The word espresso refers to a method of brewing that is unique in two important ways:
– In brewing espresso, hot water under high pressure is forced through a bed of finely ground coffee to extract a thick, flavourful essence in a concentrated form. This espress (quick) method of brewing can produce a cup between 20-30 seconds.
– In serving espresso, each cup is prepared fresh, to individual order.
With the consumer waiting on the coffee (rather than the coffee waiting on the consumer) every cup is deliciously fresh tasting.
The three parts of an espresso are:
Espresso brewing extracts more oils than other brewing methods. The oils are emulsified into the brew by the pressure of the cappuccino machine. This emulsion is called the crema. The crema helps to hold in the flavours and aromas of the coffee.
Tiny particles of coffee and gas bubbles are suspended in an espresso. They contribute to the feeling of body in an espresso and help to prevent you from tasting the bitter flavour of the coffee.
The water-soluble elements of a coffee are the same elements you get in a brewed cup of coffee.
Always serve or use espresso within thirty seconds after it has poured, to stop dispersement of crema.
Discover the Art of Espresso, © Justin Metcalf 2013 (World Barista Judge)