The coffee shop boom that began in the 1990s has educated a generation of Americans about the pleasures of gourmet coffee, which include espresso-based drinks and other premium coffees. There are big differences between espresso brewing and the drip coffee that remains the dominant brewing method here in the U.S.
Drip coffee brewing is a relatively slow process (between 3-5 minutes) and involves large amounts of water, generally giving it a weaker taste and doesn’t generally allow for the full flavor to be extracted from the bean.
The espresso brewing method, often referred to as ‘gourmet’ or ‘premium coffee’ is much more intense, using water between 198°F and 201°F that is forced through the ground coffee at high pressure, which allows the full flavor to be extracted from the ground coffee in a much shorter time period. A shot of espresso will have a tasty golden foam sitting on top — similar to the head that forms on a freshly poured beer. This foam is called ‘crema’ and is actually the result of the natural vegetable oils contained within the beans The espresso brewing method also uses much less water — typically about 1 to 1½ ounces, compared to 8 to 10 ounces for a drip brew. The lower amount of water means that espresso has a much more concentrated coffee flavor and a somewhat syrupy consistency
Whereas drip coffee dominates the U.S., in Australia, espresso coffee dominates. The difference between the two coffee cultures would make for a fascinating History Channel special. Alan Biddle, director of International Franchise Development for Cafe2U, explains that it all comes down to the timing of Italian immigration into the two countries:
“Italians are well-known for their love of coffee and coffee roasting and when they immigrated to the USA they bought the drip brewing method with them as this was all that existed at the time. . From the late 1800s through the early 1900s, about 4.5 million Italians immigrated to America,” Said Biddle. “During this time, those who remained in Italy were experimenting with a new coffee brewing method. By the early 1940’s, the modern espresso machine had been perfected. Italians quickly embraced the new drink and the new brewing method. When a mass migration of Italians to Australia began in the 1950s, “they practically had espresso machines strapped to their backs when they arrived in Australia,” Biddle said. Their love of espresso proved contagious, to which the espresso bar is now common place in Australian society, and has led Australia to develop one of the world’s most advanced espresso cultures.
Cafe2U grew out of that love of espresso-based coffee. The concentrated flavor that comes from a good shot of espresso forms the foundation for all of Cafe2U’s coffee drinks. Cafe2U uses a proprietary blend of nine roasted beans in order to deliver an incredible, rich shot of espresso. For coffee connoisseurs, our espresso needs no additions. For other customers, the espresso provides an excellent base for our range of coffee creations.
One of the reasons that espresso-based drinks tend to taste much better than drip style coffee is that espresso drinks use steamed milk, rather than being drawn out with water. The powerful shot of espresso allows the coffee flavor to shine through, while beautifully textured milk adds its own rich flavor.
By adding carefully textured and heated milk and syrups, we can create a huge variety of drinks such as lattés, mochas and cappuccinos.