Table of Contents
*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Americans are obsessed with coffee. If there is one thing Americans can’t live without, it’s coffee. It is the fuel that keeps the American workforce moving forward. For some, it’s a relatively inexpensive indulgence or a welcome break as the afternoon slump sets in. As it turns out, a growing number of millennials are spending a huge percentage of their salary on coffee. In fact, some of them would consume about 3 to 4 cups of coffee per day.
According to a study that was conducted by SurveyMonkey, more than half of employees between 18 and 35 years old spend over $20 a week on coffee, working out to a grand total of $1,100 a year. They would drink specialty coffee beverages like espressos, lattes and frappuccinos on almost a daily basis. They are willing to spend that much for a quick cup of coffee. What if we tell you that you don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount of money just to enjoy cafe-quality shots? In fact, you can sling delicious espresso based drinks right from your kitchen counter.
If a shot of strong espresso brings you true happiness, then this blog post is for you. Here, we’ll share with you some secrets on how to make the perfect espresso at home. Gather all the necessary materials and ingredients and we can guarantee that you’ll be able to make professional-quality espresso drinks you’d pay several dollars at the coffee shop for.
For the coffee lovers who want cafe-quality espresso at home, we recommend that you invest in an espresso machine. Some of you are probably wondering which type of machine to get. When shopping for an espresso machine, ask yourself the following questions. How much is your budget? How often are you going to use it? What are you going to use it for?
If you have the budget and you are looking to make the perfect espresso on a regular basis, we recommend that you opt for a semi-commercial machine. This machine may be quite expensive, but it will produce an exceptionally fine quality of espresso and fast. Automatic espresso machines, on the other hand, are recommended for coffee lovers with just the slightest bit of knowledge about espresso. This machine will dispense espresso at a push of a button. In order to get the most out of your equipment, it needs regular cleaning. Otherwise, it can quickly become a cesspit.
You can spend thousands of dollars on the best espresso machine on the market, but there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to pull the perfect espresso at home. A true espresso lover will use the freshest, best coffee beans possible. This will allow you to pound out great tasting shots of espresso.
When it comes to coffee beans, fresh is always the best. Quality and flavor intensity is at its peak between the 7th and 14th day. For maximum enjoyment, buy coffee beans that are freshly roasted and make sure that you use it all up no later than 3 weeks from the printed roast date.
Coffee beans can either be bought pre-ground or whole. Always choose the whole beans so you can grind them according to your desired fineness. You can choose to keep them coarse or grind them into almost powder.
The grinder is one of the most integral, yet often overlooked parts of making good espresso. No matter how expensive your espresso machine is, you won’t be able to produce cafe-quality shots without a good grinder.
Some machines are equipped with grinders, but what we are looking for is a good burr grinder that can be precisely adjusted and can produce fine, consistent grounds. Uneven grind can cause all sorts of problems. Don’t skimp on your grinder. Remember, you can’t make the perfect espresso at home if you don’t have a good quality grinder that produces a consistently even ground.
Good water is an important component in brewing coffee. Get it wrong and it will affect the flavor of your coffee. Worse, it may cause serious damage to your espresso machine.
Use unfiltered water and your espresso may end up tasting bitter and uninteresting. Hard water will scale up the heating elements and pipe, which can actually destroy your equipment. Make sure that you descale your machine every so often if you use hard water for brewing your coffee. Also, avoid using distilled water as it can do serious damage to your boiler.
To pull a perfect espresso shot, make sure the water is cold, filtered and not too hard or soft. Or better yet, use bottled water for your machine. Remember, your espresso will only taste as good as the water you start with.
Trial and error
Pulling the perfect espresso may be comparable to making bread. Get a good recipe and then make a few adjustments until you hit upon the shots of your dreams. A bit of a trial and error is a must at the beginning.
Experiment with coffee beans, extraction, grinding, dosing and other factors. Eventually, you’ll be able to produce a well-balanced and palatable espresso shot.