Espresso is a way of making an infusion of high-roasted beans, giving a classic black coffee, highly saturated and aromatic. Perhaps this is the most difficult and expensive way to make coffee. Cappuccino is a popular espresso drink. It consists of a third of espresso, a third of milk and a third of foam.
How to make espresso and cappuccino, types of espresso, features, rules and methods of preparation, the choice of coffee for espresso and cappuccino, the main types of espresso machines.
They say that the word “espresso” comes from the French word express, “specially”, “purposefully”, that is, this means that such coffee is always prepared individually, for one person. Others believe that the name comes from the Italian expression “keep under pressure, under pressure”, emphasizing the features of the preparation of such coffee. Boiling water and steam are forcefully passed through a serving of very finely ground coffee. It is preferable that coffee does not have a very high level of acid, so Kenyan coffee is not good here. The result is an absolutely unique drink with a bright bouquet and a long finish. The rich taste of espresso has an elusive pungency that captures our senses..
Classic espresso makes up only 10% of all coffee that is made in Italy, but in fact it is it that underlies the remaining 90%. This includes cappuccino, coffee latte and other drinks based on espresso and milk. The most popular espresso drink is cappuccino, which ideally consists of a third of espresso, a third of milk and a third of foam. The high demand for cappuccino is also evidenced by the fact that instant cappuccino appears more and more often on store shelves. It is very popular, unlike regular instant coffee..
A true cappuccino is even harder to make than espresso. Each cup of freshly made cappuccino contains everything coffee can offer. Unlike espresso, it is desirable to have a slight acidity in this drink (you can use Kenyan coffee), but the main difficulty lies in the preparation of milk, which in no case can be brought to a boil, otherwise its chemical composition will change and affect the overall taste. Some people don’t like chocolate chips on the surface of a cappuccino, but this is what prevents the formation of a film on hot milk.
There are two main types of espresso machines: an old-fashioned coffee machine with a manual piston mechanism, and an electric semi-automatic or automatic. The piston espresso machines have a spring mechanism inside that pushes water through dry coffee. In a reciprocating machine, an experienced barista can make delicious coffee. For a novice master, such a machine is not suitable. True, an increasing number of coffee fans are acquiring automatic or semi-automatic espresso machines, with which the process of preparing this drink is reduced to a simple click of a button.
Today, in order to make cappuccino at home, you only need the ability to prepare milk foam, although in some machines this is done automatically. If you decide to get an espresso machine, forget about frugality. Cheap models are not equipped with a supercharger, and good espresso will not work in them. Even inexpensive machines with a pump-type supercharger sometimes do not have a steam generator, which makes it extremely difficult to turn milk into foam, and without this, neither cappuccino nor latte can be made.
For starters, you should think about an espresso machine with a pump-action supercharger and a steam generator. Many manufacturing companies produce complex products with built-in coffee grinders. Such coffee machines are much more expensive. However, think about how much money you can save if you drink espresso brewed at home, and not pay for every cup that you will be offered in a cafe.
How to make espresso, a selection of coffee, golden nut cream foam.
Making home a good espresso is not an easy task. It is worth remembering that the rule often works here: the more expensive the coffee maker, the better the coffee. However, making homemade espresso still requires a special skill. Professional barista (coffee bartenders) have been polishing their skills in the art of making espresso and cappuccino for years. If you have not reached such a level of skill, then simply follow the basic rules for making good espresso.
To get started, select coffee. Almost any specialized coffee shop will offer several options for an espresso mix, many consisting exclusively of arabica beans. There is no special grade or special method of roasting coffee for making espresso. Although the best espresso masters claim that a little robusty in the mixture is a key factor to give the drink the right taste, and most importantly, to get the famous golden foam, which is called “cream”.
Anyway, in order to extract the maximum taste from coffee beans, it makes sense to use a mixture of varieties. Now the coffee needs to be ground. You will need a fine grinding, but not a powder, as for Turkish coffee. Proper grinding is crucial. If it is too coarse, then the drink will turn out to be liquid, watery, and the infusion is not saturated. A very fine grinding will give the coffee viscosity, fine fractions will clog the filter, and the drink will not only drip into the cup, but also bitter.
