Espresso Or Cappuccino-The Secret To Great Coffee

No two professional coffee makers or baristas can come up with a cup of coffee that tastes the same. The reasons are legion. Here are a few answers to your unasked questions.

Strange as it may seem the quality of water can affect your brew. The fresher and hotter it is, the better. The temperature of water should reach 203º F / 95º C, which is near boiling point. If water is allowed to stand for too long, it tastes stale. Mildew could form as well. If the utensil used to store water is not clean, it could have a bearing on your cup of coffee. So could water that has been insufficiently filtered.

While selecting coffee beans, Arabica is a good choice. The plantations are 3000 ft. above sea level and even higher. It doesn't matter if the beans are from Brazil, Bogota or the many other areas where coffee is grown. The thing that matters is that the beans should be freshly roasted. Whether you do it yourself or get it a few days after roasting, the aroma should have a satisfying freshness. Over roasting could result in a burnt flavor!

Robusta does not have as pleasurable a flavor as Arabica does, as it contains more caffeine. This coffee plant thrives and is comparatively less prone to disease. The beverage is fine for a quick energy booster, but it is not used in the making of espresso coffee. The latter is a coffee to be enjoyed at leisure, sip by tasty sip.

Roasting plays an important part in the pleasure a cup of coffee affords. The beans are roasted to a dark French or Italian color and ground not with blades but burrs. Blades tend to chop the beans. Burr grinders, on the other hand, with pyramidal teeth fixed on two plates, work efficiently. The closer the plates, the finer the particles. Sand-like granules are preferred over powder or small gravel-like granules. Once the beans have been pulverized, the product should be put into airtight containers. Failure to do so immediately will lead to oxidation and the absorption of 'alien' odors.

It is imperative to buy a good machine. Do not invest in one where steam is necessary to build pressure. Go with a boiler or thermoblock to generate heat. A pressure pump that produces 9 bar or more is ideal. Above all, the machine should be well maintained.

The method is to pour clean, fresh water into the machine. Switch on the machine. Once the water gets heated, allow a cup to warm up the machine and to clean it of any residue. The heated water goes through the machine to the pump. Meanwhile, put in the roasted granules of coffee and press down till the packed coffee is springy to the touch. Make sure nothing spills out.

With the hopper firmly in place, put a cup under the spout from where the espresso will flow out. It takes just 5 seconds to get that piping hot cup of espresso and 20 seconds if a double is your requirement.

If cappuccino is your preference, heat a little organic milk (approx. half a cup) in the microwave oven for one and a half minutes. Beat it up till it becomes froth and float it on the espresso. You can have your choice of topping - chocolate may appeal to some, while others may prefer cinnamon or nutmeg. Those with a sweet tooth could add organic sugar.

Armed with this information, it shouldn't be difficult to turn out a refreshingly, delicious cup of coffee. Espresso or cappuccino, the choice is yours!

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About The Author, Jill Kane