Great espresso depends on a hand-full of factors. This manual is designed to help you learn how to make coffee drinks that taste good. Discipline and some basic skills are required. Our goal is to help you learn the art and science of the barista... the coffee maker in Italy that oversees the espresso machine.
There are several basic rules:
- Espresso should be served hot! It's important to keep the handles (also known as portafilters) in the groupheads at all times. The handle should never be left on the drip tray when not in use. You cannot make great tasting espresso with a cold handle.
- Speed is of the essence. Do not prepare a shot and leave it in the handle without brewing the espresso. In just a few seconds the coffee will start to burn leaving the shot bitter with pale crema.
- Double handles are designed to make TWO espressos. It's not meant to be used when only one espresso is required. To achieve the thick, brown crema necessary for great tasting espresso, two measures of ground coffee are required. You cannot make a single espresso in a double handle - always make two.
The 4 factors...
- Freshness of the coffee
- The grind
- The machine
- The hand of the barista
Choose the correct handle for the drink you plan to make. Single handle for one - Double handle for two.
The taste of your coffee will be directly affected by the amount of coffee you dispense into the handle. Pull the dosing handle firmly until it comes to a complete stop - pause - continue to pull forward firmly and release the handle. The handle is spring loaded and will 'snap' back sharply - this snap ensures the full 7.5 grams drop into the handle.
Tamp the coffee.
Wipe the excess grounds from the rim of the portafilter and start the extraction of the coffee.
Remember: The correct extraction time is 25 seconds.
Less than 20 seconds the coffee will be thin, watery and sour from too little time spend in contact with the coffee.
More than 30 seconds the coffee will be burnt and bitter from too much time spent in contact with the coffee.
HOW TO CLEAN AN ESPRESSO MACHINE
There are several parts to be cleaning process:
1. Regular backflushing throughout the day.
How to backflush
In each of the brewing heads is a fine mesh screen. Every coffee you make leaves tiny bits of coffee trapped in this screen. The water in the brewing head is 90°C.
If you leave grounds in the head - they burn! Backflushing is designed to remove the grounds before they have a chance to leave a harsh, bitter taste in the coffee.
2. Cleaning the brewing heads with
GRINDING & STORAGE
Never grind more coffee than you will use for immediate brewing. Once ground, coffee will begin to lose its flavor almost immediately. Different methods of brewing will require different grind consistencies.
Suitable Grinds For Some Common Brewing Methods
Syphon / Glass Balloon Coffee Maker
The Automatic Filter
The Filter (Drip) Method
Turkish / Greek
Coffee should be store in a clean, dry, airtight container, in a cool, dark place.
TALK LIKE A BARISTA
A tart, tangy, lemon-like taste experienced on the tip and side of the tongue; a flavor element much prized when found in specialty coffees. (Also called Brightness.)
A coffee that has been stored in its country of origin, usually in a dried but unmilled state, and generally for a period of three or more years; the coffee loses moisture, gaining body and a distinctive woody or earthy characteristic in the cup.
The sensation or smell of gases released from brewed coffee. This can include a perception of astringency or acidity via the vapors. (Compare to Fragrance.)
All the sensations of a coffee experienced after swallowing it (or spitting it out).
When all of the perceivable components of a coffee work together harmoniously on the palate. No one flavor, taste, or perception dominates the experience.
The espresso machine operator, one who is fully informed and practiced (hopefully) in the art of coffee preparation; means "bartender" in Italian.
The viscosity or "thickness" of a coffee; part of a coffee's overall mouthfeel. Common adjectives used to describe body include light, medium, full, thin, watery, syrupy, heavy, rich, and creamy.
This usually means the total aromatic profile, including aroma, fragrance, and aftertaste. The world of coffee, however, needs a term to describe the aromatic sensations arising from the roast rather than from the nature of the coffee itself. In the wine trade, "bottle bouquet" refers to the aromatics arising from the bottling and aging of a wine as opposed to those that are intrinsic to the grapes. "Roast bouquet" might be a useful term to describe the aromatic components contributed by the roasting process.
Foam break into the top layer of foam and grounds that have not settled to the bottom of the glass during cupping. (See also Crust.)
Espresso diluted with hot water; one shot of espresso with up to seven ounces of water.
Cafe au Lait
Half drip-brewed coffee and half steamed milk.
A latte made with half-and-half instead of milk.
An espresso "corrected" with the addition of liquor, typically brandy or a liqueur.
Espresso with steamed milk and a thin layer of foam on the top.
Espresso mixed with chocolate and steamed milk and topped with steamed milk or whipped cream.
Espresso topped (or "hooded," like the Capuchin monks) with foam.
The presence of many flavors and tastes complementing body, astringency, and long aftertaste. Inextricably linked to balance, because if any one component dominates another, then complexity wills not be detectable.
