Maybe the most elegant and simple form of your favourite hot beverage, the espresso is not only an excellent drink alone but forms the basis of many forms of coffee. Brewing the perfect Italian native is carnal knowledge if you want cafe standard coffee but how exactly do you do that and what kind of coffee gadgetry do you need exactly?
The Classic Espresso Machine
The ultimate espresso maker is to no one's surprise, the classic espresso machine (think mini barista affair). There are plenty to choose from available at a range of price points ranging from a humble hundred bucks all the way into the near thousands.
Brewing espresso using a machine such as this requires you to primarily grind (to the finest setting) and measure your beans. An average single espresso requires 6 to 8 grams of grounds. Next comes the o-so-professional part of placing your grounds in the portafilter of your machine before tamping them down leaving you with a compact disk of grounds ready for pulling.
It’s best to let the machine run without the portafilter to clear the ground head prior to pulling your espresso shot. For the final step click your portafilter in place, place your vessel underneath and start your 40ml shot; some machines will require you to manually time this process whilst others will have a standard setting of roughly 25 - 30 seconds.
The Moka Pot
For those on a tighter budget the moka pot is a great option for brewing an espresso fit for the classic Italian bars. Whilst the coffee brewed by a moka pot isn’t strictly espresso it does offer a near undetectable impersonator by passing water pressurised by steam through grounds. This espresso alternative is so similar to the classic due to the fact that they have the same water to coffee ratio of 2:1.
When brewing espresso from a moka pot begin by filling the lower chamber with water up till the designated line. Then fill the basket with your preferred coffee grounds (finely ground is preferred) ensuring that you remove any grounds that may spill out of the basket in the brewing process. Place the basket with the aforementioned grounds into the lower chamber and then screen the upper chamber tightly onto the lower.
Place the assembled pot on medium heat and remove as soon as you hear a hissing and bubbling sounds which should take roughly 5 minutes. Your espresso type coffee is ready to serve!
One of the most innovative coffee making gadgets to grace the millennium, the aeropress forces pressurised coffee through a filter and into your vessel of choice. The aeropress isn’t made to brew espresso but you can get a strong brewed coffee out of it that’ll hopefully not leave you wanting for more.
To brew espresso in an aeropress use the hallmark 6-8 grams of espresso (the aeropress scoop issues 17grams of ground coffee, enough for a double shot or two singles) and 40ml of just below boiling water; the rest of the brewing process is as normal.
Insert your filter into the plastic cap before wetting it and screwing it onto the aeropress chamber that's placed on your chosen vessel. Add your medium or finely ground coffee beans to the chamber along with your hot water and stir. Finally, insert the plunger and push down gently to release your aeropress brewed coffee!
Although it is possible to brew an espresso type coffee in all manners of ways, none hit the spot like the classic espresso machine, the moka pot and the aeropress do! As long as your brewing roughly 6-8 grams of grounds per 40ml of water you're bound to achieve an enjoyable single shot for consumption or use in a variety of your favourite coffee beverages.