Welcome to one of my favorite pages (& drinks) here at PurelyCoffeeBeans: the how to make espresso page! I've featured my favorite coffee beverage below, made from 100% espresso: the espresso macchiato.
Whenever I mention this drink, I always get confused faces because there is no syrup on this, and it's not a latte (thank god!). It's a double shot of espresso with a little foamed milk decoratively placed on top, very similar to a flat white, but much more coffee punch!
Now would you like to make this at home, (hint: it's dead easy!)? If you're tired of paying the high prices of commercial coffee houses, like Starbucks coffee, you should consider buying an espresso machine and learn how to make your favorite drink at your home or office.
It's easy and much less costly to grind and brew your own espresso beans per cup, plus you can have your favorite espresso drink anytime you wish! And you can learn to make a variety of coffee drinks.
While the Lavazza Espresso Point Machine is perhaps the quickest, easiest way to make top quality espresso, there are many brands and models that are also worth checking out
First you'll need an espresso maker. The most important thing to look for when you learn how to make espresso is the pressure the machine is able to apply, usually expressed in 'bars'.
Coffeehouses typically use machines with 15 bars of pressure or more in order to get a consistent cup of espresso.
When choosing a machine look first at how many bars of pressure it will apply. A good quality espresso machine begins at around $100 but considering that espresso costs about $2 a shot at a coffeehouse, it will pay for itself in just a few months, if you drink a lot!
A quality espresso machine will be able to heat the water quickly to about 190°. That is the ideal temperature that will extract all the flavor of the coffee grounds but will not scorch it. You'll find more tips on choosing using an espresso maker.
Coffee beans should be fresh; you can see the date they were ground on the package. If you buy them straight from the roaster he or she will be able to tell you how fresh they are. For the ideal shot of espresso you'll need about ¼ ounce (7 grams) of ground coffee. Don't be tempted to grind enough beans to last a couple of weeks, though; you can grind enough for about 4 days without sacrificing flavor.
If you want to learn how to make espresso of coffeehouse quality, you should grind your own beans. You can get a cheap blade grinder but you'll sacrifice quality and flavor to save money.
A blade grinder just chops the beans but a burr grinder is probably the best coffee grinder and will produce consistently fine coffee grounds that extract every bit of flavor from the beans into your cup.
I've bought a small hand grinder with burrs that grinds the beans just beautifully. It wasn't particularly expensive, but I have found that it really makes a much better brew.
Now put the grounds into your machine and tamp them down firmly with the tamper that should be included with the machine. Some models do it for you but many people prefer a hands-on approach.
Let the machine heat up then follow the operating instructions. It should take between 18 and 22 seconds to pull a shot of espresso if you've ground your beans to the right consistency. Then enjoy!
For smaller budgets, you can find an affordable espresso maker if you look carefully. There are some decent models available for under $100, but you will need to check through specific reviews and customer feedback to make sure you buy one that produces a decent brew.
But remember that there are other methods to produce an espresso brew, too. If you are on a tight budget like so many people these days and want to learn how to make espresso for the least cost you can buy a Moka pot, also called a macchinetta (small machine).
They start at about $15 for a basic model. A Moka pot looks rather like a percolator and operates in a similar manner. Water goes in the bottom half and the grounds are in the top half. Put the halves together and place the pot on the stove then turn on the heat.
When you hear the Moka pot begin to gurgle, your espresso is done. With practice, you'll be able to hear and determine the moment just before it begins to gurgle and remove it from the heat for optimum flavor.
Knowing how to make espresso at home will save you a lot of money and you'll be able to enjoy it at your own convenience, as many shots as you like! Good espresso also forms the basis of other drinks, like Cappuccino and Latte, and so on. Check out those articles, too.
Wherever you are, remember "Only Great Beans Make Great Coffee"!
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