Say yesso to espresso

Say yesso to espresso

I love a good caffè espresso. There are a number of excellent independent coffee shops in Kitchener and Waterloo Region, perhaps too many to list.

Here are a few:

But recently, I purchased a small stove-top espresso maker, a Vigano (pictured here) for home brewing at STOP Restaurant Supply in Kitchener. I am experimenting with getting the brew just the right strength.

Ethiopian restaurant’s deep, dark roast (Photo: WREats).

Espresso started to become popular in Italy as early as the late 1800s, and eventually, stand-up espresso bars popped up as part of the modernization and urbanization of downtown city centres. It has me wondering if it might be possible to gauge a city’s food and beverage sophistication by the espresso it serves? (Espresso-based drinks like cappuccino and macchiato, made with milk, came about much later in the United States. They are good, but not as good as a straight-up doppio espresso.)

As a very finely ground, strong-roast coffee, espresso relies on steam for its preparation. The water sits in the bottom of the Vigano vessel (and other devices such as the Moka macchinetta) beneath a small basket of lightly packed coffee.

Vigano stainless steel (Espresso Planet).

As the water heats, the steam is forced upwards through the coffee, and it percolates into the upper chamber. What you pour out is a dark, thick, rich demitasse cup of delicious and satisfying espresso that has a rich aroma and concentrated flavours.

With the home brew, you don’t get the light foamy crema that is created with a coffee shop espresso, but you get some strong coffee taste. And, depending on the bean and the roast, espresso can have slightly less caffeine than regular brewed coffee.

For me, a sip of espresso and its preparation is creature comfort.

[Vigano image/Espresso Planet]
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