Those with difficult or hard-to-please palettes are still probably in search for the best espresso there is. These are the people whose search will not end in one country. Hence, they look for the shop that serves what could be called the “god shot” of espresso.
As what most experienced baristas say, the “god shot” is hard to do. It is derived from several ingredients and has a volatile nature which makes perfection even harder to achieve. One has to find high quality ground roasted coffee and master the art of determining the quality of water, pressure, timing, and everything else that follows after grinding the coffee beans.
The manual espresso making is certainly a serious and tedious process. Only the baristas with burning passion to make the best espresso can carry this out flawlessly. This is also the same reason why people would rather spend for a designer cup of heavenly aromatic coffee than consume a precious amount of their time making their own cup of espresso at home only to end up with an espresso disaster.
However, with the innovation of espresso machines, making the best espresso just got easier. Some critics say that it will never measure up to the traditional way where aroma is much more distinct while some cannot believe how delicious and designer like coffee produced from espresso machines are.
In fact, some taste buds say that one of the best espresso machines today, the Nespresso line, produces espresso that could very well put Starbucks to shame with its steep price.
How to Achieve the “God Shot”
Since we have mentioned the “god shot” of espresso, let us dive on this a little further. You probably would not want to do this on a regular basis but it would not hurt how to produce this glorious shot of espresso, right?
As critics have put it, all best espresso shots have one common denominator and that is the quality of the coffee extract. Now, you are probably wondering how to do this without basically spending a whole day at your kitchen. Remember that this is highly applicable for those with semi-automatic espresso machines and not for the automatic ones. Here are some tips to remember:
Use a high-quality grinder
It is important to understand that no matter how good your coffee beans are, if your grinder cannot grind them properly, it will be of no use. You would not get the maximum extract from it. So do not be a cheapskate for a coffee bean grinder.
Use purified water
The water you should use must be without minerals or pollutants and heated to about 90 degrees Celsius. One is not to use boiling water ever. Remember that you have to strictly follow the right temperature in order to extract the important components from the beans. Otherwise, you will just end up with an ordinary tasting espresso.
The fresher the coffee beans, the better
Ideally, coffee experts say that the closer it is to the roast date, the better and that it should not exceed three weeks from the indicated roast date.
Follow the suggested amount of ground coffee
By now, you probably have bought your own espresso machine. Read the manual carefully and follow the suggested amount of coffee. Normally, this is about 7 grams for a single shot or 1/4 ounce of dry coffee.
Find the perfect resistance
Getting the water temperature is easy, now comes the harder part. One has to find the perfect resistance. They say this is all about the grind and the tamper pressure as it compresses the grounds. Technically, it should be about 30 pounds of pressure. Now this may vary depending on which espresso machine you are using, the water level and temperature, and of course your taste preference.
This is where it gets tricky. If there is too much resistance, the brew will probably take a longer time and end up with a bitter taste without cream. However, too little resistance will produce you a cup that is lacking in flavor as the water would simply flow between the grounds and would not really take up the important flavors.
Practice and practice until you have reached perfection
Perfection is somewhat elusive in this search for the best espresso but you can always settle for the closest to perfection. It may be frustrating at first but it does get better with practice. Get the timings, temperature, and pressure right and you just might be the best barista of the family just in time for holiday season. Did you know there are even championships to decide who’s the best barista?
In achieving what could be the best espresso, there should be the perfect balance between the man and the machine (if you are using a semi-automatic espresso maker). There has to be a continuous flow as you and the machine work together. As crazy as it may sound, you probably would not believe this until you start making your own espresso.