Most household espresso machines come with a measuring spoon, you will need about 7 grams of ground coffee. After grinding, it is necessary to seal the coffee in the filter container. Compressed coffee should not be excessively loose so that water does not pass through it unhindered. You can not turn it into too tight a barrier. In a good espresso machine, you will need to press the ground coffee into the filter container quite energetically and firmly.
The first servings of coffee flowing from the spout of the apparatus into cups are the best. Then a golden-nut cream foam appears. Turn off the machine a few seconds after the appearance of foam, otherwise a bitter, watery coffee will leak when continuing to work. The most important thing that determines the quality of an espresso cup is the presence of foam, which appears when aromatic oils come in contact with hot water and air.
The cream should have a smooth golden color and a thickness of at least 5 mm. When tilting a cup of cream, like a syrup, it should cover its walls. A dark brown shade of foam with a whitish stain or with a black “eye” in the center is a sign that the espresso is too strong and that its taste will be sharp, with bitterness. Light cream, on the contrary, suggests that coffee will be weak.
Classic espresso requires high-roasted coffee beans, although medium-roasted beans will do. Until you master a completely new espresso machine, use dark roasted grains with a rich, sweet taste. By the way, did you know that a standard cup of espresso contains a little less caffeine than a mug of regular coffee? Dark roasted grains are also believed to contain less caffeine because a long roasting process destroys it..
How to make a cappuccino, preparing milk for a cappuccino.
Filling a cup with fresh espresso, you can begin to prepare milk. It is always better to take nonfat milk so that it does not overshadow the taste of coffee. And although cafeterias sometimes use pre-warmed milk or milk at room temperature, since it can be brought to a state of foam faster than cold milk, still always keep milk in the cold. Cold milk foams better, the foam lasts longer, and it tastes better.
Pour milk into a jug filled with no more than half, place the steam probe on the bottom of the jug and start heating. Gradually raise the probe so that its nose is almost at the surface of the milk. If you raise it too high, the spray will fly in all directions. If kept too low, few bubbles form. Sound when heated should be whistling, not gurgling, which indicates that the probe is too deep.
Milk should not be boiled. Ideally, you should get a magnificent mass of small bubbles, they are more durable than large ones. Finally, holding the froth, pour the milk into the espresso, filling the cup with about two-thirds. Then with a spoon, collect the resulting milk foam and also put it in a cup. You can add grated chocolate or cinnamon on top, and a cup of wonderful cappuccino is ready.
Preparing Espresso and Cappuccino Cups.
Even if you have an amazing espresso machine, which can be a real work of art, and perfectly ground coffee with the freshest roasting, the resulting drink may still not suit you. For example, the cream on the surface will not be smooth and velvety. And the reason, perhaps, is that the cup was cold. Try to keep the cups on the top of the espresso machine so that they are warm from the inside when filled. Thus, you will also prevent them from overheating so that the hot edges of the cup do not burn your lips..
Types of Espresso.
Espresso ristretto this drink is made by stopping the espresso machine earlier than when preparing a regular espresso; this coffee is thicker, stronger and more aromatic, as it contains less water.
Doppio (double) two servings of espresso in one cup.
Americano – ordinary espresso, then diluted with hot water to the volume of a standard cup of coffee.
Coffee latte or just latte one of the most popular espresso drinks, it is also an ordinary espresso, but with the addition of milk heated by steam to 65-70 degrees. Latte is sometimes served in a tall glass topped with a layer of milk foam 5 mm thick, and also, if desired, generously sprinkled with chocolate chips or cinnamon powder. Latte has an even more pronounced milky taste than cappuccino.
Espresso macchiato standard espresso slightly touched by a little milk.
Latte macchiato it’s just a glass of hot milk with a little espresso.
Espresso romano it’s an espresso with lemon zest.
Espresso con panna this is an espresso flavored with a spoon of cold whipped cream.
Mocha or Mocha one third of espresso, one third of hot chocolate, one third of steam-heated milk are poured into a cup in this order. Today, mocha is often made by first pouring a portion of branded chocolate syrup into the bottom of the cup, then add espresso and then hot milk. If you want to treat yourself, then the drink can be decorated with a cap of whipped cream and sprinkled with sweetened cocoa powder. This is essentially a chocolate cappuccino, and it, like the classic cappuccino, can be diversified by adding syrup with the taste of hazelnut, vanilla or liquor.
Based on the book Coffee. Expert Advice.
John Thorne, Michael Segal.