Rules to prepare a good espresso coffee – part 2
We cited the famous 5 M, the five key factors to consider for preparing a good espresso coffee: blend, grinding, machine, maintenance and hand.
After talking about blend and grinding in the previous post “Rules to prepare a good espresso coffee – part 1” let’s explore the other decisive factors of preparation:
• Maintenance and Hand
After choosing the blend suitable for our audience, having it grinded properly, press the famous 7 grams of ground coffee into the filter holder and then hook the filter holder into the espresso coffee machine.
Machine for a good espresso coffee
Most of the modern professional espresso machines use the principle of continuous dispensing. Water, taken directly from the water supply, is brought to the right temperature thanks to a heat exchanger. Upstream of the exchanger there must be the pump that creates the water pressure at 9 atmospheres.
The time between the start of the dispensing (when operating the machine) and the outflow of coffee in a cup is called “infusion time” and is about 5-6 seconds. During dispensing the ducts inside the group are filled slowly with water, once the water is saturated (at a pressure of 9 atm) through the filter holder with coffee, which is extracted.
A cup of espresso coffee is about 25-30 ml of product, so the total coffee extract time will be about 25-30 seconds.
The espresso machine with continuous dispensing has a number of components that need to be checked and possibly “corrected” to be efficient:
softener (to lower the hardness of the water); boiler (with level indicator); pressure switch; pressure gauges; security valves; pump; service taps (for steam); filters (one or two doses of coffee); docks (allow regular spillage of the drink from the filter holder); sub-group gaskets.
All these components must be properly adjusted during installation and periodically checked for efficiency, to enssure that a good espresso coffee is always delivered.This efficiency must also be guaranteed by a series of daily operations and others periodically: maintenance.
Check pressure, levels, showerheads, gaskets, filter cleaners and filter holders every day before serving.
Filters and filter holders should always be cleaned each evening, at the end of service, and let them soak with warm water and a special detergent (Puly Caff). Before starting to work, it is advisable to release the steam from the lance for a few seconds, as well as the water from the dispensers from the locked filter holders, to heat them perfectly.
The machine and its components must be perfectly hot to ensure good espresso.
Depending on the pace of work, it is necessary to check the parameters of the water softener weekly, even weekly.
Seals in the sub-groups of the groups, such as shower heads, are subject to wear, therefore they must be checked and replaced.
Mechanical parts are also subject to wear and adjustments, which must be checked by a qualified technician.
These maintenance operations are indispensable as it is important for the bartender’s hand to prepare espresso coffee.
The bartender’s hand
The bartender’s hand regulates the grinding, the dose and the coffee pressing on the filter holder.
Proper pressing, which should be around 20 Kg, must be carried out with the appropriate manual press or mounted on the grinder and can determine the correct dispensing in the cup.
Assuming that: the coffee blend is of a good ABC caffè coffee, that the grinding is correct according to the temperature and to the blend, that the machine is efficient and properly adjusted and cleaned, if the coffee does not come to the cup properly, the motivation is related to how the bartender has placed coffee on the filter holder. Even a good dose of good coffee, but bad or poorly pressed can cause little coffee or too much coffee to go out.
In the world of coffee making, there are many opinions and some even mention the 6 M, where the last is the tip … a factor that can make our espresso better prepared.
The smile is free and serves the bartender as much as the customer.
We wish you a good coffee!