Preparing and enjoying an espresso is an art, a lifestyle and a vivid aesthetic ritual. It’s like appreciating a beautiful piece of music.The only thing that matters at this very moment is the act of enjoying the espresso drink.
Espresso lovers usually have a clear idea about their drinking ritual: a small, heavy cup that is filled with a dark, syrupy, full-bodied coffee shot, topped by light brown- colored layer of foam called ‘crema’ – an indication of freshly grinded quality beans. The espresso drink is served with a small glass of fresh water. Espresso lovers drink it before they enjoy the espresso. They use it to clean their mouth and to prepare their taste-buds.
Making a cup of espresso is also a science based on a particular procedure: hot, pressurized water is forced through fine coffee grounds. If we do not follow the precise preparation rules that had been established by Italian coffee lovers over many decades, we can not call the coffee drink an espresso.
According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America an espresso is “a 25 – 35 ml beverage prepared from 7-9 grams of coffee through which clean water of 92°-95°C has been forced at 9-10 atmospheres of pressure, and where the grind of the coffee is such that the brewing ‘flow’ time is approximately 20-30 seconds.”
The coffee bean: water ratio, as per traditional Italian espresso nomenclature, is – 1:2 to 1:3.
Manual espresso machines are more traditional than the automatic one.