Quick Recipes and Easy

Sophisticated, Mysterious and Flavorsome

What makes espresso really special? It’s just a coffee, you’ll say. You wouldn’t want to say that in front of an Italian. For Italians, espresso making is a real art that requires skill and experience. Solely those who prove their talents and fully know the creation of espresso win in Italy the title of “barista” (translated: espresso bartender”).

The term “espresso” itself makes this beverage so special. Translated, espresso means “quick” and “for special purposes”. The drink is indeed quickly prepared and distinctive: it is a luxury drink if we consider the quality of the coffees use for the blend and the special brewing process.

A excellent espresso needs a proper espresso machine, an exquisite blend of coffees, the grinder and the talent of the barista. Espresso is neither a brand, nor a place but a beverage made using a specific method. For the perfect espresso, one needs a blend of quality coffees, pure water that needs to be poured over the coffee blend at the right temperature and with the right pressure. When you reckon automatic espresso machines can replace the human factor, you err. The skills of the barista play a huge role in preparing the coffee blend, setting the grind, preheating the cup and so on. The right preparing time for espresso varies between 20 and 30 seconds. This is enough for the espresso machine to extract only the best essences of the coffee. The cup itself is also very vital. It’s not only the preheating aspect that matters; the cup needs to have a specific thickness to maintain the heat of the coffee. Then, the espresso volume in the cup should not exceed two thirds if the cup capacity. If skillfully prepared, espresso is one of the most enjoyable drinks: sophisticated, with a slight creamy taste, flavorsome and mysterious.

There is another special aspect about espresso: the level of caffeine. Many people order coffee instead of espresso after dinner, believing that a regular coffee is not “so strong”. As a matter of fact it is stronger. Espresso’s creamy taste and warm-honey-like consistency may mislead you in believing that you’ll stay up all night. Incorrect: first of all, you drink a shot – that is a small amount. Second, coffee beans are roasted longer for espresso than for regular coffee. That brings the rich oils in the beans at the surface, but, the longer the roast time, lesser the caffeine.

Generally, a regular cup of coffee or a cappuccino has more caffeine than an espresso shot. But, for the level of caffeine, it doesn’t really matter how huge your coffee is. The level of caffeine is not influenced by the amount of water, but by the amount of coffee and how long the water is in contact with the coffee. A regular coffee has more caffeine because the water stays longer in contact with the coffee and it’s using more coffee per cup than an espresso. The amount of caffeine in espresso might or might not be lower than in drip coffee, but caffeine in espresso has a quicker effect, as it enters quicker into the blood stream. But, this effect does not last long. The caffeine will be quicker assimilated in your body due to its concentrated dosage.

Michael Russell

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