A Conversation for Coffee


Post 1

Joe Otten

In Italy cafe (espresso) will be served at a drinkable temperature. What is the excuse that the big chains and little coffee shops alike have here (in the UK) for serving inferior coffee too hot?

I once met up with some Italians 5 minutes before we were due somewhere else. "Time for coffee?" asked one. "Yes". said the other. We went into a packed coffee bar, had our coffee and still got to our meeting with one minute to spare.

The real danger is to Italians visiting here: don't bother with the coffee; if you do, let it cool down.


Post 2


Espresso should be made at 88-92 Centigrade.
actually there is far more to it, and I am still learning. But a good espresso is a careful balance between the following:
* freshness of bean/roast (it does not have to be a dark roast)
* size of grind, must be fine and consistent
* quantity of coffee (approx. 7g per shot)
* pressure of tamper (must be approx. 15kg over the tamp)
* pressure of water passed through (hence size of grind and tamp matter) the coffee
* approx 30cc of coffee should be extracted in approx 25 seconds
* extraction temperature is 88-92C

This will produce a short, hot, coffee with a rich crema on top.
Many of the coffee bars becoming fashionable in the UK are not doing this, their coffee hence tastes:
* burned (too hot)
* dirty (over extracted)
* weak (not enough resistance in the pull)
* stale (coffee ground too long ago)

Sadly, it is an expensive habit. It costs about EUR500 each for a reasonable grinder and coffee machine.

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