Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
DamianWarS wrote:Not sure how to steam interacted with the coffee and I'm quite sure it wasn't just straight steam but rather it was pressurized with steam in some way. The actual temp of the water used to brew is not clear.
A lot has been 'lost' to history but from the Smithsonian Magazine, already mentioned by jpender, here is a description of Pavoni's 1906 machine, "These early machines could produce up to 1,000 cups of coffee per hour, but relied exclusively on steam, which had the unfortunate side effect of imbuing the coffee with a burnt or bitter taste and could only conjure up, at best, two bars of atmospheric pressure - not even enough for the resulting drink to be considered espresso by today's standard."
Earlier 'espresso' machines were different and the brew temp might have been closer to 195f.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-cul ... 126012814/
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Would the Maltoni collection (or Henk's or Paul) collection not have a single predecessor to espresso as we know it now?
Would make for a great video, Espresso, the history, heck you could make a a trilogy out of it real easy.
edit: seems like there is plenty to choose from at Mumac.... https://www.espressomadeinitaly.com/en/ ... altoni.asp
The patents shouls also be available, be it that they may be a bit hard to understand as the descriptions in old patents are pretty brief.
DamianWarS (original poster)
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the Angelo Moriondo machine was remade
based on its patent's designs and some claim it to the first espresso machine. there isn't even photos of the thing available but although it makes coffee the same way as these early machines it was a batch brewer and made like 50 cups at a time so it didn't make coffee "expressly" for the customer which is where the term espresso comes from so I would say a predecessor but not the first espresso machine. however freshly brewed the first cup might be similar to its successors.
I think you'd need to grind fine, tamp the grounds, and put some sort of screen on top so that the puck isn't disturbed when the water is poured in. And then really lean on the thing, like 100 lbs of weight. Then you'd have a real, genuine fake espresso.
Disappointingly, Jim Hoffman reported lower extraction yields as he ground finer and quickly moved on forgetting any desires to get espresso like strengths from the Aeropress. But I feel there is more we could do if we are looking for strong brews from the Aeropress. You nailed one with a screen on top making it more of an infusion brew. I tried this and it is very difficult to properly get the screen in place way down in the Aeropress tube. Also, we may want to consider some sort of tamping. Again difficult to do on Aeropress. But the reward for higher extraction strong brews with Aeropress may be worth investigating. Sure, it won't be espresso. But it may top moka brews due to better temperature and timing control.
Before getting an espresso machine at work I used an Aeropress with the high pressure technique described in a thread here on HB. As I recall I used a metal filter (can't remember if there was a paper filter on top of that, but I don't think so), a finer grind, used a dry paper filter over the the plunger face to tamp the coffee, slowly backed out the plunger and replaced the paper filter on top of the tamped coffee. Then poured near boiling water in the press and immediately applied as much pressure as I could with my body weight over the press on top of a mug.
Did it make espresso? No, but it was somewhere between brewed coffee and espresso, and serviceable in a milk drink.
I tried to do this once, grinding 16g a bit coarser than espresso, tamping with a little metal can that sort of fit, and then putting a trimmed paper filter on top. Then I added about 52g of boiling water. It sort of worked in that it kept the grounds mostly contained in the puck. But of course I couldn't generate very much pressure so it wasn't very espresso-like in terms of the "shot" dynamics. It took a while just to get anything to come out. I should have preheated the Aeropress as the shot was pretty cool.
It didn't taste bad, just a little acidic. It was a very forgiving blend I was using at the time. The strength I measured with a cheap optical refractometer was about 4.2%. That translates into very poor extraction no matter what you assume about the percolation vs immersion aspects of the slowly infusing water. But it tasted okay.
While it's certainly possible to make a very strong Aeropress the normal way it's inefficient. To get a 10% strength shot, depending on the variables, you'd need to use somewhere between twice as much and four times as much coffee as someone pulling a shot on an espresso machine. You can use scissors to pound nails too.