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23 November 2006

Espresso coffee

Talking about of Espresso always reminds me of being in Sumatera, sitting outside and people watching. It's called bica there. I think espresso has the best demitasse cups and saucers; they remind me of kittens. miniature and really cute.

Espresso is comprised of liquid and foam. It tastes rich and bittersweet with an acidity which leaves a pleasant taste on the back of your tongue. The foam is known as the crema and the color of the crema can tell you a lot about the brew. The crema covers the oil, sugars, acids, proteins and gas bubbles of the coffee. A single espresso is 1 - 1.25 ounces and a double adds one more ounce. The usual amount of coffee is 7 grams for a single espresso and obviously, 14 for a double espresso.

Espresso is made by a machine, which forces hot water through tamped (compacted) fine ground coffee. Usually the espresso machines can steam hot milk and create fantastic alchemy in a cup in the form of lattes, mochas etc.

A good cup of espresso demands consistency, warm equipment, good coffee and fine grind. The tamper should tamp evenly. The coffee grounds, after being tamped, are called the “cake”. Dark roasts are always better because they tamp more evenly, my favorite is the Kicking Horse 454 Horse Power coffee beans. Some Barristas think the lighter the roast the finer the grind.

The way I figure it, anyone who has a home espresso machine is one coffee loving friend. There are many tricks to becoming a talented Barrista, but the main thing to know is consistency! You can completely wreck a great cup of espresso by not tamping the grinds consistently, not grinding the beans consistently and not using uniform pressure.oh yeah, and whatever you do, warm all your equipment first.

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