How many times you wanted to have a good cup of espresso without having to leave the house? Following these few simple suggestions anybody can enjoy a great espresso in the comfort of their home. The most important thing for a great espresso, after the quality of the coffee, is the way it’s grounded. A good grinding is what really allows the coffee bean to give the best of it self.
Lets understand the reason why the grinding makes all the difference: During the brewing, in whatever style it’s made, coffee beans release their essential oils as hot water runs thought it, therefore a finer grinding will allow more of these oils to be released and make a deeper and more flavorful coffee.
The ideal grinding for espresso is finer than the one used for regular coffee; a simple way to check if your beans have been correctly grounded is to rub some grounded beans between your fingers: if it leaves your fingertips brown with coffee powder you did the right job.
Unlike many people think, Espresso has much less caffeine than regular coffee and this is due to the higher temperature and pressure that the water has, when runs through the grounded beans.
The amount of caffeine released in the coffee is directly related to the water temperature and the amount of time that the water takes to run though the filter holding the grounded coffee: the hotter the water, the less caffeine is released, also letting the water go through the coffee slower will make it easier for caffeine to dissolve while being brewed.
So what makes a real Espresso are three factors: good coffee grinding (7 grams), water temperature (95 Celsius/203 Fahrenheit) and water pressure of 9.5 atmospheres. We don’t need to have a professional espresso machine at home to get the real deal, many home espresso machines on the market do a good job even lacking of water pressure.
My favorite home espresso machine is the traditional Italian Moka, which can be found on the market fairly easy, they are very easy to use and quite inexpensive. They come in different sizes, I suggest using the smaller ones, two or four cups, the smaller the Moka is, and the better the Espresso will come out.
Some latest models have a pressure valve that builds up pressure and releases it in one powerful shot, making a delicious and creamy Espresso.
The only type of maintenance it requires is a good cleaning of the upper section of the Moka’s gasket; it can be done with a simple small brush or a toothbrush.
One advice I like to give is to always wash the Moka using only water and never use any kind of dish soap or detergent, unless you like soapy tasting Espresso.
There are on the market several good brands of well grounded Espresso coffee, without having to deal with coffee grinders.How the Moka works is very simple: the cylinder at the bottom contains the water; the funnel shaped aluminum container with the filter for the coffee gets placed on the top, and filled with coffee.
Screw the top part on it tight, and put on the stove; give it a few minutes the water will go to a boil and the pressure will burst the hot water upward into the filter and through the coffee, pouring out on the top in a fountain looking way.
What the models with a valve does is keep the water from exit from the bottom of the aluminum funnel until has enough pressure to burst through the filter and make that same, rich and creamy Espresso, that a professional machine would do.
At this point the only question should be: “How much sugar?”