michigan driver’s license, OR
  • A personal ID card from the state of MI, OR
  • A signed MI voter registration card

A clear and legible copy of one of the above forms MUST be mailed in with the application packet to be considered for approval. Also, be aware that a copy of a voter registration card without a signature is not valid – if you submit your proof of residency via voter registration, you will need to include additional proof of identity via a government-issued document that includes your name and birth (if you have any questions about which type of documents qualify, call 517-284-6400 or e-mail [email protected]).

In addition to the proof of residency, all completed applications must include:

  • A $60 patient application fee (in the form of a check or money order made out to State of Michigan – MMMP)
    Also, if you need to have your official caregiver submit your application on your behalf, be advised that the process is somewhat different

Step 3 – Submit the application packet and wait for approval

Once you have your payment and all of your documents completed and in order, you are then ready to mail the Application Packet to the MMMP program for reviewal. Submit all documents (including application packet, physician recommendation form, payment, and proof of residency) to the following address:

Michigan Medical Marihuana Program
PO Box 30083
Lansing, MI 48909

If the application was submitted completely and in order, Michigan is actually required by law to notify you within 15 business days whether it was accepted or rejected. (If you submitted your application more than 5 weeks ago and have not received your registry ID card, you can inquire by calling 517-284-6400 and selecting option #4).

Eligible Conditions to Receive a Medical Marijuana Card?

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, Proposal 1 allows patients suffering from the following conditions to apply for an MMJ card and buy cannabis products from operating dispensaries:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • PTSD
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease

Also, patients suffering from a “chronic or debilitating medical condition” that causes one of the following will be allowed to apply for an MMJ card:

  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome;
  • severe and chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures, including those characteristics of epilepsy; or
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristics of multiple sclerosis