Espresso is a complex and interesting drink. He is considered one of the pickiest about cooking conditions and barista skills. To prepare a delicious espresso, you need to carefully select the beans, monitor the cleanliness of the equipment, water pressure and temperature, coffee dosage, tempering and brewing time.
The consistency of espresso is reminiscent of syrup – a concentrated beverage with a very intense flavor.
To prepare a delicious espresso, you need to carefully select the beans, monitor the cleanliness of the equipment, water pressure and temperature, coffee dosage, tempering and brewing time. You also need experience, which gradually appears when a person prepares an espresso, tastes it and draws conclusions.
Choice of coffee
For espresso, we recommend using specially designed espresso blends and monos. They are fried differently than for alternative cooking methods: according to individual roasting profiles and, as a rule, slightly darker. This is done so that the taste is sweeter and more balanced during preparation in the coffee machine.
Choosing an Espresso machine
Here, only steam with a temperature of about 100 ° is used, which is driven through the coffee in a cone. Due to the higher temperature, the steam somewhat “kills” the aroma of the resulting drink, but takes more caffeine, which makes this coffee stronger. The pressure in steam coffee machines is usually lower and can be around 4 bar. Because of this, their power decreases, only about 1200-1500 watts, but the preparation time for the drink also increases to 1-2 minutes.
If we compare these two groups of carob (or espresso) coffee machines, then pump pumps are more expensive, but at the same time have an advantage in preparation speed, a brighter aroma and taste of the drink. If you are at least a little gourmet, and appreciate not only the invigorating effect of coffee, but also its taste, then you would rather prefer coffee brewed with a carob machine.
The optimal water pressure in the coffee machine is from 8.2 to 9 atmospheres. It must be configured initially and monitored on the pressure gauge so that it does not go astray. To do this, you need to make a coffee pill, insert the holder into the group and turn on the spillage. At this point, the pressure must be monitored and adjusted if necessary. The adjustment itself for each coffee machine is different, we recommend looking at the instructions or contacting the master.
The choice of water temperature depends on the particular coffee type and the degree of roast. For any preparation method, except cold brus, light roast coffee is prepared at 93-95 ° C, medium roast – 91-93 ° C, dark roast – 89-91 ° C.
Dosage of coffee
The dosage of coffee depends on the size of the holder’s basket: they can be single or double. We recommend preparing espresso in a double basket, because the extraction is more stable and even there due to the smoother mesh structure.
Double baskets are available in smaller and larger sizes: some hold approximately 16 grams of coffee, the other 21 grams. We recommend using larger baskets with a dosage of 17–20 grams of coffee and using the weight of coffee indicated on the grid. That is, do not prepare espresso from 16 grams of coffee in a 21 grams basket and vice versa.
Pressurized water always looks for the easiest way to get through the coffee pill. That is why, in order for the extraction to proceed correctly and evenly, the coffee must be evenly distributed in the basket: break up the lumps and tamp with a tamper. In theory, this is simple, but in reality, it takes practice.
When the grinder does not have the newest burrs or the diameter is not too large, coffee lumps form during grinding. We recommend breaking them with a coffee leveler: eg OCD Coffee distributor; or a simple toothpick: break all the lumps in a circular motion and distribute the coffee evenly over the basket.
In no case should you knock on the holder with tempera, either before or after tempering – this will lead to the formation of channels, and the espresso will turn out to be tasteless.
When using an espresso machine with a heat exchanger, before installing the holder in the group, you need to spill 50-100 ml of water so that the temperature drops to working temperature. Usually, at this time there is boiling water with a hiss, as soon as the hissing stops – you can prepare an espresso.
When using a two-boiler coffee machine, it is also necessary to spill water, but not in order to drop the temperature, but in order to clean the dispersion grid from coffee residues from the previous preparation. In this case, significantly less water needs to be spilled – until it becomes clear.
After installing the holder in the coffee machine, you must immediately turn on the spill, since chemical reactions are already starting in coffee at high temperatures. As a rule, espresso is prepared in 23-30 seconds from the moment the pump is turned on until it is turned off.
Despite all the numbers, the taste is the main reference point. Even if your dosage, preparation time or weight of the espresso is different from ideal, but the coffee turns out to be tasty – then it should be.