Now that you're using real, fresh specialty coffee, you may notice that your brew extracts a little slower than single-use capsules did. This slower extraction allows for a lovely aroma, maximum flavour and a rich crema on top of your coffee.

If you would like to speed up your extraction, we suggest the following:

Dolce Gusto machine tips: If there is water in the water tank, but the coffee isn't extracting at all, the needle in the head of the machine may be blocked. The unblocking tool (which came with the machine), should be inserted into the needle to dislodge any blockage. Before using the unblocking tool, please unplug your machine and let it cool; remove the capsule holder from the machine and lower the central lever. Often, an air bubble can be stuck inside the machine, inhibiting water flow - lifting the water tank up and down a number of times can be useful in moving this air bubble.

Grind method: If you grind at home, using a burr grinder will help you achieve a better brew (blade grinders can create too much dust).

Coffee level / tamp: Using the provided scoop, the DGpod should be filled using one level scoop of ground coffee, and tamped to the measuring line. If the capsule is overfilled and/or packed too tightly, this can restrict flow. You can try removing some of the ground coffee, and/or start over experimenting with tamp pressure - pack the coffee more loosely with minimal tamp, or simply fill and place the lid.

Pump function: We also suggest making sure your coffee capsule machine has been recently cleaned, descaled and is in optimum working condition. “Descaling” is the act of stripping calcium and lime deposits from your machine’s surfaces, assisting the pump to create a pressure build-up that produces a lovely crema to top your brew. If you want to ensure your coffee machine is producing the best flavour and an optimal brew pressure, it should be cleaned once a week and descaled once every three months. Cleaning your coffee machine not only extends it's life, but also ensures the quality of the coffee you brew. Tip: Don't - Use vinegar! Vinegar doesn't remove coffee oils the way a professionally formulated coffee machine cleaner does. Do - Use a cleaning solution that will remove oils, stains and break down grime.

Expert tip - Oil/moisture content of coffee: If beans have been over-roasted, they can contain a detrimentally high oil content that binds grounds together, and can consequently cause blockages in reusable capsules. If you experience this with your favourite coffee brand, we suggest chatting to your local roaster about this occurrence or experiment with switching to a medium roast. (Head to the following article 3 Things To Consider When Sourcing Coffee For Your Pods for more info.)