E is for...

Espresso: Born in Italy, the noble espresso is a beverage that has been popularised throughout the world. An espresso is a short coffee that has a light crema on the surface of the drink. It is created by passing hot (but not boiling) water through finely ground coffee beans under pressure. An espresso is the base of such coffee shop favourites as the cappuccino, latte, mocha, and the Americano. 

Ethiopia: The production of coffee has been of cultural importance to Ethiopia for centuries, and the coffee plant from which Arabica beans are harvested from originally came from this country. Although Arabica beans are cultivated throughout the globe, Ethiopian coffees are, in terms of flavour, among the most unusual and unlike others that money can buy. Each with their own regional varieties of flavour, there are several areas of Ethiopia which are home to the country’s main growers. The amazing thing about Ethiopian coffee is the extent to which flavours vary: while coffee from the Harar region is spicy with a hint of dark chocolate, Sidamo coffee is much fruitier on the tongue.

Excelso: A term applied to coffee beans that are exported from Colombia, signifying the size of the beans.

Extraction: Extraction is the most fundamental part of brewing coffee: a tightrope that baristas tread between under- and over-extraction. When the water has not extracted enough flavour out of the ground coffee during brewing, we are left with an under-extracted coffee, which can taste sour or have a lack of sweetness. Conversely, an over-extracted coffee can taste bitter due to the presence of excessive flavour. The ideally extracted coffee should exist on the tongue as a complex balance of flavours, culminating with a smooth finish. A variety of factors can affect extraction, including the temperature of the water used for brewing and, in the case of making an espresso, the evenness of the tamping of the coffee grounds in the portafilter basket.