A Whole Latte Love
The Four M’s: Musts for Making Perfect Espresso


The Silly Season is almost upon us and we are offering a fantastic special for the month of November.
Spend R400 or more on coffee and receive a 250g bag of House Blend beans absolutely free.


A newsletter at last! We must apologise! Latte Love has been crazy busy and we just didn’t get a chance to get it together.

This year has just flown past and the Silly Season is almost upon us. We are starting early this year and offering up a fantastic special... Spend R400 or more on coffee and receive a 250g bag of House Blend absolutely FREE!! This special is valid for the month of November.


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The Four M’s: Musts for Making Perfect Espresso

No matter what type of espresso maker you choose, there are a few simple steps to follow to ensure the success of your brew. The Italian’s, who are espresso experts, have several traditional rules that are key to producing the ultimate coffee experience: a perfect cup of espresso. These are the four M’s, which are carried out conscientiously by the barista, the espresso bartender.

“Barista” is an honourable employment title that is earned through proven skill and experience, fusing art and science. Many of us may never achieve this professional status; however, the following four Italian guidelines may help us to create a more perfect espresso.

La Macchina (pronounced “ma-keen-a”): The Machine

  • The home-based barista may use a smaller version of the more expensive restaurant-style espresso machine; however, the machine must be able to heat the water to 90°C and also be able to exert a pressure of at least 9 bar.
  • At all times, the espresso machine must be operating efficiently and its utensils kept clean.
  • The economical moka pot will produce a strong espresso; however, the brew will usually lack the rich creamy intensity of machine-made espressos, due to the lack of sufficient pressure. (The stovetop method, however, does produce a perfect coffee for caffe lattes.)

La Micsela (pronounced “mis-shay-la”): The Coffee Blend

  • The coffee beans selected, roasted, and blended should provide a harmonious balance between bitterness and acidity, producing a rich, full body, with a fragrant aroma, as well as possessing a thick caramel-like texture.
  • Coffee beans are usually a blend of Arabica and Robusta. The Arabica proportion provides rich, round, smooth coffee body and the Robusta proportion produces strength and intensity, responsible for the lingering, almost nutty aftertaste.
  • Ultimately, the espresso blend each person considers the best is a matter of personal taste.

La Macinatura (pronounced “ma-chee-na-too-ra”): The Grinding

  • To achieve the freshest flavour from the coffee beans, one should always grind them just before use, because a fine grind increases the coffee’s surface area, thereby allowing oxygen and light to steal the beans’ precious aromas.
  • A burr-type grinder is ideal, since the coffee grind can be adjusted to suit each model of espresso machine. The ideal extraction time (the length of time the hot water is in contact with the ground coffee) for home-brewing methods is 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Since the brewing time for espresso is so short, the ground coffee should be fine and powdery, so that the hot water can steep through it at a consistent and uniform pace. The extraction rate should be quick and thorough.

La Mano (pronounced “mah-no”): Hand Making the Espresso

  • The hand of the espresso operator and his or her skill ensure that the previous three rules are followed.
  • The hand is also responsible for dispensing the correct amount of coffee, known as the “dose.” Ideally, a dose is 7-12 g of coffee per 30 to 42 ml of fresh water. These amounts may vary, depending on the fineness of the coffee grind and its blend.
  • The hand performs “the tamping” (pressing down) of the ground coffee in the filter of the machine. The coffee must be evenly and firmly distributed, to allow the water filtering through to produce a consistent extraction.

Reference: I Love Coffee by Susan Zimmer


Until next month,

With A Whole Latte Love

Cerrigan & Eileen


www.lattelove.co.za | info@lattelove.co.za | +27 (0) 21 713 0434

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