According to the experts there are five simple steps to appreciating a good cup of coffee – sight, sound, smell, taste and touch!
Look at the machine – the water should be clear, indicating that the machine has been cleaned. The espresso cup should contain 30ml of liquid. The crema on top should be a golden colour and constitute about 10% of the coffee. The coffee below should be dark brown, not translucent.
You will hear the machine infusing the coffee, which takes 25 to 30 seconds. You should not hear a hissing jet like sound or screeching.
Coffee made from 100% Arabica beans has a rich, pleasant aroma. There should not be an earthy smell, characteristic of the Robusta bean, or shallow smell characteristic of instant coffee, which used the Robusta bean.
A correctly prepared espresso coffee has a taste characteristically mild in acidity. It leaves a pleasant mouthfeel, with a balance of sweet, acid and bitterness. It should not taste burnt, stewed or earthy.
A correct espresso cup is thick porcelain with a thickish lip. A correctly prepared espresso should be served at 86 degrees Celsius in a pre-warmed cup.