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                                          General information about espresso

What is espresso? Ask friends, relatives and co-workers. And you will be surprised to find out that the answers will be very different, and put many to a deadlock. Some will answer that it's a mixture of coffee beans, others think that it's a special drink, and the rest can't answer anything.

And you realize that more than half of the respondents do not have a clear idea about espresso. In principle, this is normal since people do not deeply reflect on many things.

The first thing to understand is that espresso is a coffee drink and can be cooked in coffee machines. There is a lot of coffee machines on the market, but coffee lovers prefer the classic horn type, in which the cost of a cup of coffee is lower than in all other types of coffee machines.

In addition, freshly ground coffee is always used in the horn type coffee machines: before brewing, coffee beans are grinded, and then the ground coffee is put in a horn sthat is et in such a coffee maker.

After 25-30 seconds you will get 45-55 ml of coffee concentrate, which is called espresso. Further, this espresso is used to make other coffee drinks: cappuccino, latte, Americano, macchiato, etc. The process becomes clear if you have a look at the picture below:


Let's go back to espresso - what is it?

In essence, this is coffee concentrate or elixir which is obtained quickly, within 22-30 seconds, due to pressure and temperature in the horn's filter. The essence of espresso is the extraction time, and the aim is its reduction. While brewing coffee in the horn-type coffee machine takes 25-30 seconds, the usual method of brewing, for example in a cezve, requires 4-5 minutes. Obviously, the preparation time reduction is by eight to ten times, which is important for making coffee in coffee shops, restaurants and fast food chains.

Extraction is the time taken to brew coffee, during which all the nutrients go into the drink.

            What is important to know when preparing espresso

                                                                   1. DOSAGE

The important point is how much coffee powder to pour into the horn filter. While grinding, a barista usually places the horn below a coffee grinder, so ground coffee falls directly into it. The volume of ground coffee is governed by a batcher in the grinding machine. It is advisable to ensure the heaped horn volume.

Then, the barista gently hits the horn a couple of times against a table to tramp the powder. After that, excess coffee is removed and the rest is pressed by a special device to the level of rim in the horn filter. Have a look at how it looks like in the photos below:


                                 2. The equability of coffee distribution in the horn

Not all grinders have batchers that adjust grinding dose to the amount required to fill the horn filter, therefore the question 'how much coffee to put in the horn' arises. Once you grinded beans and poured powder in the horn, it should be evenly distributed and have no voids.

The task is simple to make in the horn a tablet with uniformly distributed coffee powder of the same density. Some baristas use regular clerical clips to distribute coffe evenly: they quickly and skillfully stir coffee in the horn with such clips to achieve the even distribution throughout the horn.

                                             3. Ramming

After coffee in the horn is distributed evenly, producing his rammer with tempera, which looks like this


When compacting, it is necessary to ensure that the tablet appeares without skewness to the shear of the filter. The compaction effort should be no more than one - two kgs. To make sure that the coffee is pressed correctly, the horn may be twisted, so the coffee tablet should not fall out of it.

                                         4. Grinding for espresso

Milling is the only parameter by which a barista quickly regulates the extraction process, thus adjusting the taste of espresso.

The size of milling has a significant effect on the taste of espresso, therefore to grind properly, you first need to learn how to accurately monitor and sustain stable fixed parameters: the dose, distribution and ramming. For example, while it is absolutely necessary to decrease the volume of grinding, but followed by an accidental overdose, will eventually be incorrectly concluded as the decrease in grinding was the wrong decision.

Choosing the optimum size of milling is easier when moving from small to large. So, having developed the dose's constancy, distribution and ramming, reduce the volume of grinding, until out of the double horn will be released less than 25 ml during 20 seconds. After, with the minimal steps, set larger volumes for milling, and each time note volume of beverage and its taste.

The amount of grinding should be reduced when:

The shedding is too fast
The trickles start to pale or become watery prior getting 50 ml of coffee for a double filter
    The с
ream is light and humble
Watery coffee taste or sour notes because of the lack of extraction.

Install a larger grinding option if:

The trickles do not appear within 8-10 seconds after the start of shedding
The volume of coffee in 25 seconds substantially less than 50 ml
arshness and bitterness are present in the taste as characteristics of overextraction.

Proper espresso looks like this:


As your develop your skills and expertise, the right volume of grinding will be found without difficulty. From now, your mouthfeel from espresso elixir comes is on the forefront. Further, combinations of various influencing parameters (the grain itself, dose, distribution, rammimg, grinding, temperature, preparation time, filter characteristics, etc) could be the way to achieve the best taste, for example, 45 ml coffee cooked during 25 sec., or 60 ml during 30 sec.

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