For the serious coffee lovers out there, there is perhaps no better taste than a perfectly brewed cup of espresso. Because contrary to popular opinion, espresso does not imply a different kind of coffee bean. In fact, it simply uses the same types of beans as others, namely Arabica and Robusta (the most common varieties). However, it brews these beans in a different way. So if you have bought these same coffee beans, and are eager to brew your own cup, read on to find out how.
The first step is to choose your own particular bean. As mentioned, you usually have Arabica and Robusta to choose from. Arabica is grown at the high altitudes of eastern Africa, as well as Central and South America . Its taste is smooth and slightly acidic. In contrast, Robusta is grown at the lower altitudes of central Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Its taste is more powerful and slightly bitter.
Then, you should decide on your particular roast preference. As you are probably aware, different levels of roasting and blends produce different tastes. Typical roasts include medium from northern Italy, and dark from southern Italy and France. There is no right choice in the matter, but the darker the roast is, the more bitter and less acidic the beans are. But to ensure the best flavor, brew those beans which are closer to their roast date.
The next step is to grind your beans with a good espresso grinder. Alternatively you can simply buy the ground versions from a shop. Then, prepare purified water that has been heated to 90 C, just below the boiling point, to maximize the flavor that will be extracted from the coffee. To do this, you can heat the water using a cast iron teapot warmer, with an attached thermometer.
Then we go to the coffee ” the crucial part. Use 7 grams for a single shot and 14 grams for a double shot of espresso. Depending on the grind, adjust the pressure with your tamper. 30 pounds of pressure is the usual number, but for a loose grind, put more pressure. For a very fine grind, use less pressure. Then turn on the espresso machine.
If you got it right, it should take about 5 to 10 seconds to create the first few drops, and 20 to 25 seconds to create one or two ounces. If it was slower or faster than this rate, then you need to adjust your tamping pressure or your grind. As for the appearance, it should have a hazel brown cream or foam (called the crema) at the surface of the coffee. Enjoy.
Expand your knowledge about espresso coffee beans at the author’s website.