Espresso Blog

I’ll Take My Latte with a Shot of Bacteria


Originally published on thedailybeast.com.

by Carrie Arnold

As we start to understand the tiny critters that flavor our coffee, we can tailor the strains and flavors.

Many of our favorite foods, from beer and chocolate to cheese and coffee, are actually made by microbes. This microbial help in our kitchens has historically been rather slapdash and imprecise. People simply used the microbes that were available, often not even realizing that tiny bacteria and fungi were actually helping. Even now, some of the best cheesemakers and brewers still don’t know exactly how the microbial magic...

Italian Espresso: The Founder of Tradition

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.

 

 

 

Water Treatment for Commercial Espresso Equipment

Of course, the second ingredient of espresso is water. However obvious this statement may seem, the role of the quality of the water used in the preparation process should not be taken lightly. 

Even if the water coming from public waterworks is safe for consumption, further treatment for the use of coffee and espresso purposes may be required.  An operation should consider water treatment for two main reasons: the taste of the final product and the longevity of your machine.

Strange flavors that linger in the water after it’s purified for public consumption must be removed.  Oftentimes,...

Espresso: An Organoleptic Experience

 

Specifically in Italy, everyone has a similar mental picture when they hear “espresso.”  It’s a small heavy china cup whose capacity is around 50ml. It is half full with a dark brew and then topped by thick, reddish-brown foam of tiny bubbles. Millions of cups are sold worldwide each day, every consumer finding a place for it in their day; morning eye-opener, capping off a meal later in the day, or perhaps offering a sense of revival at the end of a long day.

Naturally, most people concern themselves with the simple act of consuming the espresso. A closer look at the process...

Coffee Operation Pop Quiz

As a coffee retailer, you probably have a solid working knowledge of the coffee world, as so many new products, purchasing decisions, and flavors continue to surround such an antique drink.  While your understanding is important to running a successful business, it is just as vital that your staff understands the product they are serving as well, as they are the link between the customer and that cup of joe. Here are a few basic questions that your staff should be able to answer:

How does the cost of the coffee relate to its quality?

Oftentimes, the cost of specialty coffee pertains to...

Avoid the Common Coffee Mistakes

Freshness:

One of the biggest issues in terms of quality problems is the freshness.  Oftentimes, it is recommended that you don’t brew more coffee than you can use in 45 minutes. Brewing an overabundance of coffee and leaving it to sit on heating elements until it is gone drastically changes the flavor of the coffee, regardless of the quality of the beans.

Cleaning:

One of the most common problems is also one of the most basic: cleaning. Especially if you are switching between regular and flavored coffee, a thorough cleaning regimen is of the utmost importance, as the oils will linger and...

The 5 M's of a Traditional Italian Espresso

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...

Decaffeinated Coffee: Coffee Minus the Jolt

 

For many of us, it's the highly-caffeinated cup of joe that gets our mornings underway or rejuvenates our afternoon slump. Still, there are many that prefer it's less jittery cousin, commonly known as decaf. While its existence is commonplace, few stop to think about how we get to the decaffeinated version. 

There are several methods used in reducing or eliminating the caffeine content of the coffee bean, but they are all pretty similar. First, processors use water or steam to swell the green beans, then they extract the caffeine using a solvent. Water, ethyl acetate, methylene...

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