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Espresso 101: Lär dig grunderna i espresso

Espresso 101: Learn the basics of espresso

What is Espresso?

Espresso is a type of method of coffee brewing. Espresso is not specific coffee beans or roast type. What distinguishes espresso from other types of brewing methods is the pressure. To brew espresso, hot water is pushed through compact finely ground coffee under high pressure. Typically between 6 to 9 bar. Because the coffee is brewed at such a high temperature, all the natural aromas and gases are drawn out of the coffee quickly and efficiently. The result is a concentrated small coffee drink with a very complex flavour with an aromatic top state which is also known as crema.
Espresso has a higher dose of caffeine per ml compared to brewed coffee. A 15cl cup of regular brewed coffee contains about 70mg of caffeine while a 36mg double espresso contains about 150mg of caffeine.

So what is crema?

Crema is the top foam layer of espresso and is an essential and unique feature of espresso brewing. Crema is formed due to the presence of carbon dioxide in the coffee which is released by the high brewing pressure. The carbon dioxide gas itself is formed during the roasting process. Even if espresso is brewed correctly, the amount of crema can differ due to various factors such as roast profile and bean type. In general, Arabica beans tend to have less crema compared to Robusta coffee beans. Light roasted beans also produce less crema than medium and dark roasted beans. The colour of the crema also shows how strong your espresso is in terms of caffeine. So the darker the colour, the higher the caffeine content your espresso will have.

How do I drink espresso?

Espresso is usually characterised by a bitter or sour aftertaste. However, depending on the choice of beans, you can get great espressos that have neither a bitter nor sour aftertaste with complex flavours such as fruit, sweetness, chocolate and nuts. Compared to regular brewed coffee, espresso is perceived as much stronger precisely because the coffee beverage is much smaller but more concentrated. Then espresso is in a nutshell a compressed version of brewed coffee. For someone who is not used to drinking pure espresso the taste experience can be overwhelming. Being able to enjoy the complex flavours that espresso offers takes time but is very rewarding once you have developed and refined your taste buds.
Espresso can be combined with hot water which is called americano and is the drink most similar to brewed coffee. Adding skimmed milk to espresso produces a variety of coffee drinks including latte, cappuccino, macchiato and so on. There are lots of different recipes from cold and sweet coffee drinks to small drinks such as Cortado.

How do I brew espresso?

Espresso is brewed by an espresso machine that can push through a compact, finely ground coffee at 9 bars of pressure. To get a well-balanced espresso, there are a few key elements. Generally speaking, it is said that you should have a ratio of 1:2 between ground coffee and the volume of espresso. So if you grind 18g of coffee you should aim for about 36g of espresso and the time to get that amount of espresso should take between 25 to 30 seconds. Then you can always refine the recipe by increasing or decreasing certain parameters. There is no fixed recipe or
rule but this is a start to get started and get a good result.
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