What is Espresso?
Espresso is different from regular “American” coffee. If you scoff at the disparity, you’ll insult a true coffee lover.
One who enjoys regular coffee can drink multiple cups between eight and twenty four ounces a day. Some drink it black, while some add milk or cream and sweetener. Some also add flavors such as vanilla, hazelnut, and pumpkin spice. While regular coffee has caffeine, it can come decaffeinated.
Espresso has a much more intense flavor than regular coffee and has more caffeine. A normal serving is roughly 1.5 ounces, which equals a “shot.” A 2.5 ounce serving would be called a double. Milk or cream is never added to an espresso, as such would create another type of coffee*, but it can be sweetened. Espresso should always be sipped and savored.
How is Espresso Made?
You make regular coffee by mixing the roasted coffee bean grounds with hot water and then straining out the grounds.
Espresso, on the other hand, while you can make it with the same coffee beans, said beans must ground very finely. They must then be tightly compressed into a compact“disc” of coffee, through which you must force (between nine and fifteen bars), hot, but not boiling, water (about 195-200 degrees Fahrenheit). Espresso comes from the Italian word for pressed out, hence, the name of the coffee. The process should take about twenty-five seconds (but no more than thirty). An Espresso machine, therefore, must run perfectly, otherwise, the resultant coffee will not be up to standards.
Properly Clean and Maintain Your Espresso Machine
Whether you’re a coffee lover and own a single Espresso machine for home use or own several coffee shops and have many commercial grade Espresso machines, the best way to avoid costly repairs and replacements is to perform regular maintenance, proper cleanings, and use appropriate water. Every machine has certain procedures and recommendations. Carefully review the owner’s manual for complete instructions.
How Will You Know Your Espresso Machine Needs Repair?
You will know. A problem will be very obvious. Trouble signs include:
- brewing coffee won’t fill a cup.
- machine isn’t heating.
- there are pools of water around the machine.
- machine no longer creates steam.
- the coffee doesn’t taste good.
Review the owner’s for additional signs and suggestions on how to remedy the problem.
Getting Your Espresso Machine Repaired
A simple Internet search provides a long list of companies that repair Espresso machines, as well as access to manuals, should you have trouble finding them.
*The differences in certain coffees:
- Cappuccino: Espresso plus frothed milk.
- Latte: Espresso plus steamed milk and a layer of milk foam.
- Macchiato: Double Espresso plus steamed milk and a layer of milk foam.