Serving up the perfect espresso for clients and colleagues will fast become a matter of pride – and perhaps even competition within your workplace. That’s no bad thing – with good coffee and a reasonable espresso machine, you’ll be disappointed by any of the coffee shop chains in no time.
But one person’s perfect espresso is another person’s quite good. Personal tastes differ, but here are a few guidelines to make sure you never express a disappointing espresso again.
First off, buy the right coffee beans.
A blend of Arabica beans with a dash of Robusta coffee should give you depth and a little kick, without wandering into a taste that’s too bitter. A darker roast will give a more chocolaty flavour. But perhaps most important of all – make sure your beans are fresh. You’ll need to use them within about three weeks of the roast date on the packet. Store them in a cool-ish location – away from light and heat.
Grind them up.
The advantage of leasing or buying a bean-to-cup machine for your business is that this sort of detail is taken care of automatically, but with espresso machines you’re in charge of the grind. You want a consistent, uniformly ground result – don’t grind your beans to dust, but if you under-grind and go coarse you’ll get a taste that’s too watery.
Use 12-18g of ground coffee for a typical double-shot dose and tamp it firmly with your tamper. If the coffee isn’t compacted, the water flows through too fast, which means a weak result. If the water takes about 30 seconds to flow through, you’ve probably got it spot on.
Run hot water through the machine for a couple of seconds before you make the espresso.
Temperature matters. Some espresso machines give you the chance to programme temperatures – you’re looking for below boiling point – 92-96°C.
How does it look? A shot of espresso should have a light layer of minute bubbles that gradually disappears – this is the crema. If there’s no crema, your beans are probably past their prime…
To find out which espresso machine is best for your business, get in touch with our team.