An Introduction to Coffee: Espresso

An Introduction to Coffee: Espresso

What is Espresso?

In 1884 a man by the name of Angelo Moriondo introduced a machine that changed the way the world made coffee. This Italian inventor created a machine which rapidly extracted coffee using finely ground coffee beans, pressure, and hot water. The result was a full-bodied, concentrated 1oz shot of coffee we know as espresso.

This process of coffee brewing is an essential for coffee houses. Espresso is the base for many coffee house favorites such as the cappuccino, latte, macchiato and americano. Any coffee can be used to pull espresso, both blends to single-origin. A darker roast tends to pull better shots as it is more soluble. 

Espresso Lingo: 

Body: The body is the light brown center of an espresso shot. 

Crema: The crema is the light brown or tan foam which sits at the top of an espresso shot. The crema is full of flavor and can indicate the quality of a shot of espresso.  

Grouphead: Also known as the brew head. This is where the water meets the coffee grounds and the magic happens. Hot pressurized water is emitted from the brew head into the portafilter containing the grounds. 

Heart: The heart is the bottom dark portion of an espresso shot. 

Mouse Tails: Mouse Tails are the streams of extracted coffee which flow from the portafilter. 

Portafilter: The portafilter attaches to the grouphead and contains a round circular basket which holds the coffee grounds. 

Pull: Pulling refers to the actual extraction of the coffee and creation of the espresso shot. The average time to pull a shot of espresso is between 23-29 seconds. 

Tamper: The tamper is a circular press which is used to evenly compress coffee grounds in the portafilter. The use of the tamper is essential for consistancy of extraction. Grounds must be tightly and evenly packed to ensure proper extraction, flavor, and brew time.

How Much Caffeine is in Espresso? 

On average, a 1oz shot of espresso contains anywhere from 40-75mg of caffeine. Espresso is a concentrated coffee drink. This means there is more caffeine per ounce in espresso, but when compared to an 8oz cup of coffee (80-185mg) it actually trails behind in caffeine content.  

Tenebrae Organic Espresso Blend

The Tenebrae Organic Espresso Blend is a blend of African, South American, and Indonesian coffee beans. The blend is robust and full bodied with notes of fruit, chocolate, and subtle spice. The Tenebrae Blend works well as either a straight shot of espresso or blended with milk to create an espresso beverage such as a cappuccino, latte, macchiato or americano. 

 


Kathy Strauch is a graphic designer, writer, bookworm, printmaker, and coffee lover from Michigan. She is also contributor with Christ Hold Fast, Higher Things, and The Gospel Economist.

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