A Romanticized Coffee Delicacy
Coffee drinkers have a plethora of choices when it comes to getting their daily caffeine intake, but many of them routinely ignore their options and go straight for the espresso machine every time. For the uninitiated, espresso is a concentrated form of coffee that comes in a shot. It is prepared by forcing almost boiling, pressurized water through finely ground coffee.
Viewed by many as a romanticized coffee delicacy, espresso traces its origins back to early 20th century Milan, Italy. It was there, in 1903, that Luigi Bezerra developed the brew. He was diligently working to find a faster way to brew his beloved coffee when he began to pressurize coffee beans and grounds. And there you have it: the story of espresso.
Loving the Crema … And More
Today, the brew is crafted by use of sophisticated espresso machines, some of the best of which are made by manufacturers such as Saeco, Rancilio and Jura. The drink that comes out of them is characterized by its thickness – espresso is usually three to four times thicker than regular coffee – and the crema. The latter refers to the reddish-brown substance that floats to the top of the drink. Crema is created by the mixing of the oils in the coffee grounds. (This process does not occur in other forms of coffee brewing.) This foam-like substance is regularly cited as the top reason why individuals prefer the drink over others.
There are more reasons than just the crema that compel people to fire up those espresso machines, though. Water content, the caffeine content and the flavor are often cited as top reasons for preferring the Italian beverage. Regular coffee traditionally contains an abundance of water as compared to a one ounce shot of espresso. Yet it still contains more caffeine-by-volume than most other drinks. Finally, fans of the brew love starting their day off with the bold, flavorful taste of espresso.
While the caffeine lovers use their espresso machine for a big wake up kick, others are still looking for the best coffee maker for a regular cup of coffee that won’t give them the jitters. If your looking for a regular drip coffee maker, read some of our reviews that will help you find the best coffee maker for your not-so-strong cup of joe.
You love your espresso machine. For some, “love” might seem a little strong, but your discerning tastes demand the best and few others are capable of getting the brew precisely in tune with what you’ve come to enjoy and crave. That being said, you’ve come to a difficult juncture with that blessed little machine that’s gotten you through those tough times. It has grown old and years of delivering that perfect blend have taken their toll on the poor thing.
It’s understandable that you don’t want to admit it – parting is such sweet sorrow, after all – but the time has come to move on. Maybe you’re so dedicated that you have had it restored in the past, or maybe you have even done some restorations on your own. But it’s time to face reality: your espresso maker simply can’t go on giving you those delightfully delectable pick-me-ups anymore. You could just junk it, but that’s just wrong after all you’ve been through together.
How to Recycle Your Espresso Machine
A better option is to recycle that old machine or grinder. You can’t just go throwing the thing into your recycle bin, though; not all of its parts belong in there. Recycling can be a bit confusing these days with all of the numbers (Does my state recycle number 4?) and materials that are and are not suitable for the program.
Thankfully, there are options available that allow experts in the field handle the process. Retailers like Seattle Coffee Gear have partnered with Uesugi USA to have unused machines dismantled and properly disposed of. They separate the recyclable parts (aluminum, steel, stainless steel, brass, copper and some plastics) from those that are non-recyclable components. The end result is that all the appropriate materials end up being reused, and as few parts as possible end in the landfill. Who knows, maybe that replacement espresso machine you buy will be partially constructed of someone else’s former maker.