When making a modern espresso, it is possible to change the preparation parameters so that the final taste is the best.
Espresso was born in Italy when they wanted to make the preparation of their favourite coffee faster. Espresso means “pressed coffee”. The most well known and most widely used parameters for espresso, certified by the Italian National Coffee Institute, are as follows: 7,2g, 25-35ml, 20-30s, 9 bars, 90° Celsius.
So, how do we make espresso?
- the ideal machine to use is a pump espresso, pre-heated and rinsed
- the coffee is finely ground
- then you tamp it down properly with a tamper
- when coffee starts coming out of the portafilter, we measure time for about 30 seconds
- the coffee should be coming out in so called “mice tails”, as it binds to water and forms the right emulsion
- a good extraction can also be told by the crema on top, but crema does not influence the taste of coffee
When using single origin and specialty coffee, it is necessary to adjust the parameters so that a barista can get most of the positive qualities out of the coffee. Therefore, with specialty coffee, we can make an espresso using 9 grams of coffee, with water temperature of 93° Celsius, in 39 seconds and with the final weight of 18 grams (about 18 ml). This way, almost no parameters of Italian espresso will be kept but this is specialty coffee - we let the result guide us, not the requirements in tables.
Specialty coffee is such a complex matter that it is given a chapter to itself. It places great demands on baristas as well as on coffee machines and their functions.