s3nki by March 2022, 24 | 0
Coffee machine for novice baristas - BlitzHome BH-CMM5 test
No matter how brown the coffee is, it's not your machine!
If there’s an article I never wanted to write, that’s it. After my previous article on coffee, many of you took the cross water off me, some of me rightly note. In fact, I didn't understand how to make coffee. Not for making coffee, because that's what I mean.
Because the smart people say we don't make coffee, we make it. I already understand why, but even then they're not entirely right. It is true that coffee is usually made above a certain level, but it is simply brewed below a certain level.
In practice, this means that there are coffee machines that give us a chance to experiment a bit. The grind can be coarse or fine, the pressure of the water, the temperature, the amount of coffee and the amount of water can change, and they all affect what the end result will be.
For that, I dare say it’s coffee MAKING. When we buy ground coffee and put it in the cheapest soda, it’s just cooking.
Well, in my last article, I introduced a coffee maker that we didn’t have much opportunity to intervene in. Of course, we could add different grinds, and we could already play with it, but by default we got the ground coffee in the store, the pressure booster basket helped to make frothy coffee, and we could play with the maximum amount of water and the hardness of the coffee cake.
Nevertheless, I love this machine, I make great coffee with it with a little attention, all for only about 30 thousand forints.
However, BlitzWolf (BlitzHome) has another machine that is much more expensive to measure. For this it is said that it is already a professional structure. This will make the coffee.
When BlitzWolf asked me to write a test about it, I strongly protested. For cattle, I didn’t want to run into another slap in the face, but they were convinced until I said yes.
And then I read or watched espresso machine tests on YouTube for weeks. I learned what makes a machine good or what makes it weak. What properties to look for, how to make a truly aromatic, thick coffee with such a machine. What to look for in the settings is that you need to make whipped cream correctly, steaming milk.
So I trained myself so that by the time the machine arrives, I can really try it out and really make a meaningful opinion that I can give you. You can read this below!
This is the shortest chapter. The packaging is satisfactory, nothing extra, but it is almost certain that your stuff will arrive undamaged, that’s the most important thing.
We get as much of the accessories as the most important thing. I looked at what they add to machines with similar knowledge, but over 200-300 thousand but with similar knowledge, and well a little more, but really a little.
The BlitzHome BH-CMM5 comes with two baskets, one for single serving and one for two serving. For more expensive machines, 3-4 baskets are added, but they are also added for two to three times the price. We get another lever for the baskets, a dosing spoon and a tamper. More expensive machines are used to add a spout / frother to the milk, or a razor, to control the coffee cake in the filter. I don't cry for that either.
As for the accessories. The arm is an extremely demanding piece, with any even more expensive espresso machine I could imagine. The baskets are completely simple pieces, meaning they no longer have a booster. Before you think this is wrong, you need to know that it is not, on the contrary. Tamper is not a craze, it will serve its purpose, but if you are serious about making coffee, you will lose it anyway.
So far, that's all the info, the outside can come!
The BlitzHome machine is a really showy piece. It is relatively compact to the best of its knowledge, but still large compared to a deer boiler and arm cooker. Exactly 41.00 x 28.00 x 32.50 cm is the accommodating size, weighing 9,34 kilograms. So there is material in it.
At first glance, the machine represents a completely different category than the small salt, the BW-CMM2 (Coupon Code: BG949120). Although the housing is mostly plastic, the structure is extremely strong due to this or that. In addition to the four buttons on the front, there is also a pressure gauge, which is welcome, without which it would be difficult to make good coffee.
The steamer button is in its usual place, on the right, but we see far more functions on it than the usual on and off. More details later. It also includes a steam pipe in its usual place, we also find some silicone cover on it so that it doesn’t burn our fingers apart.
As it is a serious machine, we also find a coffee grinder on it, seen from the front on the left. Above is the container for the coffee beans, it's 250 milliliters, so it's a good size (I think). The crazy coffee will fall into the basket at the bottom left. Next to the basket holder, to the right, in the usual place is the arm, from where the coffee will come.
At the back of the machine we find the water tank, which is 2,7 liters, a bit big compared to the category, usually two liters are used on similar machines. Above, on the top of the machine, next to the coffee bean holder, is the usual cup warmer, here we can put our cups before making coffee so that they do not cool the coffee.
At first glance, the impression is definitely positive. The materials are good, there is no problem with the assembly either, so we can start making coffee, but let's see the knowledge of the machine first!
I will strictly describe only what the manufacturer wants to tell us about the capabilities. Evaluation and real skills will come later. Let's get started!
So, the BlitzHome BH-CMM5 is a coffee machine designed for home use, the knowledge of which is essentially (more or less) the same as the machines you might find in cafes.
The power of the machine varies between 1360 and 1620 watts depending on the use. The maximum available water pressure is 20 bar. I have already written above, but let’s repeat, we can put the coffee beans in a 250 milliliter and the water in a 2,7 liter container.
The coffee grinder is a typical conical solution with a 58 mm grinder head, the fineness of the grind can be adjusted in 15 steps. The machine, and thus the grinder, is made of die-cast. At BlitzWolf, it was found essential to say that ground coffee goes directly into the basket in a vertical way. This can be really important for, say, cleaning.
