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Espresso - off topic(12 posts)

Espresso - off topicSprint-Nick
Sep 22, 2003 4:59 PM
When you use an espresso machine can you make 2 shots out of the same grounds or is it better to change the grounds for each shot?

1 grind = 1 shot (nm)deHonc
Sep 22, 2003 5:28 PM
Reusing the grounds sort of misses the point.Kristin
Sep 22, 2003 5:42 PM
The whole expresso concept is "strong" cafe. But don't take my word for it. Experiment. Try it and you'll see what I mean. Thats not to say everyone likes their expresso strong. Some people like them a little weaker. I believe its called an Americano and it is about half the potency of a European shot. Its made with the same grounds and then water is added.

There are several websites dedicated to Expresso and Expresso based drinks. What kind of machine did you get?
Krups and DelonghiSprint-Nick
Sep 23, 2003 6:46 AM
Thanks to everyone for the posts.

Anyway we've had 2; a Krups which was $160 Can (~$120 US?) and a Delonghi. At first we didn't like the Krups so we returned it and bought one slightly more expensive that was Delonghi. But the Delonghi doesn't froth as well and is made for espresso cups so everything is a lot shorter... we're probably going back to the Krup's.

Sep 23, 2003 7:20 AM
or get really into it and get a hand pull (I don't know the proper name, but they look cool).
Full manuals (lever press) machines require more workKristin
Sep 23, 2003 7:52 AM
But to some purists, its the only way to make espresso. The image below is a newer version of the first machine I ever worked on. The machine I actually used was a vintage piston driven steam powered machine. The art of making coffee is vanishing. Now some 16 year old just sticks a pot of milk under a lever and leaves it sit. They even make the machines to shut off when the milk reaches tempurature. They don't even have to think about what they're doing. When I was making cafe, I apprenticed. I was tested on my knowledge and skills. I had burns on my arms from the scaulded milk that would splatter when I would make a mistake. But you can not buy a cappicino like that any longer. If you are lucky, you may find yourself in the kitchen of an old apprentice like myself, who will bestow upon you a drink that will cause you to turn away from Starbucks forever.

Nick, another suggestion would be Gaggia. If you can spend a little more, you could pick up an entry level, semi-automatic Gaggia for $229 which will make you much happier. My only suggestion when choosing a semi-automatic machine is to make sure you have full access to the pressure chamber and that you can clean it easily. My family bought a Mr. Coffee espresso maker which had zero access to the steam chamber. It sucked water from a reseviour' into the chamber and then boiled it. Mold was a problem almost immediatly. Here's the link to that Gaggia:
Never reusevelocity
Sep 23, 2003 8:33 AM
I'm another veteran of the coffee wars and capturing the perfect espresso drink (espresso with crema, perfect froth, etc.) at home is a bit of a holy grail. The first rule: never reuse the grinds!

In Italy for home use virtually everyone uses a stovetop espresso machine. Used correctly, they make an excellent espresso. Stovetop steamers can work to make frothy milk but I've found most Italians warm it in a pot on the stovetop. Unlike here in NYC, though, perfect espresso drinks can be had at any Italian caffe (except occasionally in highly touristed areas).
Sep 22, 2003 6:13 PM
Espresso is a fine and finicky art that must be mastered or totally ignored. I warn you, however, that once you have gone to the "dark" side you will never go back.

It may be fine to use your grounds a second time, but they are different than using a tea bag twice. Since the bean is ground, it absorbs far more liquid than a tea leaf, becomes bogged down, and loses more flavors if used again.

In espresso the grind is extremely fine due to the short amount of time it takes to brew - the longer that water is in contact with the coffee, the rougher the grind should be (i.e. french press).

Espresso should be ground within the day you will use it, a shot should be used within 10 seconds of its birth, and a drink should rarely be around for more 10-15 minutes before it is consumed. Crema is ESSENTIAL.

On the other hand, just enjoy what you have, grind it up, use it 3 times, put some syrup in there and be blissfull.

Either way, remember to enjoy the process.

re: Espresso - off topicBaadDawg
Sep 23, 2003 6:35 AM
Anything you never wanted to know about expresso and more can be found on the usenet newsgroup

When you see how fanitical expresso people are, bikes will seem like minor hobby by comparrison.

The elusive "God Shot" most certainly cannot be obtained from using the grinds twice. At about 10 cents for a double shot of coffee grounds and with a decent home expresso machine costing at least $400, why would you even think about using grounds again?

Sorta like fishing into the bowl to re-use your toilet paper.
re: EspressoEspresso
Sep 23, 2003 8:04 AM
Good Espresso is hard to find here in the States, so home espresso machines are the way to go. You can get away with two small cups if you're using a strainer with a double head (2 spouts), for this you must pack the strainer really hard. But for the best Espresso stay with separate shots of 2oz. less water more flavor. And fore a nice touch add a small sliver of an orange peal.
My choice for espresso makermapei boy
Sep 23, 2003 10:02 AM
I have a Pavoni. It's a manual machine with a big Pull Lever and a large water tank that holds enough water for about fifteen cups. I fill it about once a week. I bought it in 1993, and though it needs to be overhauled every couple of years, altogether it's an incredibly reliable, heavy-duty piece of machinery. Bike mechanics will appreciate the superb way the water tank cap screws into the tank.

It takes a while to get the feel of how to properly pull a cup of espresso (it came with a video instruction guide), but when you've got it down, the quality of espresso it provides is extremely high. Lots of crema (foam). An intense, concentrated yet smooth brew. Perhaps not as good as the espresso they serve at the Caffe San Eustachio in Rome, but abjectly superior to the swill they peddle at Starbucks.

In any case, like so many of the other posters advise, only use the grounds once!
re: Espresso - off topicMariowannabe
Sep 23, 2003 11:57 AM
Use the ground once, then put them in the compost. Keep the machine clean. Espresso must be made with a (cleann) pressure driven machine. For me less (water) is more. I always drink it within a minute. No sugar or lemon peel. When I get it right its 50% crema.

Two shots a day.