What is Espresso?
History, Brewing Guide and Benefits!
All you Wanna know about Espresso
Espresso is a type of coffee brewing method in which hot and pressurized water is passed over finely ground coffee grounds.
Espresso is the most concentrated coffee drink with a rich and bold taste. As it is highly concentrated, the caffeine content in it is also higher.
As a result of the pressurized brewing process, a thick foamy layer is formed at the top of the Espresso shot called Crema. Crema is a trademark of Espresso and indicates the freshness and the quality of the brew.
Some people love to drink Espresso as it is. Some prefer to have a diluted form of Espresso known as Americano or Lungo. Some prefer to make a milk-based drink out of Espresso, known as Cappuccino or Latte.
So, let us go through the history of this delicious and the most famous drink around the World.
History of espresso
Coffee was a huge business in Europe at the start of the 19th century. There was exploding number of cafes serving this heavenly drink. But at that time, traditional coffee brewing methods took up to 5 to 10 minutes. And the customers have to wait for long times to have a cup of coffee.
Seeing opportunity in this situation, many researchers started to try new and faster ways of brewing coffee.
Angelo Moriondo made the first invention of the steam-driven coffee machine. This machine was capable of generating steam at a pressure of 1.5 bars and used both the water and steam to brew coffee in bulk. Angelo Moriondo was the inventor of Espresso type machines, but he was certainly not a good marketer. That’s why his design did not become very popular.
At the start of the 20th century, Luigi Bezzera made several innovations in the existing design of Moriondo and invented the single-serving Espresso machine. Three years later, La Pavoni, a businessman, bought the patents from Bazerra and started marketing it with the name of Espresso machines.
This machine was capable of brewing a shot of Espresso in a matter of seconds; that’s why it became popular. But this popularity remained in the few cities of Italy as this machine had no pressure relief valves, and it was heated on flames, so it was very difficult to control the temperature and pressure. So, the shots brewed from this machine were not very consistent in taste.
This machine was capable of generating pressure of only 2 bars which is way less than today’s standards of 9 bars. The first man to surpass the pressure of 2 bars was Gaggia; he invented the lever-type manual Espresso machine, capable of generating controlled pressure of 9-10 bars. And because of this high brewing pressure, Gaggia’s invention was capable of forming a layer of Crema over the Espresso shot.
In 1948, Ernesto Valente invented the famous semi-automatic Faema E61. The design of this machine was very similar to the Espresso machine, which is in use nowadays. After the invention of Valente, Espresso becomes popular first across Italy and then the whole of Europe.
What are the differences between Espresso and coffee?
There are no differences between Espresso and Coffee. In fact, Espresso is a type of coffee. Espresso is popular because of its unique pressurized brewing method and rich and bold taste.
Espresso can be brewed with any type of coffee, whether Arabica or Robusta. Or any kind of coffee roast, whether light or dark. But Arabica coffee beans and medium-dark roasts are preferred to brew a perfect shot of Espresso.
Espresso shot has a much higher caffeine content than a regular brewed coffee. But as Espresso is served in the form of 1 or 2 oz shots, the caffeine content per serving is almost the same as regular coffee.
How to brew a perfect shot of Espresso
For a perfect start of the day, a perfect shot of Espresso is an essential thing, but how to brew a perfect shot of Espresso?
Brewing a perfect shot of Espresso is not easy; you need quality coffee beans, grind them to perfect size, and indeed you have to follow expert brewing tips, which I am going to share with you.
1. Clean the portafilter
So, the first step to brew an outstanding shot of Espresso is to clean the portafilter with hot water. There should not be any remains of coffee grounds in the portafilter from the previous brew.
2. Grind the coffee beans
If you have a super-automatic Espresso machine, you don’t need to bother; the machine will automatically do this step for you. For everyone else, grind your coffee beans to fine settings.
You can also use pre-ground coffee, but it’s not recommended if you want to brew a perfect shot of Espresso.
3. Fill the portafilter
Now fill the portafilter with coffee grounds and level off the surface with your fingers.
4. Tamp the coffee grounds
You have to perform this step very carefully as it’s the most crucial step in brewing a perfect shot of Espresso.
Apply the pressure with the help of a tamper on the coffee grounds and make sure that your coffee grounds are perfectly leveled. If they are not, they will ruin your brew.
5. Insert the portafilter in the Espresso machine
Now insert the perfectly tamped coffee grounds into the Espresso machine and start brewing immediately.
6. Note the brew time
Now note the brew time with the help of a stopwatch; if it’s in the range of 18-24 seconds, then congratulations, you have brewed a perfect shot.
If it comes out before 18 seconds, then your Espresso will taste watery. The reason for that might be improper dose, improper tamping, or the use of coarser coffee grounds.
If it comes out after 24 seconds, then your Espresso will taste bitter. The reason for that is also improper dose, improper tamping, or use of wrong grind size i-e extra fine.
7. Drink the shot right away
Don’t let the freshly brewed espresso shot sit for longer periods. Because as time passes, the beautiful caramel-colored layer starts disappearing, and your shot will stale and become more and more bitter with time.
Add milk, sugar, or creamer in it to make a cappuccino or latte.
How to drink espresso
If you want to enjoy the flavors of Espresso truly, then you must know how to drink Espresso. There are three steps to drink Espresso, and they are meant to be followed if you want to enjoy the heavenly flavors of Espresso.
