Espresso is basically one of the most popular types of coffee. It is so popular that it has its own machine that could give you several mugs of highly concentrated coffee with no stress on your part.
Making espresso differs from the process used in brewing regular coffee; and for some people, it is all about the beans. Others could consider the blend and roast as the most popular factors to consider when making the perfect espresso; however, you can make espresso from regular coffee and it would only take a few steps to achieve.
What Makes Espresso Coffee Espresso?
There are some misconceptions about what makes espresso coffee great. This is another reason why some coffee lovers believe you can’t get the right shot of espresso from regular coffee. But we’re going to clear things up.
Types of Beans
For some people, it is the type of beans used that determines whether the coffee brewed would come out as an espresso or not. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. You can use a single type of beans to make espresso or regular coffee and still end up with the best of both worlds. This means you won’t have to buy special beans to make your espresso and you can stick to your regular coffee beans.
Types of Blend
This is another misconception that is widely spread among roasters. The belief is that great espresso can only be made when you use a specific type of blend. The reason for this could be due to the pursuit of the perfect espresso blend; however, there is really no specific blend that makes great espresso.
Types of Roast
Coffee roast is very important in the flavor of the coffee. You will find light, medium, medium/dark, and dark roasts (they might go by different names in some areas). However, while the type of coffee roast would determine the flavor, it might not necessarily make better espresso.
The reason for this is that some regions prefer dark roast to make espresso while other areas like Northern Italy go for a medium roast to get that perfect shot. In the end, any roast can be used to make great espresso though the flavor would not be the same. For those who prefer stronger, bitter coffee, a darker roast is best. Those who prefer something light can always go for a light roast.
What is Espresso?
Now that we’ve cleared the myths as to what makes a great espresso, we will go down to what an espresso actually is.
Espresso is a form of pressure-brewed coffee served in shots. It is stronger, thicker, and higher in caffeine than regular coffee but made from the same beans as coffee.
The brewing process involves forcing a small amount of near-boiling water through finely-ground coffee under pressure. The entire brewing process might not take more than 30 seconds. To get a shot of espresso, the content of the crushed coffee beans are extracted by the percolation of hot water through finely-ground coffee. The insoluble and soluble solids and oils of the beans are deposited in a cup, giving you two layers – the cream and the liquid.
The brewing process indicates that there is no special espresso bean out there; however, some roasters might claim they have a special way of picking beans that will deliver the perfect espresso.
Things to Consider When Making Espresso with Regular Coffee
The Ratio of Coffee to Water
This is one of the most important aspects of brewing espresso and will determine the final results. The recommended ratio is approximately one tablespoon of grounds to 1 ounce of water. However, you should also try 1.5 or 2 ounces to every tablespoon of ground coffee. You would need to experiment here to find what works best.
The quality of your espresso is also determined by the texture of the coffee grind. Avoid making it too coarse or the water will percolate through the ground coffee too easily, resulting in a weak flavor. A grind too fine also poses its own problems. As a result, you will be brewing for long which will lead to a bitter-tasting coffee. When using a coffee maker, always go for a medium-fine grind.
How to Make Espresso from Regular Coffee
Whether you want to make it on the stovetop or you own an espresso machine, you will still get the right results.
Using an Espresso Machine
- Fill the basket with coffee grounds and then press it in tightly
- Fill the espresso machine with water as instructed by the manufacturer
- Attach the basket to the machine and power it up
- The machine will do all the hard work and create a shot in less than 30 seconds. For sweet shots, it could take even shorter while bitter shots come close to 30 seconds.
Using a Stovetop
- Fill the base of the pot with water and fill the basket with coffee grounds. Ensure that the grounds are not tightly packed but loose to allow steam to get through them.
- Place the pot on a burner and turn the heat to the high setting.
- Wait for the water to start bubbling and push the steam through the basket. This takes about 50 seconds.
- Open the lid to check if all the liquid has come through
- Remove the pot from the burner and pour shots into espresso cups.
- Espresso shots are usually between 1 to 2 ounces.
That’s all there is to making espresso coffee and as you noticed, there are no special preparations required to brew a perfect shot.
The process is actually simple, but you might encounter a few hiccups along the way. If done correctly, you should end up with a shot of espresso with two layers. The rich brown foamy top layer is the cream while the bottom layer is the liquid. If you’re able to identify both layers in your brewed coffee, then you’re in luck; you have actually made espresso from regular coffee.