Fast Facts About Espresso
In most cafés and coffee shops across the country and in certain parts of the world, espresso is one of the most popular menu items. While it may sound very different from what you are accustomed to drinking each day, you’ll soon have a much better understanding of this beverage and why it’s so sought after. Today, we’ll provide you with some espresso basics, so maybe you can impress your friends, and not feel like a newbie at the coffee shop.
Let’s start with the word itself—it is commonly mispronounced as ‘expresso,’ but that is absolutely incorrect. Espresso is derived from the Italian term ‘caffè espresso’ meaning pressed coffee.
In terms of agriculture, espresso beans and coffee beans both come from the same plant.
The espresso was first created in a small kitchen in Milan, Italy, at the start of the 20th century by Luigi Bezzera, who wanted to create a faster method of brewing coffee. Consequently, he developed the first espresso machine in 1901, and famed coffee entrepreneur Desiderio Pavoni bought Bezzera’s patents to the machine, and made additional design improvements. After this, the two started working together to make the espresso machine even better. Shortly afterwards, they commercially manufactured it under the brand name La Pavoni. The espresso machine continued to evolve over time and to spread across the world.
What is Espresso?
Espresso is a beverage prepared using high pressure to force nearly boiling water through finely ground coffee within approximately 30 seconds. It can be consumed by itself or it can also be used as a base for several other types of coffee beverages, like lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and mochas.
How is Espresso Made?
Begin with a medium to dark roast of coffee, and using an espresso machine, push near boiling water through about 7 grams of compressed coffee grounds. Next, pull the shot (remove the espresso) in less than 30 seconds. What you’ll see on top of the espresso is called crema, the foamy mixture that is released during espresso extraction, and this can say a lot about the quality of the cup.
What Are the Characteristics of an Excellent Espresso?
In terms of appearance, a good espresso will have tiny speckles, a golden red color, and a strong, fragrant aroma. Make sure that you are using clean, filtered water to prepare your espresso, and mix the crema in just before drinking, as this ensures an even texture. Different machines operate a little differently, so you can adjust your grind according to your personal taste.
How to Drink it
Espresso contains the same amount of caffeine as an 8oz. cup of regular coffee. Since it is a more concentrated volume, you don’t need to drink much if you need a quick pick-me-up.
This is just a brief guide to help you navigate an important part of the coffee world—the espresso. If you would like to try some espresso yourself, please visit us today at CoffeeAM. We use 100% Arabica beans that have been darkly roasted, and if you’re using our espresso beans, but don’t have a grinder, we’ll be happy to do it for you!
Do you have a favorite espresso type or recipe that you’d like to share with us? Please feel free to add your comments below!