1. Take a sip of water
In many fancy restaurants, they serve sparkling water or simple water with a shot of Espresso. Well, there is a purpose of serving water with Espresso. Taking a sip of water before drinking Espresso makes your palate clean and removes the aftertaste of any food you had eaten before. This lets you enjoy the flavors of Espresso without the interference of any other flavor that might be present in your mouth.
2. Skim or Stir the Crema
The freshly brewed shot of Espresso has a beautiful caramel-colored layer of Crema over it. The taste of this layer is not as good as it looks; it’s very bitter. So, some people recommend skimming off this layer, while some recommend stirring it in the cup.
I prefer to stir the Crema; the reason behind this skimming not only removes the bitterness but also removes many flavorful oils. So, if you like the balanced bitter flavors in the shot, you should stir the Crema. And if you are entirely against bitterness, then skimming this layer will be a better option for you.
3. Sip and Enjoy
Now it’s time to feel the wonderful flavors of Espresso. Finish your shot by taking 1-3 sips and enjoy the aftertaste of Espresso.
What are the benefits of Espresso
Apart from being delicious, Espresso also has many health benefits.
1. Boosts your Energy level
It’s the most well-known advantage of Espresso, and most people drink Espresso in the morning because it gives them the energy to work all day long.
Espresso boosts the level of adrenaline in the body; this hormone makes the body more energetic and alert.
So, after drinking, we can perform our tasks with more attention and detail.
2. Helps in Weight loss
This might be the most exciting benefit for health-conscious people.
Espresso is very low in calories, and it boosts metabolic activities in the body. This helps us do a more intense workout, which helps burn the fats.
Espresso is also known as an appetite suppressant. So, drinking Espresso before having a meal reduces the urge to eat more food.
3. Reduces the risk of diabetes
Diabetes is getting more and more common in the World Day by day. But if you are an Espresso drinker, then there is good news; you are at a lower risk of getting affected by the disease.
4. Improve your mood
If you are an Espresso lover, you might have noticed that Espresso makes your mood fresh whenever you are tired.
Dopamine is a hormone released in the brain and makes the mind fresh and energized. According to research, Caffeine molecules bind to dopamine and make them even more effective.
So, Espresso is the best remedy whenever you feel down or depressed.
5. Strengthening long-term memory
Espresso not only helps your brain to be more attentive but also helps to improve long-term memory.
Espresso Buying Guide
espresso Machines for beginners
Delonghi ECP 3420
Delonghi is one of the most popular brands in manufacturing Espresso machines. DeLonghi ECP3420, one of the products of the DeLonghi brand, makes its name in this market because of its simple but innovative design, high-quality technology, and prepare delicious espresso shots.
Read a complete review of Delonghi ECP 3420 by Coffeeabout by clicking the link below.
Capresso EC 100
Capresso is derived from a combination of the words “Cappuccino” and “Espresso”. Capresso EC 100 is a specialist Espresso and cappuccino machine with many built-in features specifically designed for beginners.
Read a complete review of Capresso EC 100 by Coffeeabout by clicking the link below.
Portable Espresso Makers
Portable Espresso makers are small and easy-to-carry gadgets. You can easily take them anywhere you want as they usually weigh less than 1 pound.
We have reviewed the 10 best portable Espresso Makers present in the market. Read the complete article by clicking the link below.
Selecting the right coffee beans for making Espresso is necessary because, without the right beans, even the best coffee machine in the World wouldn’t pull the perfect Espresso Shots.
We have reviewed 10 best Espresso Beans present in the market. Read the complete article by clicking the link below.
Espresso Brewing Guide
Why is my espresso foamy?
There are many small factors that affect the taste and texture of your Espresso shot. Like the quality of coffee beans, the size of coffee grounds, the amount of coffee grounds for the shot, and tamping coffee grounds in the portafilter.
Why Is My Espresso Watery?
There could be many reasons for a watery cup of Espresso. The quality of beans and roast might not be proper, maybe you are using the wrong grind size, the water temperature might not be correct, perhaps you are not using the right amount of coffee, or maybe you are not tamping coffee grounds correctly.
How to tamp espresso?
Tamping is the method to properly level the surface of coffee grounds on the portafilter so that all the coffee grounds get extracted completely and evenly.
Tamping is essential because it lets you brew Espresso more evenly and consistently, making your Espresso taste overwhelming.
How To Use an Espresso Machine
You can enjoy an Espresso, Cappuccino, Americano, or whatever type of coffee you like any time at home or your office if you have an Espresso Machine and you know how to use it.
How To Make Espresso without Espresso Machine
It sounds pretty impossible, but the fact is that it is achievable. There are five different methods of brewing Espresso without a machine.
How long does Espresso last?
Even though the taste of Espresso gets changed significantly after 10 to 15 minutes of brewing but that does not mean it is expired. The thick layer of Crema that we love to see over Espresso starts dissolving in the cup after some time, which results in the change of taste and texture of the Espresso shot.
Why is espresso served with water?
Have you ever been to some fancy espresso restaurant where they serve sparkling water or mineral water with Espresso? You might be wondering what’s the purpose of serving sparkling water with Espresso? Well, the main reason for serving water with Espresso is to make your taste buds ready to accept the rich flavors of Espresso.
Why are espresso machines so expensive?
The reason behind the high cost of Espresso machines is that they have to be constructed out of high-quality materials that have high-quality standards to withstand pressure, temperature, specialized condition because they have been used to demonstrate the taste and texture of coffee beans to make perfect espresso shot.