For the Love Coffee
Our Coffee Detective adores a good espresso
To some, having a coffee is just a matter of opening a tin, shovelling in the desired amount of instant and adding water. Whilst this may satisfy many, with each sip, the Coffee Detective likes to savour the many steps that it has taken to create an exceptional espresso! The complex process starts with the Country of Origin, and even the district within that country where the coffee is grown. Some may even have preferences in the elevation and there might even be a preference of grown in the shade or sun. Sounds complicated? We have not even started yet!
Once harvested there is a choice of how the beans are prepared. Should the beans be separated from the cherries buy using the Dry Method or the Wet Method? Now, left with just the raw coffee beans there are also multiple choices as with the Peaberry for example. Whilst the beans are now separated you still can’t make anything from them as they have to be roasted. Now a very complex procedure, the most common choices are Light, Medium, Medium/Dark and Dark. Before water can be added these beans now require grinding. For some coffee shops this act is simply pouring a bag of beans into a grinder, switching it on and drowning any conversation for the next 5 minutes! For an artisanal coffee this is a pivotal moment with the choice of a Blade grinder, a Burr grinder(wheel and conical) or Manual grinder.
So now you have freshly ground coffee ready for the last process of adding water. An espresso machine can be a work of art and generally one’s coffee will depend on how the machine has been programmed and the skill of the Barista. Professional Espresso machines are carefully calibrated to include the temperature of the water, the pressure that it passes through the grounds and the time is takes for the desired amount. How the coffee is distributed and ‘tamped’ is important as this affects the extraction which refers to the act of the hot water, under constant pressure, passing through the ground coffee beans to produce your coffee.
This my friends is only how you make an espresso coffee!