Product FAQs

Espresso Maker

How do I froth and steam milk?

Fill a small stainless steel or ceramic pitcher half full with cold milk and set next to machine. Skim or 2% milk will be the easiest to froth. You are now ready to froth and steam your milk. Press the center Control Knob to power the espresso maker. Press the "FROTH" mode function button. The "FROTH" mode light will come on and the light ring will pulse until the espresso maker reaches the proper temperature. Once the light becomes solid, hold the pitcher under the frothing tube, which can be swiveled, so that the tip of the frothing tube is slightly immersed in the milk. Rotate the Control Knob to the right, clockwise, to the FROTH" position. This will initiate the frothing process.

For 4 ounces of milk, hold the pitcher for about 50 seconds or longer if warmer milk is desired. REMEMBER: The milk and the pitcher should be very cold prior to frothing. When the milk has reached 38°C (100°F), insert the frothing tube deeper into the milk so that the top of the frothing tube cap is just under the surface of the milk. This will draw the froth back through the frothing tube cap, creating a finer textured froth. DO NOT heat milk above 65°C (150°F). To avoid splattering of hot milk, do not let the tip of the frothing tube go above the surface of the milk.

After frothing is completed, turn the Control Knob back to the "OFF" position. NOTE: If you choose to run an espresso brew cycle immediately after steaming milk, it is normal for the motor to run briefly and a small amount of steam to appear from the drip tray. You are now ready to make cappuccino. REMEMBER: It is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 frothed milk; both steamed and frothed milk are in the same pitcher.

When you are finished steaming milk, follow the care and cleaning steps to flush out any residual milk from the frothing tube. It is important to properly clean your frothing tube and wash its cap after each use to ensure it continues to work properly. Unplug the power cord and allow the machine to cool. NOTE: Frothing milk for cappuccino takes practice. Do not be discouraged if it is not perfect the first time. The milk should be half steamed (bottom of pitcher) and half froth (top of pitcher). It may take a few times before you perfect this process.

How do I clean the frothing arm?

Turn the side knob to the "OFF" position and unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet. The frothing tube may still be hot. DO NOT touch it with your hands until it has cooled.

Remove and wash the frothing tube cap and wipe frothing tube with a damp cloth. Using the wrench built into the measuring spoon/tamper, use the hole in the handle as a wrench to loosen the frothing tube tip. Then, clean the frothing tip tube value with running water and with a needle or toothpick if needed to clear debris. Let air dry, then replace tube tip back on to the frothing arm and replace tube cap.

How do I brew coffee?

Make sure the drip grid is in place on the drip tray. Place the drip tray in the unit. Make sure the Control Knob is in the "OFF" position. Place a cup or two cups (demitasses) under the filter holder or if you prefer, place a small jar or carafe. If you wish to prepare up to 4 cups at a time, you should use a small jar, carafe or regular cup and then pour the espresso into the demitasses. If you will be brewing up to two demitasses at a time, you can place two small cups under the filter holder ensuring each one of them is directly under one of the two outlet spouts located under the filter holder.

Plug the power cord into an electrical outlet and then switch the unit on by pressing the center Control Knob. The power indicator light in the center of the Control Knob will be solid while the unit is on. Press the "BREW" mode function button. The brew mode light will come on and the light ring may pulse during the preheat and until it reaches the proper temperature. Once the light becomes solid, rotate the Control Knob to the left, counterclockwise, to the "BREW" position. This will initiate the brewing process and espresso will begin to flow in just seconds.

When the cup/carafe is filled to the desired level, turn the side knob clockwise to the "OFF" position. Using less water will provide a stronger espresso taste. CAUTION: DO NOT leave unit unattended while brewing since the brewing process requires to be manually stopped. This will avoid overflow, spillage and potential hazards and damages. The unit needs to be turned off manually. Once you have prepared the desired amount of espresso, switch the power button to the "OFF" position ("O") and unplug the unit.

Allow the unit to cool down before removing parts and accessories prior to cleaning. After the unit has cooled down, remove the filter holder from the brew head. Using the filter retention clip to secure the filter in the filter holder, turn the filter holder upside down to remove the used espresso grounds. Rinse the filter and filter holder with water. If you wish to brew additional espresso, repeat the process by following the steps in the "How to Brew Espresso" section. CAUTION: The metal parts of the filter holder might still be very hot. Make sure to use the filter retainer clip when discarding the grounds. Cool these parts by running under cold water.

