You might be the kind of coffee addict that experiences the expresso from a commercial machine made by a trained barista, on a routine basis. A wonderful master espresso machine will no doubt be the machine of choice for most quality expresso shops. Added to that, the barista will no doubt have spent some time training and learning the craft.
So when the eager coffee drinker returns home and tries to make their own cup of espresso, the results are not surprisingly to a degree underwhelming.
Nevertheless, a smashing cup of espresso made at home can be a reality if you have good equipment and are keen to make a little bit of effort.
Let’s look at the six main ingredients in extracting a decent expresso at home.
1) Store your coffee in the correct manner. The perfect place for coffee is a dry, dark place at about room temperature (37 celcius). A china jar is a better container than a plastic or metal one. For optimum coffee flavor resist the temptation to store coffee in the fridge or freezer.
2) Don’t try to make your coffee last too long. In a perfect world, coffee should be used within a week to 10 days. Consequently, when you go shopping for coffee go for smaller packages. Coffee will begin to deteriorate in flavour if kept for longer than a week or so.
3) Buy yourself a quality expresso maker. These days, the market is full of decent espresso makers. From fancy expensive machines like the Saeco 21103 Royal professional espresso machine to cheaper, smaller models like Briel ES35AFB we have a groovy selection of good machines to help make the perfect expresso.
If in doubt, try reading some expresso machine reviews or get some advice from a quality sales assistant.
4) Know what your machine can and can’t do. The truth is home expresso machines aren’t likely to produce enough water pressure to extract expresso well. 120 pounds per square inch is the ideal level. Ensure you check the owner;s guide of your machine for the pressure. In most liklihood, your expresso machine will only have one heater. This means that the hot water is mixed with the steam resulting in a bitter espresso.
5) Take your time over your bean grinding. A two-bladed grinder will provide the best reults. A single blade machine will work ok but won’t be nearly as satisfactory. in addition, the blades should be kept sharp. After every 20 kgs of beans, replace the blades.
6) Use expresso extraction methods suited for the home, not for a commercial expresso machine. A coarser coffee grind is more suited to the home machine. In addition, dont pack the coffee too tightly. Your home machine will probably provide less pressured steam in less time than a commercial machine. Take this into account when steaming.
When all is said and done, espresso extraction is best done by the pro barista. It’s a much better experience to enjoy an expresso from a commercial-grade machine, made by a trained barista. But with a good home machine and attention to the points mentioned above, a decent cup of espresso can be made in the home.