The water temperature, the grounds, the pressure inside your brewer all need to be just right. Thankfully, the Minipresso NS2 does a lot of the hard work for you.
Blog by: Breanna Wilson
Brewing an espresso is a bit of an artform. The water temperature, the grounds, the pressure inside your brewer all need to be just right. If just one thing is off, your espresso comes out flat and lifeless – and that’s no way to start a day.
Luckily, the Minipresso NS2 does a lot of the hard work for you. With a few simple tips and tricks for brewing, you can easily extract a perfect café-quality espresso in minutes.
Save yourself the trip to the coffee shop and the over-priced shot of espresso – once you master brewing with the Minipresso NS2, or any one of Wacaco’s other espresso brewers, you won’t be able to find a better espresso in town anyways.
Below, we’re sharing some of our favorite tips and tricks for brewing with the Minipresso NS2, so that you can brew a better espresso with every pull.
Preheat Your Brewer
Recommended water temperature: 90-96°C (195-205°F) or almost boiling
Similar to some of our favorite Nanopresso brewing hacks, preheating your Minipresso NS2 brewer means your water won’t lose its temperature during the extraction process. This translates to a better, more-balanced shot of espresso with better crema.
Before brewing, simply remove the lid from the water tank and add your 90-96°C (195-205°F), or roughly almost boiling, water. Screw the water tank’s lid back on, unlock the piston, and start pumping. Once you’ve pumped all the water through the brewer, you’re ready to begin your brewing process. Try not to delay your brewing too long so that the brewer stays warm.
Additionally, the quality of the water you use matters. Be sure to use filtered water when brewing for a clean, crisp taste that’s free from minerals or other impurities.
Smooth, Consistent One Second Pumps
Using two hands, you should aim to pump the Minipresso NS2’s piston smoothly and consistently, aiming for about one pump per second (or more). Don’t rush through this process, this is where the pressure inside the brewer builds so that you can extract a rich, crema-topped shot of espresso.
Once your espresso starts flowing, you won’t be able to resist the aroma – and soon, the taste.
Keep Your Coffee Capsules Fresh
Store your coffee capsules in a cool, dry place, and out of direct sunlight. The most common mistake people make is to keep them in the fridge. We advise against this because they could potentially absorb the aromas inside the fridge, and no one wants their morning espresso to taste like last night’s pork ribs. Or do they?
While single-serve coffee capsules were designed to stay fresh longer than coffee grounds, it’s recommended that you consume them within 6-12 months of purchase. So, it’s okay to stock up for a year to save on buying in bulk, but we don’t recommend buying more than that.
Just like the water you use when brewing, the quality of the coffee in your capsules matters, too.
Clean Your Minipresso NS2 After Each Use
Cleaning your Minipresso NS2 after each use ensures you don’t have any buildups anywhere there shouldn’t be. Since you’re using coffee capsules during this brewing process, worrying about lose, escaped coffee grounds is less of a worry, but is still something to look for.
Wipe the brewer down with a warm wet cloth after each extraction, paying special attention to the portafilter head, and leave the brewer in separate pieces to dry. Once the brewer is completely dry, reassemble it and put it back in its bag or carrying case and you’re ready to brew as soon as your next espresso craving hits.
Achieving the Perfect Crema
There are plenty of signs to look for when brewing your espresso that will tell you if you’ve done it correctly or not. The easiest to spot is the crema that tops your fresh extraction.
The perfect crema is a golden-brown color, indicating that you’ve brewed correctly. It should be velvety to your lips – not too foamy and slightly bitter to the taste. Some people mix it into their shot while others leave it as is. Either way, it helps balance the flavors of your espresso.
If there is no crema on top of your freshly brewed shot, adjust the temperature of your water (it was probably too low) and pay extra attention to how you’re pumping the piston to build the correct pressure.
Double check the freshness of your coffee capsule while you’re at it. While this is a more unlikely factor, double check the expiration date as well as if there were any accidental punctures in the capsule. If the coffee inside the capsule has been exposed to air too long, this oils in the grounds will have broken down. A lack of these oils means they can’t emulsify with the water during the extraction process and no crema will appear.
Turn Your Espresso into an Espresso-Drink
Because the resulting shot of espresso from the Minipresso NS2 is a balanced, crema-topped creation, it makes a great base for an espresso-based drink like a latte, macchiato, or cappuccino. Follow these 8 easy espresso and coffee-based drink recipes on the blog and get the most out of brewing with the Minipresso NS2.