An Intro To Espresso

Espresso is truly the "heart" of the coffee. Italians (who invented it) simply call it "caffè" and usually frown upon anything larger than the small cup it's served in. However, first things first so let us clear up some misconceptions about espresso:

What is NOT an espresso?

  • Espresso is NOT a type of coffee blend
  • Espresso is NOT just a small and concentrated cup of coffee
  • Espresso is NOT just a coffee served in an espresso cup
  • Espresso is NOT a specific roast

What IS an espresso?

An espresso, simply, is a coffee made with an espresso machine. A correct espresso is a coffee made with about 7 grams of coffee, having a liquid volume of about 25ml and being extracted in about 25 seconds. The important thing here is that the water is forced through finely ground coffee at high pressure, resulting in a unique taste and a high ratio of solubles. Due to its strength, espressos serve as the base for a lot of other coffee drinks, such as Cappuccinos, Latte Macchiatos and Americanos. On the other hand, a "Caffè Latte" made with brewed coffee instead of espresso is called a Café Au Lait.

It is a misconception that an espresso needs to be made with an espresso blend. Espresso blends are of course ideal for espressos, being designed in such a way to taste especially good as an espresso. That doesn't mean they can't be used or taste good in a drip filter or French Press though.

So what exactly is an espresso blend?

An espresso blend is basically a blend that is made to taste especially good when prepared as an espresso (using an espresso machine). There is usually a big difference in taste between a brewed coffee and the same prepared as an espresso since the pressure used to make an espresso highlights very different characteristics of the coffee. An espresso blend has (or should have) a good balance between body, fragrance and mouthfeel and is often made my mixing South American coffees (Brazil is a favorite base) with Central American coffees and Indonesian coffees. Espresso is often roasted longer since that is the more traditional way and since often customers expect a darker roast. However, an authentic espresso can be made with any type of roast and will produce a considerably different beverage depending on the specific roast level.

What about V COFFEE's espresso blends?

We have two espresso blends, SCURO and PRIMO. SCURO is a darker roast, similar to ones found in the south of Italy. The darker roast produces a more bittersweet and smooth coffee with less acidity. PRIMO is our internationally recongized flagship blend and the coffee we recommend to make espressos. It is more similar to a north Italian espresso, is extremely well balanced, lively and sophisticated.