September 23, 2010

Andrea Illy Talks about Brewing and Drinking Great Espresso

The WSJ published a short article where it talks to Andrea Illy, the CEO and Chairman of the world known Illy coffee company. Sitting here drinking an espresso from the FrancisFrancis Y1, I enjoyed the article where he talks about his coffee drinking ritual and the keys to success in brewing espresso at home. He prefers a lighter roasted coffee for his espressos, and follows these general rules:

  1. Grind beans in a commercial grade grinder - most home grinders can't do an adequate job. This powdery grind will give you maximum extraction of coffee flavor. As long as you can grind what you need for just a few days, I would agree. I would not advocate grinding a pound of espresso if you are only going to drink a shot a week; the coffee will be terrible several months later by the time you finish it.
  2. Brew with water at the right temperature - 190F - 200F - hotter may extract off-flavors and bitter/burnt notes.
  3. Pull your shot for about 30 seconds on a single dose brew - longer times may over extract and pull out bitter off flavors.
  4. Drink your espresso immediately in a nice, pre-warmed cup that has the mass to keep the espresso warm, without cooling off the brew. Drinking it soon after brewing, he explains, offers the drinker the enjoyment of the crema, without losing the espresso's wonderful aromas that can dissipate as the espresso cools and loses its cream layer.

He also noted that he enjoys several espressos a day ....

QWell worth the short read... at the WSJ

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Posted by Scott Martin at September 23, 2010 9:26 AM
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