Espresso is one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world, but if you’re getting tired of daily trips to the coffeehouse just for a fresh shot, then you may be a good candidate to try an at-home espresso recipe. After you gather the ingredients and equipment, you’re well on your way to crafting a well-balanced, sweet, foamy and downright delicious espresso drink. So, sit back, and get ready to learn more about this wonderful concentration of flavors.
If you’re ready to become a world-class barista, here’s the steps you need to follow to make espresso – let’s take a look!
What Is Espresso?
Espresso is a method of brewing coffee in which a shot-sized amount of nearly boiling water is forced under pressure at the amount of 150psi through finely ground coffee. “Espresso” doesn’t refer to any specific type of bean, rather it’s the name of the drink itself. You can use almost any type of bean to make espresso, Arabica to Robusta or dark to light.
When espresso was invented in the early 1900s, it allowed coffeehouses to brew beverages quicker, increasing their turnover. Thus, it was usually served in small quantities of one to two ounces, and it’s been the same ever since. Although the serving size is smaller, the caffeine content is generally the same as a regular cup of coffee because of how strong the concentration is.
How is espresso brewed?
A specialized espresso machine forces hot water through finely ground compacted coffee under high pressure. This produces a small shot of coffee with a high flavor concentration. An espresso drink is characterized by a thicker, foamier finish with a viscosity similar to warm honey. While it’s possible to make espresso without a machine, you’d still need to acquire a French press, AeroPress or moka pot to pull off a successful shot. That’s why it’s generally recommended to purchase an espresso machine to achieve the best brew.
Espresso makers and other essential equipment
Since espressos require such high amounts of pressure to turn out tasty, we recommend picking up the following items before getting started:
- Espresso machine: Compared to drip coffee makers, espresso machines can push a considerable amount of pressure throughout its system. This allows for a more concentrated mixture.
- Burr grinder: These are incredibly useful for achieving a uniform grind and even coarseness for coffee beans.
- High-quality coffee beans: Don’t be fooled into thinking you can make flavorful coffee with subpar beans.
- Filtered water: Remove even the tiniest taste-affecting contaminants by filtering your water.
How To Make Espresso
Now that you know some important background about the espresso machine and what you need to brew up a fresh line of shots, let’s see the steps involved in making this delicious Italian drink:
Step 1) Clean your portafilter and brew head
Before dosing the coffee to your portafilter, remove it from the espresso machine’s brew head to clear any excess moisture, ground residue or bacteria build up. The portafilter is a filter device with a handle that holds the coffee grounds while they’re inserted into the brew head of your machine. Purge your brew head with hot water.
Step 2) Fill your portafilter with coffee
Many espresso machines come with on-demand grinders that automatically fill your portafilter. However, if you want to do it yourself, a single shot of espresso normally calls for 9 to 11 grams of finely ground coffee.
Step 3) Tamp your coffee
Tamping, or gently pressing down on your coffee grounds, crushes any air pockets and removes taste-altering gasses. Tamp down hard enough until you feel the coffee puck reach full compression and a completely flat surface. Spin your tamper to smooth the grounds for more even extraction. Insert the portafilter into the cleaned brew head.
Step 4) Start brewing
Immediately after inserting the portafilter, press start on your espresso machine. This will prevent the brew head from burning your coffee grounds and leaving an overly smoky taste. The machine will start with a slow drip that slowly builds into a gentle stream. The brewing process should takes about 30 seconds, at which point the shot will start to thicken. At this point, pull the shot from the machine.
Step 5) Stir and serve!
Some people like to drink the espresso straight out of the machine to enjoy the more intense, complex flavors that come out of the process. Others like to stir their espresso for a few seconds to allow those flavors to dissipate and enjoy a smoother taste and thicker finish. Regardless, you’re ready to serve up your coffee concoction with a smile.
Best Of Luck With The Espresso Making Process
With the right beans, equipment and instructions, you’re now ready to take on the challenge of brewing your own espresso. Remember to follow the steps above to achieve a smooth, flavorful and energy-boosting shot – you may even find yourself whipping up more. Best of luck on becoming your own barista!
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