Perfecting My Coffee
My husband and I are avid coffee drinkers. We used to drink a lot of coffee at coffee shops, and now we love making our coffee at home. After moving to a new house three years ago, we decided to purchase an espresso coffee machine to accommodate our passion for coffee. One of our favorite coffee drinks is espresso.
What Is Espresso?
Espresso is a full-flavored, concentrated form of coffee that is served in shots. Espresso is often blended from several roasts and varietals to form a bold—not bitter—flavor. It is made by forcing pressurized hot water through very finely ground coffee beans using an espresso machine.
What Does Espresso Taste Like?
If you have made espresso at home or have had it at a coffee shop, you will notice a bolder flavor than typical black coffee. In addition, you will notice that espresso is topped with a creamy brown foam, called crema. In Italian, crema means cream. The crema is formed when air bubbles combine with the dissolvable oils of finely ground coffee. It's essential to have the cream foamed because it adds a rich flavor and lasting aftertaste of espresso.
When to Drink Espresso?
You can have an espresso any time of day. Have it with a little pastry! Traditionally an espresso would be the preferred choice of coffee to drink in the afternoon or evening as it does not contain milk. It's easy on your stomach.
We purchased a Breville BES840XL Infuser Espresso Machine online, and ever since then, we have enjoyed making our favorite coffee (including espresso) at home. If you don't own this espresso machine, don't worry; most machines have a similar brewing style. If you follow the correct brewing procedure, I'm sure you will achieve the great taste or flavor that you're aiming for.
- Use good water. Fill up your water reservoir. The best water is spring water, but distilled water works too.
- Turn on the power. Turn on the espresso machine and ensure the boiler is hot. Here's a trick: Have your espresso cup on top of the machine, so it gets warm.
- Dose the espresso. The dose is the anchor of every espresso recipe. It is the weight of dry ground coffee that you are using to make an espresso. Choose your dose based on your espresso style.
- Grind the espresso. Grind your espresso finely. The grind size is smaller than for drip coffee. For comparison, the grind size should be comparable to table salt.
- Fill portafilter. Dump your espresso grounds in the portafilter, aiming to distribute them evenly in the filter basket.
- Tamp it. Give it a good tamp. Aim for about 30 pounds of pressure.
- Start brewing. Lock the portafilter into the brew head of your machine and press the brew button.
- Pull the shot. Aim for a 25 seconds extraction time. Depending on how fine your coffee grounds are, this can vary up or down by 5 seconds.
© 2021 Liza