Great espresso is a work of art. It’s an ingenious combination of the right coffee beans, the optimal roast, high quality extraction equipment, and an astonishing amount of expertise and skill in pulling the perfect shot.
The name “espresso” suits this style of coffee perfectly, for several reasons. First, the original meaning of the word as applied to espresso coffee is generally defined as “pressed out,” because an espresso machine extracts the coffee by forcing, or pressing, water through the grounds at high pressure. Second, coffee lore describes the espresso machine’s inventor as an impatient man who wanted to brew his coffee faster — in other words, he was looking for a way to make expedited or “express” coffee. A third way to look at the name is that unlike brewing a pot of coffee that will serve several people, an espresso machine makes a single serving of coffee that’s made to order, brewed specifically or “expressly” for an individual.
What goes into a great espresso? An espresso machine concentrates and intensifies the flavors of the coffee beans. So at The Roasterie, our approach to espresso is to create blends that yield a good balance of flavors. We also focus on blends that produce a good crema, the foam you see on the top of an espresso shot when it’s just been pulled.
Did you know the way a coffee is processed helps determine whether it would make a great espresso? The Roasterie’s Master Roaster Norman Killmon explains: “To understand how espresso is different, you first have to know a little bit about how coffee is processed. Coffee grows on trees, and the fruit of the tree — the coffee “cherry” — is picked when it ripens. Inside the cherry are two seeds, and these seeds are the coffee beans.
With most other coffees, the beans are stripped out of the cherry immediately after it’s picked, and then they’re put into big fermenting tanks for 18 – 36 hours. During that process, the coffee becomes much, much brighter. Then the beans go out onto a large drying patio to sit in the sun for several days.
But espresso coffees are better made with coffees that use the natural drying process, in which the seeds are not stripped out of the cherry right away. Instead, the whole cherry goes right onto the drying patio, with the beans still inside. When you let the beans dry inside the cherry, the resulting coffee is less acidic and has more body. These are the coffees that usually make great espressos. So most espresso blends have a significant base of naturally processed coffee.”
All of The Roasterie’s espressos are also quite good as regular brewed coffee. And of course, they make terrific cappuccinos, too.
What else can we say about great espresso? It makes you take a deep breath and lets your spirits soar. Espresso from The Roasterie is a coffee lover’s adventure from a table for two to the ends of the earth. So don’t wait. If you love the lush intensity and fragrant beauty only a gorgeous cup of espresso can deliver, then indulge your instincts. Wrap yourself in the bright, sweet, perfectly roasted warmth you’ll find in the richness of an espresso from The Roasterie.