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BREWING ESPRESSO



Espresso is the only method that brews coffee using pump pressure.

When you brew coffee with an espresso machine, the water temperature

is kept below boiling point, which helps to avoid scalding the coffee.


WHAT IS ESPRESSO?

There are many theories and practices when it comes to brewing espresso, from the classic Italian approach to the American adaptations, and the Scandinavian versions to the Antipodean interpretations. Irrespective of which approach you prefer and follow, it’s useful to remember that espresso, at its core, is just a brewing method as well as the name of a beverage. Many people also use the term “espresso” as a way of describing a roast color, but in fact, you can brew espresso using any level of roast, and any bean or blend that you prefer.


PREPARING THE MACHINE

In addition to your machine manufacturer’s recommendations, here are a few guidelines that can help make the road to a good home espresso a bit smoother.


WHAT DO I NEED?

Equipment

espresso machine

espresso grinder

dry cloth

tamper

tamping mat

cleaning powder

cleaning tools


Ingredients

roasted coffee beans (rested)


  1. Fill the clean espresso machine with fresh water and the grinder with beans that have been given a week or two to rest and de-gas since roasting. Allow the machine and portafilter to become thoroughly warmed up.

  2. Wipe the basket of the portafilter clean with a dry cloth, so that none of the coffee grounds in the machine are rebrewed.

  3. Flush some water through the group head to stabilize the temperature and clean any old coffee residue off the shower screen.

  4. Grind the coffee and dose between 1/2oz (16g) and 3/4oz (20g) into the basket, according to its size and your preferred recipe.



BREWING THE SHOT

Brewing great coffee repeatedly and consistently can be very challenging, and making espresso at home takes a lot more effort than any other brewing method. For those who choose to invest in the machinery required to do a good job, it is a hobby as much as a daily drinking ritual. Coffee for espresso must be very finely ground, allowing the water to extract from a larger surface area. The result is a small, intense, viscous drink with a foam called crema, that highlights all the good, but potentially also the bad, qualities of the bean, roast, and preparation.

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