When the art of making coffee was young, coffee brewers would have to either steep or boil coffee. Yet, over the many, many years that followed and evolved in coffee-brewing, the methods became more sophisticated and drip brewing coffee machines began to be manufactured. Some time into this development path, someone found out that when coffee is brewed under pressure (with finer ground coffee) it became much more tasty. Since then many machines have been made in order to brew coffee under pressure, the first ones used only steam pressure.
Mocha stovetop brewers still use this technology today, and so do inexpensive espresso machines. People have also perfected over the years the art of cultivating the grain. Roasting the grain before you grind it is the better option when making an espresso at home; therefore you need the correct equipment and machines.
Ready-ground grains are the quickest and least expensive option, but usually this type of coffee for espresso-making might become too stale or just ground too fine for compressing. Whatever are the means of making a great espresso, as long as you get it, you are satisfied. Espressos are a social occasion. When people travel they usually go to the best coffee shops to taste the local coffee. There must be thousands of ways to brew, mix, and drink coffee, but all forms derive from the true, pure form: the espresso. "Espresso" has become an international word.
Anywhere you go to, if you say "espresso" they will serve you that small shot of dark black, flavorful coffee. The smell is so contagious and overwhelming, the taste so bitter and rich. The crema on top like a golden foam from heaven, just waiting to be baptized by those light brown crystals of sugar (organic, mind you). The brown sugar makes the espresso seem more "caramelized" and natural. Espressos must be drunk in a nice, pleasant environment. Coffee shops tend to create that wooden-like decoration and feel to accompany your fresh roast.
Espressos drunk while reading the latest news In the local paper. Espressos drunk while smoking your favorite brand of cigarettes or cigars, espressos drunk between kisses and hugs of your ultimate lover, espressos drunk with a group of long-lost friends just dying to tell each other what has happened during those ten years they all were apart. Espressos are part of Western culture.
They mould our conversations, add some spice to our daily lives, and make us feel important and mature. When people drink espressos, they look sophisticated and relaxed, as if no tyrant governor or economic crisis can touch this inexpensive form of pleasure. It is an urban phenomenon; it is a gift from agriculture and importers. It is a gift from Italy, the social country in its excellence.
The art of cultivating and making a true espresso can be compared to the art of making wine even. Coffee is the non-alcoholic beverage that most appeals to the elite and intellectuals. Baristas are highly respected in their communities, almost as much as sommeliers. People who understand coffee and espressos are more likely to have more admirers for this complex yet so obvious talent. Espressos are an expression of the modern era. The "espression" of our time.
By: Michael Russell