Everyone loves espresso! Or so one would think. But there are people out there who have never tried it! Maybe you are one of them. If so, let us introduce you to espresso and why you should spread your wings and wet your mouth with this savory concoction!
First, many mistakenly pronounce or spell espresso incorrectly. The term “eXpresso” is totally wrong. Placing or saying the “x” sound in the word may be common where you are from, but it can be a bit of embarrassment if said around those in the know! Espresso hails from Italy and has spread throughout the coffee-drinking world with at least 26 different variations (not counting those with alcohol)!
So, what makes espresso so appealing as opposed to regular brewed coffee? Let’s explore the mystery to see how it is created.
Long Live Espresso!
Espresso coffee is not made with coffee beans grown on the dark side of the Moon, nor roasted in a vertical position while hanging from a bat cave! It is typified by how the coffee is made. In typical brewing, hot water is poured over ground coffee. Waalah! Coffee-flavored water! Good? Yes. Espresso? No.
To make this highly eXpressive (pun intended) coffee-world work of art, the beans are pulverized to a powder. Scalding hot water is then pressure-forced through small quantities of the superb grind. This produces a highly concentrated suspension of coffee bean elements that set your taste buds in a whirl! The first fascinating glass will tantalize your coffee fantasies so radically you will be surfing the web to find an espresso machine before you can lick your lips and say “Lungo espresso dal vivo!”
And Then There’s the Crema….
The tiny glass and dense coffee flavor are hallmarks of good espresso, but one of the main indicators of an excellent espresso is the crema. This is the floating layer of infinitely small bubbles that gather on top of the espresso shot, much like the foam head on a pint of beer.
When coffee beans are roasted, carbon dioxide (a harmless gas) is produced within the bean. Under the intense process of jetting hot water through powdered coffee, this gas is released. Of course, gaseous air rises in liquid so the “crema” gathers above as it rests in the glass. The delicious color and flavor of the crema is all about rich coffee goodness glazing each tiny bubble!
The carbon dioxide slowly dissipates as the coffee bean ages. So, whether your glass of espresso is your first or one-hundredth, know this…. the thicker the foam, the fresher the coffee while the richer, darker color tells you this is a concentrated power bomb! Wow! Espresso Heaven!
Sooo, We Hear You’re Watching Your Caffeine Intake….
With all the amazing smell and taste sensations presented by espresso, you must now be wondering how your brain and body might react to what must be enormous amounts of caffeine. Surely your cup of brewed coffee safely pales in comparison. Will this steamy shot of espresso tilt your virgin coffee brain with eye twitches and shaky hands? Do visions of java beans bouncing around at atomic speed in your skull keep you from sipping this master elixir?
Well, to quell those mythical ideas, let’s consider the comparison rationally. On average, one cup of drip coffee will have more caffeine than a typical espresso shot! As suspected, the extracted coffee essence of espresso will have a deeper caffeine punch, but the diminutive size of a common espresso glass actually balances the amount entering your system!
Ounce for ounce, espresso does exceed the caffeine amount of regular perked coffee, but if you keep your espresso consumption to a modest one or two shots, you will still consume a below-average quantity in contrast to your regular, eight-ounce cup of dripped morning joe.
Your Uniqueness Expressed Through Choice
So, which should you choose? Espresso or brewed? Just go with the flow when the “Must have coffee!” bug bites. Feeling tired and need a quick lift? Shoot over to the closest server of a thick, crema-topped glass of liquid energy! The perfect gathering place for colleagues and friends, espresso shops buzz with activity and give a bounce to your long afternoons.
Feeling full and peaceful, but lacking that little sumpin’, sumpin’? Or were you just handed a mountain-sized piece of chocolate cake bulging over the edges of a little white plate? Nothing fills that void like hearing the hiss and gurgle of an old-fashioned coffee pot while breathing in a satisfying whiff of freshly brewed java!
So, whichever you choose, by your mood or circumstance, keep espresso on the forefront of your thinking. Expanded horizons can put some jazz in your coffee schedule! Try it!