I only drink 2, maybe 3 coffees in a day so I'll defer to those with experience. Is it possible to get good Espresso results using ordinary drip methods? I'm not sure if the cafe con leche places use an espresso machine for speed or if it's really necessary to get the quality.
Not so much quality
(I've had awful espresso, and I've had damn fine drip), but definitely a different character and strength. No, you cannot get espresso from a drip, the processes are too different. The drip method bathes course grounds in a hot water bath, the other uses fine grounds shot with hot water under steam pressure. The espresso method extracts more of the coffee flavor in a shorter amount of time, resulting in higher strength and lower tannin . You can
get drip-strength from espresso by cutting a shot into a mug of hot water. It'll still retain that distinct espresso flavor, but much more subdued. It's called an Americano
on the menu...
Some customers get the coffee straight up. But if you add a lot of milk I think it takes the concentrated coffee to stand up to it, if that makes any sense.
Once again, espresso is rather concentrated, so milk not only dilutes it a bit, but cuts the acids and rounds out the flavor. The first time I had espresso, I had no idea what it was, just that everybody in Seattle was drinking it. So, when a friend of mine came up to visit, I took her to a little cafe in downtown, she ordered a bowl of rice and I ordered a Single Espresso. The guy asked "are you sure?" and I said "Yeah" as I paid the 99 cents. Later the guy came to our table with a shot glass. With coffee in it. I said "Thanks" but inside I was like "I paid 99 cents for a swallow?". Then I put it to my lips and I could barely get down a sip. Not because it was bad, but incredibly strong and intensely flavorful. I nursed that shot glass for almost half an hour and afterwards I considered it a buck well spent. I've also had Turkish coffee
at a Mediterranean restaurant, and it was like drinking orange-flavored battery acid. So. Damn. Good.
For a time I used Medaglia D'Oro canned espresso in a drip maker. But I only used the regular amount of coffee. I was going for the flavor of it rather than trying to make Espresso.
Exactly. What you got was the flavor of a dark espresso roasted coffee, with perhaps a bit finer grind. Nothing wrong with that, I'm a bit partial to Medaglia D'Oro myself when I get the hankering, but it's not espresso proper
Just like everything else, mileage varies by consumer. And the Keurig I originally purchased because my wife loves cappuccino, and it gave her a convenient way to have a good tasting cup in the morning. For that alone it was worth it to me. I know it's not cafe quality- but it works for her. And as time passed, I realized that it was just more convenient to use for my coffee and tea. I still use my french press and my infuser at times... but when I need a quick cup, the Keurig works. And the taste isn't *that* inferior with the right cups.
To each his own. I'm sure if I was gifted one over the holidays, it wouldn't go unused in the corner, and I'd be chatting up the K-cup connoisseurs at the local grocers for tips on which varieties to stick by. Replacing it after it died, that's a different story.
Getting the right amount of water at the correct temperature through the correct amount of grounds at the right speed is the key. Everything else is marketing boondoggle or wishful thinking.
And as App pointed out, she can get an excellent result with an inexpensive kitchen strainer. All it takes is a little feel for the brewing and an appreciation for good coffee.
Amen to that!