The best espresso is the one you make yourself. While it may be tempting to run to a cafe to get your espresso fix each time, there are actually numerous benefits and advantages to brewing up your own espresso at home. From saving some cash to feeling more in control. In this article we will cover some of those benefits, along with some insightful tips. So, without further ado here are some tips on enjoying espresso at home!
Let us begin
Coffee beans, once roasted, begin to lose their freshness very quickly. Within 2-3 weeks or so coffee beans start to become stale and will result in a highly muted flavor and aroma and taste musty and, well, stale! And no one wants that first thing in the morning! so whole beans are the way to go. Their larger surface area allows them to retain their wondrous aroma and flavors longer and also results in a brew that is out of this world.
Grinding & Brewing
So let's say you have your whole beans, then what? The next step is to grind them. For espresso, you will want very fine (hence the term, espresso grind) sized beans. This means extra fine like a combination of fine sand and powdered sugar. The finer grounds result in a more concentrated and potent espresso pull. Anything too big will result in watery pulls of espresso and thus a subpar final coffee experience.
Some helpful items when home brewing include a scale, a tamper, and an electric grinder. The scale allows you to not over or under grind your beans. By measuring out and grinding just enough for one cup of coffee it minimizes waste and exposure to oxygen, keeping your other beans safe from moisture and air. An ideal amount of grinds per brewing would be 7-9 grams or 1/2 tablespoons of your coffee grounds to 2 ounces or 4 tablespoons of water.
When it comes to grinders, this is a matter of personal preference, but electric is more optimal for espresso grinds. This is because electric grinders are more precise and can grind your beans to the uniform, consistent and fine level that will be best for espresso. You can try a manual grinder if you'd like, as it's definitely not impossible to achieve adequate results with a little practice and fine tuning.
For the love of the bean
Now once you have measured, ground, tamped, pulled and thoroughly enjoyed your espresso, here is how you can properly store your beans for the next brewing. Coffee beans have a few mortal enemies that you will want to keep them safe from. They are moisture, warmth/heat, light, oxygen and of course, time. The last one we can't fight, but we can slow down its decay on our beans by doing some of the following:
- Leave your beans whole until you are grinding them for a coffee brewing. Grind only what you need!
- Store your remaining beans in an opaque, vacuum or airtight container.
- Keep this container in a cool, cold or mostly room temperature place.
- Do not store it near other foods, especially those with strong aromas, as this can alter your beans taste and aroma, too.
- Do not keep your beans in the fridge
- Only freeze them if you don't plan on using them within a month.
Once you have your beans all stored away nicely, its time to reflect on all the positive benefits home brewing will bring you! For starters, your wallet will thank you. Because you aren't spending money on drinks at cafes or coffee houses and instead opting to make your own beverages at home. Depending on how far away your favorite cafe is, this may save you a bit of gas money, too.
Not only that but by measuring your beans and storing them properly you can better conserve and manage your supply. This way you won't be overusing beans or leaving them to get too stale and musty before they can be properly enjoyed!
The convenience of brewing your own espresso also allows you to enjoy any kind of coffee you'd like at any time of day. Enjoy espresso-based drinks all day every day and then some when you brew at home. Another benefit of this is the freedom you can enjoy. You are completely in control of your coffee from start to finish. This allows any sort of flexibility, nuance or experimentation you would like to try as well.
Another benefit of brewing at home is feeling awesome! Yes, the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment from measuring, grinding, brewing, and then enjoying coffee made entirely by you is absolutely worth the effort. You get to experience the full aromas, flavors, hints, notes, and hands-on experience of your coffee in a whole new way.
It may be easier to pay someone else to prepare your espresso, but making coffee yourself from scratch is incredible. Don't believe us? Why not try it for yourself! You may discover a new hidden talent and get to taste delectable coffee and save money all at the same time. What a deal!
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