What Type of Coffee Is Best for Espresso?
Best Coffee Beans for Espresso Machines And Homemade 2023
Espresso coffee is increasingly becoming the preferred choice for many in local cafes and coffee shops. 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 is a concentrated coffee beverage that is made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans using high pressure. The result is a small, strong shot of coffee that is typically served in a small espresso cup or shot glass.
In addition to being served on its own, espresso is also used as the base for a variety of other coffee drinks, such as lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos. These drinks are made by adding steamed milk, frothed milk, or other flavorings to the espresso shot.
What makes Espresso Beans so special?
Espresso is a popular coffee drink that is loved by millions of people around the world. But what makes espresso beans so special? Let's take a closer look at some of the key characteristics of espresso beans that make them stand out:
- Roast level: Espresso beans are typically roasted darker than other coffee beans. This gives them a rich, bold flavour profile that is perfect for espresso shots.
- Blend composition: Espresso beans are often a blend of different coffee beans from various regions around the world. This allows roasters to create a unique flavour profile that is specifically designed for espresso.
- Pressure extraction: Espresso is made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans using high pressure. This results in a concentrated shot of coffee that is thicker and stronger than regular drip coffee.
- Crema: The high pressure extraction process also creates a layer of frothy crema on top of the espresso shot. This crema is a hallmark of a well-made espresso and adds a creamy texture to the drink.
- Aroma: Espresso beans have a distinct aroma that is often described as nutty or chocolatey. This aroma is enhanced by the high pressure extraction process, which releases the oils and flavours of the beans.
- Acidity: Espresso beans tend to have lower acidity levels than other coffee beans. This makes them less bitter and easier to drink in concentrated shots.
Is it better to use ground coffee or coffee beans for my espresso?When coffee is at its freshest, it tastes the greatest, and it keeps its freshness the longest when it is kept whole bean form until you wish to enjoy it.
So grinding your own coffee beans right before making espresso is the best method to get the most flavour out of the bean. This does need a bit more effort to ground the beans with a coffee grinder; but, if you don't have the time or interest to do so, you may get a bean to cup coffee machine that will do it for you, but they can be rather costly.
Because not everyone has the time or desire to grind their own beans or invest in a bean to cup machine, excellent quality ground coffee is the next best thing.
The most important thing to remember about pre-ground coffee is that the grind fineness has already been determined for you, so you won't be able to fine-tune it for your individual coffee maker to achieve the optimum coffee extraction.
Best coffee beans for espresso
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.
Do you need special ground coffee for espresso?
The most crucial thing to know is that espresso is not a coffee bean or a type of coffee. Espresso is the process of making very fine ground coffee with hot forced water at high pressure. You don't need anything specific to use an espresso machine, and you may use any kind of beans.
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.
- Coffee 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 (don't forget to check out how to make good coffee at home).