Experts and coffee enthusiasts agree that making a good espresso requires the right combination of several factors: a quality espresso machine with the right pressure, clean water, good, specially ground coffee and the skill of the barista, as they call in the coffee world, the person who makes espresso drinks professionally. There is another rule, the so-called “4M principle”: blend mishella , grind maccinato , coffee machine macchina , bartender’s hand mano . It takes a long time to master all the skills of a barista, but without knowing the basics you can’t make espresso in a simple coffee carob.
Coffee machine or coffee maker?
What’s the difference between an espresso machine and a coffee maker for the same purpose? The first are fully automated and all the nuances of the brewing process are taken into account: you can individually select the strength of the drink and the volume of the cup, the degree of coffee grinding and even the structure of the crema.
It filters water, grinds coffee, presses it, pre-moisturizes it for flavoring the set of skills depends on the model , calculates all the details, all you have to do is set the parameters, or the machine selects them by itself.
The process of making espresso in a coffee maker requires more energy, physical effort and time, but, as coffee lovers say, such coffee is “with heart” – not standardized, but each time it is new. A coffee machine is what allows you to learn the wisdom of the coffee sacrament, while the espresso machine is designed for those who do not have both the time and the desire to “make magic”.
So, the must-do steps:
- Preheat the maker! Run at least 1 cup of water through it, so it gets clean and extra warm.
- Choose a filter and place it in the holder.
- Empty the coffee into the filter and press it with a stamper. Next, tap a little on the edge of the holder with the back of the wrist and pour the coffee again. It is important to pour 1 cup at a time and press once, otherwise you might get layers in the still-dry coffee which do not let water pass through. Pressing is not necessary for some models like the SAECO coffee machine – you have to read the instructions. After compaction, the coffee should almost completely fill the filter, leaving only a small space 2-3 mm to increase the volume in the process of water passing through the holder. Too much coffee means that water doesn’t go through and the drink will be overcooked and bitter, or if you don’t get enough, the crema will not appear or will be light and the drink will be watery.
- Warm the cup – either on a marmite if possible, or with steam or boiling water. Make sure the cup is warm, but dry!
- Place the Holder in the socket and lift a cup.
- Make sure the coffee maker is warmed up and ready to go, press the coffee button.
- If the appliance does not have a drink dispensing function, watch the timing of the espresso and the level of the finished drink in the cup.
Espresso is what?
Espresso is the most useful way to make coffee. The principle is as follows: a stream of hot water under pressure is forced through a cup of pre-compressed ground coffee or a coffee pod. portioned coffee, pressed between two layers of filter paper , as a result of which at minimum contact time of ground coffee with water 35-45 seconds the maximum level of aromatic substances extraction is achieved.
The method of making espresso was developed in Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century. Espresso contains very little caffeine, but is very aromatic and tasty. All kinds of espresso drinks are made on the basis of espresso: cappuccino, macchiato, ristretto, romano and others you can read about their recipes in the next issue of our magazine – approx. editions .
Classical formula for espresso is as follows: 7 grams of ground coffee and 70 ml of water per 1 serving, extraction time – 35-45 seconds, working pressure at least 9-10 atmospheres, water temperature – from 86 to 94 degrees. Less than that means incomplete extraction and more than that will result in burnt coffee.
Water must be purified or bottled, but never boiled! It is important to choose the right sort of coffee: 100% Arabica is not an advantage in this case, 10-20% of robusta in the espresso blend is required. The espresso should be drunk immediately after preparation.
In black coffee, in white foam..
It’s easy to make milk foam with almost any appliance. There are manual cappuccinators for this purpose – tubes, from which steam is supplied under pressure automatic cappuccinator is an exception – in KRUPS model . You just dip the tube 2 to 3 cm into the milk and swirl the pitcher around the tip of the tube. A good espresso is characterized by regularity and smoothness, while the big bubbles with thin walls tell you that it will soon settle. To get a strong and lush crema, you need to know a few secrets:
- The milk should be very cold,
- Keep the pitcher in the freezer,
- The manufacturers advise to use the lowest fat milk and baristas look for protein content of at least 3%,
- The pitcher should be about one-third full usually about 100 ml of milk per serving ,
- you need to control that the milk does not overheat – then you will not get foam, and the only way is to not let the bottom of the pitcher be too hot,
- A pitcher of ready-made foam should be lightly tapped on the table to make the foam stiffen.
We did a not quite professional test: we tested the resulting milk foam by putting a teaspoon of granulated sugar in it and watching how quickly it would “skip” into a cup of. Usually these tests are done directly on the espresso crema.
However, we thought it was better to test espresso crema in this way at barista training school exams – a lot depends on the hands of the specialist. But everything is easier with milk foam, and for clarity, we left this unpretentious test “sugar test” just for it.
Another important point: always keep a glass of water next to the cappuccino maker and rinse the device after each use: after all, milk is partially sucked into the cappuccino maker tap. If the tube is still clogged and rinsing doesn’t help, gently clean the hole with a needle.