The How to’s and Must Haves to Make The Perfect Espresso Coffee Making your espresso coffee at home takes a lot of hard work and practice. The prefect cup of espresso does not solely depend on the espresso machine that you have purchased. The coffee grind isn’t the secret ingredient in making the perfect espresso either. It’s the technique that you execute when preparing a cup of espresso shot which makes your finished product rich, dark red, and creamy.
This is why people seem to be frustrated with using their espresso machines at home. Make reading a habit and take time on understanding the user manual which comes along when you purchase an espresso machine. Once you’ve mastered the craft of using your espresso machine, it will never fail you in providing the perfect espresso shot every single time you use it.
Here are the things that you need in order to get you started on making your own espresso at home. Once you have all these things on-hand and you’ve perfected your espresso-making technique, you won’t need to go to Starbucks to enjoy a cappuccino, an Americano, or a simple cup of latte ever again.
A Highly-Reliable, Quality Espresso Machine
Espresso machines for home are undeniably expensive. But if you’re a coffee-holic, a good espresso machine is a good kitchen appliance to invest on. There are a lot of brands that are claiming to be the best in making the perfect espresso coffee. I personally recommend that you buy a machine with add-on features that other espresso machines do not have. Handling and using an espresso machine is complicated so having extra add-on features will help you a lot in your espresso coffee making experience.
There are two different types of espresso-generated machines. The espresso machines that use steam are quieter than pump-generated espresso machines. If you’re going to use it at home, it’s better to opt for steam generated machines so your neighbors won’t complain about it, especially when you’re preparing a nice hot cup of latte in the morning.
If you’re the type of individual who wants to go through the whole espresso-making experience, I recommend that you purchase a separate coffee grinder, instead of using built-in coffee grinders found in some espresso machine brands and models. Just make sure that you know how to operate them so your coffee grounds would not come out as too course or too fine.
Regulate the consistency of the coffee grounds according to your taste and preference. You need to be mindful at all times though that freshly ground coffee should be stored at specific temperature so that they retain their freshness and aroma. It’s ideal to store grounded coffee in the refrigerator so they don’t lose their moisture. Keeping them in cupboards would essentially compromise the taste and freshness of the espresso coffee that you will be making if you don’t know the ideal temperature of where you need to store them.
They might not look like an important accessory of an espresso machine, but a tamper is essential in packing your coffee grounds just right. This will result to a perfect espresso coffee that you’ll see dripping out of the spout.
Coffee Beans or Grounded Coffee
It really doesn’t matter which one of these do you prefer in using. The only advantage when you use coffee beans is that you can ideally store them longer at ideal temperatures. With store-bought coffee grounds, you’re not even sure if the people from the store were able to keep them at the ideal temperature. If you don’t like the idea of buying a coffee grinder for home use, buy your grounded beans from coffee specialty stores.
How to Make the Perfect Espresso
- You need to make sure that your water is heated at the right temperature. The temperature should always be below the boiling point, about 7C below the boiling point. The temperature affects the quality and taste of your espresso coffee. Water that is too hot or too cold will greatly affect the quality and taste of your espresso coffee.
- Test the espresso machine first by pouring passing plain water through the filter. This will ensure that no coffee ground residue is left in the filter and you can actually feel the temperature and taste of the water. Make it a point to replace the water in the tank every morning or as often as you prefer. This will ensure that your espresso will come out fresh and better tasting at all times.
- Tamper the coffee grounds into the filter. It’s ideal to pour in 7 ounces to a filter and pack it in the filter using a tamper real good. There is a technique so there’s no accidental seeping out of the espresso once you’re preparing your coffee. Initially press the coffee with 5 lb. pressure and then pack it in using a 720 degree turn using an ample 30lb pressure. Make sure that the surface of the coffee grounds in the filter is even and smooth. Discard any coffee grounds around the rim of the filter as this may affect the process of brewing espresso coffee.
- Place the filter on the group head and turn it securely just to make sure that there will be no accidental seepage when you’re waiting for the whole brewing process to finish.
- Start the machine and the pump will eventually start the brewing coffee. Because of the pressure exerted by the steam, the resulting coffee dripping will be rich dark red in color. This should always be the case all throughout the whole process of espresso making. The alteration in color means that the coffee grounds were not processed at the right consistency. This may also mean that your tampering technique was not good enough that not all fats and proteins from the coffee beans were extracted thoroughly throughout the whole espresso making process.
- The espresso making process usually takes 20 to 25 seconds. You cannot go beyond this duration since overdoing your espresso means a bitter tasting coffee and stopping the process below 20 seconds will mean a light and off-putting espresso taste. If you’re not into a rich tasting aromatic coffee and you’d always make your espresso under 17 seconds, then why bother buy an expensive espresso machine in the first place.
- If you want to make a cappuccino, a latte, or a macchiato you can very well utilize the steam pipe system which most espresso machines for home use have. But if you’re like me who wants pure espresso, there’s no need to use the steaming machine to heat milk and add froth to my coffee.
This is a built-in system, but most espresso lovers rarely use this feature. If you want to add a little bit of twist to your espresso, then utilize them as often as you want. It’s easy to steam milk or cream using this system and it only takes a single turn of the steaming knob to heat up your milk and make it frothy. This is ideal when you’re making lattes and cappuccinos when you’re entertaining guests at home, or if any of your kids or spouse isn’t exactly espresso-holics.
These are just some of the basics on how you can make the perfect cup of espresso coffee. Again, practice makes perfect. Don’t expect that you will be getting it right at the first attempt. Even baristas in coffee shops had to practice a lot to serve the perfect cup of espresso coffee. Your addiction to espresso coffee will absolutely be increased when you get an espresso machine at home. It’s a great addition to your kitchen, since you don’t have to spend a single penny on overrated espressos being served in coffee shops again. You can very well have your espresso shot anytime of the day if you have an espresso machine at home. And with the perfect espresso making technique, you will be perfect barista for all of your friends who come over at your place so they can enjoy the perfect cup of espresso coffee.