Let’s get real, all coffee is not created equal, and there’s a big difference between the drip junk served in your office and the offerings of artisanal roasters. Wanting the inside scoop on how to make the perfect cup of espresso we consulted with master barista Fritz Storm, who won the World Barista Championship in 2002, and is now a coffee consultant working with restaurants, bars, and hotels around the world to perfect their coffee experiences. His latest project is working with Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts on their new coffee program in its hotels around the world.
Storm shared with us: “Serving a great cup of coffee, cappuccino, or espresso should be a skill required of any good host or hostess … at-home entertainers should think about making a great cup of coffee with the same care they would use in making a great risotto or a fabulous cocktail. It just takes a little more effort and attention to detail, but the result speaks for itself.”
Fritz Storm’s Step-By-Step Guide To Making the Perfect Cup of Espresso
1. The quality of the coffee beans is extremely important. The beans shouldn’t have too many defects, and generally they should be consistent in terms of shape and size.
2. The freshness of the coffee beans is essential for maximum flavor. When selecting or serving fresh roast coffee, it should be a maximum of three-months old.
3. Once you get your coffee beans home, you should grind them with your own personal grinder. This ensures that the coffee will have the freshest flavor. Coffee grinders do not have to cost a lot of money either.
4. Next, you should pour freshly boiled, filtered water over the grinded beans.
5. After the water is poured, the extraction time is key. If the coffee is given too much or too little time to extract, you will be sacrificing the flavor of the final cup. For a French press, extraction time should be precisely four-minutes. Voila, the perfect cup of espresso.