Your Essential Guide to Espresso Machine Coffee
For many connoisseurs, the espresso is the purest distillation of coffee, capturing the true essence of the bean. If you’re someone who savours a short-sharp caffeine boost, we strongly recommend investing in an espresso coffee machine. We guarantee it will become your best friend in the kitchen.
From step-by-step brewing instructions to the best espresso makers on the market, check out our indispensable guide to becoming a budding barista in your own home.
The Java Jargon Decoder
Here are a few terms that may come in handy as we explore coffee for espresso machines.
- Portafilter - The part of the device that holds the ground beans before and during the brewing process.
- Puck - The round disk of grounds created when the coffee is compressed into the basket.
- Tamping - Tamping is the process of tightly squeezing down and compacting the grounds in the portafilter with a tamper.
- Under-extracted - When you don’t dissolve enough desirable particles into your drink, resulting in a weak, sour or astringent taste.
What is an espresso?
This type of coffee refers to the preparation process of blasting near-boiling, pressurised water over highly compacted coffee grounds to deliver a concentrated brew with a sophisticated, robust flavour. Served in a one drink shot or used as a base for some of your favourite recipes, this sort of coffee delivers an intense and flavour-packed hit of java.
How to grind coffee for espresso
When it comes to how fine to grind your beans, a super fine grind is key. The pressure of the pump mechanism means maximum flavour can only be extracted from finely ground coffee beans. You’ll know if your grounds are too coarse if you find yourself with a weak and under-extracted brew.
How to make espressos
- Get your superfine ground coffee ready and measure out around 18-21g or whatever your manufacturer recommends.
- Tamp the coffee firmly and evenly until it’s tightly compacted in the portafilter.
- Engage your puck and turn on the pump for about 18-23 seconds for a perfect brew, although you should always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines in respect of your appliance.
- Drink it neat for a quick pick-me-up or add as milk for a creamy latte or cappuccino.
What is the best espresso maker?
If you’re looking for a quality home coffee machine, you are spoilt for choice whatever your price range. We stock a range of quality, Italian-made Gaggia espresso makers. These beautifully made machines, available in a range of models and colours, include features such as professional group and filter holders, steam wands, solenoid valve, traditional Gaggia boilers and 15 bar pump, allowing you to create perfect espresso with every use.
What is the best coffee for espressos?
For the best coffee for an espresso maker, Coffee Direct offers a wide range of over 60 espresso-perfect varieties. Some of our customer favourites include blends such as Monsoon Malabar, Golden Crema and Swiss Water Decaffeinated.
Each delivery can be ground to order, so your delectable item is instantly ready to use, or you can request whole beans if you prefer to grind your own. To choose your delivery grind preference, simply select the type of bean you’d like in our drop-down menu when purchasing your roast.
What is the difference between espressos and regular coffee?
Espresso coffee is all about the method of preparation. Unlike regular coffee, this type of brew is made by forcing pressurised hot water over highly compact and superfine grounds.
Can you use ground coffee in electric espresso devices?
No. The issue with using regular coffee grounds (such as those you use for your filter coffee) is that they will be too coarse, leaving you with an under-extracted brew. If you’d like to get your coffee grounds exactly right, Coffee Direct grind to measure. Just select ‘espresso’ in our drop-down menu when purchasing your coffee, and you will be sent perfectly sized grounds for your espresso device.
What is the best espresso machine for beginners?
When it comes to a beginner’s espresso coffee machine, the best option for you should match your brewing needs and be easy to use. For example, if you like to use your espressos as a base, some have pre-programmed drinks menus, as well as an in-built milk frother so you can make lattes and cappuccinos.
If you hate the thought of messy grounds or coffee grinders, a machine that supports capsule pods may be a good choice for minimal mess.
If you're not too tech-savvy, you may want to avoid that one super fancy model touted as the best coffee machine that money can buy (aka the sort of coffee machines that feel like you're playing video games they’ve got so many buttons).