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1 € Espresso


MrBenn
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Essentially the reason I've spent silly money on having great coffee kit is to recreate that caffeine hit I had when touring the cafes in Rome over a weekend a few years ago.

Standing at the bar and spending 1 euro on a beautiful espresso was an absolute joy!

My own machine makes a great shot,  but I've yet to find beans that give me that "Roma cafe" taste.

Can anybody reccomend beans (preferably no more than £20 per kg) that would do the job?

Thanks

Mrbenn

 

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Illy beans, a too-hot machine can help, and a small dose. 

My friend is Italian and makes this all the time. Tin of illy beans, a 7g ish dose (not measured, just ground and tamped in a single basket) and the shot measured by volume (25ml!).

It's very unusual to me to see espresso prepared that way, but I think the key is that Italian style blend with a smaller dose. Others on here may have more ideas that are better. 

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I say a too-hot machine as she swears the coffee is better if you get an espresso after a few people in front of you, to let everything get as hot as possible. I guess what I mean is a hot machine - they don't steam much milk I think, so it won't get stupid hot. 

Edited by Morningfuel
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Roasters in Rome tend to roast darker compared to the North (such as Illy) and they also often include a higher percentage of Robusta in their blend so it is really not the type of beans you would find fresh at your local British roaster. Also, old bars tend to use old HX E61s which have their own temperature profile. As for the tasting notes, these are typical in Rome according to the Italian Centro Studi Assagiatori for espresso:

image.thumb.png.ac0e6b3e0b7694e222b866ed75440095.png

I have had my most delicious shots in Rome from SciaScia Caffe and Caffe Negresco. The problem is that it is almost impossible to get the beans fresh and even if you can organise a fresh roast with the roaster, shipping makes it very expensive. 

 

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@MrBennOne place I know that uses Robusta in their blend (30%) is Doppio Coffee. Can buy online or at one of their stores. Haven’t tried any of their coffee so can’t give any help with regards what it tastes like though

 

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5 hours ago, Morningfuel said:

I say a too-hot machine as she swears the coffee is better if you get an espresso after a few people in front of you, to let everything get as hot as possible. I guess what I mean is a hot machine - they don't steam much milk I think, so it won't get stupid hot. 

If I am allowed to speculate, waiting for a few people means that the machine has been flushed and the temperature has come down instead of getting "too-hot". With HX machines flushing after the machine has been idle for a while is a must to prevent burnt coffee taste.

And yes, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to reproduce what Italian baristas do with the coffee in Italy 🤤

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Nothing succeeds as planned.

 

ACS Vesuvius, Nuova Simonelli Apia I 1 gr, San Remo 1 gr., Bezzera BZ35e, Fracino Heavenly, Saeco Via Veneto Combi de Luxe, Mythos Plus Nuova Simonelli, Anfim Super Lusso, Cunill Space, Gene Cafe

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I don't think it's a case of this or that equipment, I've got many friends in Naples who drink espresso 'come al bar' ("just like the cafe") by using supermarket pre-ground in De Longhi machines with pressurised baskets. Of course a lever machine will make it look like it's Italy as well but I doubt you need that. 

The closest I've got to Neapolitan espresso - not that I was trying - was with one of Rave's beans, can't remember if it was Italian Job or another one. Grind fine, but not too fine (choking your machine won't help), very short ratios, and you should be close enough. 

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1 hour ago, Roko said:

 

one of Rave's beans, can't remember if it was Italian Job or another one. 

Yeah, I did try one of Rave's Italian blends, but wasnt that taken with it unfortunately. 

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Italian bar blends - you can only buy big bags, usually several months past roast date.  Not to everyones taste for sure, and I have no idea why they don't seem to stale within weeks of roasting, but I have had success using southern Italian brands from local delis, and Cafe Borbone Blue from amazon. A world away from fresh roasted high quality coffees - maybe like Dairy Milk vs high quality single origin dark chocolate. 

