Espresso is both the process by which a fine black coffee is made and the name of the brewed coffee beverage topped with a tan colored foam called crema. To make a fine espresso, an artful skill set must be learned in order to produce the intense result desired by avid drinkers of this strong brew. People tend to regard espresso as a coffee bean, which it is not. Take note also that it is not pronounced as “espresso”.
Where Did It Come From?
This typically well thought of dark roasted coffee beverage was created in Italy. Since its creation, it has grown in popularity in many parts of the world. Espresso bars became an important place for social gatherings in Italy. The social part of espresso has travelled along with it In the United States, this drink was made popular by Italian immigrants who brought the perky drink along with them. It has since spread from the Italian population to the masses.
What Is It Made From?
The recipe uses 2 ingredients. Water and ground coffee beans. However, it is necessary to use a specialized commercial machine to create this signature drink in its traditional form. The ingredients need to be top notch to keep it a high quality drink. The water must be free from sediment and the flavors of minerals. The higher the quality of water chosen, the higher the quality this caffeine beverage will be. This is also true of the blend of coffee beans selected to be finely ground to the size of table salt. Robusta and Arabica beans are used alone or in combination with one another to create the desired taste and caffeine content. When making espresso, careful consideration must be made in advance regarding the desired result.
What Tools And Equipment Are Needed?
To start, the proper brewing equipment is needed to produce the traditional results deemed acceptable by experts of espresso making. Controversy exists about home brewing machines as many specialists are adamant that these machines are not powerful enough compared to commercial machines to make a proper cup of the specialized drink. Also a part of this controversy is the fact that not many people who purchase these home brewing machines are trained and talented baristas. On the other hand, these home brewing machines have become quite popular as the purchaser anticipates socializing with guests in their own home. Major brand name companies have patented and sold these machines in the hopes of simplifying the process. Tools required are a burr grinder, which is not comparable to a blade grinder, a filter basket to separate the grinds from the water, a tamper to compress the grinds, a gram scale designed to incrementally measure by 0.1-1 grams, a vessel to collect the freshly made drink.
What Is The Process?
Making this beverage is an in-order step-by-step process.
1. Fill the reservoir with purified water up to the measuring line.
2. Allow the machine to warm up to the manufacturer’s temperature guidelines.
3. Measure the desired amount of ground coffee.
4. Place the measured ground coffee into the machine’s portafilter.
5. Press the coffee with a tamper to compact and level the grinds if the manufacturer states to do so.
6. Place the portafilter back into the machine.
8. Check for crema or foam on the surface to determine completion. When you see this desired surface covering, check the consistency of the creama. When a spoon is inserted and gently swirled in the freshly brewed drink, the crema will spread evenly across the surface when the spoon has stopped moving in the drink. The crema should have a tan color, have a foam like consistency and have a sweet taste to it.
9. Serve immediately!
Tips for making an excellent cup.
- Use only fresh coffee. Nine to eleven days after the coffee has been roasted is the ideal time to use it.
- Use the proper tools and high quality ingredients in the brewing machine.
- Be sure to measure your doses and take note of your the measurements you used to create your best tasting drink.
- Practice your technique.
- Keep your tools and machine clean.
- Make sure that the coffee beans are ground uniformly to ensure that water can seep through evenly.
- Run hot water through the system to rinse and preheat it.