Coffee had been a part of the life of many people. From pure coffee to coffee blends, it has reached its way to the hearts of coffee lovers. According to the article of the International Coffee Organization entitled “The Coffee Story”, coffee begins with a goatherd named Kaldi. However, according to recent studies coffee was born on the plateaus of Central Ethiopia and brought for development to Yemen. In Cairo and Mecca, the beginning of coffee houses was first established. Since then, coffee became fervor rather than just refreshment. Many coffee brewing methods are developed to enjoy the real magic taste of coffee.
These methods are: the use of percolator, auto-drip, French press, Moka Italian stove top and espresso. Among these methods, the espresso is the most popular and widely used method by many of the coffee brewers and coffee houses in the world. Espresso or cafe espresso is a variation of product of coffee. The term “espresso” came from the word “for express” which means that it is immediately served or made for customers. It is a concentrated coffee beverage that is brewed under very hot water using a coffee that is between tremendously fine and powder.
In the early 20th century, it is developed in Milan, Italy which uses steam pressure up until the 1940’s. Spring piston lever machine is one of the inventions that made espresso a better one. According to “Espresso Coffee” of the Coffee Research Organization, espresso can attain its true and perfect taste through the perfect combination of four factors: the correct grinding of a coffee blend (Macinazione), the coffee blend or Miscela, the espresso machine (Macchina), and the skilled hand of the barista (Mano).
With the proper combination of these factors, the best espresso may attain which is described as extraordinarily sweet with the real aroma of fresh ground coffee. A good coffee blend is one of the main priorities of various espresso makers to attain its perfect taste. The difference of espresso to other brewing process is the formation of the crema. Crema is the layer of bubbles that trap the aromatic compounds produced over brewing. To enjoy the aromatic taste of coffee it is essential to have an outstanding preparation of espresso blend.
Many countries all over the world contribute to the perfect combination of espresso. Among those countries are Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru and Panama. Coffees from these countries are used as base of coffees that gives the espresso its undeniably taste of sweetness. Certain countries like Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopian Harrar, and Zimbabwe also contributes to the variation of taste to add acidity, flavor, complexity and brightness. To add richness and body when blending, coffees from places of Asia like Java, Sumatra and New Guinea are considered.
Roasting of coffee is definitely an important part of creating a well-tasted espresso. In this chemical process, the aroma, acids and other flavor components is being changed to enhance the acidity, flavor and aftertaste of the coffee. Minimizing the bitter taste and acidity of the coffee is the focus of many coffee-based manufacturing factories today. They replaced the sweetness lost in the process of roasting by alternatives like add up of milk or other flavors that will make an espresso based drink more delectable.
This is the reason why espresso based drink is more popular that straight or solely espresso. Also in this process, it is important to observe the sweetness by minimizing the carmelization of sucrose but not overlooking the roasting which degrade the bitter taste of the coffee. A good espresso grinding can be attained through the use of an espresso burr grinder and to grind it per order. Conical burr grinder is the most advantageous burr coffee grinder that is widely-used due to its product. It produces an increase in the surface area of each particle and augments the richness of the flavor.
In coffee grinding it is important to tamp or fill the espresso as fast as possible. Allotted time of activation of 15-20 seconds of the coffee grinder is required to maintain the freshly ground coffee to be used. An extraction time of 23-28 seconds is most possible to produce a ground size of a standard espresso coffee. In addition, humidity also takes part on the extraction time. The presence of moisture from the air can lengthen the extraction time. In espresso preparation, espresso tamping is frequently ignored.
It is a process where a pellet of coffee is formed through the use espresso tamper and penetration of hot water uniformly. Proper espresso tamping is an important key to attain a great espresso. But aside from this, the use of a correct espresso tamper is an evident one. The correct espresso tamper should be made of aluminum or any equivalent light metal that have a diameter that will tightly fit the basket. Among the stores that have the proper product of espresso tampers is Vivace’s. They also put on the market different sizes of pistons.
Recently, Vivace’s suggested the use a round bottom coffee tamper rather than the conventional traditional coffee tamping machines. The stability of temperature of the water inside the espresso machine is a relevant factor in attaining a good espresso coffee. Today, almost all of the commercial espresso machines have a proper temperature stability set-up. Use of an espresso with a large boiler tanks for brewing and steaming is an answer to the temperature stability area. However, many espresso makers believe temperature stabilizing can be practiced.
Temperature stabilizing means that water inside the espresso machine is maintained at a constant temperature. Overheated water or too much water inside the boiler is the point of adjustment an espresso tamping machine should gauge. Regular running water is the key to maintain the proper temperature stability. With this temperature stability, excellent product of brew of an espresso could be achieved. Crema’s intensification in an espresso is brought about by the water pressure which is between 9 and 10 atm.
Boiler pressure gauge on the other hand is the one responsible for checking the amount of water that should be integrated to the steam. Without the presence of this espresso pressure gauge, it will be impossible to attain the aromatic and well sweetness of crema. Aside from this pressure gauge, other parts of the espresso machine play a vital role in forming a well taste coffee espresso. These parts are the portafilter, steam wand, keypad, tray, and sight glass. The portafilter which is made up of metal is the overall assembly of the spouts, handle and basket.
The responsible for the ejection of milk froth lies on the capacity of the steam wand. The water content that is forced through the steam is observed in the boiler sight glass. Maintaining the cleanliness of the coffee machine is a great task any espresso maker is emphasizing but is forgetting in the process of making. It is equivalently important as the other factors in espresso making like blending and grinding. Assuring that the machine is well cleaned will probably increase the quantity of espresso based drinks customers.
This will also make the machine more efficient in terms of product proficiency. Moreover, the burr blades of the espresso grinder should be regularly cleaned. Yearly replacement of the burrs must be observed to assured the quality of the coffee granules that will be produced. Another factor to be considered in serving an espresso is its espresso cup. It must be pre-heated using other source aside from the espresso machine itself. If the cup is not pre-heated then the temperature of the water will be lowered thus uneven extraction of espresso might takes place.
A magic hand of the barista and the passionate love in making espresso are the ones that make a good espresso coffee. The barista is the one that operates with the espresso coffee machine. It is considered as the most fundamental factor in espresso coffee making. A good barista should possess both passion and logical scientific character. If the barista loves doing the work or the job then he will probably make sure that he makes one of the best espresso coffees. In Italy and other parts of Europe, barista is considered as a profession.
It is often associated with the skills and knowledge that were passed through ages. In contrast with what is the tradition in European countries, American based barista is just an employment for young people and not really a career position. The proper stiffness of the grind, exact roasting to attain the extraordinary sweetness, correct water temperature and pressure, appropriate tamping and favorable environmental factors like humidity are perfect combination of a good espresso coffee. If the barista recognized and possess all of these then a well-done espresso will be attain.
With all the proper blending, roasting, grinding, quantifying and tamping the coffee, it will be more effectively extracted to attain a great espresso. Nonetheless, espresso making thus not end there. The barista is still the core of making a good and well-done espresso coffee. It is up to the barista to have a good combination of the ingredients and proper methods. However, there is still no perfect espresso. A well-done espresso making is a passion and not just a work to be able to earn money. It is for the love of coffee that man will experience to taste the perfect espresso.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 February 2017
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