Espresso

Espresso is a preparation procedure of coffee where hot water of approximately 90°C is pressed through very finely ground coffee powder with a high pressure (9 bar). Espresso is the most common coffee preparation in Italy where it is also specifically defined: National Institute for Italian Espresso.

 

This special preparation procedure of the Espresso yields a very strong coffee which is covered in a thick, golden-brown layer of foam (the so-called crema), which substantially enhances the aroma.

Espresso is generally served in very small, pre-heated cups with thick walls and is drunk with a lot of sugar. (black as the night, strong as the death and sweet as love)

 

In its country of origin, Espresso is generally simply called "caffè"; the also common expression of "Espresso" (express) is derived from its quick preparation.

Decisive for the preparation of Espresso is the 4-M-Formula:

1. The mixture - the selection of the coffee beans.
2. The milling degree- the correct, fine grounding of the beans.
3. The machine - a good machine which produces sufficient water pressure.
4. The maker - the one who prepares the drink.

An Espresso, by the way, contains 50-60 milligrams of caffeine, while a cup of filter coffee contains 60-100 mg of caffeine.

 

An example for a bean which is used for the Espresso is the Java bean which is better known as "Arabica". A stronger Espresso with more "Crema" is yielded from a coffee bean blend which is made up of 20 per cent of Robusta beans and the rest of Java beans.

 

Variations

In Italy, the Espresso is often refined with a small bonnet of frothed, hot milk. This drink is called "Espresso macchiato".

Often, the Espresso is also "corrected": The so-called "Espresso corretto" is refined with spirits, usually a shot of the clear schnaps "Grappa" from Trest.

A "prolonged" Espresso with double the amount of water with an unchanged amount of coffee powder is called "Espresso lungo".

The Espresso lungo forms the coffee basis for the popular milk coffee "Cappuccino".