Electrolux Newsroom Asia Pacific

The quick guide to enhancing your favourite coffee experience

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Electrolux ECS5200 espresso makerCoffee BeansEloisa ECM3130 drip brewing machineCoffee burr grinder

Brewing an espresso is like conducting an election – everyone has an opinion on what makes a good cuppa.

Fortunately, this pressure-based coffee brewing method is more easily savoured. And savour it is, with millions of espresso shots finding their way into bellies the world over, be it a straightforward single shot, or as part of a cappuccino.

ECS5200_b

The Electrolux ECS5200 espresso maker may be compact, but the coffee it makes packs a strong, caffeinated punch.

The key to the beverage is, of course, the espresso machine. By forcing water through finely-ground, tightly compacted coffee at high pressure and temperature, these machines extract the coffee bean’s best flavours into a concentrated shot. The brewing method also produces a thick, foamy top layer called crema, which contains the coffee’s best flavours and aromas.

Preparing for a good cuppa

Like any great experience, the preparation of a good cup of espresso starts even before the brewing process. While opinions may differ depending on the barista you ask, coffee beans meant for espressos are typically a dark roast, although the degree of roasting can differ.

Cofee beans

The right roast is important in determining the flavour of your espresso
Photo Credit:
Darren Robertson

Some examples of roasts used for espressos:

  • Light roast: As its name suggests, light roast beans spend the least time in roasting, retaining more acidity and a toasted grain taste. Not usually used in espresso..
  • Medium-dark roast: The lightest roast generally used for espresso, the medium-dark roast is less acidic and sweeter than lighter roasts.
  • Dark Roast: Almost black in colour, dark roast beans can appear oily as the roasting process

brings oils to the surface. The roasting process is more evident in the coffee, creating a smoky-sweet, even burnt taste.

The best coffee is made from beans roasted the day before brewing. The average shelf life of roasted beans is just two weeks, after which the taste and aroma can quickly decline. The beans should also be kept in a dark, cool place away from sunlight, but not in the refrigerator.

ECM3130

The Eloisa ECM3130 drip brewing machine makes up to 15 cups of coffee while still retaining the bean’s natural flavours

Light roasted beans are best used with drip brew coffee machines (or filter coffee machines) for normal coffees. The light roast tends to retain natural flavours that provide hints to the origin of the bean. Coffee makers such as the Electrolux Eloisa series make brewing such coffee a convenient experience. They allow users to automatically brew large amounts for friends and family – up to 15 cups in the case of the ECM3130, while still retaining the flavour of the beans used.

Coffee_burr_grinder

A burr grinder for coffee
Photo Credit:
Hustvedt

Before making the coffee, the beans should ideally be grinded by a burr grinder, a type of grinder that uses a burr to crush whole beans between a stationary disk and a rotating grinding wheel. Such grinders typically produce more consistent, finer particles and less chance of overheating the beans than a propeller-based coffee grinder.

Things to note while brewing

If your machine doesn’t do it for you, pre-warm the espresso machine’s portafilter by running it under hot water. A cold portafilter can lower the brewing temperature and affect the extraction of the drink.

The time taken to brew an espresso is typically 22 seconds, but may vary depending on different factors such as your machine. It may take some experience to determine the perfect time to end the extraction to avoid over or under-extracting the espresso shot. The former results in a weaker flavour while the latter may cause the espresso to be too bitter.

The perfect way to drink

The resulting espresso should not be allowed to sit more than 30 seconds as the full taste will begin to degrade due to cooling and oxidation. Hence, the Italians believe the best way to savour a fine drink like an espresso is to treat it like beer. The shot should be drunk at the peak of its freshness in one gulp, giving the lucky imbiber maximum enjoyment of the coffee’s rich flavours.

Over the years, creative baristas have found creative ways to serve their espressos, including:

Affogato: Italian for drowned, this drink involves submerging a scoop of gelato under a shot of espresso.

Café Bombon: Adapted into Kopi Susu Panas in Malaysia and Kafe Ron in Thailand, this drink mixes espresso and condensed milk in an equal 1:1 ratio.

Caffe Medici: A double shot of espresso poured over chocolate syrup and orange or lemon peel, topped with whipped cream.

Corretto: Meaning “corrected”, the Italians certainly had the right idea in correcting their morning espressos with grappa or brandy.

Espresso Romano: A shot of espresso with a small rind of lemon and sugar added.

So go forth with your espresso makers, and heed the unknown wit who once said: “Be a coffee-drinking individual, espresso yourself!”

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