Espresso Coffee17 June 2008 in General
Espresso originates from Italy. It was developed in Milan in the early 20th century and means “a cup of coffee brewed expressly for you”. Even though there are blends definitely made for espresso, the blend is not what makes it espresso. The quest for the ideal blend for producing espresso coffee has led to this general misunderstanding. There are roasters may argue that you can only make a good espresso with just the right blend.
The foundation of the espresso is the coffee bean, which is from the centre of the coffee berry. These coffee berries grow on trees that flourish in tropical climates at heights of two thousand and six thousand feet above sea level. Like so many other aspects of coffee, and espresso in particular, good roasting is also an art with a firm basis in science.
Espresso is of a thick consistency. Serving size is one to two ounces of pressure-brewed coffee using about one tablespoon of finely ground coffee. Brewing takes approximately half of a minute. Well brewed espresso will have a layer of enriched dark golden cream known as crema on the top. This crema is one indication of a superior espresso. Adding sugar to the espresso is an acknowledged practice in Italy, but really great espresso is good to drink without any additions so you are able to experience the taste and better appreciate espresso in its entirety.
Coffee beans are roasted in revolving drums at about 450 degrees Fahrenheit for ten to twenty minutes. The roasting time and temperature may be altered depending on the roaster’s preference and specific roasting machine. After roasting, the beans will need to go through a resting stage for degassing, which lasts twelve to thirty-six hours. The various gases generated by the roasting process are discharged within this stage. The roasting process will cause various chemical changes in the coffee bean which creates the unique flavour of your espresso.
Espresso must be served or combined with other coffee beverages instantly, or it will start to degrade due to cooling and oxidation. Temperature and time of consumption are very essential for the satisfaction of an ideal espresso as taste and aroma can fade quickly.
The darker roast tends to accentuate enriched flavour and many roasters think it produces more of a sweet taste and the acidity is less in the end product. Darker roasts have more chocolate, mild bitters, body and other caramelized tastes that come from the higher roasting temperatures and longer roasting times. These flavours are traditionally related with espresso for numerous customers.
The lighter roasts, aims to optimize the unique flavour contents of the specific beans used. Roasters who follow this method will refine their lighter roasts to better be able to enhance these specific flavours, which will result in espresso blends that consist of a wider variety of characteristics, which include citrus, pectin fruit, floral, herbal and other more subtle tastes and aromas.
Other roasters however, will combine both by roasting some beans dark, and some beans light, to produce blends that make the best of both roasting processes. So we can start to appreciate that this simple beverage is more complex than it seems. Making a perfect espresso is definitely an art and also well developed skill.
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