In connection with the grinder, it is also important to control not only the fineness of the grind, but also the amount of coffee.
The machine produces hot water not in a boiler but in a thermal block with a fast heating system. In practice, this means a pipe snake in which the flowing water reaches the required temperature in a matter of seconds.
The manufacturer presents precise water temperature control as an advantage, which is indeed an advantage, but manual control is common for similar categories of machines (but much more expensive). In practice, this allows control in a range of 3-4 degrees. Well, there's no such thing here.
Regarding the heating unit, it is also important that the CMM5 uses a single-circuit unit, ie there is no separate heating circuit for steaming and cooking. This is a disadvantage, but it is good to know that in this product class, price category, it is not available to any manufacturer to the best of my knowledge. This is typical of one (or two) more expensive machines.
They also highlight the accurate flow meter among the important features, and rightly so, that’s really important. It is also good to adjust the amount of water to the amount of coffee, as we do not want to make filter American coffee, but creamy espresso!
It is important that the machine automatically releases the steam left behind after use, so it releases the pressure when not in use.
Lastly, the real-time pressure gauge is highlighted, which I think is a basic requirement for such a machine.
How to make coffee?
I predict, I am an avid amateur with little knowledge. So I’m happy to take any additions to the article if you think I don’t know something well or you know otherwise!
The CMM5 is a semi-professional coffee machine, which means it doesn’t work like you’re going to take a bag of random coffee beans, pour it in, the machine somehow grinds it, puts it in a filter, and then the coffee flows out at the bottom. No, you have to blast a little with this machine, but then you can get results.
Let’s start there, there are crazy differences between coffee beans and coffee beans that I don’t even want to go into right now. The point in this case is that different amounts of coffee and different grinding delicacies are required.
It is also very important what pressure the coffee machine can produce. Pumpkin is good if a machine knows 20 bars, but to be honest, this is not necessary when making coffee. The upper limit is usually set at 15 bar, above which the resulting pressure displaces the coffee cake and the water passes through the cake without the hot water and pressure soaking the materials we need from the ground.
So when we start experimenting, we start with the fineness of grinding and the amount of coffee. Once we have loaded the coffee into the basket and put the lever in place, the hot water can come in and the pressure gauge will play a role here!
Let's say it is basic to have pre-soaking in a machine with such knowledge. This is important so that the coffee in the filter needs to swell up a bit before the pressure arrives. If the machine is beyond this, it will release the pressure on the cake. We need to be on the lookout!
In this case, it is important to monitor the pressure gauge. If the pressure goes up a lot, we’ve either ground the coffee too finely, or compressed it too much with a tamper, or we’ve made both mistakes.
In connection with the compaction, I note that we find a small rubber cushion at the bottom of the arm, on which we can support the basket during the compaction, e.g. to the edge of the kitchen counter so we can press the tamper on the filter with great force. Dear attention, thank you!
So this is when you can experiment with the fineness of grinding. Once we get to the point where the pressure is right, we can experiment further with the amount of water. Really professionals also choose what kind of water they use, usually soft with not too many minerals in it. Hard water isn’t good for coffee machines anyway, a lot of limescale is deposited in places where it shouldn’t.
Okay, now we’ve gotten to the point where the pressure was right, we also poured the amount of water into the dispensed coffee, and the creamy, foamy, thick dark liquid came down, which we don’t call it espresso.
Then there may be another staircase, it is no longer mandatory to froth the milk. We will need frothed milk to make different coffee drinks, but it doesn’t matter what it is.
We use cold milk and we need to be careful not to overheat. Cold milk will make better foam, and too hot milk will not form nicely separate layers when making a latte, say. Frothing milk is not an easy task either, you have to practice, pay attention to the temperature and the hardness of the foam.
For example, a metal milk spout does not hurt, and we can even see the temperature of the milk in the pieces for beginners. This is a bit superfluous, I think, after a little experimentation we can shoot the right temperature through the wall of the pot we have in our hands.
When we are done we tap the holder a little on the table, we turn the milk in it a little to make it creamy enough, then we can pour it on the coffee or the coffee on the milk.
Can the practice come, ie can you make real espresso with the BlitzHome BH-CMM5?
Well, of course we start with the grind! On more expensive machines, the advantage is that the lever does not have to be held until the ground coffee falls into the basket. If that’s the case, then the thing is, there’s a button we have to push, since somehow we have to be able to intervene in how much ground coffee gets into the basket.
There is no button on the BlitzHome cooker, more precisely the button is not visible because the manufacturer placed it under the arm holder.
The essence of this hidden button is that when the lever is put in place with the filter and the end of the lever is gently pressed, the button turns on the grinder. That is, we have to hold the lever here during grinding, because by pressing it we can turn on the grinder.
The next question is how much shred we need to put in the basket.
I have found that in order to achieve the right pressure, we need to insist that it be filled with coffee up to the maximum signal seen in the filter. It is important that I already understand this level for coffee pressed with a tamper.
