The Art of Espresso
Author: Dolce Kalldo
Espresso - The Ultimate Coffee Experience
Espresso comes from the Italian word for express since
espresso is made for and served immediately to the customer.
Espresso should be sweet with a potent aroma and flavor
similar to freshly ground coffee. The crema, which makes up
10-30% of the beverage, should be dark reddish-brown,
smooth, and thick. It should drip from filter like warm
honey. A perfect espresso is enjoyable straight with no
additives and should leave a pleasant and aromatic
aftertaste lingering on the palate for several minutes after
The beauty is that espresso is volatile and difficult. A
perfect espresso is more of a concept than an actuality. If
it were easy we would develop a machine that can brew a
perfect espresso every time. We need to look at the many
factors involved in espresso preparation that only a human
mind and a passionate heart can begin to understand and
control its complexity.
- Without a good espresso blend you cannot have a good
espresso. Coffees must be blended to achieve the sweetness,
aromatics, and smoothness desired in espresso. The blend
must also be fresh. Ideally, espresso should be used within
four days of roasting.
- Espresso roasted very dark is a bitter, charcoal tasting
brew. People that know how to blend espresso will roast
light to preserve the aroma and sugars.
- The grind must be continuously monitored throughout the
day to achieve an extraction time of 25-30 seconds. Do not
change the pressure you tamp with to compensate for a grind
that has become too large or small.
- A good coffee grinder is essential. Many coffee
professionals consider a conical hybrid blade to be the best
design of grinders because they last longer, and the coffee
is not heated during the grinding process. If the burrs
become hot the coffee loses its aroma.
- You should grind coffee only on demand. Coffee must be
freshly ground to achieve peak flavors. When someone orders
an espresso grind only what is necessary for one shot, you
should dose properly, tamp, and brew, and discard any
espresso 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 evenly
with 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 with
water, letting it cool, and tasting it for off flavors. If
the water tastes strange you should begin with fresh water.
- The water temperature should be between 92-96C. The
choice of the espresso machine is very important to both
water temperature and temperature stability. A stable
temperature means consistent espresso.
- The goal is to have a dark red espresso take approximately
25-30 seconds to brew with no change in color.
The key to espresso is to realize that it always has further
potential. By changing any one of these factors you can
improve or diminish its potential. Espresso preparation is
an art that demands the precision and dedication of science.
About the author
Dolce Kalldo is the proprietor and delegate for Espresso Your
Love, which is the premier source for exotic flavored
coffee. For more information visit: http://www.espressoyourlove.com
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