Being a coffee enthusiast, you love creating interesting shots at home. But you need to have the best espresso machine, grinder, and accessories to help you start with your coffee journey. Practice and patience are required when you want to make your espresso. Also, it is best to know how espresso came about. Learning the history of one of your favorite beverages will make you appreciate it more.
If you are going to make your coffee from scratch, you need equipment and some of its accessories to start with. You have your coffee beans, and for them to become liquid coffee, you need to grind them first to the right size for the espresso machine.
Selecting your coffee
There are different types of coffee beans to make into espresso coffee. Before you start brewing, know your coffee first. A good cup of coffee begins by selecting the best, darker roast coffee bean. It is up to you to choose the best for your taste, and having your setup means you can experiment. There are different approaches to coffee roasting that you can try. The best coffee blend taste is balanced and pleasing in the espresso brewing process. They also need to retain their best characteristics when served with milk.
Whatever coffee bean you choose, what is essential is that you need to choose fresh. Freshly roasted coffee need not be ground immediately but is left for days to let off the CO2 gas, affecting the brewing taste. Once rested, coffee beans need to be consumed quickly after the package is opened to keep its freshness.
Grinding and Measuring Your Coffee
When you are making coffee, the best measurement is by measuring it by weight. When making espresso shots, a double espresso is about 2 ounces or between 13 and 15 grams of coffee. Espresso machines are different, so you can experiment at home to find your ideal taste as long as enough headspace is left once the coffee is tamped down.
Once you already know how much coffee you want to put in and start pulling shots, you need to dial in the grind size to the suitable parameters so the water can adequately saturate and do not under or over extract the coffee. Under-extracted coffee is ground too coarse and can taste sour. The over-extracted coffee is ground too fine and tastes bitter. Espresso coffee ground should be finely ground, less coarse than the sand but not so fine that the machine cannot push the water through the portafilter. Trial and error by inspection and visual inspection are what you need to do when experimenting with your right coffee mix.
Pulling a Good Shot
Making your shot of espresso starts by filling your portafilter with a double-shot dose of coffee. The espresso needs to be distributed by hand, and the portafilter is set down on a steady surface with the edge at the countertop. Tamp the coffee evenly, applying constant pressure.
Running the machine briefly without the portafilter is vital to purge the group head. Lock the portafilter in the device and place a clear glass under the portafilter and start your shot. Time your shots to get the best brew ratio. Some semi-automatic machines have preset times for single and double shots. Pulling the first shot is tricky, but once you get the hang of it, you can start experimenting for your coffee fix.
Milk is one of the essential ingredients in making coffee unless you want an espresso shot or plain americano. If you think of adding milk, you need to use a full-fat cow’s milk that goes well with coffee. A full-fat cow’s milk is also great for steaming.
When steaming milk, place both hands on the pitcher and position the wand’s nozzle at a slight angle near the pitcher wall. Once you have turned on the milk frother, move the pitcher away from the steam wand until a hissing sound is made. This means air is being introduced into the milk, which creates all the texture. Frothing milk needs constant practice until there are no unwanted large bubbles present.
Methods in Making an Espresso
Making espresso can be done in different methods depending on what is available and what you prefer. There are three different methods you can make espresso if you do not have an espresso machine.
Method #1: The AeroPress
Method #2: The Moka Pot
Method #3: The French Press
Before brewing your coffee, you need essential tools to help you come up with your own concoction.
- Electric kettle with temperature control.
- Conical burr grinder
- Scale with timer.
- High-quality coffee beans.
Method #1: the AeroPress
This is the most recommended method in making coffee. In making a perfect brew, it needs to have the ideal pressure. The AeroPress is the ideal method for making the perfect espresso. The texture may differ from what you will get from a fancy machine, but the caffeine flavor and content match those of the fancy machines.
There are three easy steps in making a perfect espresso using an AeroPress.
- Stack the AeroPress and place a filter inside the drain cap. Lightly rinse the filter and put the drain cap and filter inside the compartment of the press. Place the press on a stable cup or mug.
- Grind your chosen coffee beans into a fine texture, prepare two tablespoons of coffee, and drop into the filter. Adding more coffee than normal can create a more concentrated flavor.
- Add 3 ½ ounces of water and heat it to 200 degrees and stir with the coffee. Press down the plunger hard, applying pressure. Transfer the espresso into a demitasse and enjoy
Method #2: the Moka Pot
The Moka pot is a small, handy kettle that produces an espresso-like pour to soothe the soul. Using this method, you will get a taste that is neither coffee nor espresso but still satisfying to taste.
Follow these three steps to make your Moka pot coffee.
- Grind to fine texture about 20 to 22 grams of your high-quality coffee beans.
- Pour 3 ½ ounces of water into the bottom of the pot and pour the coffee grounds into the built-in filter. Shake to settle the lands. The spouted top needs to be screwed on the Moka pot and placed on a burner set to medium heat.
- Wait until the coffee expands and create foam on the upper level of the pot. The hot water will make the pressure needed to produce concentrated coffee. When the top is filled, pour into your demitasse.
Method #3: the French Press
One of the easiest and commonly used coffee materials is the French press. It gives you a brew that is concentrated if prepared correctly.
Follow these easy steps to make your ideal coffee using a French press.
- Grind your coffee in a delicate setting and add more coffee to your brew if you want more richness.
- In the kettle, heat a cup of water to below 200 degrees. Add your coffee grounds to the French press.
- Bloom the coffee as it releases the flavor by adding a splash of hot water and let it soak for 30 seconds.
- Pour the rest of the water over the coffee grounds and close the lid. Allow the coffee to steep for 4 minutes/
- Press the plunger down halfway using a slow but steady pressure. Raise it to the top and then plunge with the same even pressure. Pour into your mug and enjoy.
Coffee is understandably one of the most sought-after beverages in the world. Coffee gives off a comforting aroma and drinking it as your day starts gives you the energy to start your day right. Prepare your coffee no matter what method you use, as long as it gives you the perfect flavor and caffeine fix for the day. Enjoy a cup or more as you go on with your day.