Espresso by liwenting

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                                 <T>Espresso

<P>To make the perfect cup of espresso, the right ingredients are needed. Espresso is a
completely different beverage with a different brewing method, specialized machines,
and other specific techniques. These instructions describe the basics of espresso making
by using the most commonly used machine.

<H1>What is Espresso?

<P>The word espresso means “express” in Italian. An espresso coffee is quickly
brewed in about 20 seconds by using deeply roasted and finely ground coffee beans at a
very high pressure. Since fine-quality espresso has a very mild taste, which has well-
balanced bitterness, sweetness, and acidity, it tastes like chocolate when it is drunk with
sugar. When it is properly extracted with the espresso machine, the coffee liquid is
covered with a thin light-brown foam that is called crema. This crema makes an
espresso mild and also helps prolong the taste in the mouth. Surprisingly, its caffeine
content is relatively low compared to a regular dripped coffee. It is easy on your
stomach, and you can even have multiple cups per day.

<P>To make espresso, you need to have the following tools and supplies. The most
important thing is to buy good-quality coffee beans; it makes a big difference in the
result.

      <BLI>Espresso machine. A widely available type of machine for household use
       with a built in semi-automatic control for temperature and pressure. See Figure
       1 for names of parts.




                                                  a – On/Off Switch
                                                  b – Reservoir cap
                                                  c – Steam release knob
                                                  d – Steam nozzle
                                                  e – Overflow grid
                                                  f – Filter holder and basket
                                                  g – Carafe



                             Figure 1. Espresso Machine

 <BLI>Coffee beans. Buy deeply roasted beans. Italian or French roast are ideal for
Espresso coffee.


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     <BLI>Coffee grinder. Pre-ground coffee for espresso use is available at most
      coffee suppliers. However, it is best, of course, to grind your own coffee beans.
     <BLI>Tamper. The tamper is used to hard-press the ground coffee into the filter
      basket of the machine. It sometimes comes with the espresso machine, but it is
      also sold separately. Buy a tamper that works with the size of your filter basket.
<H1>Making Espresso

  <H2>Preparation. <P>Grind your coffee beans, making sure to grind them finely
  enough for the espresso machine. Here are some tips that you may want to consider:

     If the coffee is too coarse, the water will go through too fast and will not extract
      the nectar from the coffee.
     If the coffee is ground too fine, the water will not be able to travel through the
      grounds properly and may lead to overextraction.
  <H2>Espresso Brewing. <P>Now you are ready to brew your espresso. Carefully
  follow the steps listed below:

      Warning: Never fill water in the water reservoir while the machine is
      switched to ON.

  1. <NLI>Plug in the espresso machine.
  2. <NLI>Pour a small amount of cold water (about 30 ml) into the water reservoir.
     Without inserting the filter basket, attach the filter holder to the machine. Place
     the carafe or cup under the filter holder, and then turn the switch to ON. Let the
     hot water flow for 20 seconds to pre-heat the brewing head, filter holder, and the
     carafe or cup.
  3. After all the water is used and all the pressure is released from the reservoir,
     turn the switch to OFF.
  4. Place the filter basket into the filter holder.
  Caution: Do not fill the coffee beyond the indicator mark on the coffee basket.
           This may cause the machine to clog or overflow.

  5. Fill the basket with the coffee grounds. When packing the coffee, press lightly
     with a tamper onto a surface, and clear any excess coffee from the rim of the
     filter basket to level.




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           Step 1                       Step 2                       Step 3

                                        Figure 2

Note: The proper amount of coffee varies with each espresso machine. Measure
coffee according to your espresso machine manufacturer’s recommendation with
following considerations.
   If coffee is tamped too hard, the water will not flow through.
   If it is not tamped hard enough, the water will run through the grounds too
    quickly.
6. Set the filter holder containing the filled filter basket into the machine. Lift the
   filter holder upwards, and turn firmly to the direction indicated on your espresso
   machine.
7. Unscrew the water reservoir cap, fill the reservoir with cold water (30 ml makes
   1 cup), and then put the cap back and close it securely.



8. Place the carafe or cup under the filter holder and turn the switch to ON. nerally,
   the yield is 30 ml per cup when espresso is extracted for 20 to 25 seconds.
9. When the coffee stream slows, turn the machine off.
10. Leave the carafe or cup in place until the coffee stops dripping. If you see the
    light brown crema on top of the liquid as shown in Figure 3, you have
    successfully made espresso which tastes deep and rich, yet mild. Enjoy!!




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                                    Figure 3.

10. To make more espresso repeat steps 4 to 9.

Machine cleaning. After making your espresso clean the machine for the next use.
Please pay attention to the warnings listed below to avoid getting burned:

1. Wait until all the water in the reservoir has been used and all the pressure has
   been released before turning the switch off, this usually takes 3 to 5 minutes.

    DANGER:
    Never open the reservoir cap or remove the filter holder, while the machine
    is turned on or while there is pressure in the reservoir


2. Remove filter basket from machine and empty filter basket.

    DANGER:
    The metal parts might still be very hot, cool them down under running
    water


3. Wipe parts with dry clean towel.




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