Find The Right Espresso Drink For You

Over the years, espresso coffee has gained considerable ground in popularity. In the United States alone, the consumption of espresso has inspired entrepreneurs to set up coffee carts that specialize in the selling of espresso coffee. You can find these shops in bookstores, supermarkets, cinemas, laundromats, drive throughs, gas stations, hospitals, pratically anywhere, including public parks and of course cafes and restaurants. In Seattle alone, there may be an espresso cart every two blocks. They are almost as prevalent as the hotdog carts in New York.

As the name would suggest, espresso coffee is a quick way of brewing the drink. It is different from other types of coffee preparation in that to make an espresso, you have to extract coffee flavor from the coffee beans by subjecting them into the high-pressure steam of today's espresso machines.

When you order an espresso coffee, you will be served a one- or two-ounce shot of very strong coffee.

There are several factors that go into making a good espresso coffee.

The Roast -- the beans are roasted dark until they appear oily. Espresso beans are often a selection of different coffee beans grown around the world in the various coffee-growing regions.
The Grind -- The grind quality must quite fine, finer even than the consistency of granulated sugar. The finer the grind of the coffee beans, the slower the coffee comes out of the espresso machine and the better shot of espresso it will produce.

Getting into Hot Water

As with all preparation of good coffee, temperature must be controlled so that the grounds are not subjected to excessive boiling. The heat that must be applied should be enough to extract from the coffee beans the flavor oils. The steam coming out of the espresso machine that shoots through the packed espresso grounds is at the boiling point.

Timing is Everything

The best espressos are brewed for about 20 seconds, but times may vary based on the espresso machine. The 20 seconds is about the standard time for two ounces of hot water to pass through the tightly packed grounds in the espresso machine. Even then, the espresso contains less caffeine than coffee that is brewed through the drip process. The brewing time of an espresso can be modified by adjusting the fineness of the grind. The coarser the grind, the faster the water comes through the espresso machine. The barista uses knowledge of these processes to ensure that an acceptable shot of espresso coffee is served.

When everything is done correctly, the espresso that comes out of the machine is a layered shot with a dark brown, slightly thick layer from the bottom, a medium-brown layer in the middle, and a tan, fluffy layer on top. The element that set an espresso apart is the crema, or the foam, that is formed on top of the cup similar to that formed on the head of a beer.

There are multiple ways to enjoy espresso. Some people prefer to add herbs to it to give it an added kick. Flavors and different mixes could also be added to it for additional flavor notes.

The different variations and types of espresso coffee that can be tried are: espresso Roma, mocha, cappucino, French roasts, dark roasts, Italian roasts, espresso Monaco, and the always popular latte.