How to Use a Briel Espresso Machine
Briel is a Portuguese company that specializes in making coffee machines and has a wide range of espresso machines on the market. Naturally, not all the machines are the same, but most have common, easy-to-use features such as a steam wand for frothing milk, a coffee filter and a dial which allows you to choose the strength of your beverage. The basic process of using the machines is similar across all models.
Fill the water tank to the level indicated on the unit. The water tank is found at the back of the unit, and there will be clear markings of "min" and "max," which indicate which level you should fill the tank up to.
Switch the coffee machine on. You will notice a light on the front of your machine will illuminate when the water is at a suitable brewing temperature. Markings are different on each model, but the light will more than likely illuminate beside a picture of a coffee cup or a temperature symbol.
Place the filter basket in the filter basket holder, the cylinder with the handle attached. Place espresso-ground coffee inside the filter basket and tamp it down. If your model is equipped for using coffee pods, use the special filter for the pod.
Secure the filter basket holder into the metallic port on the underside of the main body of the Briel espresso machine. Twist it snugly into place.
Adjust the size of your espresso shot. There will be a dial which you can adjust which will change the size of your espresso (usually signified by the symbol of a slightly filled cup at the beginning of the dial range, stretching to the symbol of a full coffee cup). Turn the dial to the size of espresso shot you would like.
Press the button on your espresso machine that looks like a coffee cup to make your coffee.
If you wish to add frothed milk to your espresso, press the button on your machine that is beside a symbol for steam. Wait for the nearby light to illuminate--this tells you the water in the tank is at a suitable temperature to produce steam.
Place the wand inside a jug of hot milk and turn the knob on the top of your machine very gradually. You will hear the steam beginning to heat the milk and eventually you will see the heating process. When you have frothed the milk, add it to your espresso.
Fold a thick cloth three or four times for extra thickness and use it to clean the steam wand. Clean the rest of the machine, too, before switching the unit off.
- For definitive explanations of the specific buttons and markings on your particular unit, refer to the user manual which came with the product.
Alan Temple has been writing since 2007 and has published articles for "The Scotsman" and "The List." He now works in the media department of Motherwell Football Club. Temple graduated with honors with a journalism degree at Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Coffee machine image by Nikolay Okhitin from Fotolia.com