With whipped cream.
A texture that is reminiscent of cream. (See also Body.)
The top layer of foam and grounds that have not settled to the bottom of a cupping glass.
The reddish-brown, creamy layer of foam that sits on top of a well-drawn espresso.
A cup of coffee with a shot of espresso. (See also Red Eye.)
A double shot of espresso.
To prepare an espresso shot. (See also Pull.)
Short for drip-brewed coffee.
A cappuccino with foam only, no steamed milk.
A flavor characteristic reminiscent of soil. Often used in a positive manner to describe the taste of Sumatran or Sulawesi coffee; used as a pejorative to describe other coffees.
A small, three- to five-ounce pitcher that the barista brews espresso into.
Espresso "marked" or "stained" by milk foam.
The perception of a coffee's aromatic compounds (those detected by the sense of smell) when the coffee is in your mouth.
Lacking a noticeable fragrance, aroma, and aftertaste.
The smell of a particular ground coffee. (Compare to Aroma.)
Flavored Espresso Drink
An espresso drink with a flavored syrup added.
An aroma, fragrance, or flavor characteristic reminiscent of flowers; usually found in the coffees of Kenya and Ethiopia.
A sixteen-ounce serving of coffee or espresso drink.
A dessert of shaved, sweetened ice flavored with coffee or fruit juice.
An aroma, fragrance, or flavor characteristic reminiscent of freshly mown grass; considered an unpleasant attribute.
An espresso machine's brewing chamber, comprising the group head and the portafilter.
The circular unit that forms the upper half of an espresso machine's brewing chamber and into which the barista places the portafilter.
The button on the espresso machine that turns the group on and off.
An aromatic experience of various herbs, but often specifically referring to grassiness. Often accompanied by bitter and astringent components as well.
A container with a padded bar across the top for the barista to use to "knock" the brewed coffee grounds out of the portafilter.
A long shot of espresso, about one to two ounces per seven grams of coffee.
See Cafe au Lait.
An American invention that features espresso mixed with chocolate and topped with more foam and less steamed milk than a caffe mocha.
All of the tactual perceptions a coffee has to offer throughout the process of drinking or cupping it.
An aroma, fragrance, or flavor/taste characteristic reminiscent of a burlap sack; often occurs as a result of poor storage, insufficient drying, and/or aging.
An aroma, fragrance, or flavor/taste characteristic of freshly harvested, freshly milled coffee, which tends to be acidic and especially floral.
An aroma and/or flavor characteristic reminiscent of nuts.
An espresso drink made with milk that has 1 percent milk fat.
(the portafilter) The process of filling the portafilter with coffee.
An aroma, fragrance, or flavor/taste characteristic reminiscent of burlap, straw, wood, or grass; occurs when green coffee is old and loses a significant amount of its moisture and acidity.
A term used to describe the acidity of coffees that are characterized by a sweet, tingling sensation experienced at the tip of the tongue when one first sips the coffee; prevalent in good coffee from Kenya.
A handled device with a brew basket at its end that fits into an espresso machine's group head.
Used as a verb to describe the act of making espresso, as in "to pull a shot."
A coffee aficionado who demands quality and shuns the use of flavored syrups and the practice of diluting espresso with copious quantities of milk; will only drink an espresso, a macchiato, or a cappuccino. Usually the least happy customer in today's marketing-driven specialty retail store.
See Depth Charge.
A shot of espresso that is cut off at fifteen to twenty seconds (when the crema turns light brown) yielding less than one ounce per seven grams of coffee; an aficionado's ambrosia.
Any offering of green or roasted coffee being cupped.
To specifically experience aromatics when a coffee is in the mouth (when the aromatics are therefore flavors).
Having to do with aromatics reminiscent of various spices, detectable either when smelling or tasting a coffee.
An eight-ounce serving of coffee or espresso drink.
or Short Pull See Ristretto.
An espresso drink made with non-fat milk.
An espresso served without milk, steamed milk, or foam; the drink of true purists.
An espresso drink made with nonfat milk.
The action of packing the coffee into the portafilter with enough force to ensure the proper extraction.
The perception of specific chemical compounds on the tongue and in the mouth via the taste buds. Possible perceptions are sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. The word "tasting," however, often refers to the entire range of sensory perceptions, incuding flavor, body, and so forth.
This refers to a coffee's relative "smoothness" or "grittiness" when it is drunk or sipped. Distinct from body and astringency, though usually heavy-bodied coffees and dry-processed coffees will tend to be grittier than washed, light-bodied coffees.
A cappuccino with foam and steamed milk; usually the espresso, foam, and steamed milk are in a 1:1:1 ratio.
A drink to go.