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How are Espresso Coffee’s made?

Elsewhere cafe 2021 – making espresso coffees

Have you ever wondered what great baristas do to make your coffee taste so good? It may look like a simple process, but each step is incredibly important to making sure you get that perfect cup of Joe. Read on to find out each step of how espresso coffees are made!

Selecting the coffee beans

Every cup of brew starts with the coffee beans! If you use poor quality coffee beans you can get a disappointing drink. That’s why it’s imperative to select beans that are sourced and roasted correctly. Speciality coffee is grown at prime altitudes in the best possible conditions across the world and is harvested at the perfect time to maintain the best possible quality! All of this leads to a far better tasting cup, with some of the most exciting flavours in coffee that you’ll find. We always use elsewherecoffee.com beans, our own house roastery!

Grinding the coffee

Coffee grounds are the backbone of any great coffee and so grinding your beans correctly is critical to achieving the perfect cup. Grind size massively influences the flavour of your coffee; if your grounds are too fine you’ll have over extracted coffee, too coarse and you’ll have under extracted coffee. The consistency of your grounds will also affect extraction. If they are uneven with some larger than others, some will become under extracted and some over extracted. A great quality conical burr grinder will evenly and precisely grind your beans so that they are uniform. Perfect! 

Dialling in the espresso coffee machine

Dialling in an espresso machine is part of every great barista’s daily routine. It is an essential process that allows the barista to maintain quality and consistency within every espresso shot. But what exactly is it? Dialling in, is the process in which a barista alters the different variables of the espresso shot to make it taste as good as possible. This can include changing the quantity of coffee grounds used, the quantity of water passed through the coffee and the time spent extracting the coffee. These factors are known as the dose, yield and brew time. Tasting each shot after altering these individual variables, helps the barista to balance the sweet, acidic and bitter flavours in the coffee to allow the more delicate tasting notes to emerge.

Tamping the grounds

Tamping coffee is the process in which a barista evenly distributes and levels out the coffee grounds within the porta-filter. You must ensure an even flow of water through the grounds as this helps achieve an even extraction. This leads to a more flavourful shot!

Coffee crema

Coffee crema is the flavour packed, aromatic orangey brown froth that sits atop a fresh shot of espresso. The presence of crema within an espresso shot, indicates that it has been extracted correctly, having formed when air bubbles combine with the coffee ground’s soluble oils. Crema accentuates the flavour of the shot and leaves a longer aftertaste than that of filter or drip coffee. 

Steaming the milk

Creamy, rich and velvety milk is the perfect pairing for any espresso drink. A high quality steamed foam is silky smooth with no large bubbles. This is achieved by maintaining proper aeration at the right depth and angle within the milk jug with the steam wand. As the milk continues to spin around in a vortex taking in air, it grows richer in texture producing a glossier, creamier milk and microfoam. This definitely takes a bit of practice to get right but for an experienced barista, it’s easy to steam perfect milk every time!

Pouring/latte art

For some lovers of coffee, this is the most enjoyable part of the whole process! There’s nothing better than ordering your favourite coffee and seeing a beautifully poured pattern within your cup. Having the perfect texture of milk is incredibly important to being able to execute latte art correctly. The height and position you hold the milk jug and the speed in which the milk flows are also key.

We hope you gained some insight into the world of speciality coffee baristas and what goes into making an espresso coffee. If you’d like to find out more about how we can enhance your event with our delicious espresso coffee, we’d love you to get in touch. Please email [email protected] or call 020 3633 1409. For a free quote just click here!