The preparation of the Italian Espresso is a ritual that follows scrupulous parameters, thanks to which the final result in the cup will be that of a “mantle of friar”: hazelnut cream with variegated streaks, tight stitches and the absence of bubbles.
The cream will be full-bodied and long- lasting, accompanied by intense perfume and aroma that will stay for several seconds; the taste will be intense but balanced with hints of chocolate and dried fruit. The initial bitter point will leave room for a sweet aftertaste that will persist on the palate, bringing the desire of drinking another coffee.
The Italian Espresso must be prepared exclusively with professional bar machines and a blend of coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta.
It is well known that a good espresso must have a volume of 25 ml and an extraction time of 25 seconds.
These parameters are respected only if the coffee is correctly ground. The coffee dose must be between 7 and 8 grams of coffee and the grinding must not be neither too coarse, in fact the water would pass too quickly through the group with an extraction time of 10 seconds and as a result it would be an under extracted coffee, light in color and with a little aromatic flavor; nor too fine, as in this case the water would not pass and the extraction time would be more than 30 seconds. The result would be an over-extracted coffee with dark hazelnut cream and scattered white bubbles, very bitter with- burnt taste.
It is important to consume the ground coffee in 15 minutes time, otherwise it would lose 60% of its aromas. For low consuming customers, an instant coffee grinder is recommended to grind only the dose to be used, so that the coffee will always be fresh and aromatic.
The right pressing of the coffee in the filter holder is also fundamental, the ideal is about 20 kg. If the press is not balanced, there is the risk of obtaining a non-uniform coffee layer, which will leads to a over or under -extracted coffee.
The coffee machine’s pressure, on the other hand, must not be higher than 9 bar, whereas the boiler one 104°; the optimal water temperature of the group’s exit must be around 92 °, if the temperature is too the result is an under-extracted coffee, if too high an over-extracted coffee. The preferable temperature for coffee in portafilter is 82°.
The choice of water is also of primary importance, in fact, a cup of espresso coffee is made up of 90% water. It must not be neither too rich in mineral salts nor too poor; water too rich in minerals does not have the ability to absorb the properties of coffee as much as mineral-free water. It is always necessary to use a purifier, whose tank must always be full of salt.
The process of making espresso is delicate and failure to comply with only one of the listed parameters would lead to a negative cup result.
Accurate ordinary and periodic maintenance of the equipment is also important for the final success. Daily cleaning of the machine and the coffee grinder is recommended, so that the essential oils of the coffee do not go rancid, transmitting unpleasant flavors and odors to the drink, and periodic replacement of hand showers, garnishes and grinders.