The Best (and sexiest) Beans for Espresso

Lavazza Super Crema 4.5
I'm often asked, "What's the best brand coffee bean to use for Espresso drinks?"  I've tried at least 100 different brands, grinds, styles, etc. And I've narrowed it down to one.  What's the best to buy?

It has the body to stand up to milk in a cappuccino or latte, but the smoothness to make a great cup.

Plus, they know how to sell coffee. Its not about "the best part of waking up", or "so good its worth a second cup."  There are no sweaters or cold mornings or introspection going on.

No, no, no! The Italians go for this super sexy, espresso erotica to sell coffee. Coffee! Awesome.

I mean seriously! No wonder we don't get these ads in the states, they'd have to sell them from behind the counter, wrapped in plastic. Take a look:

Yeah, It's Sexy - but if you look, they're at like 30,000 ft.

This has never happened to me.
6 arms and a lot of Leopard print here.
Why are they laughing?  Clearly the plane is going down.

I have a feeling the shirt belongs to the guy in the bathroom.
I think that's a man standing behind her.
She's wearing a cup as a mask, bra, panties, and holding a knife.  I love Italians.
I'm out of things to say.
Oh! Wait! I think we've actually done this...
Now that you've had some alone time with the ads, let's get a few things straight.

  1. There is no "espresso bean." Its a coffee bean. So if a bag says "Espresso Beans" the manufacturer doesn't know what they are doing.
  2. There is no "espresso roast." Its just a roast. And it should be medium. Only crap coffee is roasted dark to hide the flavor. Pretty much, if you burn any food - you can't taste it.If you like dark roasts, its probably because you've only had crappy medium roasts. That being said, I'll take a burnt dark roast over a crappy medium roast any day. A little milk and sugar to hide the flavor and I'm done.
  3. There is no "espresso grind." Its a fine grind.  You do need a fine grind to make espresso, but you need to have it match your machine.  Depending on the Espresso Machine you're sporting at home - determines the grind you need.
What is Espresso?  Espresso is a brewing method that forces super hot water through finely ground and packed coffee. So the grind AND the bean are equally important.  An Espresso based drink would be a drink that uses Espresso to add the coffee.  Like a Latte or a Cappuccino.

So now you've got two choices.  If you have a good quality burr grinder, get the Blue Bag Super Crema Lavazza Beans.  If you don't, get the black can "Caffe Espresso" roast.  It's not quite as good, but since a great espresso is determined equally by the quality of the bean AND the quality of the grind - this is a good compromise.

Or you can just buy the Super Crema and a burr grinder. It'll save you money in the long run.

I'm not going to go into a lesson here on how to make espresso. That's for another day.

Things you may need:
You've got your choice of Coffee (depending on if you have a grinder) and two choices for grinders, if you want to go all in.

The first one is way less expensive, but good enough, unless you have a $1,000+ Espresso Machine. The second one is a Conical Grinder - they are way better - but cost a lot more.  I'd love the Capresso Infinity myself, but can't justify the price as my Cuisinart is still chugging along...

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