I have always been a practical coffee drinker. While I love the aroma and taste, I am mainly addicted to its purpose of perking me up when I am at home in the morning. For me, being able to sip a delicious cup of quality coffee was a luxury that is available only at a cafe. It was only when I went to a close friend’s housewarming and was offered cafe-quality coffee that triggered the realisation that I can have it at home too. As a good espresso machine is a substantial investment, I booked an appointment with BrewRatio to consult the coffee experts for their recommendation on a suitable machine. The Solis Barista Perfetta Plus caught my eye the moment I stepped into their showroom.
Being an absolute newbie when it comes to espresso machines, Freeman (Business Manager at BrewRatio) brought me through some of the machines they carry. As I have space constraints in my kitchen and am just starting out on my caffeine journey, he recommended the Solis Barista Perfetta Plus. It is a powerful machine that is great for tiny spaces.
He explained that Solis is an established Swiss company with a long and rich tradition and they value reliability, trust and sustainability. And aside from coffee machines, Solis also retails kitchen appliances and other products for the home since 1908.
Solis Barista Perfetta Plus is a beautiful and really easy-to-use espresso machine. The machine comes with a comprehensive range of tools to get me started on my caffeine journey immediately. I will be getting the following:
The different filter baskets allow me to go for both pre-grounded coffee and freshly grounded coffee. Depending on what works for me.
To reduce the trouble of re-filling your water tank every now and then, Solis Barista Perfetta Plus comes with a generous 2-litre water tank.
The water filter actually allows you to select your preferred water hardness. For Singapore tap water, B option should be most suitable.
Once the water is in, it is time to get down to the serious stuff – making a delicious cup of coffee. Freeman shared that to achieve gourmet quality coffee, the freshness of the coffee beans is of utmost importance. Freshly roasted beans are good from Day 4 to Day 21. After 21 days, the beans will start to lose a lot of flavours. That is the reason why BrewRatio always presents the roast date for their sealed beans packaging. The one-way vault on the packaging allows excessive gases to be released after roasting and retains freshness.
To source quality and fresh coffee beans, I can approach local roasters such as Common Man, Tiong Ho or simply place an order with BrewRatio for their roast on-demand and delivery service. As the lifespan is relatively short, it is advisable not to order in bulk. I can also walk in to purchase their ready roasted beans as well.
Freeman explained that the coffee bean grinder plays a very important role in the quality of the coffee. In fact, the grinder is sometimes more important than the espresso machine as a good grinder will allow me to change the grind size and affect the quality of my coffee. Solis has two different grinders – One that’s perfect for espresso and pairs well with the Solis Barista Perfetta Plus, and another that’s great for drip coffee and French press.
To kickstart the process, Freeman popped fresh coffee beans into the grinder to extract the powder. Freeman pumped the grinder to push out the residual powder in the machine. He used a higher-end version of the Eureka Mignon that Solis is also retailing.
The freshly-ground coffee powder is transferred to the portafilter and ready for tamper.
Tamping will turn the coffee powder into a tightly compressed, evenly dispersed puck within the portafilter, where the water and coffee will come in contact when it’s brewing. The espresso needs to be compacted enough to create a little space between the top of the coffee and the screen through which the water comes out of the espresso machine for the best taste.
The Solis portafilter stays perfectly level when set on a flat surface, which allows for an even tamping without the need to lift or adjust the portafilter.
The grind size and tamping have a critical impact on the flow and hence affect the taste. I will need to grind fine enough so that it can be packed tight enough for the right resistance and control water flow. If the water flows too fast (under-extraction), there will be less interaction time with the hot water which will make my coffee sour. If it is too slow (over-extraction), I will get burnt coffee.
Look at the pretty crema achieve from the brew!
With the coffee ready, Freeman quickly turned his attention to frothing the perfect milk to top off the delicious brew.
Once the milk is ready, pour it over the coffee to create flat white or latte.
And here’s my perfect cup for the morning! Now I am really excited to bring the machine home to enjoy cafe-quality coffee at home every day!
You can find Solis coffee machines and accessories online at ShopeeMall, LazMall and KrisShop. They are also stocked in the following retailers across the island:
To keep your Solis in tip-top condition, you can purchase the Solitabs cleaning tablets online at Shopee and Lazada to clean the brewing head and brewing group. You can also purchase the Solipol descaling agent to thoroughly clean and remove any mineral deposits every 3 – 6 months. The Solis Barista Perfetta Plus will show an alarm when it’s time to clean and descale your machine!
For machine maintenance, it is reassuring to know that BrewRatio is the official service centre. For all repair and servicing, you simply need to make an appointment by emailing [email protected], before heading down to their service centre at 2 Pereira Rd, 06-01A/02A [email protected], Singapore 368024.
I am really grateful to Freeman for his time and patience in helping me pick my first espresso machine. His detailed explanations on how to get the most out of my brand new Solis Barista Perfetta Plus will come in handy while I trial and error to perfect my brewing skills over the December holidays. If you are still looking for a perfect gift for a coffee lover or a little nice reward to pamper yourself before the year ends, make a date to pop by BrewRatio to try out Solis Barista Perfetta Plus too.
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