The love for espresso is universal. A lot of coffee lovers regular go to cafés for this alone. Of course, you can make espresso at home too, and for that, you need something known as the espresso machine. Before we talk of the variables that impact your perfect cup of espresso, let’s start by talking about the overall flavors. Espresso is strong, flavorful, and comes with a foamy layer on the top, which is also known as crema. The crema is only produced when water is pushed through the finely ground coffee beans at a high pressure. As such, you need a machine that can produce that kind of pressure.
Below are some of the things you need to know for making espresso at home.
Do I need an espresso machine?
If you are someone who loves strong coffee, an espresso machine is certainly a must-have. Contrary to what people believe, espresso machines are not meant for espresso shots alone. You can make coffee-based drinks, including macchiato, cappuccino, mocha and latte. Most of these drinks require a considerable amount of strong coffee, along with milk. For example, a perfect latte has five parts of milk with one part of coffee, while a mocha is just like a cappuccino, but with added chocolate. If you have an espresso machine at home, you can brew your own coffee in the most perfect way, and whenever you want one.
There are all sorts of espresso machines in the market today, and the cheapest ones are known as stream espresso machines. As mentioned earlier, a perfect cup of espresso requires pressure, and steam machines, at least the regular ones, can only produce 3-bar pressure. As such, you won’t get the crema or the flavors that are usually associated with espresso. This is exactly where a pump espresso machine comes in the picture. These produce 9-bar pressure or even more and are widely used in cafés and coffee shops. The pressure allows more soluble solids to pass in the cup and minimizes the time required for brewing. For obvious reasons, pump espresso machines are expensive, but are great for professional and personal needs alike.
Making a cup of coffee
Brewing espresso requires effort and time, and even with the best pump espresso machine, you may have to struggle a bit. It is also important to invest in the best quality coffee beans that you can find, and it must be ground to a fine powder, with the same consistence or grain size as that of table salt. The finer grind you have, the more time it would require for the machine to process the water through the beans. Extracting the flavors of espresso is also dependent on the heat. You need to ensure that the machine is hot enough before you start making your cup. The crema eventually decides the flavor of the espresso, so if it’s foamy and tastes slightly sweet-bitter, you are good to go.
Take your shot at espresso now!
Author Bio – Lindsay Morales has been working as a barista for more than 4 years. She started to write about coffee last year, promoting espresso and coffee making as a hobby. Her objective is to help people make great coffee at home.