What should I know about bean grinding?

This is a vital step in the espresso making process and takes practice. The coffee must be of a fine grind. The correct grind should look like salt. If the grind is too fine, the water will not flow through the coffee even if under pressure. These grinds look like powder and feel like flour when rubbed between fingers. If the grind is too coarse, the water flows through the coffee too fast, preventing a full-flavored extraction. Be sure to use a quality grinder for uniform consistency. We recommend a conical burr grinder for grinding the beans.

Will my espresso maker release steam after I have used the frothing arm?

Yes, after the Control Knob is turned back to brew or turned off, it is normal for the motor to run briefly after steaming and a small amount of steam to appear from the drip tray. Steam can also be seen on the housing after taking out the drip tray.

Where can I purchase parts for my VillaWare™ Espresso Maker?

Parts are available here on this website. Please refer to the parts section under Service & Support, or call consumer services at 1-866-484-5529.

Do I need to run the espresso maker before I make my first cup?

Yes, you need to prime the pump before the initial brew. Run the steam cycle for 30 seconds following the steps below:

  1. Ensure that the Control Knob switch is in the "OFF" position, then press the center of the Control Knob to turn on unit.
  2. Press the "FROTH" function button. Froth light ring will pulse.
  3. After the froth light becomes solid, place a cup under the frothing tube and turn the Control Knob clockwise to the "FROTH" position.
  4. After 30 seconds, turn the Control Knob counterclockwise to the  "OFF" position.
  5. Begin the brew espresso process.

How do I clean the drip tray and grid?

As needed, remove drip tray and grid and pour out any liquid collected during usage. Wipe and/or wash as necessary and replace into unit before using.

Can I warm my cups?

Yes, the top of the espresso maker is a warming zone for your cups. Any time the unit is on, the warming zone will be warm.

How should I store the filter holder?

Store separately with your filters. DO NOT store the filter holder in the brew head. This can adversely affect the seal between the brew head and the filter holder while brewing espresso.

Can I wash these parts in the dishwasher?

The water reservoir, filters, drip tray and drip grid can be washed with soapy water or placed in the top rack of your dishwasher. Avoid washing the filter holder in your dishwasher. DO NOT place the machine itself in the dishwasher or immerse in water.

Can I also make cappuccinos?

Yes, a cappuccino is espresso topped with steamed and frothed milk. A cappuccino is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 frothed milk (both steamed and frothed milk are in the same pitcher). For best results, we recommend frothing the milk in a separate pitcher and pouring the steamed milk into your coffee. The milk and pitcher should be cold. Do not use a pitcher, which has just been washed in warm water. We also recommend a stainless steel frothing pitcher and a beverage thermometer, if you own one, for preparing the best froth and steamed milk. HINT: For best results, we recommend you clean the frothing arm well after each use.

Do I need to de-scale or de-lime my espresso maker?

Yes, mineral deposits built-up in the espresso maker will affect the operation of the appliance. Your espresso maker must be de-scaled when you begin to notice an increase in the time required to brew espresso, or when there is excessive steaming. Also, you may notice a build-up of white deposits on the surface of the brew head. The frequency of cleaning depends upon the hardness of the water used. The following table gives the suggested cleaning intervals.

Suggested Cleaning Intervals:

Type of Water Cleaning Frequency
Soft Water (Filtered Water) Every 80 Brew Cycles
Hard Water (Tap Water) Every 40 Brew Cycles

 

De-lime Using White Household Vinegar as Follows:

  1. Make sure the Control Knob is in the OFF position, and the power cord is disconnected from the electrical outlet. Fill the reservoir with fresh, undiluted white household vinegar.
  2. Allow appliance to sit overnight with the vinegar solution in the water reservoir.
  3. Discard vinegar by removing the reservoir and turning it upside down over the sink.
  4. Rinse the water reservoir thoroughly with tap water by filling tank half full with water and then pouring the water back out into the sink. Repeat this step twice.

De-scale Internal Parts:

Make sure you de-lime the inside of the water reservoir first by following the de-liming steps stated above. Make sure all controls are in the "OFF" position and the power cord is disconnected from the electrical outlet.

