Buying espresso equipment can easily be compared to buying a car. Vehicle purchases, like espresso equipment purchases, are often made with an emphasis in mind such as budget, features, or prestige, but one thing is for certain, not one vehicle or espresso machine is best for everyone.
When purchasing espresso equipment, placing more emphasis on one aspect of our purchase and ignoring others, often times, leaves us with buyer’s remorse. Who does not know someone who has purchased a used sports car for its easy price tag and cool look only to find that they spent more time under the car fixing it than actually driving it?
If the sports car was purchased by someone who enjoyed restoring old cars no problem, but what if the car was purchased for commuting to work?
“The four Bs” is a clever way to remind us that roast, grinder, espresso machine, and barista all have a significant impact on our espresso beverages. If you have ever purchased a not so great tasting espresso beverage, it is because the business failed to recognize the importance of at least one, if not more, of these aspects.
Before considering the purchase of an espresso machine, take the time to learn and understand the significance of each espresso aspect and know exactly what you wish to accomplish with your espresso machine. Like a car purchase, the answer is different for everyone and is not something someone can answer for you.
Before you purchase the best espresso machine, take a moment to consider what coffee really is and what it means to you and your customers. When you select your favorite soda do you ever wonder what your drink will actually taste like? Not only do we know exactly what it will taste like but in most cases, we have no problem returning the soda when it is not delivered to our expectations. For many in the business of espresso style beverages, great tasting and most importantly consistent beverages is what is diligently strived for. For most consumers, returning their coffee is not always an option, knowing that their favorite cup of coffee will be the same is almost always key to their repeat business.
If buying an espresso machine can easily be compared to purchasing a car, then coffee can easily be compared to the variety of vehicles available for purchase. I will gently step into and quickly out of this very sensitive area by simply stating your coffee preference is just that, your preference. Just like the car you drive, the coffee you drink is determined by your individual taste. Most importantly, once we have found what we enjoy, the expectancy of taste consistency in our daily routine is overwhelmingly important.
Did you know the average consumer can easily taste the difference in coffees, as well as whether it is stale, bland or brewed inconsistently?
Origin, Sunlight, and soil composition are just a few influences that affect a coffee crop but it does not stop there. Once roasted, coffee can quickly deteriorate. Once beans are ground, deterioration and changes come even quicker. My point is that sometimes looking for the best espresso machine is foolish if coffee is not quite understood. Too much focus on the brewing aspect of coffee and not enough on the coffee itself can leave many with a misdirected frustration toward their espresso machine. Remember coffee is a food product; the fresher it is the better it is. Stale coffee is difficult to brew consistently and will not taste great out of the best of espresso machines. Recognizing the uniqueness of your coffee, its vulnerabilities and how environmental changes affect its composition and taste is the beginning to successful espresso style coffee preparation.
Did you know it takes little effort to brew inconsistent espresso shots? Today’s roasters profile their individual coffee selections and for good reason. Roasters know that taking the time to evaluate dosing weight, with water temperature, water volume and brewing time enhances the flavor of their coffee blends. Furthermore, it assists baristas in easily delivering a consistent product that is as great tasting as it was meant to be.
What you may not know is that by simply altering dosing weight or amount of coffee used, you also might need to change brewing time and temperature to maintain the fullness of your coffee’s flavor. For many, if we keep to our coffees defined profiles our customers will receive a consistent beverage that they will be more than satisfied with but what if they are not?
Before even considering the purchase of an espresso machine, finding and working with a roaster you genuinely like will make delivering great tasting consistent espresso products a pleasant and rewarding experience. Some roasters will even help you create your own unique special blend, roast and profile it, just for you.
There is lot to say and discuss when it comes to brewing coffee espresso style. In the next few weeks, we will be exploring how the grinder and the barista play pivotal roles in preparing coffee for brewing. For now, brewing a consistent great tasting espresso style beverage starts first and foremost with flavorful freshly roasted coffee beans.
Click her to continue on with our series: The Best Espresso Machine Part 2