The word espresso means “pressed out” and is originated in Italy in around 1990s. Today, espresso has become so popular among Americans that you can find an espresso cart in any shopping mall, gas station, cafeteria, bookstores and in short…, everywhere.
Latte, Americano, cappuccino….huh…there are different ways to enjoy your espresso.
Brewing this most admired type of coffee is simple – it is a process of extracting strong flavor ground coffee beans by pressurized hot but not boiling water. Here is the information about a fascinating little cup of strong coffee.
There are two ways to make an espresso – Stove Top models and Electric Espresso Machines. Lets’ explore more on Stovetop models. These Stovetop models are called Moka pots.
Coffee brewing in a moka pot is very simple. The bottom chamber is the one that sits on top of the heat source. Fill it with the desired amount of water. It is advised to preheat this water so that your coffee won’t get cooked on the stove top. However, this is required only if you are preparing six cups of coffee. For just three cups coffee preparation, this may be just a hassle and would not affect the taste. So, feel free to experiment and follow whatever works best for you.
Place finely coarse coffee grounds on the filter. Level the grinds with your fingers and remove lose ground if any. Now, place the filter into the bottom chamber.
Make a tight seal between the top and the bottom chamber by twisting them together. Make sure you have secured them both properly. Otherwise, it may end up in the poor brew or cleanup mess.
Turn on your stove top. You can even take this set up outdoors on a campfire!! Once the brewing cycle is over, you get your brewed coffee in the top chamber.
- The brewing process is simple: Moka pots make the whole process of espresso brewing very easy.
- Easy to clean and Maintenance: Stove top espresso makers are easy to clean and need less or no maintenance.
- Inexpensive Coffee Maker: Moka pot is an affordable espresso maker. It is much cheaper than the electric one.
- No Electricity required: You can enjoy your espresso even when there is no power. No need to rely on electricity like electric espresso makers.
- Bitter Coffee: This stove top boilers prepare pretty bitter coffee.
- Burnt Flavour: Resulting brew has no crema and the final brew sometimes gives burnt flavor.
Electric Espresso Machines
Another way of espresso brewing is by using electric espresso machines. Do not get discouraged if you could not get a perfect espresso shot from first few attempts. To master the art of espresso brewing may take a little practice and some experimentation. It is fun anyhow!!
Before jumping let us make sure we are on the right track. Here are some of the tips to consider while brewing a perfect shot of espresso.
Espresso making requires finely coarse coffee grounds compared to any other type of coffee brewing technique. The coarseness can be compared to that of table salt. It is always recommended to freshly grind the coffee beans just before brewing. This tip holds good for all types of coffee brewing. To get the best result from your bean, use a burr grinder and not a blade grinder.
Considering the standard serving size, take 18 to 21 grams of ground coffee to prepare two shots of espresso.
You can add more coffee grounds to get stronger and more espresso.
One of the important factors to consider while brewing this strong cup of coffee is tamping. Tamping is nothing but compacting ground coffee. This restricts the flow of water through the coffee grounds thereby forcing water and coffee grounds to interact. A firm and even tamping is essential for better extraction.
For a secure coffee puck, it is always recommended to use the tamper that fits the portafilter basket comfortably.
195 to 205 degree F is the ideal temperature for any type of coffee brewing. Many espresso machines allow you control water temperature. Lower temperature yields bright coffee and cranking up the heat yield results in roasted flavor.
From the beginning of the extraction, it takes nearly 25 to 30 seconds to fill up your glass. Happy tongue in half a minute is not bad right..?!!
Use two sprouted or bottomless portafilter. Your espresso machine should have come with some options anyhow.
Got these tips in your pocket? now, let us get started.
- Remove the portafilter from the group head of the espresso machine. Place coffee ground in the portafilter. I repeat, the grind has to be quite fine. For a double shot of espresso, use 18 to 21 grams of coffee ground. Draw your finger across this coffee grounds so that they get settled evenly on the portafilter.
- Position your tamper on this portafilter and apply downward pressure.Always keep the portafilter on a flat surface while tamping. It is just a little pressure that you need to apply, no need to press hard using all of your energy!
- Position the portafilter in the group head and start your shot.
- The shot starts initially with drip and then becomes gentle and finally streamy. The extraction will end in thirty seconds. The extraction gets thicker at the end. That is when you need to stop.
- Multiple uses: This is the most attractive feature of an espresso machine. You can prepare espresso, Latte, Americano, cappuccino – all this using this one machine.
- Easy to clean: Espresso machines come with many detachable parts and are easy to wash. Most of the parts are dishwasher safe.
- Delicious shot consistently: Once you master the art of espresso brewing, even a novice can prepare a perfect cup of espresso every day.
- Built in grinders: Some of the espresso machines do come with built in grinders. The fresh ground gives perfect coffee.
- The machine is a bit troublesome to maintain when compared to other coffee makers.
- Espresso machines are bit expensive compared to other coffee makers. However, it is a worthy investment since you can enjoy different coffee recipes using this single machine.
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