How to make a great coffee: tips and secrets
Why is Italy so famous for its coffee?
When people think about making great coffee, most of the time they´re thinking about Italian coffee. A truly exceptional global success story for our country, coffee is the world´s favourite drink, but requires care and specific techniques to be prepared at its best (we´ll talk about this later).
Now let´s find out why Italian coffee is considered a very special treat. The first reason is the roasting. When it comes to this procedure, bear in mind that Italian coffee roasters aim first and foremost for a product with an intense aroma and a full-bodied flavour.
All this depends on the level of roasting, which should be perfectly balanced. This is the only way to be sure of achieving coffee with an excellent aftertaste.
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How to make great coffee
Now let´s look at some practical advice for those who - like you - want to make fabulous coffee. In the following paragraphs we´ll look at as many cases as we can, with tips on making espresso, but also coffee made at home and using pods.
But first we should emphasise the importance of the raw material used. Best of all is to use coffee beans whenever possible. This allows the flavours and aromas to be preserved. Moreover, it’s best to grind the coffee just before use, and place the ground product inside your filter.
When we´re thinking about how to make great coffee, it´s vital to think about the water we use in the machine. The best solution is mineral water - which has low levels of hardness - if possible at room temperature. A basic tip is not to over-fill the moka pot; it´s important to be careful not to go beyond the valve in the upper wall of the boiler section.
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How to identify a good coffee
To know wether we´ve got it right, we need to have a clear idea how to identify good coffee. The criteria are very clear. First of all, the aroma should be intense. It doesn´t matter whether the bouquet is more floral or more fruity, what matters is that when we bring the cup to the nose, there’s no burnt smell or unpleasant odour due to lack of cleaning the machine.
Another aspect to take into account when judging coffee is the flavour. It must be sufficiently persistent. But take care: it should not be aggressive either.
And the crema on the surface is also important. This plays an essential part by retaining the particles that contribute to the aroma and flavour, and should not be too pale or too dark.
Among other important aspects to consider on this point is the absence of bubbles. And as for the colour, the optimum is a shade somewhere between hazelnut and a deeper brown.
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How to make great coffee at home
Although the ritual of coffee in the bar remains a wonderful and much-loved aspect of life in Italy (and elsewhere), many people prefer to make coffee at home. Below we´ll find out how to make it using a moka pot.
How to make great coffee in a moka pot
An essential item in an Italian home, the moka is a valuable friend for anyone who loves coffee. To savour it in all its glory, we need to take proper care of the pot. This means washing and drying it every time, avoiding the use of detergent and leaving no trace of coffee, which could grow mould and affect the flavour of the next coffee.
Continuing with our advice for making great coffee in a moka, it´s important to highlight the fact that you should never press the coffee. Why not? Because by doing so you prevent the water extracting the components that give coffee its unmistakable aroma. What´s more, if your moka is not electric and you put it on the stove, it´s essential that the heat is low.
A great espresso
As we mentioned earlier, espresso is a ritual that characterises daily life in our country. It´s not only a moment for flavour, but also a social interval. What´s the best way to prepare it? We´ll find out in the next paragraph.
How to make a great espresso
The first rule when making espresso is to serve the coffee immediately: it should be hot, but not boiling. It´s also important to manage the extraction time, which should be 25 seconds. The coffee should therefore be ground in such a way as to obtain a 25 ml espresso in around 25 seconds.
An essential point is the grinding of the coffee beans: for the perfect espresso, remember that the coffee should be ground just before use. In fact, after 15 minutes, the ground coffee has lost over 60% of its aroma.
How to make great coffee with pods
Now let´s answer the question of how best to make coffee using pods. The guidelines are extremely simple because - as we know - machines that use pods are very quick to operate. Our tips for delicious coffee include inserting the pod only when the machine has reached the correct temperature (signalled by a light). It´s also important to check there are no pods stuck in the housing. If this is the case, the risk is that it will split, and your cup will fill with grounds.
It is clear that we have to make the effort and follow the steps with the care any art merits, in order to enjoy a perfect coffee. And we repeat that the fundamental aspect is the blend. For excellent coffee - ground, beans, capsules or pods - you can rely on Caffè Corsini. We’ve been producing coffee in the heart of Tuscany since 1950, and the extraordinary results of our unique methods, passed down through the generations, are available online.