The most important ingredient if you want to be professional, you are going to need in order to make commercial coffee is… well, coffee.
It might seem obvious, but every coffee blend is different and will give your espresso a particular taste, and this is true for home espresso than for commercial.
You should pick one according to what you need or to what aromas you enjoy the most when drinking your coffee. And remember: even the 100% arabic coffee is not a warranty of a high-quality coffee, as it could be a mixture of many arabic coffees that do not work well.
Italian espresso is considered to be the best in the world; yet, if you travel through Italy, you will find that different areas have different preferences. An espresso drunk in Milan won’t be the same as one drunk in Rome, for example.
People who live in the North of Italy usually use sweet, slightly sour coffee blends. These type of coffee is the one that comes from Mexico, Guatemala (whose coffee has a slight vanilla aftertaste), Costarica, Colombia, etc.
The center of Italy prefers strong and rich coffee blends, such as those that come from Ethiopia and India.
In the south, you will probably find an extremely strong, dark and intense coffee, usually more bitter than the rest of the country. Coffee blends are therefore particularly well grinded, maybe a 50% arabic, and the resulting espresso will have a rich taste that locals love.
Many people wonder whether they should use coffee capsules or pods.
The capsule is extremely common, and apparently for good reasons: it’s convenient, easy to use, the machine does not require extensive cleaning and there are many blends and aromas that you can find in shops and supermarkets.
There are a few negative sides to using espresso capsules, though: it is very expensive, as it contains from 3 to 5 grams of coffee rather than the 7-8 that the perfect espresso should have. It also has a high concentration of furan, that has bad effects on the human body. Coffee capsules are also extremely polluting, as they are made of both plastic and humid parts and cannot be recycled in any way.
Coffee pods are a much better option. They allow you to have a ready-made dose of coffee that does not leave residues that may be difficult to clean. The grinded coffee is held together by a paper filter that can be inserted directly inside the machine instead of normal grinded coffee. The paper is biodegradable and can be used for composting.
Italians have what they call “The rule for the perfect espresso”, and who use a professional espresso machine must know.
There are five points that must always be taken into consideration when making a good coffee; if you respect those five rules, you will be able to drink a truly Italian espresso.
The first element is the coffee blend. Knowing what you are working with is fundamental in every field, and this does not make an exception. You should have a good knowledge of the different coffees, the way they can or can’t be mixed together so that you can buy or make the perfect blend. The coffee must always be of good quality and you should make sure you know what the different coffees taste like, so you can create the blend you want according to your needs and preferences.
The coffee grinder is the second basic element. The grinder is the main instrument you are going to be working with, so you must always keep it clean and functional, making sure you know everything about the way it works and how to fix it if you notice something is wrong.
The best commercial espresso machines is your second most important tool. It transforms coffee from its solid to its liquid state. Always keep in mind that the perfect dosage for a good espresso is about 7 grams of grinded coffee powder.
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Than the operator’s hand is probably the most relevant factor that determines whether the espresso is going to be delicious or mediocre. The operator has to know the perfect doses in order to meet the needs and expectations of friends and/or clients.
The last, but not less important point is cleaning and maintenance. The espresso machine must never be turned off, the filter inside the shower must be cleaned everyday. You must check the manometers constantly and make sure they never reach values higher than 1.4 bar. The depurator will often have salt residues that must be cleaned off carefully and on a regular basis.
If you follow these five rules, you will surely obtain the perfect Italian espresso.