What is an espresso?
Espressos are the basis for all specialty craft coffees you find in cafes in the high street up and down the country.
Add to it milk and you have a variety of coffees such the well known cappuccino (1 part espresso, 1 part steamed milk, 1 part foam) latte (1 part espresso 5 part steamed milk) and an upcoming favorite, flat white (1 part espresso 2 part steamed milk)
There are dozens of variations, all essentially an espresso with steamed milk in various quantities.
With the rise in popularity of the home machines, a lot more people have access to great tasting espresso based coffee whether it be a bean to cup machine which automatically makes your espresso and adds milk through to prosumer models which allow you to grind your coffee, make an espresso and steam your own milk.
If you have the ability to make your own espresso there are some basic guidelines which give you a great start.
To start with you need around 16g of ground coffee and the machine should give you around 30ml of espresso in 25 seconds. If one of the variables is wrong, you can try again, but remember to always start with the same amount of coffee (16g).
If after 25 seconds you have way more than 30ml you need to make the grind finer. If its under 25, then you need to set it coarser to allow more water through.
If you follow the guidelines above you will get the best espresso with a layer of crema (the golden ‘foam’ on the top) which is the CO2 being released from the coffee.
We will be giving you more guidance on how to make the best coffee in the coming weeks.