Your journey for the ultimate espresso has led you here. If you’re like me, you can instantly tell a good espresso from a bad one, and often, just by looking at it. But that comes from years of experience and literally thousands of espresso shots sampled at various bars around the world, extracted from varied and sophisticated equipment, using some of the most exotic beans from the far reaching corners of the earth. So what exactly defines a good espresso shot? In a word, I think most of you would agree that a good shot of espresso is defined by the crema – that golden caramel layer of goodness which smothers the rich black liquid beneath it. The reality is, not everyone is as fortunate to have experienced such splendor.
If on the other hand, you’ve had the pleasure of enjoying a good espresso shot, you may have yet to experience the perfect espresso shot, or what some espresso connoisseurs even refer to as The God Shot. Yes, as the name implies, this shot is so heavenly, that only God himself could have pulled it for you. At least that’s what Mark Prince, the coffee guru at coffeegeek.com defined the experience to be back in 2002 when he actually coined the term. Pulling the God Shot relies on a series of elements lining up perfectly – a great blend of coffee beans roasted just right, then perfectly ground, and extracted with filtered water prepared at the ideal temperature and steam pressure, with the rich emulsified liquid oozing into a pre-warm porcelain cup and then sweetened with organic sugar to taste. As you can appreciate, there are numerous factors that go into making an excellent shot of espresso absolutely perfect. It’s not so much a place or a person that can deliver the God Shot. It really comes down to what you might refer to as the perfect storm happening in your cup – will all the right elements in balance. I can honestly say that many of you will never have the luxury or the pleasure of enjoying such a shot in your lifetime, but I am sure that in your travels, you will come close, that is, if you know what to look for.
With the multitude of espresso brewing machines and choices available to consumers today, it’s tough to be sure which solution is just right for you given your tastes and preferences. Or more importantly, which machine will do the best job. Certainly today more than ever, quality is not so much about the price you pay, since we all know that simply paying more for a machine does not necessarily guarantee you the best cup of coffee. Today, technology is also playing a pivotal role in determining how to extract the best shot of espresso. Of course, we can’t ignore the basics of bean, grind, water quality, temperature, pressure and timing – which actually has a lot to do with the barista pulling the shot. Just as with any high end piece of equipment, the operator makes all the difference. And in the world of espresso, it’s just as much about the barista as it is the bean, and everything in between.
So with all these complex factors at play, how can we expect the everyday consumer to retreat back into their homes with their ground coffee and shiny new espresso machine and pull a decent, if not acceptable, shot of espresso? The answer is simple, you can’t. There are just too many variables to control so you have to sacrifice something in order to compromise on the experience. Tell me what you can afford and the people you would like to impress and I will recommend a solution which will be guaranteed to please. And hence we come full circle to the original purpose of your quest and why you came here – to find the ultimate espresso solution for you.
But of all the discoveries we’ve made, the one that we’re most proud of – the one that even made us gasp with a “Holy cow!” is actually the smallest of all the machines we’ve found. A device so remarkable, so ingenious, that apart from the “Oh I wish I would have thought of that!” notion, is the astonishing realization that such a small and simple invention could deliver such an amazing shot of espresso, and could do so anywhere on Earth without the use of electricity. That’s right, we discovered the world’s first human-powered espresso machine – the Handpresso and we’re pleased to offer it to you in some value added bundles that provide everything you need to take the espresso experience with you, wherever you go.
So enjoy your stay here and feel free to look around and explore some of the reasons why we created this site in the first place. Hopefully you too will have a new found appreciation for that one ounce elixir that we call espresso. Along the way you be sure to discover some of the techniques and tactics that we’ve learned make all the difference. And since we know that not everyone can afford to plunk down tens of thousands of dollars on a Slayer or La Marzocco, even though we’d love to, we assembled some more affordable options, that deliver great shots of coffee for less than a few hundred dollars, and a couple of quarters per cup. Even I’d say that’s a worthy accomplishment given what’s out there.