Are you a coffee lover? Do you know what determines a good cup of coffee?
I did not recall when did I start falling in love with coffee but I do remember that I used to think that coffee should be something not too complicated to make, since it is very common in our everyday life. Indeed, with current technology, you can easily brew a cup of coffee and get your day going. My first impression on coffee was, “It does not matter how it tastes, it is just that I need my caffeine!”.
Until one day, I met a co-worker in the break room. He was making his latte and I was the only one in the room with him. To avoid the awkwardness, I began a “small” talk with him by asking him why he loves coffee. That ignited his passion and he started to share his knowledge on espresso, and even give me a brief tutorial on how to use the espresso machine. After he left, I was just overwhelmed with all the inputs, standing there, looking at the espresso machine and did not know how to start.
Well, due to my engineering curiosity, I told myself that, I as an engineer, I need to conquer that tiny little machine. I did research and watched videos on how to operate the machine. I was embarrassed with my skills so, everyday, I went into my office earlier just to get my hands dirty with it and at the same time, to avoid crowds. (I know this is ridiculous but espresso machine is just too expensive and well, I was not a big fan of coffee that time).
However, as I read more and get more knowledge on it, I realized that making espresso is an intersection between art and science. You need not only a good skills, but also a deep understanding of the theory behind it. I guess that was the “zing” moment between coffee and I.
In order to get a good shot of espresso, it involves various technical knowledge starting from raw ingredients, production to its final product (a shot of coffee).
Elevation and temperature affect the quality of coffee beans. The production method : Dehydration method, roasting level and blending profile determine the flavor profile of the beans.
When it comes to brewing, the espresso machine, coffee bean grind size, tamping, even water temperature and pressure play their unique role in a good shot of espresso. At this stage, it requires precise total coffee weight, amount of water, as well as timing. A little variation in fact brings a big impact on the flavor. Amazing isn’t it?
This is just a brief overview of a good shot of espresso. I will definitely share more once I learn more! Let me know if you have some ideas on espresso too!!