Espresso Machines – How Do They Work?

gray and black espresso maker

The espresso machine has been around since 1884 and was built by Angelo Moriondo of Turin, Italy. His design was patented and has been improved several times since then. There is a myriad of machine options available but most have the same basic parts. These machines can be driven by steam, pumps, air pumps, or pistons and come in a manual or an automatic version. Much like a car, there is more flexibility with a manual setup than an automatic, but coffee shops are using automatic machines more and more.

Semi-automatic espresso machines use a pump to push the water through a three-way valve. Automatic machines are pre-programmed to use a specific amount of water and run through a meter than controls the shutoff. The Super-automatic machine works exactly how it sounds, automating every step of the brewing process for the barista. Some of these machines even have an automated milk frothing system which is great for beginner baristas but limiting for the seasoned professional. Any of these machine types can be “plumbed” to a water supply or have a reservoir that can be filled as needed.

After the ground coffee is tamped into the portafilter and it is attached to the group-head, the barista turns the machine on to brew. Compressed air is used to force hot water through the grounds and over into the receiving cup to create the espresso shot. Generally speaking, most machines will provide up to a quad shot (that is 4 ounces) with one full tamp of grounds. However, each machine and barista is different and this can vary from establishment to establishment.

Coffee Trends In 2021

Like most other industries, the coffee industry is constantly evolving. New ideas for exploring coffee drinks (as well as non-coffee) emerge regularly and change frequently in popularity. Finding ways to keep up with trends and products is imperative when running a business of any kind in the coffee industry. Below are some of the most recent trends in the coffee market for 2021.

Dalgona or Whipped Coffee

Perhaps not a roaster’s paradise, this new method of drinking coffee uses instant coffee whipped into a fluffy cloud and usually contains sugar. Social media is responsible for the viral 2020 instructional videos on how to make this drink. Creating a light whipped substance is served over milk as a cold beverage. Most baristas will accompany this with a sprinkle of cocoa or coffee powder as finishing and offer it over ice.

Cold Brew

The process of cold brew is a bit different than the typical hot brewing method in more ways than just a temperature change. Using equal amounts of coffee to water is the first step in making this drink. Cold brew is known for its mellow taste and strong caffeination. Because the beans were not brewed with scalding water, there is no bitter after taste and it does not cause heartburn in most drinkers. Cold brew has been popular for a couple of years now but we expect it to continue rising in popularity over the coming months.

Plant-based, Non-dairy Milks

There are so many options for non-dairy drinkers nowadays, it is hard to keep up. Most coffee shops now offer “alternative” milk options for an added cost and can vary from cashew (which is actually a fruit) to most nut milks. There is a growing trend for vegan options due to lactose intolerance and cruelty-free lifestyles driving this trend.

Ready-to-drink Coffee

Covid changed the way restaurants and coffee shops used to operate in a big way. While we are in this pandemic it is rare to see a full coffee house or dining room as it used to be. But shop owners have realized the importance of “grab & go” options as a lucrative alternative. The increasingly trendy cold coffee drink industry is going to see a big boost in their market as a result of this pandemic. Consumers can quickly choose what flavor and style of brew they would like to have then simply pay and go.