What does it take to make a good espresso? According to various sources in the know it depends on the 4 M’s and it takes just one discordant stroke to disrupt the perfect harmony found in a good cup of espresso.
M # 1 Macchina, the espresso machine. A stable pressure and exact temperature are needed for the best possible extraction.
M # 2 Macinazione, the proper, uniform grinding of the beans. The size of the particle affects the brewing and extraction process. I leaned early on to invest in a good grinder . According to Ernesto Illy, president of Illycaffe’, the espresso grind should feel like fine sand, smooth to the touch. Slightly finer than granulated sugar.
M# 3 Miscela, the proper blend or mix. Classic Italian blends like Illy or Lavazza are crafted to deliver a chocolate or caramel flavored espresso with soft nutty tones. Colored chocolate to a darker chocolate color blends produce an full-bodied espresso with some sweetness that is not overly bitter. Lighter roasts can be suitable for espresso if done properly. Consider what you like. Remember that the quality of water can influence the flavors of the blend so be sure to use fresh filtered water when brewing.
M# 4 Mano, the skilled hand of the barista. Practice and passion, an understanding of the art and science behind the making of espresso are needed because even with the finest beans and the most advanced equipment, the shot depends on the touch and style of the maker.
Italians are known for their unique sense of style and design. Whether in art, architecture, cars, fashion, furniture or food an Italian made product is sure to turn heads. Of particular interest to our coffee fueled literary baristas are the many artistic interpretations and technological designs of the Italian espresso machine. From the stove top mocha pot to the super automatic uber machines that leave our baristas breathless, brewing “un caffe” in Italy is an art and a science that has inspired some of Italy’s most iconic designs.
This week we’ve added a machine to our Haute Espresso Pinterest Board that is deceptively simple (be prepared for a 3 to 30 day learning curve) yet whose design and promise for a truly great cup of home-brewed espresso are exceptional – La Pavoni Europiccola also known as the Chrome Peacock. Slightly temperamental (do not expect to press a single button to brew a cup) this highly polished triple-plated chrome machine does produce a beautiful cup of coffee. It may take some time to discover all the nuances of the classic lever-style grind, tap, brew method but once you do the Chrome Peacock produces a smooth, rich hand-crafted espresso.
No it’s not the coat of arms of a rival Medici family but the symbol of the collaboration of two Italian brothers considered the progenitors of espresso machines in production today. The Officina Fratelli Bambi, a company founded in 1927 by Giuseppe Bambi and his brother Bruno, would go on to develop and register the patent (1939) for a project that would lead to the making of the first espresso coffee machine with a horizontal boiler. This new lineal arrangement “linea” (group heads arranged in a line) made it possible to improve the output of espresso machines and simplify the barista’s task.
The brothers Bambi adopted Donatello’s “Marzocco” a seated lion with the crest of the Florentine Lily, a symbol of victory and triumph, and named their company La Marzocco. The iconic design of Linea espresso machines continues to be favored worldwide by baristas with the recent launch of La Strada. A barista’s dream machine, La Strada is designed with the technology to bring out the best of espresso blends. If you’re an espresso geek click here to see the stats that make this machine supreme.
Domestic espresso enthusiasts can bring Marzocco’s lion and the lily home with the GS/3 . Although the GS/3 may be significantly outside the current home market price range ($6,700.), for those of you who want to channel their inner barista and feel like a pro this machine just might do it.
We’re thinking spring, we’re thinking green and we’re always thinking about espresso. So here are a few green espresso machines to remind us that the grass is growing, the flowers are blooming and this may be the summer to rent that beach house. Our selection includes stylish, green espresso machines by AEG and Lavazza , Ascaso and Espressione that makes Café Retro, an old world design combined with New Age features. Wouldn’t these espresso machines look good in that lake house kitchen?
Red coffee machines are one of the most popular and top selling home appliances bought on-line. The color red seems to make a fashion statement whether modern or retro. Like the red-painted cam covers on the Ferrari Testarossa , the color seems to represent a powerful piece of engineering. La Pavoni, one of Italy’s oldest espresso machine manufactures, makes the Cellini Push Switch Red Maranello that looks like it could easily go from 0-60 in about 5 seconds.
The prominent dial and cone-shaped appearance of the Bugatti Diva Red Coffee Espresso Machine could easily start your engine every morning.
The Gaggia Colour Red (see gallery below) with the Pannarello turbo frothing attachment is advertised to “make a statement no matter where it’s located”.
So appealing is Illy’s iconic Francis Francis Red iper Espresso that it has been raised to luxury status by none other than Forbes magazine.
Any just might make the perfect present for your espresso loving Valentine.
According to Jura Capresso, one of world’s leading home espresso coffee makers, the ingredients for an authentic cappuccino cost about 50 cents – $0.244 for coffee, $0.234 milk, $0.10 sugar. Anyone buying a $4 cappuccino at their local coffee shop is spending over $1400.00 a year on their brew. There’s no need to give up your daily indulgence, just the cost of indulging. Solution: brew at home.
For $59.99 you can buy a 4 cup espresso and cappuccino maker by Jura. Literary barista, Eric who believes in the economy of scale has the Jura system and loves it.