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March 2011 - Espresso

March "Express" Espresso News from J. Martinez & Company
J. Martinez & Company - Coffee Merchants
March Newsletter

Company Newsletter
24 March, 2011

Welcome to our March Newsletter. We are continuing to work on our website with new features, including enhanced credit card features. We have also added informational pages on Jamaica Blue Mountain History, Espresso (essentially the same information as in this page), and we have video, with more to come.

We also have a Facebook fan page. Please visit us, like us, and feel free to leave comments.

The Story of Espresso

Bezzara Cafe

Espresso was invented in Italy at the beginning of the 20th century by Luigi Bezzera of Milan. He devised a method of making coffee with steam pressure. This method provided a quick way of making a single cup of coffee, "espressly" for one. The original Italian may have mean "pressed coffee", but the meaning also had the connotation of speed.

This new method of making coffee had a disadvantage in that the steam gave a burnt taste to the coffee. It appears that a certain Sr. Cremonese, who worked for in coffee grinder factory, developed a screw piston that forced water through the coffee in the 1940's. But it was Gaggia who improved upon the method by working out a design that incorporated a spring lever piston in 1947. The basic method is quick and uses finely ground coffee. The extraction level is similar to drip coffee, though the amount of water used is less. The result is a coffee that is rich and flavorful. It can be almost syrupy due to the emulsification of the coffee oils that occurs with pressure.

J. Martinez' Award-Winning Don Giovanni's Espresso Bellisimo

Award-winning J. Martinez Packaging

The coffee used for espresso varies. In the south, darker roasts are used, while lighter roasts are preferred in the North. Any coffee can be made "espresso" style, as long as it it properly ground, though most coffee intended for espresso is made from blends. J. Martinez & Company created Don Giovanni's Espresso Bellisimo in the Italian style. It is a smooth, full bodied espresso. Blended from nine different select arabica coffees, each was selected to add their particular characteristics to a coffee that won the Grand Gold Medal at the 2005 Monde Selection in Brussels.

While one might be tempted to believe that since the Italians invented espresso, Italian branded coffee would be the best. This is true in Italy, where the coffee is fresh roasted. And it would be true if you received your coffee shipped directly from Italy to your home. But a few weeks past the coffee's roasting date the coffee starts to become stale, even if it is vacuum-packed. Ground coffee becomes stale even faster. To experience a wonderful espresso make sure your coffee is as freshly roasted as possible. J. Martinez & Company coffees are fresh roasted within a day of shipment, ensuring that your espresso retains the same richness you would experience in Italy.

Making Espresso

There are home espresso machines which range from simple stovetop machines which force boiling water up through the ground coffee to simple hand operated piston machines on which you can "pull" a coffee, and to "super automatic" machines that grind, dose, and brew the espresso with the press of a button. These home machines can make a pretty good cup of espresso, with some time dedicated to getting the grind and dosage correct. The same art of getting the grind and dosage correct on the more expensive professional machines is required as well.

The amount of coffee used is typically 7 grams per espresso, or per one ounce of coffee. The coffee is ground fine and tamped so that it is somewhat compacted. A super automatic will grind, dose and brew the coffee automatically, but it requires some diligence in finding the proper settings to create the ideal cup of coffee. Once adjusted though, the machine is easy to use and can make an excellent espresso or cappuccino.

Stovetop Espresso Pavoni Europiccolo Saeco Odea Giro
Stove Top Espresso Maker Pavoni Piston Type Espresso Maker Saeco Super Automatic Type Espresso Maker

To order Don Giovanni's Espresso Bellisimo or any other of our fine coffees please visit our website at