"Not just a beverage but an experience."

Making the Perfect Italian Espresso: Advice from a Traditional Italian Coffee Roaster


August 26, 2023

For coffee lovers, a perfect espresso is not just a beverage but an experience. It requires precision, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of the coffee beans used. Giancarlo Martella of Caffè Martella, a traditional coffee roastery in Rome, knows this better than anyone. In this article, we will delve into the world of classic Italian espresso and learn from Giancarlo about how to make the perfect espresso.

The first thing to consider when making espresso is the coffee machine. The ideal espresso machine should have an adjustable pump with a pressure range of 8 to 9 bars, allowing for the right amount of force to push hot water through the coffee grounds. The machine's boiler should also be able to maintain a stable temperature between 90°C and 96°C to ensure consistent brewing.

The grind size of the coffee beans is another crucial factor in making the perfect espresso. The ideal grain size for making espresso is between 0.2mm and 0.3mm. Using the right size ensures that the water flows through the coffee grounds at the right rate, extracting the flavor and aroma. If the grind size is too large, the coffee will be under-extracted and weak. If it is too small, the coffee will be over-extracted and bitter.

"The right combination of pressure, temperature and grind size."

Crema & Body

The quality of the coffee beans used is also crucial in achieving the perfect espresso. Caffè Martella uses a blend of high-quality Arabica and Robusta beans, which are carefully selected and inspected before roasting. The Arabica beans provide the aroma and acidity, while the Robusta beans provide the body and crema. The roasting process is also crucial in achieving the perfect blend. Caffè Martella roasts their beans slowly and evenly at low temperatures, allowing them to develop their full flavor and aroma.

The result of this careful attention to detail is the golden-hazelnut crema that is typical of Caffè Martella blends. The crema is the layer of foam that forms on top of the espresso when it is brewed correctly. It is a sign of a well-made espresso and is often used to judge the quality of the coffee. The golden-hazelnut crema together with the body ensures a chocolate-like taste and is a result of the right combination of pressure, temperature, grind size, and the blend of coffee beans.

"Making espresso is an act of hospitality."

Not Only Technical Parameters

Making espresso is not just about the technical parameters and the blend of coffee beans, but it is also about the philosophy of living that is deeply ingrained in Italian culture. According to Giancarlo Martella, making espresso is an act of hospitality, a way of welcoming people into your home or café. It's about taking the time to prepare the coffee with care and attention, and then sharing it with others as a way of building relationships and connections. In a world where everything is fast-paced and rushed, making espresso is a way of slowing down and savoring the moment.

In conclusion, Making the perfect espresso is like an art that needs careful attention to details and understanding the coffee beans. Having the right coffee machine, using the right coffee beans, and grinding them just right are super important to get that creamy gold top and chocolatey taste. But making espresso is not only about the machines; take your time to learn and enjoy the process. You'll definitely see the good results.

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