41 votes
Accepted

Is Nespresso 'real' espresso?

Akin to the simultaneous fates of Schrödinger's Cat, answers to your question include no, maybe, and it doesn't matter. I have furthermore been unable to avoid philosophical diversion and hypothetical ...
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  • 8,497
26 votes
Accepted

Why do the coffee shops give sparkling water along with the Espresso?

Most people drink espresso not just because it is hot, strong and contains caffeine, but because it is very rich and flavorful. The water is intended to cleanse your palate before the first sip so ...
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  • 746
24 votes
Accepted

What is a shot?

They are referring to a "shot" of espresso. The Italian standards are that it is a volume of 25 mL plus or minus ten percent. Additional shots in a drink indicate more espresso flavor and ...
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23 votes
Accepted

I run my espresso machine until my whole cup is full. What's my coffee called?

I'd say that it's a caffè crema which is generally made the way you make your coffee and is about 240 ml. It's about 3 times more water than a normale.
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18 votes
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Coffee Bean Vs Espresso Bean

First of all, there is no difference in the beans themselves. They all come from either Robusta or Arabica plants. The roast doesn't vary either. You can use any kind of roast for your espresso, it's ...
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  • 6,995
17 votes
Accepted

Ground coffee or beans

Ground beans have a much larger surface area by weight than whole beans. When the surface of the bean is exposed to air chemical reactions take place. I doubt that these reactions have been completely ...
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  • 1,267
16 votes
Accepted

Latte: Milk before or after coffee?

Oh, the famous latte! Apparently hardly anyone knows that it simply means "milk" in Italian, so technically calling a coffee drink "latte" is pure nonsense. So where does the coffee shop staple ...
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  • 3,853
15 votes
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Do I need to use a tamp if using a Moka pot stove top espresso maker?

You should not tamp the coffee in a Moka. These pots don't like excessive pressure, which tamping would produce due to increased density. This is also why the water should not cover the steam valve. ...
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14 votes
Accepted

Should I thoroughly clean the portafilter basket between shots?

There's a trade-off here. If you're working in a fast-paced coffee shop, you're likely to favour the faster option (knock out the coffee) over cleaning. Generally knocking out the coffee will get rid ...
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  • 6,995
13 votes

How should I order an espresso to get a less sour shot?

Here's a few thoughts based on what causes sourness/acidity in coffee and ways to temper it. Order an espresso lungo. Sourness (acidity) is characteristic of the "stuff" that is extracted relatively ...
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  • 8,497
13 votes

I run my espresso machine until my whole cup is full. What's my coffee called?

I would also go for caffè crema (more water than a lungo). There is no strict agreement on at how much water does it stop being a lungo and starts being a crema. But I guess "lungo" is more well known ...
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12 votes

Should I thoroughly clean the portafilter basket between shots?

To Expand on @Tom Medley's Answer; the pivotal questions are: How much time is lapsing between pulls of espresso? Are you pulling the same espresso? The portafilter should be rinsed with the ...
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  • 1,681
12 votes
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End result of Americano vs Long Black?

The crema definitely affects the initial taste of the coffee, that's where the concentrated notes of whatever bean you're using is going to be found. I make a long black by: Pour 3/4 cup of hot ...
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  • 2,716
12 votes

How can I maximize the time the "high" lasts?

Without considering the amount or potency of the coffee as well as setting personal metabolism aside, you could adjust your coffee schedule according to your natural circadian rhythm, a methodology ...
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  • 381
12 votes

What are the 4M's of espresso?

4M is a term mainly used among Italians for espresso. It is a placeholder for four words that start with "M" in Italian that affects espresso preparation. Some information can be found here. These M'...
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  • 7,593
11 votes
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Procedure for making a Caffe Americano

Yes. Adding water to Espresso is considered an Americano. Doing it the other way around is called a Long Black. According to that article and below sources, the Long Black preserves the crema, ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Why does coffee taste better out of ceramic cups compared to a paper cup?

Both cup material and temperature are in play here, I think. A big part of the coffee taste (and experience as a whole) is the aroma. I personally find that paper cups (not surprisingly) smell and ...
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  • 8,497
11 votes
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How to (re-)calibrate an espresso machine and grinder setup?

This answer addresses a "standard" semi-automatic espresso machine with a separate grinder. Specifically the LaMarzocco and Astoria grinder, but the ideas should generalize to other machines ...
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11 votes

Why do the coffee shops give sparkling water along with the Espresso?

Cleansing the palate for the coffee is a good explanation. Yet there is another tradition of serving water with espresso or coffee, where the water is drunk after the coffee: In Viennese coffee houses ...
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  • 3,853
11 votes

How can I improve this latte?

I own this machine and have since moved on from it for the exact reasons you stated. It is possible to create microfoam that is good enough for making clearly defined latte art on the Delonghi Dedica ...
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  • 1,301
10 votes
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How much caffeine is in an espresso shot?

According to caffeineinformer, there is 77 mg of caffeine in 1½ shots of espresso. Comparatively, an 8 oz. cup of brewed coffee comes in at 163 mg of caffeine. There is roughly 1/2 as much caffeine ...
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  • 777
10 votes

Which of these espresso variant contain more caffeine?

Lets's do some Espresso math: Taking an espresso12 as base unit, we can conclude: A ristretto3 uses less (typically: half as much) water than an espresso for the same amount of grounds. This means ...
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  • 3,853
10 votes

Which of these espresso variant contain more caffeine?

To say which of these has the most caffeine is a little bit complex, as it depends on if you mean how much caffeine per ounce vs. how much caffeine in the drink in its entirety. To start, let's ...
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10 votes

Why do the coffee shops give sparkling water along with the Espresso?

There is an alternative to the accepted answer. In many Middle Eastern countries water is served as a matter of course with espresso. In very hot weather, even people accustomed to the heat may forget ...
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  • 1,267
9 votes

What is a shot?

A "shot" in this context usually means one ounce, or so, of espresso. So a cup of coffee with two extra shots would be a cup of coffee with approximately two ounces of espresso added.
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  • 1,695
9 votes

How to preserve crema when pouring a shot into a drink?

This link from Seasoned Advice might help you. The accepted answer recommends to use an espresso brew pitcher and how to use it. The answer suggests two main things: a vessel with a pour spout helps ...
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  • 1,852
9 votes
Accepted

Steam-Powered Espresso Machine: Crema?

There are a few reasons why you might not get a good crema: Stale coffee Coffee not ground fine enough Pressure too low With a steam-powered espresso machine (especially if it's an entry level ...
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  • 746
9 votes
Accepted

What are the cheapest options for making good quality espresso at home?

It is slightly dependent on your personal definition of espresso. Also the choice depends on how easy you want its operation to be. The moka pot is certainly the cheapest espresso-type device. ...
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9 votes
Accepted

How to order Caffe Macchiato and be sure you get one?

The problem with ordering a "Macchiato" is that it's only half of the name of a traditional coffee drink. "Macchiato" means "stained" or "flecked" and not more. In Italy, you have either Latte ...
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  • 3,853
8 votes

Coffee Bean Vs Espresso Bean

There is no actual difference between "espresso beans" and "coffee beans"; in reality, they are both just "coffee beans". When you see something packaged as "espresso beans" or "espresso roast" it is ...
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