Unlike what many people think, making the perfect cup of coffee is not as easy as it looks (although watching it from YouTube seems like a breeze). Just because you have a very expensive espresso machine doesn’t mean it will do the trick. Many factors affect the taste and aroma of your chosen concoction, and when mixed in perfect harmony, you know you hit the jackpot!
Check the Coffee’s Roast Date
Coffee experts say that the right roast date is extremely important. It takes about nine to eleven days after roasting when you can really appreciate the taste. The capao, which is a Brazilian single-origin dark-roasted bean, is the general component of a standard espresso. The darker roasts are more complex which comes in caramel and chocolate flavors, while the lighter roasts are fruitier and more floral. To come up with the ideal recipe, you need to set the right water temperature, dry coffee dose, espresso amount, time allotment for your espresso machine to do the shot, and the consistency of your ground coffee. A small set of digital scales is recommended, plus a timer for you to record the recipe.
Set the temperature of your machine at about 92-96C. For those who want their temperature to be exact and specific, you can find helpful instructions online. For those making a 30ml Italian double espresso, a 14g dose of dry coffee is usually enough. You need about thirty seconds for the coffee to be extracted, this from the time you switch the water flow on and off. For you to achieve good grind, you need to adjust it frequently since every batch of coffee beans differ and the slightest change in temperature of your grinder burrs will affect the fineness of your coffee. Hence, full control is required.
The Coffee Depending on your Preference
Again, all these things will differ depending on your coffee, machine, and taste, so feel free to experiment until you finally get it done right. You also need to carefully watch out for the extraction time. If it comes slower than usual, your grind may not be coarse enough. Make it a habit to use ground coffee that is freshly roistered using filtered and preheated water so as not to expose it to a humid environment.
Clean your basket regularly especially if you notice that your coffee is pouring unevenly through the spouts. The residue will highly affect the taste of your coffee. The coffee grains need to be uniform in order for full saturation to occur, thus getting a perfect brew. When you have placed a specific amount in your basket, make sure it’s evenly distributed and smooth, before you give it a firm tamp. Finally, run the hot water for about five seconds to rinse and preheat it before you attach the basket and handle to its group head.
Bringing out the Artist in You
Always use cold milk and purge any water condensed in your steamer. Sit it on your milk’s surface, making it slightly off-center so the milk can flow around it in a circular motion, and not splatter which will ruin your art and create a big mess. When the milk has risen, submerge the steamer’s tip. Hold it halfway to the jug’s bottom until it makes a hollow sound. You need to use the milk within one minute just before it can separate into foam and liquid.
Remember that you need to pour your milk close to the coffee’s surface so you’ll get enough traction to float your microfoam. If you pour it higher than 5cm above the cup expect the milk to sink beneath. Coming up with your perfect coffee takes time and practice, so just relax and don’t get agitated if you don’t get it right the first time. Once you do, you know it’s worth the wait.
And coming from a woman who would choose a cup of Joe over a guy, I daresay that brewing a cup of Joe is much like love. Giving it time is necessary; you can’t hurry it, or you’d risk having a “meh” cup.