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OTHER ITA SITES:
The Art of Espresso
Espresso - The Ultimate Coffee Experience
Espresso comes from the Italian word for express sinceespresso is made for and served immediately to the customer.Espresso should be sweet with a potent aroma and flavorsimilar to freshly ground coffee. The crema, which makes up10-30% of the beverage, should be dark reddish-brown,smooth, and thick. It should drip from filter like warmhoney. A perfect espresso is enjoyable straight with noadditives and should leave a pleasant and aromaticaftertaste lingering on the palate for several minutes afterconsumption.
The beauty is that espresso is volatile and difficult. Aperfect espresso is more of a concept than an actuality. Ifit were easy we would develop a machine that can brew aperfect espresso every time. We need to look at the manyfactors involved in espresso preparation that only a humanmind and a passionate heart can begin to understand andcontrol its complexity.
- Without a good espresso blend you cannot have a goodespresso. Coffees must be blended to achieve the sweetness,aromatics, and smoothness desired in espresso. The blendmust also be fresh. Ideally, espresso should be used withinfour days of roasting.
- Espresso roasted very dark is a bitter, charcoal tastingbrew. People that know how to blend espresso will roastlight to preserve the aroma and sugars.
- The grind must be continuously monitored throughout theday to achieve an extraction time of 25-30 seconds. Do notchange the pressure you tamp with to compensate for a grindthat has become too large or small.
- A good coffee grinder is essential. Many coffeeprofessionals consider a conical hybrid blade to be the bestdesign of grinders because they last longer, and the coffeeis not heated during the grinding process. If the burrsbecome hot the coffee loses its aroma.
- You should grind coffee only on demand. Coffee must befreshly ground to achieve peak flavors. When someone ordersan espresso grind only what is necessary for one shot, youshould dose properly, tamp, and brew, and discard anyespresso grounds that are not used within 30 seconds.
- Distribute the coffee evenly after dosing in the porta-filter before tamping. And tamp the coffee once very evenlywith 5 lbs of pressure, then once with 30 lbs of pressure,and polish 720 degrees with 20 lbs of pressure.
- Water should be filtered. Try filling a small glass withwater, letting it cool, and tasting it for off flavors. Ifthe water tastes strange you should begin with fresh water.
- The water temperature should be between 92-96C. Thechoice of the espresso machine is very important to bothwater temperature and temperature stability. A stabletemperature means consistent espresso.
- The goal is to have a dark red espresso take approximately25-30 seconds to brew with no change in color.
The key to espresso is to realize that it always has furtherpotential. By changing any one of these factors you canimprove or diminish its potential. Espresso preparation isan art that demands the precision and dedication of science.
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