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Making Excellent Espresso
A distinctive feature of espresso, as opposed to brewed coffee, is espresso’s association with cafés, due both to the specialized equipment and skill required, thus making the enjoyment of espresso a social experience.
Home espresso machines have increased in popularity with the general rise of interest in espresso. Today, a wide range of home espresso equipment can be found in kitchen and appliance stores, online vendors, and department stores. The first espresso machine for home use was the Gaggia Gilda. Soon afterwards, similar machines such as the Faema Faemina, FE-AR La Peppina and VAM Caravel followed suit in similar form factor and operational principles. These machines still have a small but dedicated share of fans. Until the advent of the first small electrical pump-based espresso machines such as the Gaggia Baby and Quickmill 810, home espresso machines were not widely adopted. The increased availability of convenient counter-top fully automatic espresso makers and pod-based espresso serving systems has increased the quantity of espresso consumed at home.
The popularity of home espresso making parallels the increase of home coffee roasting. Some amateurs pursue both home roasting coffee and making espresso
Espresso is both a coffee beverage and a brewing method. It is not a specific bean, bean blend, or roast level. Any bean or roasting level can be used to produce authentic espresso. For example, in southern Italy, a darker roast is generally preferred. Farther north, the trend moves toward slightly lighter roasts, while outside Italy, a wide range is popular.
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