Espresso is more than a drink, more than a method of brewing, more than a roast or blend of coffee, more than a neon sign or a punch-line disguised as a drink. It is a passion, a movement, with a following that borders on fanatical fervor!
Properly prepared espresso is not bitter, it is sweet and flavourful like ground roasted hazelnuts and caramel, thick as honey, and as deep and dark as the devil himself. Baristas will dedicate a life to perfecting its extraction in search of that one “shot” that got away.
There are so many factors that determine the quality of a shot of espresso, and trying to consistently make them all line up perfectly verges on the impossible, yet with the proper training, a great Barista can consistently deliver great shot after shot.
Espresso got its name when Italian coffee purveyors sought a method of delivering fresh coffee fast. The “fast” or “express” coffee was born in 1961 when the first Espresso machine was created, forcing hot water through a tightly packed bed of fine ground coffee at nine-bars (or atmospheres) of pressure, resulting in a short yet flavour-packed beverage the world has come to love.
Since then, and most notably since 2003, a level of understanding Espresso extraction has grown in leaps and bounds. The relationship that heat plays in extraction has become clearer leading to huge technological advancements such as the P.I.D, a device that keeps the temperature of an espresso machine constant down to a fraction of a degree. As well as advancements in grinding technology that restrict temperature build up and obtain a more consistent grind.
Drink recipes have moved away from the sugar based drinks popular a few years ago to “bare-bones” recipes requiring a quality Espresso extraction and milk stretching capable of standing on their own… no sugar required.
If I may exercise my editorial privilege here, I’m personally very excited to see how espresso has improved over the past few years, I believe the best is yet to come, there are more people now than ever before asking questions and conducting their own experiments and as an international coffee community I’m certain there are many new revelations awaiting our discovery.
Back home at The FIX! Coffee Roastery, we too have spent a tremendous amount of time working on our Espresso. We chose the La Marzocco GS3 Espresso Machine as this is not only the Bentley and Cadillac of Espresso machines, it looks like the Aston Martin and runs like a Ferrari… Oh … and the coffee’s not too bad either!
Our Espresso Blend contains some of the finest coffee in the world, and is as fantastic at home or in the French-Press as it is in store. Have you tried our Cowbell Espresso yet? Everyone needs MORE COWBELL!