“This is a good life!” Those are the words I mutter when the bliss of a good warm espresso trickles down my guts.
“Why is this feeling often gotten in a coffee shop?” Every time I am wowed at the impressive skill found in a cup of shop-bought espresso, I ask myself this question.
In a bid to have that coffee shop feeling, I did some research that involved months of trials and errors. This article will highlight some information you need to pull off a stunning espresso shot. Read on to learn how to make a good espresso at home.
Select Good Coffee Beans
Most profitable businesses had signaled their success right from the startup. Take making espresso as a business and startup with good coffee beans.
Depending on your preference, you may need to pay attention to the roast profile (roasting date and roast intensity).
A deeply roasted and dark beans will taste bitter, while light coffee beans, on the other hand, will be too acidic. A medium roasted coffee bean is usually recommended.
However, you may choose to inform the coffee roaster of your preference and let him choose an espresso bean for you.
The importance of fresh beans does not mean you need to grind your beans immediately you get it from the supermarket. No matter how good a coffee bean is, its ‘niceness profile’ goes down the drain if stored improperly.
Coffee beans usually soak up a bunch of CO2 when roasting. Therefore, you may need to degas the package by allowing it to rest. Although, you tend to lose the flavor of the beans if you degas excessively.
Also, coffee beans are not soda or juice. Buying massively or storing coffee beans in a refrigerator or freezer is not the best option.
Store in a cool and dry place away from heat/extreme cold and excessive sunlight.
A Good Gear is Important
You may not be a machine expert, but just like I did, you need to pay attention to certain features of an espresso machine.
A coffee brewer’s stability and consistency is one important feature you should look out for.
Are the machine’s temperature, volume, and pressure stable? Are these parameters not fluctuating? A good coffee machine would provide a consistent taste, temperature, and volume from the first cup to the last.
If you like to experiment with your espresso, try getting a gear that gives you total control over every outcome.
Clean and maintain your machine at intervals. It is your ‘sweet espresso giving grail’ take care of it like a medallion.
A good maintenance routine is essential as a poor one can badly affect the quality of espressos you make.
Grinding your Coffee
The degree of extraction determines the taste of the coffee. The level of extraction is also proportional to the beans’ grind size, meaning when you control the grind size, you control the extraction, taste, and flavor level.
Apart from the fact that coffee beans degas rapidly after grinding, it should be noted that the bigger the grind size, the shorter the extraction or brew time.
Typically, a good espresso should take 20-30 seconds to brew. If the grind is too fine, it will take longer brew time. The machine will find it difficult to push water through the portafilter.
Before you start grinding, allow the grinder to run for some seconds to purge the grinder of leftover particles from the previous grind.
Water vs. Coffee
The volume of water needed to brew an espresso depends on your preference.
Typically, it is suggested that you use 3ml of water for every gram of coffee. However, if you want your coffee to be strong, you may decide to use 2ml of water for every gram of coffee.
Also, water quality and temperature are as crucial as the volume. Hard water can give incredibly dull brews as well as gradually damaging your equipment. Soft water, on the other hand, can may your coffee taste flat.
Water temperature is a thing of preference. The temperature of the water can significantly affect brew flavor.
If your espresso is not evenly distributed in the portafilter, you will have a poor coffee.
When some parts of the portafilter are packed tighter than the other, water runs through the less tightly packed parts smoothly. The grinds then become unevenly extracted. You should ensure that the coffee grind is evenly distributed for a perfect brew.
You are ready to serve and taste the fantastic espresso you just pulled off. You should also learn how to clean espresso machine professionally so your machine will last longer.