I'm the (self-proclaimed) "Espresso Guy." I created this website to educate the home espresso making newbie and to provide recipes, tips, and troubleshooting steps for those already pulling their own espresso shots. If you're having trouble deciding what to buy, there's guides on buying beans and equipment.

Latest news

More details on the espresso machine built for space

As I’ve previously covered, scientists have worked to build an espresso machine that can work in the International Space Station (ISS.)

It turns out bringing espresso to space was no easy challenge. According to a recent Bloomberg article the Italian espresso scientists struggled to come up with a version of their espresso machine that meet NASA’s strict safety requirements:

NASA views anything greater than 60 pounds per square inch of pressure as a safety concern, and brewing espresso requires at least twice that. To minimize the danger of a blowout, the engineers replaced the traditional rotary pump with a plunger—like in a syringe—driven by an electric motor with just enough power to do the job, and no more.

But the good news is that all the effort seems to have paid off. So if one day humans do establish a colony on Mars, at least we’ll still be awake when the ship lands.

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Report: Millennials seek out high quality espresso drinks

A report from the National Coffee Association indicates that espresso consumption is on the rise, particularly within the Millennial generation.

Though I haven’t read the full report myself due to the $700 access fee, the idea that younger coffee drinkers prefer quality espresso beverages made from sustainable grown coffee beans is good news for the industry. However the one piece of bad news for this particular website is that more coffee is being consumed at cafes, whereas this site is primarily (though not entirely) about making espresso at home.

That said, the report indicates that cold brew coffee is finally catching on. I’m considering adding cold brew techniques to this website because it’s such a wonderful way to wake up during the hot summer months when a warm espresso doesn’t seem so appealing. Feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts on the matter of cold brew.

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Moka pot used as urn

When Renato Bialetti passed away recently at the age of 93, his ashes weren’t placed in a typical urn. Instead, they were placed in a moka pot per his wishes.

Why? Bialetti is widely considered the businessman who popularized the moka pot, an invention his father came up with back in the 1930′s.

Although the espresso machine buying guide on this very site warns espresso enthusiasts not to buy a moka pot, credit where credit’s due: it’s certainly a clever invention and easily the cheapest way to make espresso at home. In fact, at that time a moka pot could make espresso that was just as good as what you’d find at the best cafes of the era. So hat’s off to Bialetti and his father for helping to revolutionize the espresso industry.

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Science behind brewing coffee

My favorite tech news site, Ars Technica, recently published a short article called The science behind a good cup of coffee. While the entire article is worth a read, here’s a couple of my favorite bits.

On this site I’ve said that darker roasts have less caffeine than light roasts before, but that might not be the case:

Contrary to some common beliefs, the amount of caffeine in the beans doesn’t change that much with roasting. Some studies have reported slight decreases in caffeine in darker roasts, but some have found no differences.

That said, the article does validate my preferences for espresso:

As for taste, researchers have noted that espresso has some of the richest flavor and creamy texture, owing to a layer of emulsified oils that create a homogenized foam over the liquid. Those oils are likely cut down in drip coffee—thanks to paper filters—but may remain (although not in homogenized foam form) in boiled or steeped coffees.

Anyway, if this science-based approach to coffee interests you, give the whole article a read for more details about what’s in your coffee, the differences between different types of beans, and — of course — differences between various brewing methods.

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In space, no one can smell their espresso

Imagine living for months without being able to smell your espresso. This horror isn’t just imaginary — it’s everyday life for astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS).

As mentioned previously on this website, ISS astronauts finally got an espresso machine recently. But what they didn’t get was the ability to smell their espresso.

Why? Because in zero gravity you can’t pour liquids into cups. And even if you managed to get the liquid into a cup, it wouldn’t stay there for long. So in order to avoid getting liquid bubbles all over the place (and damaging expensive equipment) all liquids have to be consumed from a sealed bag with a straw. This means there’s no opportunity for your nose to smell the delicious liquid within.

So scientists have finally started working on 3d printing a special type of cup that lets the liquid pass by the astronaut’s nose. And while they might tell you this is about experimenting with fluid dynamics in zero gravity, I think we all know that it’s really about letting astronauts sip the perfect espresso in space.

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