How to make the perfect Espresso at home

Alexandra Istrate

How to make the perfect Espresso at home
Espresso is a concentrated coffee with an intense aroma. It was first prepared in Italy and the name comes from its quick preparation time (which makes it perfect for those moments when we are in a hurry). This brewing method is a good option for those who want to cut off the caffeine as well because Espresso coffee contains 18% less of it.

3 Things to Know about Viennese Roast

1. Characterized by a dark roasting

Viennese roasts are those dropped in the early moments of the second crack when oil has just begun to migrate to bean surfaces.

While the primary cause of the first crack is the buildup of steam pressure, the accumulation of CO2 is the main reason why the second crack occurs. Just before or after the onset of a second crack, oils appear on the surface of coffee beans - almost all roasters would regard this as an objective indicator of a dark roast. At this point, they are usually a darker color compared to full city roasts for example, and a bit shinier from the release of oils.

2. Bittersweet aroma

In the cup: besides the bittersweet aroma, the coffee embraces a caramelly, pungent, and often nutty or spicy taste - characterized by a heavy, syrupy body.

3. The standard roast degree offered by Starbucks

Have you ever wondered what roasting degree is used for the famous Starbucks coffee?

Well, the answer is Viennese. This roasting level is seen as the “crowd-pleaser”, along with full city roast.

Critics contend that a lighter roast highlights a bean’s uniqueness, while a full city or darker roast blunts too much of a coffee’s acidity and delicacy. But when it comes to coffee, it's all about personal tastes and preferences.

To make the right decision when choosing your coffee according to its degree of roasting, we have added to this list another important thing to know about Viennese roasting.

4.* Loss of aroma

Roasted beans gradually lose aroma during storage through outgassing. Darker roasts, with their weaker and more porous cellulose structures, lose aromatics more quickly than lighter roasts do.

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Don't know what kind of roasting suits you?

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Espresso Recipe

This is how you can make the perfect espresso at home, in just 7 easy steps. Let’s get started!

  1. For a “double-shot” we need between 16-18 g of coffee.
  2. Clean the sieve from the portafilter with a dry towel.
  3. Put the finely ground coffee (see point 7) in the sieve, then slowly level the coffee with your finger, preferably using semi-circular movements. You do not have to press, just smooth it a little.
  4. Gently tap the portafilter once or twice on the work surface or the grinder holder, and then slap it sideways. The coffee should fill the sieve evenly, up to the upper lip.
  5. Press with the tamper to about 15 kg force so that the coffee must be at the same horizontal level in the sieve.
  6. Tighten the portafilter into the machine and start the extraction. After 25-30 seconds, when the coffee thread begins to thicken and the color becomes blonde or yellowish, stop the extraction. It is expected to obtain 30 ml of coffee in 25-30 sec.
  7. If you have obtained an amount greater or less than 30 ml, adjust the grinding (finer or thicker).

We recommend using preheated cups, then leave the result to cool a bit and enjoy. Notice the cream that has formed on top – ideally it is dense, without air bubbles and not larger than 2 mm.


P.S. For each brewing method you choose, you need a qualitative, freshly roasted, and aromatic coffee.

7 FEBRUARY 2021, Alexandra Istrate


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