The Italian espresso machine has become the mainstay of coffee shops around the world in recent years. They can
even be found today mounted in the back of vans at work sites and outdoor fairs. Espresso machines consistently
produce excellent coffee. The invention of the espresso machine has been attributed to Achille Gaggia in 1946. The
espresso process forces hot water at the correct temperature quickly through finely ground coffee at high
Darkly roasted beans are preferred to bring out the strength of the coffee, and, because they are more brittle,
to allow a fine grind and an easy transfer of the flavors to the water. The ideal grind feels like sand, or a
consistency between flour and sugar.
The result is that the coffee transfers the maximum aroma and taste to the water, but avoids the bitterness that
can come from prolonged brewing at higher or lower temperatures. The coffee is ideally poured directly into a
warmed cup as it is made, and arrives in the hands of the customer hot and freshly brewed. This superior result has
proved very popular with coffee drinkers.
Espresso coffee making machines come with automatic, semi-automatic of
manual operation. Most electrically powered automated machines used commercially simply require the settings to be
made and the shot basket to be emptied and loaded for each run. Multiple cups can be made at the same time on
commercial machines, the number varying with the size of the machine.
An espresso coffee is a small serving of strong coffee. It is popular in Europe served exactly as it is made in
a small cup. It has also become the coffee base for making a bewildering range of variations and flavors of coffee
served in various sized cups to cater to many individual tastes. The Starbucks Coffee Shop chain has set the
standard for offering a wide choice of coffee beverages to its customers.
Espresso machines usually have a milk steaming and foaming wand to enable specialty coffees to be made. They
often also include a steam heating arrangement to prepare cups for use. Many commercial espresso machines
incorporate a coffee-grinding machine as well.
While they started out as a large and almost industrial device, automated espresso machines are now becoming
compact and affordable enough to be appearing in many private homes. Coffee drinkers are now expecting to be able
to replicate at home the quality of the professionally made espresso that they enjoy at coffee shops.