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The Popularity of Espresso – on the Rise or Waning?

Posted June 03, 2014, at 2:36 a.m.
Last modified June 04, 2014, at 1:55 a.m.

Judging by the number of local cafes and national coffee shops found in any town and city in America, coffee and espresso drinks are as popular as ever.

In fact, 54% of all Americans over the age of 18 indulge in at least one coffee or espresso drink every day at home, in the office, or while traveling. According to the National Coffee Association, seven percent of all coffee is prepared via a single serving coffee maker. This growing popularity of both single cup serving makers and at-home espresso machines, means coffee drinkers are opting for do-it -ourself beverages to their own exact specifications.

In addition to being a cherished morning ritual, coffee and espresso drinks offer a number of health benefits . Recent research indicates that coffee may help reduce the chances of getting diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease or colon cancer. Coffee is full of antioxidants, offering more of these essential nutrients than some fruits and vegetables.

The caffeine found in coffee and espresso drinks may also increase mental sharpness, boost metabolic rate, positively impact athletic performance, and enhance mood. While all these positive side effects are found in both ground, drip coffee and espresso, the benefits are more pronounced with espresso.

At the base of a well crafted espresso drink, you are getting the very best of the coffee bean. Since espresso is brewed at a very high temperature for a very short amount of time, (between 20-30 seconds), more of the beans rich flavor and abundant antioxidants are allowed to flow into your cup. Espresso is less likely to have a bitter or acidic after taste than traditional drip or ground coffee may have because of the way it’s prepared.

While a single shot of espresso may be gaining popularity in America, most espresso drinkers tend to use it as a base for other drinks, including lattes, cappuccinos, and Americanos. For serious home use, many espresso drinkers opt for either a semi-automatic or automatic machine. Either appliance requires some “hands on expertise”, since they allow you to steam your own milk and pull your shots.

A semi-automatic machine requires the user to control the pump, or the amount and flow of water during extraction and you set the water temperature. An automatic espresso machine manages the pump for you and determines the water temperature, which does impact the flavor and strength of your espresso.

To pull large quantities of espresso, you may want to consider a coffee pod espresso machine. These appliances are user friendly, and require little effort on the user. Simply heating the water and popping the “pod” into the machine brews a great espresso. Of course, your local coffee shop or espresso bar can also provide when you run out of time.

Whether you drink your espresso at home or at work, prefer it pulled by a barista or create on your own, a good espresso has a number of qualities:

• A slight bitterness.

• A little sourness.

• An inherent sweetness, accentuated by the cream.

• A full body.

• An embracing aroma.

For a truly spectacular aroma and flavor, use a medium roast bean. It’s a misconception that a dark roast will give a stronger flavor. Many baristas believes a dark roast overpowers the subtle flavors that make drinking an espresso so pleasurable. As espresso becomes more accessible and available, its popularity will continue to rise and more people will learn to enjoy its different qualities.

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