Though it's essentially a percolating device, Bialetti legend suggests that the machine was inspired by early clothes-washing machines which used a heat source to boil a pail of sudsy water and cause it to rise up out of a tube, which could be aimed at soiled laundry.
'espresso' on Serious Eats
We asked Tamara Vigil, who works as an in-house educator for Irving Farm Coffee Roasters in New York City, to walk us through each part of making a successful espresso shot.
Want to pour pretty latte designs? Here are the four most basic principles to practice.
Crema, that gorgeous head of amber-colored foam atop a fresh espresso, embodies the essence of the drink to some&emdash;so why might you want to scoop it off before you drink it?
When your espresso or pourover coffee isn't what you've expected, should you—and would you—be able to send it back?
Can this device—which looks sort of like a gigantic Rabbit wine opener—actually make a decent shot of espresso?Depending on your level of persnickitiness, yes.
For those who've even heard of it on American shores, the Caffe Allongé is, to many, much-maligned. And that's no surprise: US specialty coffee trends have definitively shifted towards the short shot—ristretto, or restricted, espresso pulls that draw a small amount of concentrated espresso with intense flavor. The allongé is considered strange, at best, by those who've embraced the ristretto trend. But to make a short story long...there's more to the allongé than a style mysteriously popular in Quebec.
Why do we all always act like "espresso" is from Mars and "coffee" is from Venus? It's time to challenge (and perhaps change) the way we perceive those potent little caffeinated shots, and put espresso back into context.
We're facing down the unpredictable weather (warm one minute! cold the next!) with a nice mix of hot and iced caffeinated drinks to regulate our delicate body temperature–to-comfort ratio. Here are some coffee bevvies drinks that smack of the spring season.
Italians think third-wave coffee is insane; specialty-coffee crazy baristas think Italians are out of date and out of touch. But who's right? We explore both sides of the caffeinated argument.
The basic theory behind espresso blending is to create a layered set of flavors that respond well to the intense mode of brewing that is espresso. Layering allows the coffee roaster to control the sensory balance of acidity, sweetness, and body in a coffee—specifically in a coffee that's going to be brewed to accentuate all of the characteristics of the beans in a less-than-subtle way.
It's a classic sight: A tiny cup of dark, bittersweet espresso with a fragrant shave of lemon peel on the saucer. Squeezed, sucked, or dropped into the coffee, there are innumerable ways to use the sour strip—but is the garnish authentic?
Home coffee setups don't have to be cafe-caliber to make a big change in your daily routine. In this fifth of a series, we'll explore three easy ways to make huge improvements in what you taste—and how you think about brewing—each and every day. If you're looking for the perfect extravagant gift, to yourself or someone else, consider some of the following high-ticket items to class up your coffee with the highest quality.
You want to know what happens when Italy (and its coffee) stops being polite and starts getting real? Check out Naples for an authentic, old-school, and defiantly no-nonsense look at espresso culture.
There are secrets hidden in more places than just the ruins and catacombs that dot this ancient city—the baristas at one of Rome's best cafes are notoriously tight-lipped, too.
A sweet, accessible marriage of modern and Old World charm: Am I describing the coffee in Florence, or the city itself? Both, actually.
Venice might be a picture-perfect city, but a good espresso is hard to find. (Hard, but not impossible.)
In order to make the perfect shot of espresso, the coffee's got to be under pressure—not only from the water being pushed out of the espresso machine, but also from the barista herself. Today we explain the what, why, and how of tamping. (May the force be with you.)
Vilified and lionized with seemingly equal regularity, Starbucks is the caffeinated megachain we hate to love and love to hate. But are the reasons any good on either side?
This past January, I went on an espresso-fueled crusade through Italy, sipping my way through the country on a quest to better understand the cultural history and traditions that supposedly surround the beloved beverage there. I got a chance to make the ultimate coffee nerd's pilgrimage: A tour of the La Marzocco espresso-machine factory.