The demand for coffee is not likely to fall as more people turn to it as their beverage of choice, whether hot or iced. Between 2018 and 2019, approximated 165 million 60 kilogram bags of coffee were consumed. This was an increase of 7 million bags from the amount utilized the previous year. Preparing your espresso at home means you get your coffee fix any time you want to without going out to get one. These Lamano recommendations will guide you to get the right espresso machine for your home.
What is an espresso?
Before you attempt to make an espresso, you need to understand what it is. This is the only way you will make it right. An espresso is a small beverage, usually 25-35ml. It is prepared using 7-9 grams of coffee.
Hot clean water that is between 90.5 and 96.1 degrees is forced out at high pressure through the ground coffee. Allow it to brew for about 30 seconds. The duration you brew your coffee will depend on the grind size of the coffee, the roast profile, and the origin of the coffee. Once you understand what an espresso is, you will have an easier time making one.
The espresso is as good as the coffee you use
For you to have a good espresso, the coffee itself has to be of great quality. Specialty coffee is the best, especially if it is freshly roasted and less acidic. The acidity in coffee is usually at the forefront of the espresso.
The coffee’s roast profile is also critical because it will determine if your espresso will be bitter or not. If you pick coffee with a poor roast profile, your espresso will lack the balance and sweetness that coffee drinkers yearn for in high-quality espresso. Medium roast is the best roast profile.
You should also focus on the roast date because coffee goes stale when it has been on the shelf for too long. Freshly roasted coffee is also not ideal for espresso because coffee needs degas.
Degassing is the process where carbon dioxide is slowly released from the coffee. During roasting, carbon dioxide buildup in coffee is quite common. This affects the taste of the coffee. When carbon dioxide is released, the coffee flavour will be enhanced.
When you buy whole beans, store it away from sunlight, oxygen, and heat. If you don’t have a great grinder, buy ground coffee in small quantities to avoid it going stale.
Grind your coffee properly
If you choose to buy whole beans, you need to make sure that you get a good grinder, one that can get you coffee of different textures. This way, if you want coarse or fine coffee, you can get what you need.
Your coffee’s grind size will affect the extraction rate as well as the aroma. Fine coffee is extracted much faster than coarse coffee. However, there is more to the extraction process because if you do it too quickly, you may miss out on the coffee’s sweetness. Remember, the espresso is about finding the perfect balance. The coffee extraction process works in phases.
The first phase releases the fruity and acidic flavours in coffee. The next phase targets the sweetness, while the last one is responsible for bitterness. All these compounds are important in the perfect espresso.
When the grind is too fine, it takes a little longer for water to pass through and you will end up with bitter espresso.
Use the right water to coffee ratio
The amount of water you use when making your espresso will determine the coffee’s strength. The ideal ratio is 1:3, that is, for every gram of coffee, use 3ml of water. However, there is no standard ratio because you should consider your preference of strength when choosing the amount of water you will use. If you like strong coffee, you can opt for a 1:2 ratio, but if you want something lighter, you can even go for a 1:5 ratio.
The type of water you use is also critical. Bottled water is best for making espresso because it has the right mineral balance. Hard water is not recommended because it will lead to limescale build up in the espresso machine, which will affect performance over time. Espresso made using hard water is also dull.
On the other hand, soft water is great for the espresso machine, but not too good for your espresso because it will make your coffee flat.
When you place the ground coffee in the portafilter, ensure they are evenly distributed. When the coffee is packed together, some of the coffee will be over-extracted. You will make a great tasting espresso when everything is done right.