Espresso is a highly concentrated shot of brewed coffee that is prepared quickly by forcing hot pressurized water through tightly packed, finely ground espresso roasted coffee.
The majority of coffee experts consider brewing coffee fast and under high pressure the ideal process to extract maximum flavor and aroma from your coffee. The high pressure and the short brewing time prevent the extraction of bitter oils and release less caffeine than other brewing methods. The perfect temperature for brewing espresso is between 190°F to 195°F with an extraction time of 25-30 seconds.
When the grinding, the tamping and the pressure brewing all come together in the right combination your espresso will always feature a foamy layer on top, called "crema". The crema traps the fine aromatics and the light gaseous flavors that register on the palate. It keeps the flavors, which would otherwise escape, locked in. The crema is the hallmark of a well prepared espresso.
Often people are confused about the differences between espresso, cappuccino and latte. Espresso is the base for most specialty café beverages. Frothed milk is added to espresso to make a cappuccino and steamed milk is added to espresso to make a latte. Various other flavorings can be added to customize these beverages into a wide variety of your favorite coffeehouse drinks. Click here to learn how to prepare your favorite gourmet coffee beverages: Espresso Based Beverage Recipes (PDF)
Capresso offers two different brewing methods for espresso; steam and pump.
Steam espresso machines boil the water until steam is produced. The steam creates pressure to force the very hot water through the coffee grounds. Even though some pressure is produced using a steam espresso machine, the pressure is not high enough nor is it consistent enough to produce a true crema like you achieve with pump espresso machines. Although the crema is not favorable on steam espresso machines, the fact that they come equipped with steam wands makes them perfect for preparing cappuccinos and lattes where the espresso?s taste is softened with milk. The main benefit of a steam espresso machine is they are affordable and great for beginners to espresso.
Pump espresso machines use a more precise heating system called a thermoblock to heat the water to the exact temperature for perfect espresso extraction which is between 190°F to 195°F. The internal pump forces water through the thermoblock at high pressure. While traveling through the thermoblock the water is heated to the proper espresso brewing temperature. The high pressure forced through the tightly packed coffee is what produces the crema on top of the espresso. To produce a lasting crema on top of your espresso the water should pass through the coffee at approximately 7 to 9 bars of pressure. All Capresso pump espresso machines have a capacity of 15 or more bars of pressure which indicates the overall capacity of pressure, not the actual brewing pressure.
To learn more about espresso and espresso machines click here: Espresso Facts (PDF)
EC PRO Professional Espresso and Cappuccino Machine (#118) $249.99
Capresso Café (#115) $159.99
Capresso EC100 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine (#116.04) $149.99
Capresso EC50 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine (#117) $99.99
Capresso 4-Cup Espresso & Cappuccino Machine (#303) $59.99
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