Dark, clear, burnt, black, bitter, strong, they are all adjectives that are often used to define an espresso, actually these adjectives give indications but do not satisfy, that’s why I’d prefer to speak about “extraction” of espresso coffee.
A properly extracted espresso coffee is presented in a cup with a froth brown color with a dense cream and a fine texture, with small dark-colored stripes. When tasted it, you can feel a good body, complex and well-balanced acidity with bitterness , pleasant if tasted without sugar and with a more syrupy body if it’s sweetened; it leaves the palate pleasant hints of toast, spicy notes, pastry with hints of vanilla and hints of fresh and dry fruit that persist on the palate several minutes after the tasting.
If, after complying with all the instructions given in the article: “How to make a perfect Italian Espresso coffee“, this does not happen, you can talk about an under-extract or over-extract.
The extracted coffee is obtained when the coffee has been coarsely ground, or the coffee panel in the filter has not been well pressed, or it is under dose, or the temperature and pressure of the machine were not suitable and it is recognized by looking at the cup which it is clear with a thick-textured cream. It is recognized by a light color of the cream that is wide and inconsistent. When tasted it, it has no body, is strongly acidic and poor in aroma.
On the other hand, the over-extracted coffee is obtained when the coffee is too finely ground, or over-pressed, or it is over dose or the temperature and pressure of the machine were not suitable, and if the extraction times have been long, it is recognized in the cup by the dark cream, often wrinkled and with an evident white spot in the middle of the cream, the aromas are heavy, the taste strong and lightly smoky; it leaves the palate kneaded and above all bitter.These sensations, as it happens for the good ones, remain on the palate even longer than those of a good espresso.
Since this is not the place to do an in-depth discussion destined, more than anything else,to the experts, I suggest you to satisfy your personal taste and I’m sure that with the information collected in these in-depth analysis articles, you will have a good base of information available, once you have chosen a quality coffee you can taste in the best way.
Wishing you a good espresso to improve your sensory skill, I invite you to attend one of the information and tasting days at Morola Flagship Store in Martina Franca or to book one of the courses we hold at our distributors.