Discover the exciting world of the "Espresso coffee maker"
Savor the smooth oily texture – smell the strong heady aroma – Allow the delicious "Black Nectar" to caress your tongue!
Now that gets you going! - What? It didn't? Take heart, with an espresso coffee maker, it is never too late to learn what delights can be achieved.
Stick around with us for the next while, and you will wonder how you ever managed to do without. Of course if you are already converted, you will be in heaven - Oops! Should that not be haven? ;-)
Making a good espresso coffee is the most difficult, of all the coffee brewing methods, and requires the most precision. The good news is...
...it's also the most rewarding. Tragic though it is, you are not assured of a really good espresso, even if ordered in a "coffee shop".
Too many places that sell coffee seem to think that all one needs is the espresso coffee maker and that is enough! It takes training, practice, and a certain amount of passion to use a commercial espresso machine properly.
It is interesting that the name Cafeteria, coming from the Spanish, roughly means "coffee shop". While we don't want to knock them, it seems that too often a Café house operates more like the modern understanding of the word cafeteria. Of course there are multitudes of good Café houses around. So like anything else, you have to look around until you find one that suits your taste.
Commercial espresso coffee makers are made to operate under 9 to 10 units of atmospheric pressure. The water used is carefully regulated at a temperature between 89 to 96 degrees Centigrade. The brewing time is varies around 25 seconds. The other aspect which is critical is the water to coffee ratio of between 23ml water to every 7gr coffee, and 31ml water to every 8.5gr coffee depending on the exact cup size used.
There are various models of home espresso coffee machines with varying capability to produce and maintain those same exacting standards. Some produce excellent results, and it seems that better quality home units are becoming available. The home models at the lower end of the price spectrum are less likely to produce or maintain enough heat and pressure to brew espresso properly, so it makes a truism of the expression, "You get what you pay for!"
Home espresso makers
should always be purchased from reputable suppliers. Our humble advice is to stick with known makes and do not go for the bottom of the range. To quote Mike Sheldrake of Polly's Gourmet Coffee, "if you shop for an espresso coffee maker like you would shop for a toaster you are likely to get home brewed espresso that tastes like burnt toast."
What is it that makes a properly brewed espresso so uniquely pleasurable?
We believe the following factors are amongst the most important.
- Firstly, the rich aroma as it is freshly brewed
- then the sparkle you experience as it rests on the tongue
- Espresso has its own unique sweetness
- A lingering aftertaste which is both pleasant and aromatic
- Good espresso should not have any bitterness
- It also should not require added sweeteners or milk
- The crema on top should be smooth and thick
- The crema should be a warm brownish color
- The color is dependent on the blend of coffee used
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