An espresso is a concentrated shot of coffee that can be had straight, or can be used to make several popular coffee drinks. Espressos are typically made in an espresso machine and while they might seem incredibly strong, since the serving size is so small, you end up with less caffeine per serving when compared to a regular cup of coffee. Espressos are thick, creamy and intense.
Espressos are made by passing hot, pressurised water through coffee grounds. However it’s not just the method that differs, so does the coffee grind size. Espresso grind is very fine, and it’s the grind size that determines the flavours and textures of an espresso.
Barometric pressure is measured in levels called bars. The level of pressure is key to an espresso machine because it determines the energy needed to push hot water through the coffee grounds during extraction. Therefore higher the bars, more the pressure; a 15 bar machine forces water through the coffee grounds at 15 times more pressure than the natural atmospheric pressure.
Anatomy of an espresso shot
There are three parts to an espresso shot – The Crema, Body and Heart. Crema is the top caramel coloured, foamy layer of an espresso shot. This fine layer is created when air bubbles bind with the soluble oils of the coffee grounds. Crema gives the espresso bolder flavour and helps retain that flavour for much longer. The body of an espresso shot refers to the middle layer, which is dark brown. This layer holds much of the flavour of the espresso. Beneath the body is the heart of the espresso which is deep brown and has bitter notes that complement the sweetness of the crema.
The Regalia Espresso Machine
Given our deep dive into espressos, you might be wondering whether it’s easier to just pop over to your local coffee shop rather than attempt to make it at home right? Wrong! The Wonderchef Regalia 15 Bar Espresso Machine will deliver an endless supply of perfect espressos right in the comfort of your own home. Fret not if you’re a complete newbie to the espresso making game because this machine is incredibly easy to operate. Furthermore, Wonderchef also has these amazing instructional videos that will make setting up and using the machine a piece of (coffee) cake!
The Regalia machine is powerful but that doesn’t stop it from looking sleek! The espresso machine is so compact and stylish that I can keep it right on my counter. After all, coffee making is a daily ritual isn’t it? It’s also so easy to clean with an easy detachable spill tray. What’s more, it’s also got a steam tube that helps froth up your milk for a variety of coffees. I’ve been having an incredible amount of fun making a plethora of drinks I never thought possible in my humble kitchen. Needless to say, my coffee shop visits have definitely reduced since I got the Regalia Espresso Machine.
What coffee powder can you use in an espresso machine?
Since the infusion time is short while making an espresso, it’s always better to use finely ground coffee. Coarsely ground coffee is better for longer infusions but fine grind allows for more surface area, hence more flavour. Do not, under any circumstance, use instant coffee in your espresso machine. Not only can it clog the machine but the resultant espresso will not taste good at all. I’ve found that South Indian filter coffee works well but you can also find various espresso blends online.
Espressos are the base of a host of drinks! So if you think that you don’t need this machine because you don’t like espressos then boy are you wrong! Do you like cappuccinos? Frothy lattes? What about an Americano, macchiato, or a Frappuccino? Because you can make all that and more with this handy espresso machine! One of my favourite drinks I can now make at home is an Espresso Martini and I have the Regalia machine to thank for it! Serve your espresso in these adorable Teramo Espresso Cups from Wonderchef’s Home and Living Range.
Makes: 2 cups of espresso
Finely Ground Coffee
- Fill the water container with filtered water.
- Place the 2 cup (deeper) basket into the portafilter and fill with coffee grinds.
- Tap the coffee down with the flat portion of the spoon.
- Fix the portafilter into the machine and turn it anti clockwise to lock it in place.
- Turn the machine on and wait until the LED indicator turns blue and stops blinking.
- Place your cup/cups into the centre and once the blue light stops blinking, press the two cup button.
- Stand back and wait as you get hit with the heady aroma of fresh espresso!
- Serve immediately!
Author: Sneha Sundar is the creator of You Dim Sum, You Lose Some; a philosophy she adopts both in and out of the kitchen.