Espresso

Espresso is a drink of coffee prepared using pressure espresso machine. The coffee is characterized by high concentration of suspended and also the dissolved substances, thick and smooth with a foam on the top usually referred to as crema.

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Espresso

An espresso machine uses pressure to push near boiling water through fine grind coffee beans which are compactly packed like cakes. Espresso machine is fast, accurate and easier to make coffee using it. The coffee produced using this method is smooth, complex, caffeinated and more aromatic coffee. With espresso you can have you shot of coffee in minutes. The pressure used in espresso does not only quicken the coffee brewing method, but also disperse the rich oils in coffee into your shot plus help to create the crema.

Brief history of Espresso Coffee

The espresso machine was first developed in Italy around 1901. In the UK, it become most common around the 1950s and was usually drunk with milk or as cappuccino which was a result of many milk bars across the country.

Espresso was drunk in chains of coffeehouses mostly with milk also. Coffee brewed using espresso is thick and denser unlike all the other coffees brewed with other techniques. The coffee usually has foam floating on the coffee. Some examples of coffee drinks that are espresso based include mocha, Americano, cappuccino, latte and macchiato.

How to ground coffee for espresso

When brewing coffee, for example with French press, it is always advised that you use medium coarsely ground coffee. The reason beside this is that water does not flow smoothly in powdery ground coffee and also there is over extraction of the coffee flavors especially the bitter taste.

However, using espresso a different size of coffee beans grounds will be needed. Coffee is packed into a cake like structure called coffee bed. The properties of this coffee bed determine the quality of the espresso based on extraction of the flavors.

The finer or smaller the coffee particles, the bigger the surface area with contact with the water. Since espresso coffee brewing involves a quick infusion process thus it is very efficient to use fine ground coffee. It is believed that fine coffee grounds can slow or clog the brew since the coffee cake will swell when it gets in to contact with water. However, this is overcome by the sugary insoluble carbohydrates that coffee gain during roasting together with pressure used for espresso brewing.

Espresso based drinks

Ristretto

This is a short espresso short traditionally and is brewed with the normal coffee grounds amount but half the water amount use to extract a coffee shot. In Italian, ristretto means limited .the coffee was drunken using short demitasse and not added water or milk in large cups traditionally. The coffee has high acidity levels with less bitterness, more body, bold and fuller. The coffee can be diluted to a larger water cup to form long black or Americano. Dilution with milk forms a cappuccino. Ristretto is an intense strong espresso with low bitterness.

Romano

Romano espresso is a coffee shot usually served with lemon. A lemon can be placed at the coffee cup rim to accentuate the sweetness of espresso

Cafe Zorro

Coffee made with a ratio of 1 to one with hot water. It is also known as doppio or a double shot. It was traditionally served with a demitasse cup.

Caffe Crema

It is an old name of espresso and means cream coffee in Italian. It is a long espresso drink served basically in Australia, Switzerland, Italy northern region where the country borders Australia and Switzerland, Germany

Cafe Cubano

Cubano is a traditional drink in Cuba which is sweet and strong. The sugar is combined with coffee grounds prior the brewing method.

Cafe Lungo

It is a long shot of an espresso opposite of ristretto. However it is smaller than the long black or the Americano.

Americano

It is coffee prepared through addition of hot water to espresso. The coffee got a unique flavor from the espresso though as strong. The number of shots added in the water makes the different Americanos; lungo and long black.

Cappuccino

The drink is made by diluting an espresso with milk whether fresh, steamed or condensed. This forms a creamy and thick sweet coffee drink.

Basically a cappuccino is an espresso, layer on top with equal amount of steamed milk and another layer of foam milk. A dry cappuccino is also another basic cappuccino with only foamed milk on top of the espresso.

Mocha

This is a chocolate espresso drink topped up with steamed milk

Latte

This is an espresso in which steamed milk is five times as much as espresso and then topped up with very little milk cream.

Espresso Crema

This is the basic evidence that an espresso shot is well extracted. The foam is formed during the water pressurizing process. During this action, volatile coffee grounds oil is blend together with hot water. The fact that the coffee is pressurized makes the co2 gas trapped during coffee roasting escape from the coffee. The carbonate ions are chemically converted by the pressure and the evolving coffee cake acidity. As the coffee brew is transformed from a high pressure inside the machine to low pressure in the coffee collecting vessel (cup), the co2 pushes via the lining of the espresso forming bubble foam in the top. The foam can last up to forty minutes. In Italian, where espresso was developed, the name means espresso such that the espresso shot was taken fast after brewing.

Why espresso?

When perfectly brewed, espresso haves an aromatic scent, rich favor, velvety aftertaste all this together creating a pleasant unique taste. Less acid is draw owning to shorter brewing duration and the caffeine is well retained. Espresso brewing also preserves the coffee oils that are aromatic while keeping the delicate oils intact as compared to other brewing method.

It is possible to make the espresso coffee without the expensive machine. The machine is very common in commercial coffee shops though it is also becoming popular in homes. A moka pot is an ideal example of a device used in Latin America and Europe to make an espresso like coffee drink.

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