While all coffee for espresso should be ground finely, making small grind size adjustments can drastically change your results. If you grind slightly finer, not only will you expose more of your coffee’s surface area to your water, but you’ll slow down the flow of the water, adding time to the coffee brewing process. Both of these changes will result in less sour flavor and more sweetness for your espresso drink, but if you go too far could make your brewed coffee taste bitter. Grinding coarser (and therefore reducing your brew time) could make your coffee less bitter, but if you go too far could make it too sour. Finding that literal sweet spot is the challenge (and, when you get it right, the joy!) of making good espresso (or, as coffee professionals call it, “dialing in”).
Any coffee can be decaffeinated! The decaffeination processes our roasters use removes 99.9 percent of caffeine from regular coffee. Espresso is usually roasted for longer than a non-espresso drink, creating a roasty flavor profile. You can still roast espresso to an espresso roast no matter the level of caffeine within!
Italians were the first to build and patent espresso machines. The first machine used for making espresso was built and patented by Angelo Moriondo in Turin, Italy in 1884. The original espresso machine consisted of a large boiler that heated water to 1.5 bars of pressure. That pressure pushed the heated water through a bed of coffee grounds, with a second boiler that produced steam that would flash through the bed of coffee and complete the brew cycle. Luigi Bezzera improved upon the original espresso machine with a new patent in 1903 that introduced the portafilter and multiple brewing heads. Desiderio Pavoni bought those patents and improved upon them further still, creating a pressure release valve and steam wand to hold additional steam built up within the boiler. Bezzera and Pavoni debuted their machines at the 1906 Milan Fair, thus introducing the world to “cafe espresso”.