I’ve been making far more espresso than brewed coffee in the last week or so. I think there’s a couple of reasons for that…

First, when you know you’ve got a *great* espresso blend on hand, you’re much more likely to flip the switch to warm up the machine… and the espresso blends from Riley’s Coffee have been wonderful. It may take 30 minutes or more to warm up the Rancilio Silvia… but when you’re pulling shots throughout the day and just leaving the machine on, it’s no problem at all. [Just be sure to run a little water through the grouphead or draw off some steam if you’re not pulling a shot every couple of hours… you wouldn’t want that boiler to go dry.]

Second, the more you make espresso, the easier it gets, and… well, the more you make espresso. [Yeah, it’s a circular thing.] I think it’s something to do with building a rhythm–grinding, filling the portafilter, tamping, pulling the shot, knocking the puck, rinsing the portafilter… The trick that makes *everything* easier is developing the habit of knocking the puck and rinsing the portafilter while it’s still warm from the last shot. It takes only moments, and leaves you ready to go the moment the next espresso urge strikes. With a little practice, a rhythm for frothing milk for cappuccinos comes just as easily.

Now if I can just make some headway on that latte art…

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