Article: Espresso…What’s the Buzz?

Written by Cafe Campesino on Jan 1, 2003 in Article, NEWSLETTER |
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As a coffee lover, I’ve got to say that I love a good cup o’ joe. But lately, I’ve been thinking about ways to jazz it up without adding too many extras. Enter espresso. It had been a while since I’d had an espresso, and I must say that after tasting it again, my love of coffee was re-energized.

These days, it’s becoming increasingly easy to go to a professional barista and have an espresso drink made for you. Almost every town has a small coffee shop on a corner, allowing residents to indulge in lattes, mochas, americanos, and shots in the dark to their hearts content. But a new trend has been taking hold: making espresso at home.

Espresso at home can be tricky, especially when trying to recreate the same flavor one gets at a coffee shop. But never fear, with the right coffee and the right grind, you can have a pleasant experience with your own espresso machine.

Espresso can be made from any coffee, but it tastes best when using a blend specially created for espresso. This is not to say that one can’t make regular coffee with this blend. There are many people who swear by an espresso blend for their everyday cup of coffee. But espresso is a special drink and really requires the right amount of smoothness and bite.

To help you get the most out of your espresso, we’re proud to present our two espresso blends: Bill’s Original Espresso, formerly Indonesia Espresso, and our newest blend, Lee’s Easygoing Espresso.

Bill’s Original Espresso is the blend that Bill and Daniel originally created for our friends at The Sentient Bean in Savannah, GA. This espresso has a spicy sweetness (just like Bill!) with a rich, syrupy body. If you prefer your espresso with milk added, as in a cappuccino or latte, then we would recommend trying Bill’s Original.

Wanting to add his personality to the mix, Lee came up with our newest espresso blend, Lee’s Easygoing Espresso. With hints of caramel and cocoa powder, this espresso has medium body and a smooth richness to it. If you like a straight espresso to get the day going, this would be the blend for you.

Another key aspect to brewing the perfect shot of espresso is grinding it correctly for your maker. The general rule is that it needs to be finer than what you’d normally put in your automatic drip coffee maker. You can get that with a home blade grinder, but the more consistent, fine grind comes from a burr grinder, such as the Bodum Antigua Home Grinder. If you’re serious about your espresso, invest in a good grinder.

Another option is to have us grind it for you, but grinding can make the coffee stale faster, as there’s more surface area exposed to the air. And while we’re happy to grind coffee for our customers, we do encourage people to grind their own coffee so as to experience the best cup from their particular coffee or espresso maker.

“We grind to a generally accepted size,” said Lee, “but because all machines are different, it’s best for people to grind for their own machine.”

In addition to an espresso grind and the standard grind (for automatic drip machines), we also grind coffee for french press and percolator.

Drinking espresso is an amazing experience for any true coffee lover, so if you haven’t already, jump in and give it a try. It’s good stuff!

Resources for this article:

Coffee Basics, by Kevin Knox and Julie Sheldon Huffaker–(to be linked: http://www.powells.com/
cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=6-0471136174-1
)

Links for home brewing equipment:

Our line-up of equipment: http://www.cafecampesino.com/store/equipment.php

Espresso 101’s guide to buying an espresso maker: http://www.espresso101.com/news/
newsletter_templates/consumer_mar.htm

David Bogie’s “minifaq” for home espresso makers: http://sovrana.com/minifaq.htm

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