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To brew espresso & latte
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > To brew espresso...  
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bdd888
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Mar 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Toronto, Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Technivorm KBT-741
Posted Thu Mar 29, 2012, 8:43pm
Subject: To brew espresso & latte
 

Does one necessarily need a purpose built espresso machine (e.g. Rocket Giotto Evoluzione) to make a proper shot of espresso or latte? I've read in other forums where some have used a drip coffee maker to make espresso...really? Is that possible?

Some say you need dark roasted beans (espresso). Others disagree. Can you use any type of roasted bean for Lattes?

I assumed you had to buy "espresso beans" (e.g. http://www.idrinkcoffee.com/Espresso_Coffee_Beans_s/30.htm) to make a proper shot of espresso + purpose built machine.

Some say it's all in the "preparation technique" (espresso) and it's not about the type of roasted bean.

I've never had espresso/latte as you can tell. :)
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,045
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Fri Mar 30, 2012, 3:09am
Subject: Re: To brew espresso & latte
 

Actually there's no such thing as "espresso beans", even though the term is sometimes used for coffee beans that have been roasted for the purpose of brewing espresso (usually a dark, so called Italian roast).

However, espresso is indeed only a way of preparing coffee: hot water (at around 90C) is forced at around 9 bar through a puck of tightly packed ground coffee in about 25 seconds in order to get around 25 ml of coffee. You might use any kind of beans, even though results may vary. You can only achieve this by using some kind of espresso machine, at least a Mypressi twist, for example.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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Netphilosopher
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Mar 30, 2012, 5:00am
Subject: ...
 

...
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,391
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Fri Mar 30, 2012, 7:07am
Subject: Re: To brew espresso & latte
 

Just to echo what's already been said . . .

"Espresso" is a method of making coffee.  In order to make espresso, one needs to use a lot of coffee to produce a little bit of liquid (i.e.: a high brew ratio), and to brew under pressure of approximately 9 bars (nine times atmospheric pressure, or roughly 130 psi).

As for the coffee bean itself, while it is true that some coffee roasters may label a particular blend of beans they sell as "Espresso Roast," and while it is true that a roast so labeled will often be dark(er) than -- say -- the standard roast level found in commercialized coffees such as Maxwell House or Folger's (i.e.: Full City roast), blame that on Starbucks*.  One can use any coffee beans -- be they from a single origin or a blend -- to make espresso, and those beans may be roasted to any level.  

The lighter the roast, the more the beans will taste of their geographic origin and processing; the darker the roast, the more the beans will taste of the roast itself, and less of the beans origins will come through.

Cheers,
Jason

* Starbucks is, of course, the 900 lb. gorilla in the room, in that they popularized dark roasted coffee in the U.S.  In Italy, however, the "average" roast level of beans varies with where one is within the country.  Starting in the north of the country, the beans are typically a Full City roast, but the farther south one travels, the darker the roast gets, until one reached Sicily and its very dark roasts -- what Americans have (wrongly) come to consider "espresso roast" (as in "the ONLY type of beans used to make espresso").

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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bdd888
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Mar 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Toronto, Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Technivorm KBT-741
Posted Fri Mar 30, 2012, 8:08am
Subject: Re: To brew espresso & latte
 

To achieve, or know you're brewing at "9 bars", I guess it would be worth using a purpose built espresso machine (for espresso shots and Latte). Will definitely try some espresso and lattes before sinking my money into a Rancillio Silva or Rocket.

Thanks guys.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Mar 30, 2012, 12:35pm
Subject: Re: To brew espresso & latte
 

In order to hit 9 bars (about 140 psi) you need a machine designed to do this. You can brew very strong coffee and sort of, kind of, but not the same in any real way, make a Latte with brewed coffee. You can use a French press or the Aero press to make the coffee and use the microwave to heat the milk then use a small hand held whipper to froth the milk.

There you go, a kind of, sort of resembling a Latte but much better than anything in the supermarket or 95% of the "coffee" shops out there and 100% of the ones where they wear green aprons.

If the two machines you are looking at are Rocket and Silvia, the Rocket is the clear run away winner, In a two machine race between these two machines, Silvia comes in 4th.

Don't forget, you NEED a grinder, more than an espresso machine. A good hand grider, aeropress and hand whipper should not cost much more than $150 with $100 of that in a referb Maestro. If you want to get into REAL espresso, it will cost you a lot more for a grinder that is able to grind for espresso, yes the grinder IS much more important than the brewer!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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bdd888
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Mar 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Toronto, Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Technivorm KBT-741
Posted Fri Mar 30, 2012, 1:05pm
Subject: Re: To brew espresso & latte
 

I've noticed that espresso machines are often paired with certain brands/models of grinders. Some with a doser. As you can see in my profile I have a Baratza Virtuoso. Which has a good choice of grind settings. Could I avoid buying an "espresso specific" grinder?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Mar 30, 2012, 11:50pm
Subject: Re: To brew espresso & latte
 

If that is the older unit, UH, WELL, you MIGHT get something from it that you MAY be able to use in an espresso machine WITHOUT a pressurized PF. It is marginal at best for real espresso.

If your machine has a pressurized PF, then you will have better luck with it as PPFs are designed to work with less than properly ground beans. That said though, the PPF restricts the flow of water (this is what the properly ground coffee should be doing) and then forces the strong brewed coffee (it really isn't espresso, just thick coffee) and when the coffee exits through the small hole, it is frothed, like whipped cream from a can, not real crema which results from the coffee oils being whipped up by the action of being forced through the bed of coffee.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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bdd888
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Mar 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Toronto, Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Technivorm KBT-741
Posted Sat Mar 31, 2012, 8:51am
Subject: Re: To brew espresso & latte
 

Why are espresso machines often paired with specific grinders (e.g. Compaq)? How are the different from grinders with a lot of grind settings like my Baratza Virtuoso? Besides the fact that mine doesn't have a doser. Also why are they often a lot more expensive? I've seen some Compaq models run near 2k.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,391
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sat Mar 31, 2012, 9:05am
Subject: Re: To brew espresso & latte
 

bdd888 Said:

Why are espresso machines often paired with specific grinders (e.g. Compaq)?

Posted March 31, 2012 link

Any quality espresso machine can be used with any quality grinder.  Some vendors may offer a "package deal" if you purchase a specific machine and grinder combination -- perhaps because they want to attract your business by pairing "X" and "Y" together; perhaps because the vendor gets a rebate from the manufacturer; perhaps because . . . because . . . because . . .  

bdd888 Said:

How are the different from grinders with a lot of grind settings like my Baratza Virtuoso? Besides the fact that mine doesn't have a doser. Also why are they often a lot more expensive? I've seen some Compaq models run near 2k.

Posted March 31, 2012 link

Why was your Technivorm more expensive than a Mr. Coffee?  Doser v. Doserless; Stepped v. Steppless (v. micro-mental -- as opposed to incremental -- steps); Flat burr set v. conical burr set (v. flat-conical combinations); build quality/construction; brand reputation; and . . . and . . . and . . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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