Thursday, August 13, 2009
European Living - The Espresso
Wikipedia defines espresso:
Caffè espresso,  is a concentrated coffee beverage brewed by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee.
Coffee is a VERY large part of the Portuguese culture. However, not the type of coffee you may be thinking of.
Traditionally, Americans like to drink coffee brewed by drip machines and we're often seen running out the door in the mornings carrying one of these in our hands...
The difference is that "American Style" coffee is extremely watered down compared to coffee commonly found in Europe. It lacks both the flavor and 'caffeine high' one receives from drinking an 'espresso'.
I hope you enjoy this tutorial on "How to make an espresso". Which is simply called café in Portuguese. (Pronounced the same as in English, only with emphasis on the 'e')
This is my espresso maker. The wand on the left side steams milk to make cappuccinos.
I put the coffee grounds into the filter located at the end of the 'handle'. I use about as much grounds as an average American would use to make 3 or 4 cups of coffee.
Attach the 'handle' by screwing it onto the maker and forming a good seal. Push the brew button....
And wha-la...coffee brews directly into a small espresso cup. This machine has the ability to make two espressos at once. Notice the two streams of coffee.
And the finished result is a fresh, flavor packed cup of steaming hot caffeine!!
Café shops are found on every street corner and oftentimes 3 or 4 in between. One has the ability to stop for a café after entering a grocery store, hardware store, mall, well.... just about any public place you'll be able to buy a café for about 80 cents. It just takes a minute to brew one, and even less time to drink one. Two or three sips and it's gone....but the flavor remains in your mouth for quite a while. When dining out, oftentimes your meal will come with a free café that you enjoy as dessert.
I've decide that's why everyone is so skinny over here. They don't have Krispy Kreme's and fast food restaurants on every corner, but rather "caffeine shops" where thy find the energy to talk 80 mph and drive even faster! (Portuguese drivers are considered the worst in all of Europe.)
I fit right in.