So you have an espresso machine but its not always giving you the best espresso and you want to know how to improve. Here are a few tips to help you get the best espresso you can at home.
So what exactly is espresso. Some people think its a number of different things, or beans that make it espresso. But espresso is simply how the coffee is brewed. Water is forced through the finely ground coffee under pressure, which should be between 8 and 9 bar to extract the best flavors and aromas from the coffee.
So how do you get the best espresso. Well the trick is to ensure that you have everything just right. Probably the first thing that you should pay attention to is your machine. Whether you have a budget machine or a more expensive model, make sure you are getting the best out of the machine you have. So ensure that you are using the best water you can in your espresso machine.
If you have had water sitting in your machines water tank for a week because you havent used it for a while and then you use that to make espresso wwhats the chance that that is going to make a great tasting espresso? So try and use fresh water everything if possible. Also make sure you keep your machine clean. If you use your machine and dont flush every once in a while and clean after use, that old coffee residue, or milk residue in the steam wand is going to build up. Then when you make your espresso or cappuccino some of that residure is going to get added to your coffee and ruin the flavors. So keep it clean.
Also warm the parts. Ensure you warm your grouphead either on the machine by running it through with just water first or seperately. And pull your espresso shots into warm cups. Its only small amount of coffee so pull that into a cold cup and its likely that it will be well on its way to being cold before you even get to take a sip of it.
Where possible use the best coffee that you can get. Also make sure its a fresh as you can get it. The problem with pre ground coffee is that often you dont know when that was ground. Even if you do, coffee starts to lose flavors and aromas the moment it is ground, so by the time it gets to your coffee machine, much of the best flavors may well have evaporated way.
The best option is the buy recently roasted beans and then grind them yourself in your own grinder. This ensure that you capture as much of the flavor of the coffee as you can. Ideally your coffee beans should be no older than two weeks from roasting, to ge the best flavors from the coffee. Even grinding the coffee itself can be tricky and is a case of trial and error as factors such as your machine, the type of coffee bean and of course your preferred personal taste will effect which is the best grind for the coffee.