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Espresso is brewed by forcing a small amount of water that is under pressure and heated to almost boiling through finely ground coffee. It tends to be thicker than coffee brewed by other methods.
Ground beans are tamped into the portafilter to produce a tightly packed bed of coffee grounds. You attach the portafilter to the espresso machine by twisting it into a unit that contains the head, which then forces water through the grounds into the cup below the portafilter.
Espresso has a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids, and has a creamy consistency (crema) foam. As the coffee is pressurised as it brews, the flavour is really concentrated in the cup.
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French Press / Cafetiere
Cafetieres/French presses are very popular in Europe and are measured in “cups” which are equivalent to the US half cup or about four ounces. To make a perfect cup of coffee, put in two level tablespoons of course-ground coffee beans per mug.
Boil a kettle of water then allow it to rest for a minute or so in order not to scald the beans. Pour in hot water equal to the number of mugs. Stir briskly to mix the grounds with the water. Put the lid on the cafetiere with the plunger raised fully.
Let the cafetiere sit and brew the coffee for about four minutes. Press the plunger gently all the way down. If you need to use force to press the plunger then the coffee is not fully brewed.
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An Aeropress brews coffee for less than 30 seconds, which means that the water and coffee grounds have minimal contact. This results in a coffee brew with minimal acidity but full flavour.
To make a cup of coffee, put a filter disk in the cap and attach it to the chamber. Put this on top of the cup. Put one scoop per cup of coffee into the chamber. Heat the water and wet the grounds with the water slowly, then add the rest of the water. Stir the mixture to incorporate all the grounds.
Wet the rubber seal on the plunger, insert it into the chamber and press slowly to get a cup of concentrated coffee. Dilute it with hot water if you do not want an "espresso" style cup.
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