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All professional coffee makers (baristas) will have their own technique for
making the perfect cup of coffee. Here my home-grown suggestion
…The whole process begins with simple water. This water has to be good or no
amount of decent coffee grounds will matter. Water should be fresh and piping
hot. Water should not be stale, mildewy, unclean and not properly filtered.
The perfect temperature is just about at boiling point.Now for the coffee –
choose any coffee that is grown above 3000 feet above sea level. There are many
varieties – Brazilian, Bogotan – my favourite is espresso. It should be
pre-roasted, fresh within at least three days and smell good.Robusta is one type
of coffee that some people use for espresso machines, but it is not the best
because it has very little flavour and way too much caffeine. It is considered
an easy to grow plant and fairly disease resistant than other coffee
trees.Coffee should be ground in what is called a burr. Burr blades are pyramid
in shape and have plates with two teeth that force the coffee to be ground in
between. However, coffee types like Viennese or French roasts are darker and
are best chopped in grinders. Grinder blades chop only.The fineness of the
grind is determined by the space between the plates. Good-sized grains are the
size of sand. Avoid grains that resemble dust or gravel. Be speedy when
removing ground coffee from a grinder. Too much exposure to the air makes it
oxidize and absorb nearby smells. Garlic infused coffee would be horrible!A
great cup of espresso requires a clean and top quality espresso machine, or the
experience is not worth it. What does this mean? Without a 9 bar pump pressure
or more, the machine will be unable to generate thermoblock or boiler heat to
properly stew the grinds. The boiler will heat the water to the right
temperature. Avoid steam-pressurized machines and be careful not to burn
yourself.The next step is to make the coffee! Warm up your machine and clean it
by running fresh water through it. Simply turn it on, allow time for the water
to heat up and flush the system and warm the inner surfaces by pouring a cup of
water instead of coffee into it. Now carefully add your grounds and slightly
pack them down like you would with pipe style tobacco. It should feel slightly
springy, but it should not move around suddenly when you remove your finger.Put
the hopper back into the machine in a firm manner. Warm your espressos cup and
stand it underneath the outlet. Press start and in under five seconds you will
have a shot's worth of piping hot espresso.Cappuccino is easily constructed by
heating a half-cup of milk in your microwave for 90 seconds until it froths.
Add this to your espresso. Garnish lovingly with nutmeg, chocolate or cinnamon.
I like all three. Then sprinkle with brown sugar. Enjoy!