CafeIQ Debut: Every New Beginning is Some Other Beginning’s End


This is the QM67 double-boiler espresso machine from Quick Mill.

This is a great little machine. Well, it’s not little, but it is great. It has two boilers — one for hot espresso water and one for steam used for frothing milk. Everyone likes a good latte (I do), and two boilers makes making those beverages easy. We’ll talk about the different types of machines in a future article, but suffice it to say that the double boiler is a great choice. The QM67 also features a dual PID (proportional integrative derivative) controller. This is a microprocessor that is used to manage the temperature of the fluids in the boilers. As opposed to a dumb thermal fuse that just goes on and off in a big temperature range, the PID is able to cycle the heaters in the boilers precisely to help maintain the desired temperature.


The E61 head and thermometer.

There are also different types of brew heads on espresso machines, in addition to the different boiler styles. In this case, the QM67 features an E61 brew head, so named because it was invented/patented in 1961 by Italian company called Faema. It’s basically a giant heavy brass thingy attached to the boiler that has tubes in it. The tubes allow natural convection of boiler water through the brew head. This convection combined with the epic thermal mass of the giant brass head helps to ensure temperature stability while pulling the shot- because pulling good shots takes time.

Most E61 units also come with a port to insert a thermometer. That costs extra, too. You want one of those so that you know what the temperature is at the coffee, instead of just in the boiler. I like this particular coffee at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which ends up being a boiler setting of about 202 degrees Fahrenheit. All in a quest for accuracy and precision- which all comes in good time.

And, speaking of time…


You will want a timer.

Again, a waterproof timer would be beneficial, but this one has served me just fine. Since we are using scales to measure weights, and since we are going for accuracy and precision, timing our shots is also very important on the path to consistency.

Alright, enough yacking. Let’s make a latte. We’ll introduce some more equipment during the process. You can't have enough equipment. Mostly because you can't afford all the equipment you want.


Measure all the things.

I like lattes. They’re pretty much all I make. I measure all the things. And I mean all the things. Even the milk.


I shoot for 170 grams of milk.

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