Many popular homemade coffee drinks start with good-quality espresso, including cappuccinos, lattes and mochas. Many coffee house drinks start with espresso as well. Espresso is a condensed version of coffee made by forcing small amounts of hot liquid through coffee grounds. You can also use condensed or reduced coffees in some sauces and desserts. This adds an intense coffee flavor without making the dish bitter.
Turn on your espresso maker. Wait 10 minutes for it and the water to heat up.
Set your coffee grinder to the finest setting possible.
Grind 14 to 17g of coffee beans for a double shot of espresso; put them in the porta-filter.
Apply pressure to your coffee grounds with the tamper while twisting it. Apply about 50 pounds of pressure to pack the grounds tightly enough to infuse flavor while preventing bitterness.
Put the porta-filter into the machine.
Watch that the espresso comes out of the machine after 20 to 30 seconds. If it comes out sooner, you did not pack your grounds tightly enough and you may have weak espresso.
Place 4 cups of cooled or warm coffee into a sauce pan.
Simmer the coffee over low or medium-low heat until it reduces by half. Watch carefully that it does not boil over.
Use your reduced coffee in a sauce or dessert.