The Espresso, the heart of the most popular coffee drinks, is the foundation of Cappuccino, Macchiato, Latte, Americano and all sorts of fantastic coffee bean beverages that your favorite barista can mix. And thankfully, we can have all of these mixes in the comforts of your own home; it’s time to become a barista, and let’s start with the basics!
Espresso is a concentrated beverage brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso often has a thicker consistency than coffee brewed by other methods, a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids, and crema… Espresso is both a coffee beverage and a brewing method. It is not a specific bean, bean blend, or roast level.
Thanks to the Italians for the Espresso!
This surefire wake-me-up-now coffee beverage requires an Espresso Machine, procuring it can be expensive (but one fantastic investment). It will cost you around 11K – 110K Php, depending on its features. And one of the best tasting Espressos I had was prepared from a digital Espresso machine.
This digital Espresso machine has a built-in grinder that prepared the coffee beans, boiled the water, and poured the steaming Espresso into my cup — all with a single press of a button. And the aroma, the texture, the fresh coffee bean flavor, and the full crema were perfect. It was not good — it was great.
That coffee experience was so unforgettable (and it even visited my dreams), so I searched for this machine. Then I found out that it will cost me around 50K-115K Php to have one (poor salesman, I had four cups during the sales demo); sadly, I could not afford it — for now (always think positive). Someday, someday, someday, someday…
Thankfully, Alfonso Bialetti, an Italian engineer, invented the stove-top Espresso machine called the Moka Pot (released in 1933). Since then, the Italians have affectionately embraced this kitchen appliance icon, and that goes the same with me.
The unique taste of Espresso from the Moka Pot can be achieved. The only missing was the full flavor of crema. But everything else is good. Although there are claims that a full crema can be achieved in the later versions (the Brikka model). Soon, we will find out.
Some fancy words about this beverage:
Solo: a single measure of Espresso coffee; 30 ml of drink; an Italian word which meant for single
- Doppio: a double measure of Espresso coffee; 60 ml of drink; an Italian word which meant for double
- Crema: or cream; the foam with a creamy texture that formed on top of the Espresso
Espresso drinking is always served in small amounts because this beverage gives a stronger coffee kick; this depends, subjectively, on the drinker.
Hot water added in Espresso, to adjust its taste, is called Caffè Americano or simply Americano. It was said that the American GIs first introduced this during WW2 when they visited Europe, thus the origin of the coffee name (Wikipedia).
Best enjoy with:
- Sweet cookies
- Foamed milk and sugar
Establishments that offer this beverage:
- Starbucks: Espresso @ 95.00 Php Php (Solo) and 105.00 Php (Doppio)
- The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Espresso @ 105.00 Php (Solo) and 120.00 Php (Doppio)
- Seattle’s Best: Espresso @ 90.00 Php (Small) and 100.00 Php (Medium)
- Figaro Coffee Company: Espresso @ 85.00 Php (Solo) and 109.00 Php (Doppio)
Note: You will be needing a Moka Pot for this recipe.
With that, let’s start brewing.
- Ground coffee beans (Espresso or regular grind)
- Foamed milk and sugar (optional)
- Fill the Moka Pot’s base section with water just below the steam escape valve
- Fill the Moka Pot’s inner filter with ground coffee up to its top
- Attach the inner filter to the base section
- Tightly screw the base section to the Moka Pot’s top section
- Place the Moka Pot over a moderately heated stove
- Wait until you hear the bubbles
- Remove the Moka Pot from the stove
- Pour your Espresso into your favorite cup
- Add milk, sugar, and stir (optional)
Note: Please refer to your Moka Pot‘s package manual for further or special instructions.
- Serves: 2-6, Moka Pot dependent (Note: Mine is a 6-cup Espresso Maker)
- Preparation time: 1 minute approx.
- Brewing time: 7 minutes approx.
- Cuisine: Italian
- Related recipes: Cappuccino, Macchiato, Americano, Espresso con Panna, Caramel Affogato