For many coffee drinkers - espresso is coffee, but it is, in fact, just one brewing method.
Espresso is the result of highly pressurized hot water (7-10 bars of atmospheric pressure compared to a fraction of 1 bar for an automatic coffee maker) passed through a finely ground coffee “puck”, tamped in a contained environment, and filtered through fine metal mesh holes. It produces a small and concentrated extraction, that can be the base of such drinks as Lattes and Cappuccinos. The creamy layer atop espresso is called crema, and is the result of emulsified coffee oils bound to tiny water bubbles from the pressurized brew.
This revolutionary brew method evolved in the 19th century during peak coffee consumption in Europe in hope of shortening the infusion time and make coffee brewing more productive. It claims its first patent by Angelo Moriondo in Turin in 1884.
The first manufactured espresso machine hits the 1906 World’s Fair in Milano via Luigi Bezzera and Desidero Pavoni. In our stores we use La Marzoccos, a 90 year old Italian heritage machine manufacturer who has innovated the espresso machine for decades and still today.
Though it shortens the brew time, espresso as a method is very volatile and requires extreme precision and calibration of multiple variables to get a consistent and balanced extraction. Older models may only fit 7-14 grams of coffee in their baskets, as these were developed when coffee was roasted darker, and was more soluble and easy to extract. Because our roasts are lighter to preserve the beans' natural sugars and aromas, our recipe is designed for modern espresso machines that have the capacity in portafilter baskets for 18-23 grams of finely ground coffee. When prepared right, we love espresso for its creamy mouthfeel, and the aromatic and flavour subtleties that can be extracted into a cup.