According to a survey, nearly 25% of Americans skip their breakfast, but 50% drink coffee in the morning. If you are one of those 50% of people then it is a must that your day starts with something that is tasty and refreshing. Brewing espresso is not just following some steps and getting mediocre results. Chances are that you don’t even realize what you’re missing with the best cup of home brewed espresso. Espresso needs a distinct, fast brewing method that uses pressure to brew, and not gravity, and is always prepared fresh to enjoy it on the spot. Therefore, when you are trying to make a perfect espresso at home you need to understand the four basic fundamentals of brewing espresso at home, which are: grind, proportion, water and freshness.
Tips for Brewing Espresso at Home
Moisture, heat and light are enemies of coffee. Because the aging process of the coffee accelerates by getting in contact with light and heat it is better to keep them at a cool and dark place. Moisture could easily spoil coffee and you must protect your coffee to keep it as fresh as possible.
Skip the Refrigerator
This is a common mistake but you should never store coffee in a refrigerator or freezer, as the moisture of the appliances would spoil your coffee.
Choose the Right Container
You should use container that is made of ceramic or glass. The color of the container should be dark and it must be completely opaque. You must make sure that the container is airtight. Even if it’s kept in a pantry light still gets into the room frequently when you open the pantry up.
Buy Coffee in Smaller Quantities
If you want to get the best flavor out of your coffee it is better to buy your coffee every fifteen days and every week is even better. Generally for espresso, coffee storage between 4 to 14 days is ideal time before the coffee gets consumed. After 14 days, degradation of the coffee starts and the bitterness in the coffee increases rapidly. Due to the increase in acidity content and decrease in sweetness, you will start to notice a stale flavor in your coffee. Controlling the amount of acidity is very important in coffee and when trying to make a top notch cup of espresso it is even more noticeable.
Buy the Right Type of Coffee Beans
It is best to ask your roasting company for the proper advice in this matter. There are certain coffee beans that are better for espresso coffee. There are many beliefs among people who think that darker is stronger and stronger is better. Start of by getting a small amount of a couple different type of beans and find the ones that suit your tastes the best. Experimentation is key when brewing espresso since everyone has different tastes.
Roast of Coffee Beans
The roast level for espresso coffee beans is different from other types of coffee beans. The reason for this is the amount of pressure and speed that the process of extraction involves. If the roasted coffee bean reaches a stage when it starts to lose oil from its surface, then it generally means that the inherent flavor of the coffee beans are being lost and it is over-roasted. If your coffee beans are too dark roasted then your coffee would taste bitter, no matter how well you follow these tips. If you like to make coffee using milk, then it is better to avoid light roasted beans, because you need your coffee to cut through the flavor of milk.
Grind ‘em Up!
You should know that once the coffee beans have been ground, they are more prone to getting stale. Usually within 15 minutes of grinding the coffee, its quality starts getting compromised significantly.
It is important that the grind size of your coffee is consistent and it is better to have smaller grinds for espresso. You must get as fine of a grind from your machine as possible. The grinding usually takes nearly 10 to 15 seconds, but most importantly it needs to get the results that are consistent.
It is highly recommended that a burr coffee grinder be used to grind your beans. Burr grinders actually grind the coffee beans into a very fine mixture where inexpensive coffee grinders simply chop them into small pieces.
Proportion of Coffee
Generally the proportion suggested is 2 tablespoon of grounds for every cup of coffee you are brewing, but the final decision rests in your taste buds. If you think that 2 tablespoon is too strong you could always use slightly less.
The most important aspect to consider in this step is consistency. It will probably take a couple cups of espresso before you find the perfect strength for your liking. Once you find the exact amount of coffee grounds to use be sure to use the same amount each and every time.
Use of tap water when brewing espresso coffee is not a good idea. You should always use filtered water. Any hint of taste or contaminants in the water can drastically affect the end result. Brewing espresso coffee with fresh filtered water helps in enhancing the flavor of your coffee. A big mistake many beginners have is spending good money on a best espresso machine to turn around and use tap water to make a sub-par cup of espresso.
The temperature of water when brewing the espresso coffee should be between 92 and 96 degree Celsius or 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The water will be on the cusp of boiling and this is generally regulated by the brewing machine.
44% of the people, who brew coffee in their homes, make two cups of coffee every day. Therefore, putting a little extra effort in your coffee-making process could give you superb cup every time. Taking care of these simple but very important tips above will help to make sure you have the best espresso every time.