As a professional barista I’m always thinking of how I love showing off a perfectly made, scrumptious, and utterly sinful cup of espresso at home to my guests during the heavy guest season after October. Making a home espresso or latte is a terrific holiday tradition for us.
Talk about a way to wow your family and friends. Everyone (at least everyone I know) loves a perfectly made espresso, either strait or as a latte or a rich, creamy mocha breve.
Making espresso at home has the benefit of being less expensive, you have better control over the espresso making process and you can make a variety of drinks just like they do at a good cafe, only better.
So how is it done? After you learn the secrets of making espresso at home, it all comes down to practice. Practice that nobody really minds too much!
Here are 5 tips that will help you churn out perfect espresso every time from your home espresso machine.
(1) It starts with *very* good espresso beans.
Espresso is only as good at the bean it’s extracted from. There are untold amounts of blends form a gaggle of roasters. Some are very proficient at what they do, while others have given up everything to pursue perfection, good taste, and espresso art.
That said, do not go on the cheap for espresso beans, nor should you pursue the “big roasters” as the ultimate authority on good espresso, because they generally are not.
Go online and look up some coffee roasters in Portland, San Fran and Seattle. Look for independent shops that have good reputations on coffee forums or have great chatter about the quality of their coffee on Facebook. contact the roasters and see if they are willing to send you a small sample of their espresso. You’ll be surprised how many will say yes, and even more surprised how many different flavors you’ll experience from each roaster.