Creating The Perfect Espresso
A quick lesson in the art of coffee making… the Macknade way!
There are two questions we always get asked in the café.
Firstly, when serving an espresso, “Is this right, why is it so short?, and secondly, “Why are your cup sizes so tiny!?”.
In the café we are passionate about coffee, geeky about espresso and positively boring about milk! But we have good reason to be… Coffee culture in the UK has come on leaps & bounds in the last 5-10 years and although we haven’t dipped into the realms of filter, drip and cold brew commercially (though most of us will chew your ear off if you want to talk about how to make coffee at home!), there’s one thing we know how to do brilliantly, and that is extracting the perfect classic Italian espresso.
Short, strong, dark and rich. Nope, that’s not how we might describe some of the senior management team; it’s how we serve our house blend.
Manaresi coffee is one of the many products that we import direct from Italy. It originated in Florence (where it is still produced), and has an aroma and flavour that is unique, unrivalled and recognised by coffee connoisseurs all over the world.
Firstly let’s talk about our house beans. As you know, Macknade Fine Foods has a strong Italian heritage and this is where our journey begins. The house espresso blend we use is Manaresi Caffe Gold, specially sourced for us from Florence, Italy. Dating back to 1898, Manaresi is one of Italy’s oldest roasters and uses the same methods and traditions that made it so successful in the first place. Meticulous thought is given to choosing the highest quality beans, and the same care is devoted to the roasting process, which is done now as it was in the past – under the strict control of human experience that no machine will ever be able to duplicate. The blend of 90% Arabica and 10% Robusta beans gives a beautifully balanced traditional rich espresso.
Espresso: Chocolate, malt, raisin
Mouthfeel: Thick, lingers with a balanced initial acidity
Aroma: Sweet, toasted coconut, brown sugar
To make our perfect espresso, we start with 19g of freshly ground beans, this is tamped firmly and inserted into the machine. We have pre-programmed our machine to run a classic double espresso for approx. 21 seconds and a classic espresso cup will be around 2/3 full of thick syrupy espresso goodness! This may be somewhat shorter than you are used to in other establishments. There is a good reason we do this… It creates a super intense & rich aromatic espresso, a real coffee hit! Once lengthened with water or milk you shouldn’t lose the flavour profiles.
This leads us naturally on to why our cup sizes are smaller than you may be used to. This is because they are traditional Italian sizes and we want to ensure that the flavour of the coffee is not lost in a vat of hot milk or water.
We firmly believe that once you’ve tried a classic Macknade espresso you won’t go back to the watery depths of those you have tried before!