A lot more about coffee, from making espresso to creating your own blends

 Sunset Junction and Los Feliz, Los Angeles

Espresso tips from Giorgio Milos (Food Arts magazine, December 2010). Giorgio Milos is Master Barista for Trieste, Italy-based illycaffè. With barista training dating to his teens, Milos, 36, is one of the world’s foremost experts on coffee. He is a past winner of the Italian Barista Championship, a Specialty Coffee Association of Europe-certified Master Barista, and on faculty at illy’s Universita del Caffè (UDC), where leading restaurants and cafes come for master coffee training.

Bean selection
Despite the trend toward single-source ingredients and products, Giorgio Milos insists that espresso is far better with a blended coffee than single-origin.  Illy creates espresso blends based on four qualities characteristic of particular coffee producing regions:
Bitterness Brazil or southern India
Sweetness Costa Rica or Guatemala
Acidity or sourness Kenya or eastern Africa
Aroma Ethiopia, for which there are no substitutes, says Milos

Don’t grind beans earlier than two hours before use; don’t keep prepared coffee longer than 45 minutes and never keep it on a hot plate; always clean your machine.

Espresso perfection
There are only four elements to making great espresso (the four Ms):
Miscela Coffee blend
Macinazione Grinder
Machine Machine
Mano “Hand” of the operator

Here are some more tips from Giorgio:

Coffee, Old-School: An Intro to Roasting Your Own

A Symphony of Coffee: Creating Your Own House Blend

The Coffee-Storage Conundrum: How to Keep Beans Fresh

Coffee Mixology: A Primer

Coffee’s Mysterious Origins

Will Moka Be America’s Next Coffee Tradition?

All You Need to Know About Steaming Milk

Espresso 101: An Expert Responds to Readers

A Winning Formula for Traditional Espresso