Espresso coffee is one of the symbols of Italian cuisine and tradition. Known throughout the world, its dark color and intense aroma make it a unique drink.
However, not everyone knows the true origins of espresso coffee, how it became famous and how to prepare a real Italian espresso.
The history of espresso
The first espresso prototype was born in Turin, but it was only in Milan, in 1901, that the first espresso coffee machine was created.
Espresso became popular thanks to the machine invented by Achille Gaggia in 1938.
From that moment on, espresso coffee increasingly became a must-have drink in bars throughout Italy. The coffee thus created was called "Italian coffee" or espresso coffee, appreciated all over the world.
How to make a cup of espresso
Creating an espresso coffee is a real art. A little ground coffee and a little hot water is not enough: the right process involves machinery and human skill, to create a drink that is fragrant and creamy.
First of all, we need to start from the basics: the raw material. Usually, espresso coffee is prepared with a blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans , in different percentages, although in some bars you can find both 100% Robusta and 100% Arabica.
The coffee must be ground finely, and then used immediately: in fact, the aromas disappear just 20 minutes after grinding. The amount for a cup of coffee is about 8 grams .
The coffee machine must be rigorously clean and without residues, and must emit a jet of hot water under pressure, which will hit the ground coffee in the filter.
Finally, the cup is also important: whether it's ceramic (as tradition dictates) or glass, it must be small and conical, so as to control the quantity and creaminess of the espresso. The cup must already be hot before use , in order not to lose the heat and aroma of the coffee.
How to drink an espresso
Espresso coffee can be drunk straight, or with the addition of sugar or milk (in this case, it is called "macchiato"). It is a traditional Italian ritual: it is often consumed at the bar counter, in the morning or after meals.
Some bars offer a small glass of water with the coffee, so you can rinse out your mouth and be able to enjoy all the aromas in the cup.