Espresso Coffee Facts

I grew up thinking coffee was this thin, water-like substance that my parents drank with their breakfast. It came from a jar, and after being added to water, was mixed with great gusto until coffee was produced. I remember taking a drink once and saying, Ick. For years, my coffee adventure was at at standstill.

Throughout college, I drank a semblance of coffee known as drip, more for the caffeine punch during late night study sessions. I still could not fathom coffee being anything more than a lightly drug-laced liquid experience.

Then, following graduation, I was introduced to espresso. And my coffee world was turned upside down.

Espresso is still coffee. But the way it is blended, roasted, and produced makes it into something so very much more.

The finest espresso in the world begins its life as high quality Latin American coffee beans. Other coffee producing venues (Africa, the South Pacific, etc.) could also lend their produce to espresso, but in my experience, it is the high, mountain grown beans of Latin American that yield the finest espresso blends.

After choosing the right bean, this delight is off to the roasters. All coffee is roasted. But it is the job of the roaster to bring out the unique, tantalizing flavor that each geographical blend has to offer. For espresso, the roast is slow, rich and deep. By taking the required time with these beans, the espresso roast produces a dark, oily bean. When properly prepared, this roast allows for an amazing, Carmel-like characteristic to emerge from the espresso.

But roast alone cannot bring to life the beverage we know as espresso. Much of its beauty is owed to the preparation of the drink. The beans are ground much finer than say a coffee bean destined for the drip coffee maker. The fine, powdery grind forces water to take its time as it pours through the espresso, pulling out the unique and subtle nuances of the bean and its roast. This process is aided by the use of a espresso machine, which uses steam to pressurize and force the water through the ground espresso. As the water is squeezed through the coffee, a three-tiered drink appears, with the espresso tumbling and cascading from the machine into commonly used shot glasses. When allowed to settle, you can see the three parts of brewed espresso - the crema, the body and the base (which, if allowed to set more than a few seconds, will turn the shot bitter).

While espresso is enjoyed on its own, often it is added to steamed milk and flavorings to produce cappuccinos and lattes. It is amazing rich, carmely goodness is distinguished in the drinks it accompanies a definitive, bold coffee punch that is layered with various other flavors.

Espresso helped open the doors of my coffee experience. If you are fortunate, you, too, will be won over by its sirens call.

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About The Author, Anthony Sastre
Before buying a coffee maker,check out the award winning Presso at Presso America. Focusing on the area of coffee makers, and espresso makers, Anthony Sastre writes articles for Presso America