Saka will ship directly from Italy if you buy 2kg, and it will be fresh

Rave and similar fresh/ uk / craft roasted Italian- styled blends are good in their own right, but seem to taste and extract very differently from the "real thing".  

 

 

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14 hours ago, TomR said:

Italian bar blends - you can only buy big bags, usually several months past roast date.  Not to everyones taste for sure, and I have no idea why they don't seem to stale within weeks of roasting, but I have had success using southern Italian brands from local delis, and Cafe Borbone Blue from amazon. A world away from fresh roasted high quality coffees - maybe like Dairy Milk vs high quality single origin dark chocolate. 

Saka will ship directly from Italy if you buy 2kg, and it will be fresh

Rave and similar fresh/ uk / craft roasted Italian- styled blends are good in their own right, but seem to taste and extract very differently from the "real thing".  

 

 

I buy Attibassi whenever I can. They have some excellent blends.

Nothing succeeds as planned.

 

ACS Vesuvius, Nuova Simonelli Apia I 1 gr, San Remo 1 gr., Bezzera BZ35e, Fracino Heavenly, Saeco Via Veneto Combi de Luxe, Mythos Plus Nuova Simonelli, Anfim Super Lusso, Cunill Space, Gene Cafe

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My wife was serving Caffe Diemme at their coffee shop and I'd say it's very Italian. Dosage-wise, I think Italians don't bother with measuring, just grind super fine, scrape off the excess and lightly tamp? I think in Hoffman's video on Italian espresso he mentioned that the dosage used to be like 20-22g hence the intense crema etc.

Edited by Zeak
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My friend is italian (now living in London) and he says that espresso server in an typical coffee shop in Italy is generally not that great, apparently they prefer a cheap hit of caffeine to a great taste. He, is not saying they don't have good espresso anywhere in Italy but what most italians drink on a daily basis is just average.

Does anyone here have an actual experience of walking into a number (so more then just a couple) of random coffee shops and getting consitently excellent espressos served? And by random shop I mean that it was not recommended to you because is it really good. Random means you don't know if it is good or not before you walk in.

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On 31/07/2021 at 23:31, Comical Burr said:

My friend is italian (now living in London) and he says that espresso server in an typical coffee shop in Italy is generally not that great, apparently they prefer a cheap hit of caffeine to a great taste. He, is not saying they don't have good espresso anywhere in Italy but what most italians drink on a daily basis is just average.

Does anyone here have an actual experience of walking into a number (so more then just a couple) of random coffee shops and getting consitently excellent espressos served? And by random shop I mean that it was not recommended to you because is it really good. Random means you don't know if it is good or not before you walk in.

I do but I lived my younger years in Naples. I mean, most cafes there are old and traditional rather than young and hipster. As a result, they will have used their equipment (often a vintage lever machine) for many years, with the same beans, same grinders, and same parameters. 

Especially in areas like Naples, coffee is too important of a (direct and indirect) revenue source to be done poorly, there's way too many cafes and pastry shops coming after your € and if you make bad coffee*, locals will notice and go elsewhere. 

 

*clearly what constitutes good or bad coffee will vary depending on many factors. In this case, bad coffee means bitter, ashy, thin-bodied.

Edited by Roko
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5 hours ago, Roko said:

clearly what constitutes good or bad coffee will vary depending on many factors. In this case, bad coffee means bitter, ashy, thin-bodied.

Yes, it is all relative. I am definitely not saying that they drink bad coffe, probably just average.

My thinking is that a home barista on this forum with a bit of an experience and a half decent espresso machine can make a better espresso than 90% of italians drink on a daily basis. Especially because for 1 euro you probably don't get premium single origing coffee that was roasted to perfection couple of weeks ago, which is what most people here would use. For 1 euro in italy you probably get mass produced Lavazza equivalent with a part of robusta in it.

I remember having a cappucino an Genoa and while it was good, it was definitely not something to write home about.

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