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The Espresso and more

Of all the ways to brew coffee, the espresso method is the most demanding and most dependant on the skill of the brewer or the Barista.  A Barista is the person that operated the espresso machine.  In most other brewing methods the grind of the coffee, the temperature of the water and the length of time the water stays in contact with the ground coffee is automated. However when making an espresso drink the brewer plays a vital role.

There are 7 steps to producing any espresso drink.  It’s important to follow these steps to ensure you get a quality coffee for the customer.

The crema on top of an EspressoAn espresso is produces when  seven grams of coffee are placed in a portafilter and brewed to produce one ounce of coffee.  This entire process takes no longer than twenty five seconds (the desired time the water stays in contact with the coffee).

The perfect Espresso should be dark with a reddish-brown layer of fine creamy foam on, called a crema, which covers it top.  When the cup is swirled the crema should slightly coat the sides of the cup but remain intact over the top of the espresso.

Classic Espresso Drinks

A number of coffee drinks are given the label of being the Classic Italian Espresso Drinks.  The Italians have very specific ideas on how their beloved drinks should be prepared when and how often they should be drunk and who should drink them.  When in doubt go for the espresso!

The classic espresso drinks include the Cappuccino and the Espresso Macchiato.

New Espresso Drinks

Like all classic drinks the espresso has evolved to satisfy the needs of the modern coffee drinker.  These drinks still use the base of the single or double espresso but take on an additional twist.

The new espresso drinks include the Americano, Cafe Latté, Cafe Mocha and many more when you add in the variety of flavoured syrups available in most coffee shops.

Preparing an Espresso for Service

 


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Double Espresso

Just like preparing the single espresso, to make the prefect double espresso you must also follow the 7 Step process. A double espresso once brewed should be served in a standard cup with a glass of iced water to allow the customer refresh their palate.  Milk and sugar should also be offered to the customer. The …

Steaming Milk

Adding steamed or frothed milk to an espresso or double espresso will create a wonderful tasty drink.  The milk steaming process heats the milk to about 145-150°F, if the milk is heated over this temperature it will become flat and lose much of its flavour. Steaming milk not only heats the milk but also adds …

Cappuccino

The classical Italian cappuccino is generally one of the stronger espresso based drinks.  Traditionally, the cappuccino was only served in the morning time and never drunk in the afternoon and evening, as has become the norm in modern society.  When making the cappuccino the espresso is always brewed into the cup and then topped with the …

Espresso Macchiato

The espresso macchiato is a shot of espresso that is “marked” with steamed milk.  The espresso should be brewed as if one was preparing to serve just the espresso.  A small spoon of steamed milk is then placed on the top of the espresso.  The crema of the espresso should still be visible around the …

Americano

It is thought that the americano coffee was first made during World War 2 when American soldiers based in Italy found the coffee too strong to drink.  They added hot boiling water to the strong Italian coffee to dilute the strength.  The americano allows the coffee drinker to slowly savour the coffee while the added …

Cafe Latté

The cafe latté is one of the most popular coffee drinks sold all over the world.  It is generally weaker than its cousin the cappuccino.  A latté generally has only a one ounce shot of coffee to seven to twelve ounces of steamed milk. The latté is often compared to the martini of the bar world as …