Barista Guide – What Is Espresso? – Tips for Aspiring Baristas

by Dan Harrington on March 18, 2011

What Is Espresso?

Espresso is a culture! This includes not only the Espresso coffee beans which have been given an Espresso Roast, but also the finely pulled Espresso Shot and the meticulously prepared Espresso Drinks provided with the deft touch of a master Barista.

Lastly, these gourmet coffees beverages are accompanied by Espresso Cuisine! There are also some great Coffee Recipes that use fine gourmet coffee to prepare delicious foods.

What Type of Coffee Beans are Used to Make Espresso?

Generally the preferred coffee bean varietal for espresso is Arabica, though many espresso blends also include a relatively small amount of Robusta which is believed to impart a certain desirable edge to the shot while also creating a more robust crema.

What is the Proper Grind Size for Espresso? – What is Espresso?

Premium coffees used to brew espresso should generally be ground very fine, almost powdery. If there is residue at the bottom of your demitasse when you pull an Espresso Shot then it may be too fine. Also if the espresso pours too slow out of the spout it may be ground to fine or tamped too firmly.

There will be some variations in grind size depending upon the particular type of espresso machine you are using so you may need to fine tune it after a test brewing.

Why Do I Need An Espresso Machine to Make Espresso?

The purpose of the espresso machine is to provide a very high pressure that forces the hot water through the roasted and ground coffee. This pressurized extraction is what creates the unique espresso beverage.

How Big Is An Espresso Shot – Barista Guide Tips for Aspiring Baristas

The classic espresso shot is about one and one-half ounces in volume, and a double shot is about three ounces.

What is the Classic Way to Serve Espresso

If you are consuming the straight espresso shot, then the best way to serve it is in a pre-warmed demitasse.

According to tradition the espresso should be consumed “solo” in one ceremonious gulp! This should be done within the first minute after brewing, and allows you to appreciate the fine flavors and aromas.

Why is Espresso the Perfect Beverage for Making Specialty Coffee Drinks?

Due to the intense concentration of flavors and aromas in an Espresso Shot, and its robust quality, espresso provides the perfect coffee beverage for mixing with steamed and frothed milk to make Espresso Coffee Drinks such as Cappuccinos and Lattes Due to the concentration of flavor in espresso, it does not lose its taste when diluted with the milk.

Barista Guide – What Is Espresso? – Tips for Aspiring Baristas

What is the Espresso Crema?

Crema is the very thin, foamy layer that sits atop the shot of espresso.

The crema is comprised of emulsified oils including sugars and proteins, and provides the sweetness and the espresso’s finest flavors and aromatic qualities while also preserving the intensity of the espresso shot. The espresso crema should be golden brown in color.

What Are the Other Parts of the Espresso Shot?

Beneath the crema of the espresso is the heart of the espresso shot and the body of the espresso shot. The body is in the middle of the espresso shot while the heart sits at the bottom of the demitasse.

The body of the espresso shot should be caramel brown while the heart should be a deeper colored brown. Most of the espresso shot’s bitterness is found in the heart.

What Is An Espresso Pod? – More Barista Tips

An espresso pod is a disk of pre-compacted, roasted and ground coffee within a paper filter, ready to be brewed in an pod espresso machine.

What is Espresso Cuisine? – What Is Espresso?

Espresso Cuisine consists of a variety of foods that are traditionally served with espresso and part of the same general milieu that is savored by gourmet espresso lovers.

Some examples of Espresso Cuisine include the desserts sorbetto, affogato, and gelato. Also Espresso Cuisine is brioche, biscotti and croissants.

The Master Barista

A person who is an expert at pulling an espresso and creating wonderful espresso drinks is known as a Barista.

We provide you with all the tools you need to become a Master Barista including lots of great Espresso Drink recipes and tips on pulling the perfect espresso shot as well as steaming and frothing milk so that it is creamy and velvety, creating a harmony of flavors that will delight your senses. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading the Gourmet Coffee Lovers’ Barista Guide with Lot of Tips for Aspiring Baristas including answering the essential question: What Is Espresso!


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