I recently picked up a bag of this Black Cat Espresso (one of the offerings of Intelligentsia’s Black Cat Project). This is not your over-roasted-to-mimic-flavor Starbucks espresso. The beans are a fairly light Latin American blend, with hints of caramel, brown sugar, chocolate and cherry. With a splash of milk, it’s a perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Most of the at-home espresso machines I’ve used make a dark, bitter, unappetizing shot. I prefer using a french press, which I feel makes it easier to control the outcome of the espresso–I get a rich cup with a fair amount of crema on top. Plus, they are about 90% cheaper than most espresso machines.
To brew espresso at home using a french press:
- Measure out 1/4 cup beans. Grind them slightly finer than you would for a typical press (about a medium grind).
- Measure 1 cup of cold, filtered water and heat in a tea kettle or saucepan until it starts to boil. Remove from heat (cover if using a saucepan) and let sit for 3 minutes.
- Pour the water over the ground beans and give it a quick stir and cover. Let steep for one minute, then press the plunger down. Pour immediately into a short mug (4-oz. mugs work the best). Try it with a swirl of honey, a splash of milk, or just on its own. Serves 2.