So the ground coffee falls into the basket, and when you’ve formed a small hill that stands out from the basket, we’re good. We will feel this too after a few grinds.
It is important that the amount of coffee that enters the filter also depends on the fineness of the grind. Less of the coarser grind and more of the finer grind affect not only the strength of the pressure but also the strength of the coffee you make.
Then the small rubber bell at the bottom of the arm is propped against the edge of the counter and the coffee is tightly compressed with a tamper. And by that I mean really, really, not caressing, but giving in.
Care must be taken to ensure that the compressed coffee in the filter is even to the eye, as this will prevent the coffee from forming channels through the cake without dissolving the flavors from the grind.
Also make sure that the top of the coffee bean in the filter is horizontal, because if it is thinner on one side and thicker on the other, the water will pass through the side of the lower resistance, so that nothing is left out of one half of the cake.
Of course, the experimentation will not start with the compaction, but with the grain size of the coffee. As I wrote above, this is a thing that depends on the type of coffee, the strength of the roast, and a lot, that is, if we want to make really good coffee:
- If you’re lazy or set it up right away and you always buy the same coffee, you’ll need a statement after a maximum of little.
- If you like to experiment, you can try several types of coffee and adjust the fineness of grind and tamper hardness each time until the end result is perfect.
When I’m done grinding, I compressed the cake, I paid attention to everything, cooking can come. Everything has to be good here. Well no!
I don't remember exactly how many cans of coffee I managed to keep the pointer on the pressure gauge in the correct range, but it took about 6-7 tries afterwards. Let's say there was no problem after that, it got good every time, but it proved that it takes some practice.
One more comment here. Thus, the amount of ground coffee can be varied in the preparation of the coffee, the compression in the filter, and the amount of water can be varied. In the case of the CMM5, at least, you can use less water than the factory setting by briefly pressing the selection button (one or two doses) again.
Of course, everyone cares about what the end result was.
I don’t want to toss in big words, but I think it’s perfect. Already in my previous coffee machine test, the much cheaper For BW-CMM2 (Coupon code: BG949120), I also said that coffee can be made as close as possible to the real espresso experience (this has since been confirmed by many who have bought from it). In the case of the CMM5, I dare say that only the most maximal professionals can (if at all) then distinguish coffee from the most professional machines and the CMM5.
We get coffee that is very thick, very creamy, and comes with the right crema, and no one here can say that this crema is just the result of a booster basket (blows, blows, not even a real crema) because there is no booster basket here.
One more thing was left to froth the milk.
The thing starts with turning the knob on the side of the machine until it preheats. In this case, the coffee machine heats up the steam section. We can then open the “tap” and make the frothy, creamy milk.
What I noticed was that there was cocoa in the structure — almost like strength — so at first I couldn’t make a good foam. I used to open the tap on a cob, but here it was enough for approx. open up to two-thirds, because at a larger opening it heated the milk in a matter of seconds.
So, even with that, you need a little practice to get the result perfect!
I can mention a total of two little things. One is that sometimes a little ground coffee spills out of the grinder when I push the machine on the kitchen counter. Not much, but a little confusing. The other is that the cup warmer on top of the machine could have been a little bigger to fit more cups on it.
I looked on the net to see what problems users were reporting. Not much.
There were those who did not like the coffee grinder, more precisely the arm holder. Most have complained that the grinder tends to clog over too hard coffee beans, but luckily cleaning isn’t complicated, so that’s not a real problem either. A man somehow got a little gravel between the coffee beans, and a plastic gear was shredded in the grinder. I don't think that's a typical factory mistake either.
There is no other yet.
Let's start with the most important thing, which can be read at the beginning of the article! If you are a person who doesn't care about coffee, don't look at this machine, it's just not for you. However, if you are the person who wants to get the best out of your expensive coffee at home, consider buying it.
I still don’t understand coffee, but I love good coffee. I love the tiny white cups in the cafes with the thick, black, fragrant coffee. I drink black, a drop of milk, no sugar, in fact, I like to taste it without the little milk, as black as I can.
So I think even if I don’t get it, I know the taste of good quality coffee available in cafes, I have something to compare to. And with this machine, after some experimentation, I no longer get almost, or about, the experience I get in a cafe.
The downside of this thing is that quality unfortunately comes at a price in this case as well. The price of a branded home coffee machine with similar knowledge starts from 200-250 thousand forints. That's what those with a single-circuit heating system cost.
I’m not claiming that BlitzHome’s machine is paired with these in every way, but I do say that the coffee you can make with it is a lot more competitive with these. If we look from there, it’s a very good, but not so good coffee maker yet BW-CMM2 (Coupon Code: BG949120) costs only 30 thousand, we can find it expensive. However, when compared to competitors with similar capabilities, the BlitzHome CMM5 is not expensive as BGHU1260 or the BG1008CMM5 with a coupon code we can take it home for HUF 98 instead of HUF 91.
Unfortunately, in this case, there is no compromise, quality and knowledge have to be paid for.
If you want to surprise yourself or someone else with it for Christmas, you can order it from a Czech warehouse by clicking on the link below, so you don't have to deal with customs clearance. Don't forget to use one of the coupon codes to make a purchase!