Originating in Italy, espresso has become an iconic symbol of the country’s coffee culture. It captivates coffee enthusiasts worldwide with its intense and complex flavour profile. Maybe you wonder, what do you need to make espresso? It might seem straightforward to make espresso, but there’s more to the process than you might think. Achieving the perfect cup relies on the harmonious interaction between the product, the skilled barista and the coffee machinery.
Whether you’re an aspiring barista or simply intrigued by the beauty of Italian coffee culture, we’ll guide you step by step into how to make an Italian espresso.
Selecting Coffee Beans
In the diverse world of coffee, beans hailing from distinct regions offer a delightful array of flavours. Alternatively, if you are searching for convenience, your cherished coffee shop or local store may provide pre-ground coffee beans, saving you the need to delve into the intricacies of grinding settings according to the bean variation.
In Australia, Lavazza brings a delightful selection of coffee beans each boasting its unique character and taste. Alternatively, you can explore our range of pre-ground coffee options, carefully crafted to preserve the signature Lavazza flavour in every cup.
Using a semi-automatic coffee machine:
Prepare Your Coffee Machine
If you’ve just made a cup of espresso, you can release the filter holder from the group head and put the waste aside. Clean the filter holder with a microfiber cloth to ensure no leftover grounds remain on the filter holder.
Putting the Coffee Into The Filter Holder
Put between 7-9 grams of ground coffee into the filter holder. You can use a kitchen scale to help you measure the weight precisely. There are also some grinders that let you set how much coffee it can grind each time you turn it on, so you’ll get precise measurements every time you transfer the ground coffee into the filter holder.
Distribute the ground coffee evenly, then press it down using a tamper. Tamping* applies 20 kg of force and makes a perfect horizontal puck. Tamping helps to give you that delicious crema on top of your espresso and extract the bean’s taste. When tamping, apply a strong and even pressure. Tamping too lightly might not get you the proper extraction.
Flush the Machine
Flushing the machine means letting hot water flow from the grouphead** for few seconds before locking the portafilter***. It’ll help clean the remaining grounds left on the group head so that you can remove traces from the previous extraction. After flushing, attach the filter holder to the group head and start brewing your coffee.
Extractoing the Espresso
Immediately put the coffee cup underneath the filter holder and wait for the extraction to finish. Now you know the Italian way on how to make espresso !
Espresso without the coffee machine
You might be asking, how to make espresso at home? And can you make espresso without a machine? In considering various coffee machines, the selection largely depends on the specific model. Online, you'll come across compact machines designed for home use, like those found in Cafes. However, it's important to note that these machines demand meticulous care and attention to ensure the creation of a flawless cup of coffee. At Lavazza, we take pride in offering a range of coffee machines tailored to suit your preferences, blending the convenience of home brewing with barista-quality results.
If you want to achieve a bolder coffee but don't want to invest on all this technology, you can try using a Moka Pot or a French Press. The result won’t be as bold as the ones you’ll get with a machine, but they can be as delicious.
Italian espresso is renowned for its intensity and strong flavour. The traditional Italian espresso is typically served in a small cup and is characterized by a rich, creamy layer on top, known as "crema." It has a bold, robust taste, and the preparation process focuses on extracting the best flavours from the coffee beans in a short amount of time.
Australians often prefer a slightly milder and less intense taste compared to the classic Italian espresso. They also enjoy a longer coffee, such as a flat white or cappuccino, which includes milk and often has latte art on top. The crema in Australian coffee is typically less foamy and dense compared to the traditional Italian espresso.
It's essential to note that individual preferences can vary widely within both Italian and Australian coffee cultures. Baristas and coffee enthusiasts in both countries continue to experiment with various brewing techniques and coffee beans to craft unique and personalised coffee experiences.
Overall, while there may be differences in taste and the way coffee is served between Italian and Australian espresso, both cultures share a deep appreciation for the art of coffee-making and the enjoyment of a good cup of coffee.
*Tamping: It involves compressing the coffee grounds firmly and evenly in the portafilter (a metal basket where coffee is placed) before brewing. The primary goal of tamping is to create a consistent and level surface of coffee grounds inside the portafilter.
**Grouphead: The grouphead is an essential part of an espresso machine used in making coffee. It is the component that connects the coffee machine to the portafilter—a handle with a coffee basket where ground coffee is placed for brewing. The grouphead is responsible for delivering hot pressurised water to the coffee grounds, facilitating the extraction process that produces espresso.
***Portafilter: A portafilter is an essential tool used in making coffee with espresso machines. It's a metal handle attached to a filter basket that holds ground coffee. The portafilter is inserted into the espresso machine, where hot water is forced through the coffee grounds at high pressure, creating the rich and concentrated coffee known as espresso.