What Is Espresso

By: rsbombard
Espresso is a coffee beverage prepared by extracting flavor from the coffee beans. Very hot water (but not boiling) is forced at high pressure through the finely ground coffee which is packed tightly. The resulting brew is just like coffee but is different from it. Espresso is a suspended solution of coffee particles with rich creamy foam on the top. This creamy foam is called crema.

The espresso drink was developed in Italy. Espresso in Italian language means a lot of pressure. There are many factors to be considered while preparing espresso such as the temperature of water, the pressure with which it is forced, the grind size of the coffee and how tightly the coffee is packed. Preparing espresso is considered to be an art. The makers are called barista.

While preparing, if the water is too hot, the espresso will become bitter. Too cold water can change the taste to sour. When hot water is passed through the coffee, the oils, sugars and proteins in the coffee are extracted and dissolved in the water. The espresso thus got is a highly concentrated solution of all these dissolved solids. When a shot of espresso is pulled from the machine, the resulting drink has a rich layer of creamy foam, called crema, which is effervescent in nature. The drink itself is highly volatile, meaning; the flavor is lost in no time when the drink comes in contact with the air. Some times it is served in pre heated cups to maintain the effervescent cream and the concentration of the drink to savor. It is drunk as soon as it is prepared.

Quality of espresso depends on four factors as given below.

- The blend Espresso is at its best if a number of coffee beans with different flavors are used. The extract can be very stimulating.
- The machine The factors such as heat and pressure are critical to maintain the quality of espresso. If right pressure is not applied, the coffee may not be extracted fully. Over heating may give burnt taste to the drink. The selection of machine is important.
- The Grind Size The right grind size of the coffee is usually given to be that of powdered sugar. The coffee has to be extracted to its fullest.
- The packing of coffee A loosely packed coffee may come with the water at high pressure making it a coffee rather than an espresso.
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