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What exactly is ESPRESSO?

We love espresso, but what exactly is it and how is it prepared? Quite simply, espresso coffee is a very finely ground coffee through which a certain amount of water passes, the temperature of which is close to the boiling point.

This is considered the basis of coffee shops, because thanks to the resulting coffee concentrate, you can prepare other drinks, such as cappuccino or latte. This is not to say that espresso is simple, because there are several factors that must intervene to prepare it the way it should be.

The first step to achieve this is the grinding of the coffee bean. This should be fine, so hot water with an average temperature of 94 degrees Celsius passes under pressure and extracts the odors and flavors of the bean, although the average temperature may vary. If the grind is too coarse, the product will be a pale and tasteless "watery" beverage.

Another important element is the espresso machine. Here the necessary pressure is generated to push hot water through the grains of the earth at a pressure of 5 to 15 bar - something like 5 to 15 times the pressure the atmosphere exerts on us at sea level. The liquid passes through a filter to prevent impurities in the coffee and finally deposit it into the glass. The result is a cup with basically two parts: the "cream" from carbon dioxide bubbles, a thin clear foam, and a liquid, dark and intense color.


To obtain these two products, it is common to use the pump coffee machine, where the pressure is generated. However, there are also coffee makers whose pressure comes with steam or, as you can certainly see from time to time, a lever that, when used, activates a plunger and passes the hot water through the filter.

Incidentally, this would never have been possible without the Italian entrepreneur Angelo Moriondo, who designed this machine in 1884. The purpose of its creation was to quickly prepare coffee for hasty customers visiting its two establishments.


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