May 23, 2008, Newsletter Issue #161: Perfect Espresso Is Part Equipment, Part Skill

Tip of the Week

Espresso is one of the most complicated coffee beverages to make. It is for the espresso that the baristas became famous. The ideal espresso should be sweet and enjoyable without additives, but bold enough to not disappear in milk. There are several steps to making the perfect cup of espresso.

It starts with blending coffees to achieve the sweetness, aromatics, and smoothness desired in espresso. The Coffee Research Institute recommends using espresso within four days of roasting.

Espresso should be made from a light roast, ground correctly in a burr grinder. Conical burrs are desirable. Then the espresso should be tamped evenly. Basically, tamping is a way of packing the coffee evenly to create a pellet of coffee through which the hot water from the espresso machine will penetrate evenly

Next comes the equipment: One impressive espresso machine is the Impressa F9 Superautomatic makes cappuccino and espresso. The machine is not for everyone. The price tag is for almost $1,800.

After the brewing the espresso, donít forget to clean the machine. The machine, basket, and porta-filter should be cleaned regularly so the espresso does not taste rancid.

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