Trends & lifestyle
Whether you have a manual coffee machine or a bean to cup, this article will teach you how to craft the perfect espresso.
Making the perfect coffee only uses two procedures:
Let’s look at the first of these procedures – making an espresso.
It’s essential to appreciate what we are going to do here and understand the product we are dealing with; coffee. Firstly, only 26% of coffee is water-soluble, and we are trying to extract between 17-22%. That’s why there’s always a puck (the insoluble fibers) of coffee left after extraction. To give a target for extraction, we will be looking for 30ml of espresso to be extracted in around 28 seconds for a single shot. For a double shot, we will be looking for 60ml of espresso to be extracted around 28 seconds.
Coffee is incredibly volatile, and a whole range of factors can and will alter the extraction, from the origin of the beans, the roast level, how fresh the coffee is, how warm the room is and is it raining. Coffee will rapidly alter if you store it somewhere cold and bring it out into a warm room (never store coffee in the fridge). Store coffee somewhere dark and in cool, dry conditions. Try and buy your coffee in smaller pack quantities of 250g and try not to bulk buy – little and often.
The joy of working with coffee is the volatility of the product. Coffee alters the longer it’s out of the bag, it releases the delicate gases and oils that the roaster has worked hard to develop, it warms up or cools down, absorbs moisture from the atmosphere or dries out. These tiny changes will often play havoc with the espresso, so don’t worry if today your coffee appears different from yesterday. We just need to make some adjustments and try again. The result of the perfect espresso is worth the wait.
How to make espresso on a pump machine
The link below shows how to make espresso on a De’Longhi pump machine:
How to make espresso on a bean to cup machine
The link below shows how to make espresso on a De’Longhi bean to cup machine:
It’s important to remember that when we drink an espresso, we don’t get the full effect until usually the fourth sip. A top tip on tasting the espresso is only to sip the espresso. Take at least five sips and notice that the first sip is usually harsh, but don’t give up. With the second sip, swill it around the mouth a little (like mouth wash) and notice a sensation on the sides of the tongue.
The magic will start to appear after the third sip, as now, unwittingly, the nose has identified all of the delicate gases and the mouth has identified the flavours, and we can now enjoy all of the flavours from an espresso. When we are new to tasting espresso, add white sugar to help.
Keep a note of the extraction times, and we will soon start to notice exactly where to identify the sweet spot. We don’t generally spot mediocre coffee, but we can spot an excellent one.