Coffee is arguably the world’s most popular drink. Cultures all over the world have their own variants and take on coffee. In Italy, espressos are an extremely popular drink. An espresso is a highly concentrated form of coffee, traditionally served as a shot in a small cup.
However, espressos aren’t only popular in Italy; they are popular everywhere. You will find it difficult to find a coffee shop that doesn’t serve espressos today.
If you are interested in trying out espressos, then this post will tell you everything that you need to know to make the perfect espresso.
When you are making espresso you ‘tamp’ it into your espresso machine’s group handle basket, meaning that you compress it. A big mistake that’s made by a lot of home baristas is applying too much pressure when you are tamping. When packing your group handle’s basket, if you do it too hard, you can make it very difficult for water to pass through. Tamping too hard can lead to over-extraction, which can leave you with a bitter and unpleasant espresso. Make sure that you take the time to learn how to tamp properly before trying to do it.
You need to make sure that you regularly clean out your espresso machine’s portafilter. Not doing this could mean that the residue of old coffee is left there, which can make your espressos take bitter. You should never take a relaxed approach to the cleanliness of your espresso machine. Not only can failing to clean out your machine can mean that your espressos taste different but it can also mean that germs and bacteria could be added to them.
If you want the perfect espresso, then you need to get your dose correct. Unfortunately, a lot of home baristas overdose (or sometimes underdose). If you add too much coffee to your machine then your espresso could be too strong and bitter; if you don’t add enough then it will be weak and flavourless. If you have a high-quality espresso machine, then it is very likely that the machine will have instructions on how to brew the perfect espresso inside the machine’s packaging. You can also find information on how much coffee you need to use online.
You should never compromise when it comes to your coffee’s quality. Make sure that the coffee that you use is organic and sustainably farmed. The coffee industry was, up until a few years ago, dominated by organisations exploiting coffee farmers. Now, this has all changed. The coffee industry has become a lot more sustainable and much fairer to the people that actually grow and farm coffee. However, you can’t always be sure that the organisation you have chosen to deal with does employ sustainable and fair farming practices. Ideally, shop with companies that have the ‘Fair Trade’ badge on their website and products.
The quality of the machine that you are using can play a very big role in your coffee’s taste, flavour, and consistency. If you are using a very cheap machine then you are never going to get the perfect espresso. You have to spend a little bit of money if you want the perfect cup. Before you buy an espresso machine, make sure that you do a lot of research online. You should always read a product’s online reviews before committing to buying it (and if it is possible, then you should speak to people who have purchased the machine before).
Rinse Group Basket
Going back to cleanliness for a moment, you need to make sure that you clean out your group basket every time that you use it. The reason for this is that if you don’t then coffee residue can be left over, which can lead to your espresso’s flavour becoming bitter. Cleaning out your group basket is really easy. You should use dish soap when you wash it out, although you don’t have to do this every time that you rinse it. You should only really need to deep clean it with dish soap once a week, or perhaps less depending on your frequency of use.
One tip that any professional barista will tell you is that your espressos will taste a lot better if you grind your coffee beans yourself. Unfortunately, a lot of people prefer to buy pre-ground coffee, which doesn’t make a lot of sense since you can buy coffee beans and a grinder online for next to nothing. If you do decide to go ahead and buy beans and a grinder, then you can grind it before every cup. By grinding it before brewing, your coffee will taste fresh, delicious, and unlike anything you have ever made at home before.
The length of time that you brew your espresso can also impact its flavour. It is a very good idea to take some time to learn how to make espresso properly before you even attempt to since small mistakes like over brewing can have a massive impact on your espresso’s outcome. You can actually take courses on how to brew espressos properly, although they can be quite expensive to sign up for. Generally speaking, the best way to learn techniques for brewing the perfect espresso is to read guides and blogs. Most people brew their espressos for between 20 – 30 seconds though, but as already mentioned, this can depend on the machine that you are using.
It is important not to consume too many espressos a day because espressos contain a lot of caffeine. Too much caffeine can be very bad for your health. People who consume too much caffeine tend to end up suffering from headaches, as well as being unable to sleep properly at night. Experts say that you shouldn’t drink more than four espressos a day. It is also worth noting that if you consume too many espressos, you can actually damage your heart.
Espressos are delicious. In addition to learning how to brew the perfect espresso, you should also take the time to learn about the myriad other drinks you can make with espressos. Once you learn to make a proper espresso, you’ll never have to go to a coffee shop again.