Rules to prepare a good espresso coffee – part 1

ABC caffè

Making an espresso is easy, but preparing a good espresso coffee, in the art and also good, is more difficult.
It means applying precise rules: 5 M of coffee preparation.

Serving customers a good espresso is a key and decisive factor in an Italian Bar. The rules to follow are clear and precise: the 5 M.

When drinking a bad coffee, it’s wrong to blame only on the quality of the coffee, because the rules are many and varied: for some 4, for another 5 or 6.
In any case, the rules for preparing a good espresso are all respected and expressed with the so-called M.

The 5M of espresso coffee are:

• Coffee Blend (Miscela caffè in italian)
• Grinding (Macinatura in italian)
• Coffee machine (Macchina caffè in italian)
• Maintenance (Manutenzione in italian)
• Hand (Mano in italian)

Coffee blend (miscela)

From coffee blend you get the taste, the aroma and the intensity (or body) of your espresso coffee. The coffee blend is the union of different types of coffee, arabica e robusta, that can come from different area of the globe. There are Arabica blends only, blends of different Robusta coffe and mixed blends. All the coffee blends in ABC caffè contains at least 5 types of different coffee.
For a good coffee blend it is important to follow the toasting procedures of the single type of coffee, not toasting together the beans of differents Arabica and Robusta coffee.
This is the task of good roasting, an artisan roasting like ABC caffè.

The coffee blends are different in order to satisfy the tastes af all consumers, which change both by habit and geographic area.
Commonly in northern Italy and in northern Europe the people prefer to drink espresso coffee made with medium toasted coffee blends, with the most “sweet”, “light” and “arabic” flavors, while in the center of south Italy and Europe a very toasted coffee (often almost burnt), stronger and with full bodied, robust.


5-M caffè espresso

Grinding (macinatura)

So, coffee must be of high quality and must be ground to be properly prepared as good espresso coffe.
the rule is to use 7 grams of ground coffee to get a good espresso coffee, this is the perfect dose.

The grinding is fundamental for the preparation:

– if the coffee is ground too fine, the dispense in cup will be very slow and the espresso coffe will be very bad (bitter, burnt and with little cream)

 if the coffee is ground too big, the dispensing cup would be very fast and would be watery and without taste or body.

Grinding should always be done with carefully preserved coffee grinds: clean and with efficient mills (replaced by the amount of work done).

Coffee grinding needs to be adjusted based on a number of factors combined: basic ingredients is the coffee blend and based on ambient temperature and humidity, but also based on grinder and machine.
This is because coffee is a product of the earth, a living product and will change according to time: it is dry with heat, absorbs moisture with bad weather or near the sea. For these reasons, even if you use the same coffee blend, same hand and the same coffee machine as the season and temperature change, grinding is often corrected.

When you choose different blends for the same local and/or use decaffeinated coffee, grinding is specific, separate coffee grinders should be used because the coffee is drier if it is Robusta and is more oily if Arabica.

In the next post we will talk about coffee machines, maintenance and hand … Meanwhile we wish you a good coffee!