The espresso is considered the best way to drink coffee. Even though it seems to be a half-truth, a lot of people enjoy espresso best. Besides, espresso has been the driver for coffee retail, and it doesn’t matter if it’s Italian-style or American-style. We see espresso everywhere, from fast-food chains to coffee-shop chains across the globe.
For some, it may be frustrating to make espresso, but I do think that making an espresso is easy and rewarding. Sometimes there is a word of advice going around: don’t invest in an espresso machine only if you want to turn it into a hobby. Also, it does take some time until you prepare the perfect espresso. Like setting up the machine, rinse it with hot water at least once (so you won’t burn the coffee since the machine works at high temperatures), put enough coffee into the filter holder, tamp the coffee, put the holder into the pot, and let the coffee pour.
This method is usually the standard process of making espresso coffee, and if you want to create a cappuccino or latte, the espresso machine also has a steam nozzle. With the help of steam, you can create a milk cream for your coffee, which is then poured into your cup, and voila you have your cappuccino. For the latte coffee part, the process is backward. You create your milk cream, pour it into the cup, and after that, you add the coffee. Here you can decide the volume of your latte, it can either be a macchiato (which is a longer latte and you will also see three layers of milk, coffee, and cream), or you can use a regular coffee cup.
When it comes to creating the milk cream, it is crucial to use an inox pot; there are special pots that are made just for creating the coffee creams for a cappuccino. What else you have to remember is never overheat the milk while you are steaming it. You can easily avoid overheating it, by just holding with your hand the pot, and when it gets warmed, you can turn off the steam. Overheating the milk will destroy the cream, which is essential for cappuccino and latte.
How Espresso Machine Works?
For brewing espresso, the ground coffee is placed in a small metal basket held in a handle. The metal basket has tiny holes that allow it to pass through the liquid, but it prevents any pieces of the ground coffee, except for the smallest particles.
The coffee must be compressed so that it will be flat in the basket. The handle containing the coffee is locked into the espresso machine and the pump, and after that, you will activate the machine. The machine will pump near-boiling water from the reservoir in the machine through the coffee, and the liquid then will drip into the waiting cup below. Some machines have the function when you switch off the pump to finish brewing, either will gauge the end of the brew by eye or by weighing the coffee as it comes out of the pump to make sure the desired amount of water has been used. Also, other machines will dispense a specific amount of water and then stop automatically.
A good espresso is about the recipe, and a good coffee roaster will supply you with plenty of information about how to brew their coffee to get the best results. A suitable method is about accurate measurements and should include the following:
- The ground coffee weight measures in grams.
- The amount of liquid you should produce from that coffee, in particular in grams or at least expressed in volume.
- How hot the water should be for brewing.
- How long should the brewing process take?
The purpose of preparing an espresso is for the appliance to produce a desired amount of liquid in a certain amount of time. For example, the recipe might say that we want to produce 18 grams of ground coffee and provide about 36 grams of liquid in 27-29 seconds. To achieve this, what we need to control is how fast the water flows through the ground coffee.
The speed with which water flows through the coffee determines how much flavor is extracted. If the water passes too slowly, we remove too much from the coffee, and it will be overexpressed with a bitter, sour, and very harsh taste. If the water flows too fast, we will not extract enough from the coffee, and it will have a very sour, astringent, and weak flavor.
The finer we grind the coffee, the better the pieces fit together, and the more difficult it is for water to pass between them. If you take two jars and fill one with sand and one with the same weight of pebbles, the water would flow through the pebbles much faster than through the sand. In the same way, the coarser we grind coffee with, the more the machine can push water through it.