What Type of Coffee Is Best for Espresso?
Best Coffee for Espresso
Coffee is fast becoming the choice of many in local tea outlets. A shot of coffee a day is what is needed to complete the day of some. Espresso is no longer what you find in local coffee shops alone anymore. You can now find an espresso machine in the home of every coffee lover.
Notwithstanding, choosing the right espresso beans is important if you will get the best out of your espresso. Whether you just open a new coffee shop and you are seeking to hone your coffee-making style. Or you are a lover of coffee and want to try out the espresso at home. Here is a tip on the best selections for your espresso beans.
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What is Espresso?
Espresso refers to a shot of concentrated coffee. To make Espresso, brewers force hot water at high pressure through finely-ground coffee beans. From the definition, you will see that espresso coffee differs from regular coffee in two ways; brewing and the grind.
What makes Espresso Beans so special?
So you might want to ask, why can't I take regular coffee beans? What's so special about Espresso coffee beans anyway?
Well, there are a lot of reasons why cafes use special blends for their espresso and not just the regular coffee. The reasons include the following:
- Espresso beans are cheaper: Single-origin coffee comes at a higher price. Therefore, busy cafés typically use espresso blend to service all their customers. Typically, such blends contain cheaper coffee beans from Brazil and Indonesia. Some might even contain 20% of robusta mixed in.
- The tasty tradition: For many years, people have roasted Espresso darker than other types of coffee beans. As a result, people expect to taste a unique ‘espresso flavour’ from their coffee. This unique aroma and taste is something you can’t achieve with regular coffee beans.
- Espresso is better with milk: When you use espresso to make a milk-based drink like latte or cappuccino, you’ll need a dark roast to “cut” through the creaminess of the milk. Only expresso has that level of dark that you need.
Best coffee beans for espresso
Although, you can choose any coffee beans for espresso. However, the best results are obtained when you make use of some type of coffee beans. The difference is seen in the crema on the coffee and the taste. Here are the best coffee beans for espresso;
● Ethiopian Espresso Coffee beans
Ethiopian coffee is great when you make it with light roast coffee beans. This gives you a fruity taste of coffee. If your choice is a coffee with an aggressive bite, you will rather go for a darker roast. Most importantly, if you desire a crema on your coffee, these are the right coffee beans to use.
● Indonesian Espresso Coffee beans
The Indonesia coffee is good because of the flavour it gives your espresso coffee. Not only that, Indonesian coffee has a low acidity which makes it healthy. Indonesian coffee beans produce strong coffee without any form of bitterness. Therefore, if you love coffee with a good flavour and less bitterness, Indonesian coffee is the best for you.
● Colombian Espresso Coffee beans
Colombian coffee is notable for its sharp and sweet taste. It also produces crema but not as much as Ethiopian coffee. This coffee when used with a darker roast gives a little bitter coffee. Some people, however, will not mind this bitter taste. Colombian coffee beans are the best option if you like a coffee with dark roasts.
● Ground Coffee Blends
Some people cannot just take their eyes off of all of these coffees. They wanted to have the taste of all at the same time. If you are among this group, you will want to go for blended coffee.
The blended coffee makes use of coffee from different regions and blends them into one. This is done to give you the best espresso coffee. You can get an already prepared blend like the Espresso Italiano. This blend makes use of coffee from America, Indonesia, and Chiapas.
On the other hand, you can choose to do the blend yourself. You can choose to make a blend using Ethiopian coffee and Colombian coffee. This will give you the crema and the taste you desire.
What is the best Roast for espresso?
There's always an argument around the topic of roast for coffee especially Espresso. Some say it should be a medium roast while some say it should be a dark roast. So, let's take a look at what the ideal should be.
Is dark roast suitable for espresso?
Dark roast works well for espresso. As a matter of fact, most people prefer darker roasts in the daily shot of Espresso. In addition, when you use the set for lattes of dark roast, it improves the flavour of the lattes.
No matter the origin of the coffee beans, medium-dark to dark roasts will taste the same. You should know however that there is nothing special about dark beans. They are like comfort food really. There is nothing special about them but people love them anyway.
The only problem with dark beans from dark roasts is that they tend to be oily faster than medium roasts. Darker roasts tend to become oily at a faster rate than medium roasts. Oily coffee is not an issue as it tastes great. The only problem is, not all grinders can handle oily coffee beans.
If you have a semiautomatic espresso machine or a good grinder in general, you should have nothing to worry about. However, most superautomatic espresso machines and grinders might not do well with oily beans
Can you use a light roast?
Yes, many exquisite shots are made using lighter roasts. With lighter roasts, you get an extra dimension to your shot.
If what you want is greatness and to pull some terroir flavours into your cup, a lighter roast is the right choice for you.
Single Origin vs Blends
Very often, people make the common mistake of saying the expression espresso beans. It's just sad to hear it every time. The truth is, there is no such thing as that. To make coffee, roasters usually develop blends and roast to their taste.
Most cafes use blends for several reasons. First, even if you make mistakes with a bean while making a blend, you will still end up with a decent shot. Also, blends are usually easier to handle and they do well with latte or cappuccino.
However, the single-origin coffee gives you the pure espresso experience. It comes from just one bean and brewing requires lots of expertise and experience. As a result, a single blend cup is usually more expensive than the blend type. While the blends are safer to make, they do not give the wholeness that you get from a single origin. Actually, get used to it and it won’t bother you anymore.
How do I choose coffee beans for espresso?
The very first rule is that you use the beans you like. If you don’t know what you like, here are some examples of how to find out.
- If you have tried manual drip coffee, or you enjoy drinking it, and you like the lovely terroir notes, then, you should use those beans. Most likely you will have a lighter roast that will emphasize the origin. For instance, if you are taking African beans, you should have a feeling of its subtle acidity or some sense of floral notes.
- If you prefer naturally sweeter coffee, you should go for a darker roast. However, ensure that it's not too dark because it might come with an ash taste.
- If you are still not sure what to pick, then go for an “espresso roast”. This is usually a special blend that roasters craft with different coffee beans. The idea behind this blend is to please most espresso lovers. If you do not know what you want, chances are that you belong to the category of most coffee lovers and this blend might be what you need.
Factors to consider when choosing coffee beans for espresso
No matter what your taste is, make sure you consider the following when buying coffee beans.
- Your beans should be fresh when you purchase them
- Don't buy too many coffee beans at a time or they will get spoiled
- Ensure you buy the best quality coffee.
- As a rule, always buy whole beans.
- Make sure you know your roaster.
- Coffe with no origin is probably bad coffee.
- Arabica is the best coffee and espressos made from Arabica beans are delicious.
Things to look for in a Coffee Blend
If you intend to get a blend, you need to think about what you intend to do with it. Are you making a strong espresso drink or will you make a milk-based drink from it?
If you are making a straight espresso shot, then you should not use anything that has robusta in it. Instead, pick any brand that has 100% arabica. If you can find one from Central America or Eastern Africa in the mix, it would make an even better mix. This will give you some experience of some fruity feeling. Ensure that the coffee bean is not too oily from the outside.
If you would be using the beans with milk, you should use darker blends. Alternatively, you can use a blend that has robusta in it.
It is good when you choose the coffee for your espresso. It allows you to decide the taste, crema, and colour. While you can choose any Ethiopian, Colombian, and Indonesian coffee beans, you can also choose the Blend to have the taste of two or more coffee.