When it comes to making Espresso, each and every professional coffee maker, such as Barista, will have their personal secret recipe. In this article I will show my recipe on how to make a delightful cup of Espresso.
The first most important ingredient of Espresso is water. In espresso you can only use fresh hot water. The water should ideally be around 203F (95C) that is nearly boiling. Water often becomes stale due to the presence of mildew, pure cleaning methods and inadequate filtering. If you use stale water then no matter how good the quality of the coffee bean, it will not be able to overcome the association of poor water.
The next ingredient is coffee. While making Espresso you should choose Arabica. It doesn’t matter whether it has been grown in Brazil or Bogota or elsewhere. The bean should have been grown above 915m and should be delivered all fresh for roasting. You can either self roast it or buy the coffee beans pre-roasted.
You can also use Robusta beans as they are easier to grow and more disease resistant. However, this bean has more caffeine and fewer flavours so it is best used for those quick pick-me-up drinks and not for Espresso.
After that you have to finely ground the beans in a burr. Do not use the blade attachment of the blender as the blade often chops the beans and does not grind them. In the burr attachment the beans are ground between two pyramids shaped teeth on two plates. Ideally, your ground coffee should be like the dark Viennese or French. This name often refers to colour of the ground coffee and not to where it’s grown.
The distance between the two plates often determines the fineness of the granules. The ground coffee should be sand grain sized. It should not be too finely ground or should not be like the shape of small gravel. You should also remember not to leave the coffee exposed to air, mainly because just like other foods, coffee also oxidises and absorbs odours from the air. This may ruin your perfect cup of Espresso coffee.
Since you know the basic ingredients, you can proceed to the next stage of Espresso making.
The first thing that you should do is pre-warm the equipment. All you have to do is turn the espresso maker on, run water through it and let it heat. When the water is warm enough, you can run a cup through without any coffee in it. This will help to warm the equipment and flush out any particles present in it.
Now, you have to add your ground roast. Just as in tobacco, remember to pack it down slightly. You should feel some springiness that you often feel in pipes. You should be careful as to not let the coffee spill.
After this you firmly place a hopper inside the machine and a warmed cup of espresso at the outlet of the machine. After you start the machine you should have the perfect thin steady stream of coffee in about five seconds. A double shot would require around twenty seconds.
What about a cappuccino?
If you want to make cappuccino then you should warm a half cup of organic milk in a microwave for about 90 seconds. Then you should froth it and add it to your Espresso. You can also add different garnishing like cinnamon, chocolate or nutmeg. If you like your coffee sweet then you can add a little bit of organic sugar.
In the end, if you want a great cup of Espresso all you have to do is keep the whole process simple and straight. You should always remember to keep your equipment clean and to start with good quality ingredients.