domingo, 13 de julio de 2014

The Coffee Espresso

Halfway through the morning, you're at work. A short pause in a bar in the central city. The day until now has been awful. You ask for something to the barista. Just two words, and the magic starts: "An espresso". From that moment on, the day and the whole week seems to be somewhat easier. With a good espresso on your side, dense, dark, black and full of aroma, you feel completely in peace with the World.

We are absolutely sure of the power of the great coffees to change our days, they wake us up, they bring us together, they give us the push we need to get through the day. One of us (Tom) loves the authentic, strong, intense, unaltered aroma of the unsweetened coffee. But how was invented this delicious drink? 

Mr. Angelo Moriondo
We are in 1884, when an entepreneur from Turin, north of Italy, called Angelo Moriondo, was owner of some elegant hotels and bars, like the Grand-Hotel Ligure or the American bar, both settled in the historical heart of Turin. He was very aware of the changind demands of his clients, they at the time were starting to ask for a faster service, they wanted modernity, they were eager for the future, also in the coffee making. To answer to these requests, during the General Expo of Turin that took place in 1884 (and which gave us some great touristical hotspot of Turin like the Medieval town and the castle in the Parco del Valentino along the Po river), Mr. Moriondo presented to the World the very first Espresso Coffee Machine, that worked steaming at high pressure the boiling water through the ground coffee. But Angelo Moriondo never wanted to produce industrially his "instant coffee", as he called it, just produced few machine for his own use. It was Luigi Bezzera, Milanese, that acquired the licence in 1901 and saw the high potential of this machine. Do this name reminds you of anything? Yes, Bezzera, we already met him when we talked about the history of the Cappuccino: he actually invented it, or better the modern and foamy version of it.

In 1905, Bezzera sold the licence of the modern espresso coffee machine to the firm La Pavoni, that started a serial production of them, today still in production after 100 years with their high-end and elegant design machines.

The espresso machine from "La Spaziale", the favourite of many baristas
Today there are many varieties of the espresso coffee that we can enjoy in every italian bar, like for example the ristretto (the super concentrated one), the lungo (the one for those who want to enjoy their coffee with more calm, obviously this one it Tom's fave), the macchiato (with some milk) or the corretto (with some liquor like the Sambuca or the grappa, in Spain you can also find it as Carajillo).

The Sambuca Molinari, the ideal liquor to make the perfect corretto
It is essential that the espresso is served hot. In Naples, a city of World class espresso, they will serve you a very boiling hot coffee. In that city, the coffee is served between 88º and 90º Celsius, while the cup (or "tazzulella" in neapolitan language) above 70º Celsius. There, a coffee has to respect three criteria to be considered a great coffee, the "tre C", it has to be "Cocente", or boiling hot, "Comodo", or easy, the coffe is a ritual, you have to forget every hurry you are in while drinking the coffee, and the last C is for "carico", or charged, the neapolitan coffee is a very strong one, with an intense aroma.
For all these reasons, to serve the espresso are generally used pretty thick porcelain cup with a conical shape: to keep all the heat. It is for this reason too that the espresso cup are usually kept above the (very hot) espresso machine and covered with a towel.

Yes, we deeply believe that with a good cup of espresso (or moka!) even the worst of the day can get better!



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