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How to Make Espresso
Espresso preparation requires care and consciousness on the part of the operator. The job is given so much respect that in Italy the term "barista," or espresso bartender, is earned through proven skill and experience and considered an honorable title. The Italians refer to the four M?s as being key to the creation of espresso:
La Macchina - the machine
The Espresso machine provides separately controlled heat and pressure to the water that passes through the ground coffee, "capturing" its taste and aroma.
La Miscela - the blend of coffee
A blend is any combination of "single-origin" coffees. Coffees from different origins exhibit unique flavor profiles - aroma, taste, acidity and body. Many roasters believe that no single-origin coffees can provide all of cup characteristics necessary to make a great Espresso. Blending coffee is an art form and creating a combination of beans that synergizes each coffee?s flavor characteristics into a melody that offers a unified theme takes knowledge, skill and practice.
Il Macinadosatore - the grinder/doser
The coffee-grinder/dispenser cuts the roasted beans into smaller particles. This process increases the surface contact of the coffee with the hot water enabling the desirable soluble and insoluble substances to be extracted into the cup. As there is no absolute correct size of particle in making espresso, given that the extraction is influenced by many variables, the barista must use a method for adjusting the grind until they have determined the appropriate setting. The "doser" feature of most commercial machinadosatores allows for quick and consistent measurement of the proper quantity of coffee into the portafilter handle.
La Mano - the hand that makes the drink
Playing a vital role with early steam-pressured machines as well as with today?s technologically advanced Espresso machines, the skill of the operator continues to be of great importance in choosing the right coffee blend and grind, setting the grind, preheating the cup, dispensing the correct amount, proper tamping and keeping the machines and utensils clean and efficiently operating.
Espresso Making - A Procedure
The actual steps that a barista does when making an Espresso on a contemporary semi-automatic machine can be arranged in the following prescribed order:
|1.Preheating the cup - by rinsing or soaking it under a stream of water from the brew port.|
|2.Fill the espresso basket with fresh ground coffee from the doser/grinder||
|3.Tamp the grounds firmly and wipe clean the top edge of the basket|
|4.Fix the basket handle into the port head of the espresso machine.||
|5.Start the pump on the espresso machine.||
|6.Observe the flow for the quality characteristics of the espresso|
|7.Stop the pump or pull the receiving cup from the flow at the appropriate extraction level/time.|
|8.Serve the Espresso, or use it to make the ordered espresso-based beverage .For the details of epsresso-based berverage , please refer the Recipes section|
|10.Unfix the basket handle and knock out the spent grounds into the knockout box.|
|11.Rinse or wipe the basket and port head clean.|
|12.Refix the handle into the port head of the espresso machine so that it will stay hot|
This process may get repeated over a thousand times per day at a busy coffeehouse, but the Espresso requires that each time the process be done consciously and carefully to produce quality.
Definition / History of Espresso
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