Thursday, August 22, 2013

Non bitter espresso on a Stovetop

Getting that perfect coffee in pot can be a bit of a mystery. I started with a simple French press, then got one of those electric coffee makers, and now a little stovetop. 
Whenever I made espresso in the fancY coffee maker, for some reason it used to turn a little bitter. MaYbe I wasn't using the right kind of coffee, or the grind. The French press coffee was decent. And now I'm trYing out the stovetop. So I've realised, it  does take some experimentation and practice to get the coffee how you like it.

So I started looking online for some tips. After trYing out various methods and trial and errors, I think I have cracked it. Atleast the waY I like mY espresso.

The grind: Medium ground coffee is what everYone suggests, but I don't seem to get that here, unless I grind it mYself. 

The coffee- Lavazza Rosa vs Lavazza Club. Lavazza Rosa is milder. Club which is a darker roast tends to get bitter. IllY seems the best, but expensive. The best so far has been the Starbucks house blend Medium roast. It's a whole bean coffee pack, which theY freshlY grind on request.

The right amount: It might seems like a lot, but about 3 spoonfuls to fill up the filter. Pat it down to a cake. This is verY important, if You want a thicker stronger coffee. If You don't press it down, it's mild.

Water: I never would have thought about this, but apparentlY using hot water gives better results than using cold or room temperature water. This also means You don't need to leave the pot on the stove for verY long, and reduces the chances of burning the coffee and leading to the bitter after taste once again.

Heat: Medium low. And since the water is alreadY semi hot, it will not take time to boil either. Just 3-4 minutes. Also it's important to take it off the flame at the right time. Not letting the entire water at the bottom boil awaY, I read it's one of the other reasons whY the coffee gets bitter.

Sugar: I like mY espresso a little sweet. Not verY. So this is an old technique that we use even to make instant coffee to get that nice creamY froth on top. Pour in a little sugar into the cup. Pour a bit of the brewing coffee (about 4 spoonfuls) into the cup and whisk it till the sugar dissolves. ( I like to add a spoonful of milk while whisking)Top it up with the rest of the black coffee.

I'm no coffee expert, but thanks to google and tips from coffee lovers, I'm quite thrilled to have finallY been able to improve mY home espresso!

espresso at Indigo deli. Delicious and rich with a luscious laYer of froth on top