An espresso coffee is a strong shot of pure coffee, usually served as a single or a double. The measurements are always small due to the strong flavour. A good espresso is also rich and thick. It’s hard to be specific about the exact taste of an espresso coffee, as the type and origin of the beans plays a big role in the characteristics. A shot of espresso coffee gives you the ultimate boost during a busy day.
The espresso grew in popularity during the 1990s and is the base for many other popular coffee drinks, such as the macchiato, Americano, cappuccino, and latte. Although an espresso is served in shots, it’s meant to be sipped and appreciated, rather than knocked back like the alcoholic counterpart.
How is espresso coffee made?
An espresso will generally be thicker and have a richer crema than other types of coffee. This is because it’s made by forcing a small amount of pressurised water through finely ground coffee beans. The water will be just below boiling when forced through the ground coffee beans. The higher concentration of both suspended and dissolved solids give espressos their rich and thick characteristics.
What are the best beans to use to make an expresso coffee?
Choosing a single bean to use for making espresso is like picking a favourite food. The answer will be different for everyone. The variety of brewing methods and high-quality beans creates a multitude of options for people to try. Most people that consider themselves knowledgeable about coffee will probably tell you that a single origin coffee bean is best for espresso. The reason for this is because beans sourced from a single farm provide a level of consistency you don’t always get with a blend. However, many blended coffees have proven to be a match for some of the most established single origin beans, and they are usually considerably cheaper and some of them combined the best from each blend to create the ultimate espresso experience.
Most espresso drinkers seem to favour a medium roast, as it gives a great balance between sweetness and strength. Darker roasts are known to bring out stronger chocolate and burnt sugar flavours, but the higher acidity can make dark roasts better suited to other brewing methods.
Ground coffee or beans?
Pre-ground coffee is easier than making an espresso from scratch with beans. However, afficionados will tell you that ground coffee tends to lose its flavour and aroma quicker once it comes into contact with the air, while freshly ground beans will guarantee a fuller flavour and aroma. However, grinding your own beans isn’t practical for many of us, and the grind size, as well as the grind consistency, is hard to achieve with most types of domestic grinders. And the difference in flavour and aroma to the average coffee drinker is negligible. We would always recommend you store pre-ground coffee in a sealed packet to minimise contamination and loss of flavour. At CoffeeClick, we stock a large selection of coffee beans and roast and ground coffee from authentic Italian Coffee Roasters, and you can enjoy the best coffee at the comfort of your own home, no matter what brewing methods you prefer.
What is the best method to use to make an espresso?
If you have all the time in the world and view making your cup of coffee as an artistic process that needs to be savoured, then you should probably start with coffee beans. If you have a limited amount of time and want to enjoy a high-quality shot of espresso before you leave the house, preferably with the minimum amount of hassle, then you should consider a compact coffee machine.
Preparing an espresso from scratch using an Aeropress requires you to first grind the beans (on a fine setting), then add a paper filter to the filter cap, moistening it with boiling water to remove the paper taste. You then screw the cap on and add the beans you’ve finely ground. You then need to moisten a second paper filter and place it on top of your ground beans. You then use a tamp to push down the ground beans and compress them as much as possible. Once the boiling water has cooled a little you add it to the Aeropress. You then immediately insert the plunger and push down until the coffee is completely poured out, ensuring you push into the ground beans to squeeze every last bit of flavour out.
If you opt for a high-quality user-friendly machine, such as the Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie or Idola, then it’s simply a case of inserting your favourite pod and pushing a button. For many people, this is a great alternative that provides an instant espresso that fits in with a busy lifestyle. With high quality Lavazza coffee capsules, you know you’re going to enjoy a delicious coffee, and their whole range is fully compostable, so it’s also an environmentally friendly way to enjoy your favourite beverage.
Keep it simple
If you’re new to the world of coffee, then all the terms found on the Coffee Taster’s Flavour Wheel can be a bit confusing. You’ll see terms banded about like Enzymatic aroma, dry distillation, saltiness, sweetness, body, acidity, clean, and many more. It takes a long time to build a palette capable of discerning the sometimes-nuanced differences. Many flavour and taste profiles overlap, creating the potential for even more confusion.
While we can all appreciate there is much more to a cup of coffee than simply taste, to get the best experience initially it’s best to keep it simple and experiment in small ways. This will allow you to start to build an appreciation for different flavours and allow you to look out for things you know you enjoy. The best cup of coffee will engage all your senses, and some would even say the taste isn’t the most important factor, instead of reacting more to a coffee’s aroma.
Get great advice
At CoffeeClick we’re all coffee lovers first. We work hard to source from the best places to bring you the best flavours. We believe the roasting should be left to the experts, which is why we’re partnered with Lavazza, so we can take advantage of over 120 years’ experience that is passed from one generation to the next. Their A Modo Mio coffee machines also guarantee you a perfect espresso every time, and being Italian, they look great in your kitchen too. A range of fully compostable pods also means they’re environmentally friendly.