Hello to all drinkers and coffee drinkers in this nation!
We are almost at the end of our series on coffee extraction methods and, of course, we are going to talk today about the espresso! Also, very Italian, written with all his s’s, highly concentrated and with an unmistakable flavor. Say James Hoffmann that there are many definitions of what can be called espresso, but basically he considers espresso to be a strong and small drink, made with coffee beans in fine grind, extracted under high water pressure. Add to that the crema (that beautiful foam that is at the top of the drink, considered “the face” of coffee in Arab tradition) and a low proportion of water for the amount of coffee used.
Source: flickr.com/flippantfiasco – top photo: bryanschiele.com
It can be said that espresso was born from the desire to produce more concentrated coffees, which created the need to increase pressure at the time of extraction (due to too fine grinding); however, this is not a complete truth. The very name “espresso” indicates that the drink has its origins in quick preparation and agility in service. The first patent on what could be considered an espresso machine comes from Italy, when in 1884, Angelo Moriondo registered a “steam machine for making instant coffee”.
Personally, I think that espresso is one of the most interesting ways of making coffee. I believe that its historical importance, the large number of variables in the preparation and the endless amount of drinks (and recipes in general) that use espresso as a basis explain much of the popularity of this method. There is so much to say and so much to try on a cup of espresso that you could make a series of posts exclusively about it. So, nothing better than starting to practice now and forever. The recipe below can be found at The World Atlas of Coffee, by James Hoffmann.
Proportion: approximately 1 part of coffee to 2 of water, or 1: 2. This means that for 36ml of the ready drink you can use 18g of coffee.
Coffee grinding: slim.
1. Grind the coffee just before you start preparing the drink. For espresso, the most common is to use a grinder that already has support for filter holder. Remember to weigh the powder before preparation, so that you can repeat or correct your recipe next time. Enjoy and weigh your empty cup (see step 7).
2. It is important that your machine is warm when preparing espresso. The warm-up time varies between different operating systems (and even between machines that use the same system), so try to know all the details of your machine.
3. With the coffee in the filter holder, level it with your hand and then press it so that the powder is flat and compacted. The right tool to do this is the tamper, and a pressure of 13 kg is recommended… (that is, you don’t need to squeeze too tightly).
4. Let the water run for a while before attaching the filter holder. This helps to stabilize the temperature and serves to clean any coffee residue that may have remained since the last extraction.
5. When the water stops running, attach the filter holder firmly and make sure it is securely attached. Place the cup under the filter holder and start the extraction as soon as possible.
6. Keep a stopwatch or kitchen timer close at hand and start counting when extraction begins. A good starting point is to extract between 27 and 29 seconds. With practice it is possible to come up with other recipes, depending on the profile of each coffee.
7. When the desired extraction time is reached, stop the machine. As soon as the last droplets stop coming out, weigh your cup again to see how much coffee you’ve made. This will help you to produce a better result with each extraction, based on previous mistakes and successes.
8. Drink your espresso and repeat it every day, several times if possible. 🙂
Preparation time: about 3 minutes.
An express hug and good espressos!