Just the word “espresso” itself indicates speed, a special purpose, and made to order. The concept of the espresso is best summarized with the saying “the consumer not the espresso must wait.” If the espresso is left to wait for consumption, the foam dissipates and the art of the espresso is lost in the dry wallsof the cup and the patchy surface of the drink. Additionally, the smoothness of the taste is lost.
Italian Espresso: a small cup of concentrated brew prepared on request by extraction of ground roasted coffee beans with hot water under pressure for a defined short time.
The topic of speed is also very relevant in the traditional Italian espresso. The energy input in espresso pressure brewing brings both hydrophilic and lipophilic substances into the cup. The best mix is reached within 30 seconds. If the extraction falls shorter than 15 seconds, an acid unbalance is created. However, over-extraction occurs after 30 seconds and a harsh-tasting brew has been created.
These days, it’s hard to imagine an espresso business that isn’t dominated by milk-based drinks; from cappuccinos to lattes, the industry’s trends indicate that this isn’t going to change any time soon. Take into account the whipped cream that many drinks are topped with, and you are suddenly realizing the importance of your refrigeration unit and its location in regards to the espresso machine. For the most efficient production of drinks, the ideal placement of a refrigerator is within arm’s reach of the espresso machine, the most preferred location being an under-counter style commercial grade refrigeration unit.
Relative to the location of the machine, the most convenient placement seems to be under the counter and slightly to the left of center under the machine. This facilitates operating with two baristas behind the machine. The barista on the right can stage shots of espresso and the barista on the left can steam milk on the left steam wand, each without crossing-over into the other’s workspace.
If you are starting up a new shop or want advice on your current operation, contact Espresso Services and we'll guide you to the perfect equipment to ensure that your new venture is properly set up and equipped for success.
While it might not be entirely necessary to understand the intricate chemical
and physical structures of the coffee bean, the basics should be understood
in order to adequately appreciate the art form of grinding the coffee bean.
Whether it’s being ground mechanically or manually, the ultimate goal is to
break the bean into smaller particles to create more surface area to allow a
better infusion of flavor into water.
In addition to its dependency on good water and a quality roast, the brew
is also largely dependent on a sound grinding process. Within realm of
grinding, there are several different methods that can help you achieve the
ideal grind, each having their own benefits and drawbacks.
The mortar and pestle method allows the user to manipulate the size of the grind by manual force. This process is much more time consuming and requires both skill and patience, as it is a hand-operated burr grinder that utilizes muscle power to crank a handle. Essentially, this is a manual version of the electric burr grinder.
If you are lacking in time or patience, an alternative to the mortar and pestle method is the electric blade grinder, which is constructed of two stainless-steel blades and powered by an electric motor. Whirring at high speeds, the blades quickly grind the beans to pieces. The biggest drawback to this method lies in getting consistency in the grind. For this reason, the electric blade
grinder is generally not recommended for commercial use and is generally reserved for home use only.
Fast, reliable, and consistent, the electric burr grinder is the most suitable
option for a commercial operation. This type of grinder consists of either a
flat or conical-shaped set of burrs that provide a precise grind adjustment.
The top bur remains stationary while the bottom rotates. Quality burr
grinders are easy to use and generally have specific settings for each type of
use: French press, espresso, automatic drip, and cone. Additionally, they are
easy to maintain, adjust, and calibrate.
Just like any market, there are different levels of sophistication and price
ranges. If you are looking for a grinder, contact Espresso Services and
we’ll help you find the right fit for your budget and operation requirements.
The final product of any endeavor is heavily reliant on the skills, knowledge, and tools of the craftsman, and the perfect espresso is not an exception. Traditionally, the Italian rule of the 5 M's creates a sound set of requirements that guides the barista to the perfect espresso.
1. Miscela (Espresso Blend)
While it is possible to make a bad espresso from a good blend of coffee, it is impossible to make a good espresso from a poor quality blend. Ultimately, the blend you decide on comes down to personal taste, but the blend should be both fresh and of high quality.
2. Macinadosatore (Coffee Grinder)
The grinder should be of high quality and the blades must be changed regularly. The consequence of blunt blades is burned coffee grounds. Finally, for the best results, the coffee should be ground immediately before use. Once ground, it has a larger surface area and is more vulnerable to oxidization.
3. Macchina Espresso (Espresso Machine)
Even though a good espresso machine is not necessarily required to make good espresso, consistency and reliability come from good machines. Additionally, it's important that the machine is maintained at the right temperature and pressure. Cheaper machines are much less consistent with their production, causing the barista to rely on a bit of luck, a concept few business owners are comfortable with.
4. Mano dell'operatore (Skill of the User)
The skill of the barista comes with an understanding of the machine operations, knowledge of the final product, and practice. It takes time to become comfortable with a new machine and the intricacies of using it.
5. Manutenzione (Maintenance)
Finally, the outcome of a single espresso is heavily dependent on the routine maintenance of the machine itself. For the best results, a machine and grinder should be regularly cleaned to prevent the build up of stale grounds that can contaminate fresh coffee.