As someone who enjoys coffee, you might have heard plenty about espresso. Most know that it’s the base of the drinks you often buy in a coffee shop. However, have you ever wondered why it was named espresso? How to taste espresso? There are a lot of mysteries behind a delicious cup of coffee, and today we’ll uncover exciting facts about the drink.
First, let’s take a look at how espresso machines work. To produce espresso, the machine must be capable of pulling hot water through the tight puck of coffee grounds. It needs significant pressure to brew the best coffee taste as quickly as possible.
It’s been this way since the first espresso machine was invented. Espresso was first introduced in Italy by Luigi Bezzera not long after espresso culture began spreading across Europe. Although Luigi Bezzera was one of the first coffee machine inventors, it was hotel and café entrepreneur Angelo Moriondo who modernized the machine in Tornio, 1884.
What does espresso mean? Mr Moriondo had the need to prepare and serve coffee to his guest as fast as possible. Since his hotel was right in front the Turin Railway station, he adopted the term Espresso (like the fastest trains of the era) to indicate the speed of its preparation. Quickly and "expressly" prepared on customer's demand.
Every coffee bean has unique taste characteristics; testers or baristas often describe the element with intensity. What does espresso intensity mean? Intensity is an easy way to describe the strength of an espresso's taste and aroma. Coffee intensity is commonly followed by the word ‘body.’
It might be hard to follow if you’re a beginner regarding espresso culture or how coffee tastes. Your subjectivity might affect how you describe the taste.
Arabica or Robusta blends often guide our perception. While Arabica has sweeter and softer tones, in general Robusta will increase coffee intensity, so it's easier to judge. Still, several qualities, such as the coffee origin and the varieties, can contribute to intensity. Not to mention, the level of roast plays a part in how the espresso tastes.
The packaging usually marks the intensity when you purchase espresso pods and blends from the market. It’ll often use a scale of five to 10, and sometimes 12, to describe the intensity you’ll get after brewing. This scale doesn’t connect to any standard and entirely relies on the coffee company’s judgement. Your taste buds might get a different taste compared to what the package tells you afterwards. It’s not uncommon for you to get different intensities when you purchase the same scaled beans from different companies.
Usually, if the package scales the bean under four, it has a light body and delicate aroma. Seven is for the middle ground. You can expect a more decadent aroma and a stronger taste, but not too strong. If you’re looking for a strong-bodied coffee, go for the 10.