Coffee may be an art, but there’s also a science to achieving the perfect espresso.
As humans, the first taste sensation we develop is sweet - not immediately associated with coffee - yet many people would argue that all coffee should be sweet, after all coffee is a fruit and its seeds – the coffee beans – are sweet.
“Sweetness is the sometimes forgotten treasure that is locked inside the coffee,” explains Rob Ward, Coffee Specialist at La Cimbali.
“I was inspired by a trip to the West Coast of America where sweetness and caramels are flavours that a lot of roasters champion. Recently I have seen more fruit notes coming through, some by lightening the roast, some by the coffee picked in the blend and some from how the equipment is used to make the most from the foundation the roaster has laid down in the coffee.”
In particular, the amount of pressure and the point at which the pressure is applied during the brewing cycle has a direct impact on the flavour of the coffee, something coffee drinkers can now experiment with at home to unlock the hidden flavours within an espresso.
THE BREWING CYCLE SHOULD ENCOMPASS THREE DIFFERENT PRESSURES:
- Pre-brewing pressure: this pressure mainly affects the cream and texture, acidity and sweetness of the coffee.
- Brewing pressure: this pressure mainly affects body and potential bitterness.
- Tail pressure: this pressure mainly affects bitterness in the coffee.
“My challenge this year,” continues Rob, “is to showcase a blend and a single origin coffee that I can maximise sweetness from using pressure adjustments during the brewing process as well as selecting the right brew temperature to build the sweetness in the cup, without losing the sparkle of acidity.”
L'Accademia di Cimbali festival activity
Download coffee tasting notes.