- Espresso: Small and strong
Espresso – the Italian-sounding name of this coffee specialty already indicates its origin: the popular hot drink was made and enjoyed for the first time around 1900 in Milan . Soon the espresso was popular in countries all over the world.
What is the difference between espresso and regular coffee?
Espresso differs from regular coffee in several ways. This applies to the further processing of the harvested coffee beans as well as the preparation and finally the appearance, the aroma and the ingredients of the drink as such.
Differences in bean processing:
- Roasting: For an espresso, the coffee beans are usually roasted longer and therefore darker than for coffee. As a result, espresso also contains less acid.
- Mixture: The proportion of Robusta beans is higher compared to conventional coffee (which mainly uses Arabica beans).
- Degree of grinding: While filter coffee powder usually has a medium degree of grinding, the beans for espresso preparation are ground particularly finely.
Differences in preparation:
- Quantity: Between 25 and 30 millilitres of water are used to prepare an espresso, a cup of filter coffee almost 125 millilitres.
- Pressure: Real espresso is only created by forcing the water through the ground coffee at high pressure.
- Duration: The flow time of the water through the powder is around 25 seconds for an espresso.
- Machine: Instead of running through a filter, espresso is pressed through a sieve that contains the coffee powder.
Differences in appearance, aroma and ingredients:
- Caffeine: Although the caffeine content of a cup of espresso is lower than that of a cup of filter coffee, the concentration is higher.
- Cream: On the surface, an espresso has a stable, foamy layer that is light and hazelnut-colour – the so-called cream.
- Consistency: Espresso is often slightly thicker than coffee.
- Aroma: Not only the caffeine, but also flavourings are more concentrated in espresso. The result is an intense aroma.
- Espresso preparation
A real espresso can only be made if the ground coffee beans are prepared in a very specific way. In the following chapter we will show you how you can enjoy the black drink at home with the help of a port filter machine . If you don’t own or want to buy such a device, you will find below an alternative way to make espresso.
2.1 port filter machine
The term espresso machine is often used interchangeably with port filter machine . In fact, there is no better way to prepare the specialty coffee. There are basically two types of this machine, which differ from each other in terms of how they are handled:
- Semi -automatic machines do not have a grinder, which is why you have to grind the beans yourself.
- Hand lever machines have a lever with which the pressure for espresso preparation must be generated manually.
In addition, fully automatic machines and super- automatic machines are also available that are suitable for making espresso. Fully automatic machines determine the amount of water automatically , while super-automatic machines also have an integrated grinder. Check breville bambino plus review.
How to make an espresso with a port filter machine:
- Put the fresh and very finely ground coffee beans in the port filter. A quantity of seven to eight grams is sufficient for an espresso.
- Now press the ground coffee firmly in the sieve. Connoisseurs refer to this process as tamping, the corresponding utensil as a tamper. You should use a little force while pressing, because a pressure of 15 to 19 kilograms should come about.
- Insert the portafilter into the machine and start brewing. The process should be ended after 25 to 30 seconds, a longer throughput time can damage the taste. The water should have a temperature between 85 and 95 degrees Celsius.
Which coffee powder is suitable for a port filter machine?
Especially finely ground coffee powder is recommended for a port filter machine, whereby the mixture and roasting should be designed for the preparation of espresso. If the grinding degree of the powder is too coarse, the water will be pressed through too quickly and cannot absorb all the aromas.
2.2 capsule machine: the alternative
Even if you don’t have a machine with a portafilter, you don’t necessarily have to do without an espresso. You can get very close to the original with a capsule machine, for example , which is designed for making espresso . Here, the water is also pressed at high pressure through capsules in which the coffee powder is located.
Well-known manufacturers of such machines include:
- Nestle: Nespresso
- illy: Iperespresso
Should I preheat espresso cups before serving espresso in them?
Yes, it is advisable to preheat espresso cups, because then the drink does not lose its temperature as quickly – after all, most people prefer to drink espresso hot. Some espresso machines have the option to preheat cups. Alternatively, you can rinse the dishes with hot water, for example.
- Espresso beans: well-known brands
Basically, there is no difference between coffee and espresso beans. Which of the two hot drinks the beans are more suitable for depends primarily on the further processing after the harvest, in particular the mixture of the different varieties and the roasting . Well-known brands or companies that offer espresso beans include:
- Segafredo Zanetti
- Variations of espresso
Black and unsweetened, that’s the classic Italian way of enjoying espresso – but of course it’s not the only one. Here are some popular espresso-based drinks :
- Caffè americano: espresso lengthened with water
- Espresso corretto: espresso with a dash of alcohol (often grappa)
- Affogato: espresso with ice cream
- Macchiato: espresso with a little frothed milk
- Cappuccino: Espresso mixed with milk froth
- Latte macchiato: Heated milk to which some espresso is added
Does espresso really contain more caffeine than coffee?
No, a cup of espresso actually contains less caffeine than a cup of filter coffee. This is primarily due to the smaller amount of water. In relative terms, however, the caffeine content of espresso is higher than that of coffee.