  1. Fill the reservoir with white vinegar above the minimum level.
  2. Insert the filter holder with a filter and place jar, carafe or regular cup on top of the drip tray and under the filter holder.
  3. Plug the power cord into the electrical outlet.
  4. Press the Control Knob to switch the unit "ON."
  5. Press the "BREW" mode function button. When the "BREW" mode light stays solid, turn the Control Knob to the left, counterclockwise, to brew. The vinegar will start flowing through the unit.
  6. Once all the vinegar has been drained from the reservoir turn the Control Knob clockwise back to the "OFF" position.
  7. To remove any remaining traces of vinegar from the internal parts, repeat Steps 2 - 5, replacing the vinegar with water, as often as necessary.
  8. To clean the frothing tube internally, place a cup with cold water under the tip of the frothing tube.
  9. Press the center of the Control Knob, then press the "FROTH" mode function button.
  10. Once the light stays solid, insert the frothing tube into the water and turn the Control Knob to "FROTH." Let the steam come out for about 10 seconds. This will clean any residue left in the frothing tube from frothing milk. Turn the Control Knob counterclockwise back to the "OFF" position.
  11. Repeat Steps 1 - 7 as necessary, using only tap water to rinse any remaining traces of vinegar out of the machine.

How do I prepare the coffee?

Place the filter in the filter holder. Select from the two filters that come with your unit, depending on the amount of cups you wish to prepare (1 or 2 demitasses). The recommended recipe is to use the small 7-gram filter to make a 1-ounce shot of espresso. The large 14-gram filter can be used for two 1-ounce shots. These recipes can be modified by adjusting the amount of water used in each shot. Use less water for a stronger espresso.

Fill the selected filter with fresh, fine ground espresso coffee. Clean any excess coffee from the rim of the filter holder. This will assure proper fit under the brew head. DO NOT overfill the filter. This might cause clogging or overflow. You can also tamp the espresso grounds and finish with a quarter turn of the tamp tool. Position filter holder underneath the brew head, attach filter holder by first moving retainer clip back, position handle so that the handle lines up with the unlocked icon on the brew head and fits into the groove. Then, slowly turn the handle to the right until it lines up with the locked position.

HINT: Power on your espresso maker while you are preparing your grounds to speed up the preheat process.

What if the lights start flashing on my espresso unit?

If the brew and steam buttons begin to flash, after the side knob is rotated, the unit has informed you that the instructions were not followed correctly. Turn the Control Knob back to center, "OFF," and return to brewing espresso.

How do I clean the espresso maker unit?

Wipe housing with a soft, wet cloth. Do not use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads, as they will scratch the finish. When the VillaWare™ product is not in use, please wipe the outside of unit with warm water or stainless steel appliance cleaner, then wipe and dry.

How does the Control Knob work?

Center Control Knob: Press the center of the knob to power unit "ON" and "OFF."

"BREW" mode: This function is to brew espresso. Press this function to initiate brew preheat. The light on "BREW" mode will pulse). When light stays solid, turn the Control Knob to "BREW" to start brewing espresso, then turn back to center to stop.

"FROTH" Mode: This function is to froth milk. Press this function to initiate froth preheat. The light on "FROTH" mode will pulse. When light stays solid, turn the Control Knob to "FROTH" to start frothing milk, then turn back to center to stop.

What should I know about ground coffee?

The coffee should be freshly ground espresso. Pre-ground coffee will only retain its flavor for 7 - 8 days, provided it is stored in an airtight container and in a cool, dark area. Do not store in a refrigerator or freezer. We recommend whole beans be grounded just before use. Coffee beans stored in an airtight container will keep up to 4 weeks before they begin to lose their flavor.

How do I fill the water reservoir?

To fill the reservoir with water, you may either use bottled water, a pitcher to fill it up, or remove it from the unit and then fill it up under the tap. Fill the reservoir with the desired amount of water ensuring it ranges within the "MIN" and "MAX" markings on the tank. Never use warm or hot water to fill the water reservoir. If you have removed the reservoir from the unit to fill up with water, please make sure to place it back flush against the back of the espresso maker. It is important to place the black plastic tabs on the back of the water reservoir firmly into the tab slots on the back of the espresso maker. This will ensure proper fit of the water reservoir and proper water flow into the pump. Finally, close the water reservoir lid.