Espresso Preparation

The humble espresso has transcended its roots to become a trendy, versatile and flavoursome treat at any party. Rather than simply supplying energy, business sees it as a sensory experience, with the transformative Hashmugs project making espresso interactive, both visually and in terms of flavour. However, not all espresso is the same. Picking the right blend and preparation method can raise your game from the everyday level to coffee heaven.

Picking the bean

As with all coffee, the first stop to a great tasting espresso starts with the bean. Coffee is grown across the entire world, and in a range of different climates and time zones; there's a lot of variety to be had and seasonal pairings to be found. This variety means that you can create a great experience for your dinner guests by pairing the right coffee with wine, as well as matching coffee to food. Wine is often the backdrop to a meal, and will be there after the food; as such, it's often mixed with coffee. Experts in the respected Wine Spectator note how certain flavours can meld well with coffee. Try pairing a light and fruity wine with darker roast espresso, for instance.

Picking the food

Coffee can be paired with food. To use the example of Brazilian coffee, the taste will often be nutty, chocolatey and bittersweet. Use this to pair it with meals when hosting guests; a rich, salty and caramel dessert will complement the coffee wonderfully. For savoury dishes, think about how the coffee will gently cut through richness; pairing more subtle flavours with espresso in mind for afterwards is wise, such as through light risottos or pasta.

Perfect Espresso

Choosing your preparation

From moka pots to sophisticated barista machines, there are dozens of different ways to prepare an espresso. The choice you make will influence the taste of the end product. As noted by tech website Gizmodo, a slight difference in heat or pressure can radically alter the espresso shot, and high end machines have mechanisms to prevent this. At home, your machine should be able to do this; alternatively, a moka pot can be kept at a stable temperature on the hob. However, the key to a really good shot is all in the preparation. Use fresh beans and a home grinder for every sip – that way you’ll almost guarantee yourself good coffee.

Espresso is a wonderful coffee preparation that can be used for any situation. Getting it right is not rocket science, and simply requires a close look at coffee preparation methods and where your beans come from. Get that in order, and you’ll have a delicious home brew ready for your guests.