As we all know, coffee is taken very seriously in Italy (as well as everywhere else I suppose) and they even have a well known guide to crafting the perfect cup. The guide is known as the 4 m's, that's 4 things that must be properly executed in order to produce the best espresso possible. They are:
1. la Miscela (the blend). Let's start with this as the blend of coffee is surely the most important? It's very important to use fresh coffee. Coffee that has been roasted and then left to sit around for too long is never going to be as tasty or produce the aroma that freshly roasted coffee will. So it's always important to buy better coffee and try not to buy on price alone, usually the price difference between good coffee and bad coffee isn't a lot anyway. I think it's important to find the right blend for you.
2. il Macinatore (the grinder). Next is the grinder, which is a very important tool in the quest for perfection. Your coffee must be ground to the correct fineness/coarseness for your machine. A grinder will usually offer many different settings for you to adjust and fine-tune although what could produce excellent results with a certain blend could be completely different with another. So I think it's wise to tinker away each time you switch your coffee to a new blend to drag every last drop of flavour from your beans. A burr grinder will always result in better coffee than a blade type grinder (contact us if you would like a deeper explanation!).
3. la Macchina (the machine). In my honest opinion, not quite as important as the grinder. A lot of the lower cost domestic espresso machines can produce brilliant coffees if you have grasped the concept of the blend and the grinder. You can quite easily produce a fantastic espresso with a £100 espresso machine. Of course with a commercial machine you will have the opportunity to create something a little more special but if you look after your machine, cleaning and de-scaling regularly you should see consistent results.
4. la Mano (the hand). Referring to the hand/skill of the barista. Essentially we are talking about the knowledge and experience of whoever is making the espresso. A good understanding of the other 3 M's coupled with the techniques required should see you making delicious coffee. Remember to tamp firmly, preferable with a metal tamper and be sure that the coffee has a flat surface in the filter as water, particularly under high pressure, will always take the easiest route through....by ensuring the coffee has an even, flat surface you are making sure the water passes through all of the coffee grounds and extracts as much as possible. The correct amount of coffee is also important, generally we can say that 1 espresso requires 7g of coffee, a double therefore would be 14g.
These points are pretty general but they are the the basic elements to a good espresso. Keep practicing, gather momentum and the sky is the limit.
Customers and friends of Ginevra UK are ALL welcome to email us if they would like any tips or advice on how to get the most out of their Ginevra coffee, contact us any time!
Thanks for reading,
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