An espresso isn’t just an espresso if you’re visiting Georgio’s Coffee Roasters in Farmingdale. Instead, it’s a striking little coffee drink that’s fragrant, slightly sweet, nutty and bright.
This updated espresso experience is due to Georgio and Lydia Testani’s newest gadget: a Slayer espresso machine from the Seattle-based company. Its regal design and wood-handled levers make a statement. But so does Testani’s enthusiasm about it.
“Slayer Saturday. Slay me!” Testani writes on his Facebook page, a display of exuberance for his new machine and beans sourced in Ethiopia. Testani only uses single-origin, small-batch beans in this machine, to produce some of the most distinct versions of espresso around.
With word origins that point to “fast,” (express) and “just for you” (expressly), espresso was introduced in Italy in the 1880s. It grew in popularity through the early 20th century with Achille Gaggia’s invention of the steamless espresso machine in the late 1930s. The invention marked the beginning of crema, the foam with a creamy consistency on top that’s unique to espresso. It’s the result of forcing very hot water under high pressure through fine, tamped-down grounds.
The Slayer’s brewing process results in a cup that’s “sweet without your having to add sugar,” Testani says. It is, in part, because of the new toy’s more precise instruments, which slow the water flow, and its requiring a softer, finer grind than other machines.
“Europeans wouldn’t like it,” he notes, referring to the muddier cup at places such as Rome’s iconic roaster, Sant’Eustachio il Caffe, where you’d get an espresso in a flash — with sugar, unless requested otherwise. And even if you do, you’ll probably get sugar, anyway.
The Slayer marks Testani diversifying offerings, so he hasn’t done away with his respectable Italian Faema machine. It’s the Alfa Romeo of the espresso machines he has used at various points of his career — he’s been roasting beans since the early 1990s — which has included overseeing the coffee department at Fairway markets.
Coffee bean blends and rich, viscous espresso with notes of caramel — popular with a certain type of American connoisseur — are still available. “Don’t worry,” he says. “We’ve still got hipster espresso.”
Slayer espresso is $3 and a small latte is $3.99; a Faema espresso runs between $2 and $2.50.
Georgio’s Coffee Roasters is at 1965 New Hwy., Farmingdale; 516-238-2999, georgioscoffee.com