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The Art and Science of a Delicious Cup of Espresso Coffee

by: Mike Andrews

My thinking about espresso could be different as compared to your opinion about espresso. Some individuals may think of espresso as simply a strong cup of joe. Other people may see it as something else entirely, something more complex, something almost reverent, a divine gift. I'm definitely somewhere in the center.

Regardless of where your feeling about espresso are, one thing is certain: making a great shot of espresso is achieved only by a careful balance of both science and art. Making espresso takes a finely-tuned sense of taste and attention to detail.

Creating a great shot of espresso requires a number of things:

1. Roasted coffee beans

2. A bean grinder

3. An espresso machine

Sounds really quite simple up to now, right? In truth it's far from simple, but there are several high quality machines available today that do, actually, make it easy enough to produce a nice tasting shot of espresso.

Let's briefly discuss beans. The very best quality of bean would be the Arabica bean. The lesser quality of bean would be the Robusta bean. The Arabica bean delivers more taste, the Robusta bean delivers more caffeine. Whatever is your preference your beans should be freshly roasted.

Next is the grinder, since the correct grind of coffee bean is going to create a scrumptious cup of espresso. Too fine and your espresso will probably taste bitter, too coarse and you will end up having a weak cup of espresso. It's going to probably require a few trials to determine the grind that is the best for both you and your machine.

There are several different types of espresso machines. There are manual machines, semi-automatic machines, automatic machines, and super automatic machines. Follow this link to get a complete description of the different types of espresso machines.

Now is when attention to detail is needed. You have ground your beans to the proper find grind. You now must place exactly 7 grams of ground coffee into your filter basket of the portafilter on your espresso machine. Tamp the grounds down into the filter basket with medium pressure. Attach the pertafilter to the machine and lock in place. Switch on the machine and start heating the water to exactly 93 degree C. When the water has reached the proper temperature begin the pull, or switch on the pump. The pump should begin forcing water through the grounds under no less than 9 bars of pressure. The espresso should begin flowing into the cup in a couple of seconds, and the proper extraction time needs to be somewhere within 25-30 seconds.

If all of this is starting to sound complicated and difficult then there is great news. A super automatic espresso machine such as the Gaggia Platinum Vision makes creating a perfect cup of espresso almost child's play. Press two or three buttons, wait a minute or two, and the machine does the rest.

Now the real easy part--sitting back and enjoying a fantastic shot of espresso.

See Also:

Methods To Make The Ideal Cup Of Tea

About The Author

Love espresso? A great shot of espresso with a thick creamy layer of crema on top is next to divine. Check out the Gaggia Platinum Vision Espresso Machine at

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