Some Handy Tips to Make Espresso
The following are tips to make espresso. If you're new at making espresso, it doesn't mean that you can’t make a flawless pot on your first try, but it does mean that some advance planning usually makes it more likely. Brewing a cup or small pot of perfect espresso requires a bit of knowledge, skill and even some experience.
The first thing to know about espresso is that it is mostly water, and beginning the entire process with a good supply of filtered water usually ensures a better result. Why? Even though espresso and coffee beverages have strong flavors, they are still easily affected by the presence of minerals and even chemicals in the water with which they are made. For example, someone using tap water that is heavily chlorinated will be surprised at the variation in the flavor that could occur by using filtered water instead.
Additionally, water that has heavy mineral deposits can often cause build up to occur within the various machine or Moka pot components, and over time this deeply affects the results of each brewing period. Clogs in some machines can even create dangerous conditions too.
This all adds up to the fact that using a water filter or even bottled drinking water (not mineral water) to make espresso is usually a good idea.
The next tips to make espresso is to consider the beans used for the process. First of all, espresso can be made with any variety of bean or blend, but the majority of espresso enthusiasts prefer a dark roast. This is usually due to the fact that the espresso-making process forces high pressured water through the grounds and this creates a richer and more intense flavor than standard brewing. This means that a deep flavored French roast coffee will have its aroma and taste intensified if used to make espresso. There are, however, many espresso-specific blends and roasts sold by coffee merchants, and a true enthusiast can “mix and match” their favorites to create the perfect results for their tastes.
Where the beans are concerned, however, it is important to keep in mind that coffee has a shelf life of around two weeks before flavor starts to fall off or decline. This is due to the volatile oils of the coffee bean. For this reason it is best to keep the beans in tightly-sealed containers in an unground status until just before use.
When grinding beans for espresso the blades will have to work harder to get the fine-powdered texture necessary. This can cause friction and heat which are a death-knell to the flavors in the coffee. A great tip is to make sure your coffee grinder can operate without creating the kind of heat that causes the release and destruction of the flavorful oils in the beans, and to use the freshly ground beans right away.
Finally, it is impossible to consider the above tips to make espresso without also considering the process through which the beverage is produced. Most enthusiasts own an electric espresso machine or an old fashioned Moka pot. It is really a matter of opinion as to which works best, but for a standard cup of espresso with the much-desired “crema” on the surface, an electric machine is the only answer.
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