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Your guide to making the perfect Italian espresso

Updated on June 1, 2016

It all starts with the pods

There is no reason why you can't make a perfect espresso coffee at home with a pod or capsule machine. They mightn't look very Italian, but actually, they're what most Italian families use everyday in their kitchens at home. Not because they're convenient - coffee is a religion in Italy - but because they make a reliably good coffee time after time without you having to worry about water pressure or grind quality. Obviously the best coffee is made at the source, Italy, and if you own a Nespresso machine at home, you can grab Nespresso compatible capsules that are made in Italy, unlike the Nespresso coffee pods themselves.

Stick to Italian coffee pods

You wouldn't go to a fast food restaurant to get authentic Italian food, so why wouldn't you buy Italian made coffee for an authentic espresso? For a perfect bar coffee, you need to start with good coffee. Unlike most Italian coffee companies, Gimoka does everything in house. They deal fairly and directly with coffee growers from all over the world to source the best green coffee beans. These are shipped to the family's roasting house on Lake Como (where George Clooney lives) and mixed into blends that have been mastered over the generations. From there, the coffee is packaged and shipped to cafes and restaurants all over Italy. When Gimoka decided to branch into the home, they designed their own Italian coffee capsules that are self-sealing, keeping coffee's enemies, oxygen and moisture, out. These are Nespresso compatible pods, which means you can have Italian coffee at home without having to bin your Nespresso machine.

Ready to make the perfect espresso?

Now that you've got your Italian made coffee, you're ready to start brewing. Most pod machines have an espresso setting, but the coffee they make is so long, the average Italian would throw it in your face. A true Italian espresso is no more than a tablespoon long and naturally sweet. This sweetness comes from Arabica beans. Gimoka mixes their Arabica coffee with Robusta for a hint of bitterness that all Italians looks for in their coffee, but if you want 100% Arabica, you can stick to their luxury coffee brand, Gran Caffè Garibaldi, which makes small batch artisan coffee with the best Arabica beans. Gran Caffè Garibaldi is named after the Italian legend and makes all their coffee in small batches for the best quality. You can grab their Nespresso compatible pods along with Gimoka's from L'Emporio, the official distributor in Australia.

Keep it short, keep it sweet

Heat up your pod coffee machine and get your cup ready. Most Italians actually drink their espresso out of a shot glass - it's that short. Heat your glass up by filling it with boiling water and letting it sit for a few minutes. Now we're ready to brew. Grab your Gimoka or Gran Caffè Garibaldi pod. There a bunch of masterfully blended varieties to choose from including decaf because Italians don't discriminate. Tilt your glass as the coffee pours out. This helps to create the perfect 'crema' or foam that forms on the top of your coffee. This should be thick and a beautiful light brown. Wait a few seconds for the crema to form before you serve your authentic Italian espresso.

Last step: no sugar

An authentic Italian bar coffee is actually enjoyed without sugar. Gimoka and Gran Caffè Garibaldi have been making coffee for generations. They once supplied the best bars in Italy and now they supply the average Italian, making Nespresso compatible pods that cost less than the ones you buy in the shops and are made in Italy. Good coffee has over two thousand notes from chocolate to bitter fruits and caramel. It is naturally sweet and packs a flavour punch. If you use sugar, you destroy the coffee's natural flavour - the flavour that coffee producers worked so hard to get. It's a bit like wine. The best wines aren't those super sweet and sugary ones. They're usually made with the worst grapes and filled with sugar to disguise the flavour. So keep the sugar for the rubbish espressos and enjoy your authentic Italian espresso without any.

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