Espresso coffee is a coffee that is brewed by a high-pressure technique in which hot water under pressure is made to pass through grounded coffee. Espresso is an Italian word that means pressed-out. The first espresso coffee machine rolled out in Italy around the early 1900 and since then it has seen a whole lot of changes.
Today, espresso coffee machines are so sophisticated that they can prepare coffee using different hot water pressures, extracting different coffee tastes from the grounds in accordance with an individuals choice. The person who operates an espresso coffee machine is deemed to be a coffee expert and is referred to as a barista.
Espresso coffee machines are equipped with levers, which are pulled by baristas when they want to produce a cup of coffee. This act of pulling the lever is termed as pulling a shot.
The most important extract in espresso coffee is the crema. Crema is the reddish foam that you can see floating on top of the espresso coffee. It is a combination of natural ingredients like oils, proteins and sugar, present in the coffee grounds. The crema along with the caffeine in the natural coffee produces a thick syrupy liquid that is rich, full of heavenly aroma, and great to taste.
Normally, it takes a barista about half a minute to pull a shot of espresso coffee. A freshly brewed espresso coffee must not be stored, as it will lose its original taste and flavor.
Essentials Of A Great Espresso
You probably have downed many espresso coffees in your lifetime and may feel that you are numero uno in telling a great espresso coffee from a routine one.
Maybe you are right, but here are the essentials that a coffee drinker should know: (i) The roasted beans used should not be more than 2-4 days old. (ii) The beans should not be roasted dark; else they will lose their natural ingredients. (iii) The beans should be evenly ground in a good quality grinder. (iv) The beans should be freshly ground, preferably 30 seconds before producing a shot. (v) The water that a barista uses in an espresso machine has to be filtered. (vi) The espresso cup must be preheated not from the shot poured into it, nor from the espresso machine.
The cup should have thick walls and a narrow mouth so that it preserves taste and aroma of the espresso coffee.
Maybe you should check with your barista if he is aware of these factors. In the end, just as there is a slip between the cup and the lip, there is nothing like a perfect espresso. So long as you get a good-quality espresso coffee, you should be happy.