Espresso is becoming the most popular coffee drink consumed out of the home and in coffee shops across the world. Making your own espresso can be both frustrating and rewarding, but with some patience, understanding, and practice you will be well on your way to pulling a great shot. Some of the keys to making great espresso are; Using fresh, quality coffee, the correct grind, correctly packing the grounds, extracting at the correct temperature, and making sure to keep your equipment clean. Check out our step-by-step guide below!
Generally, one uses an espresso machine to make espresso. Be sure to begin by warming up your espresso machine, as well as your cup.
Wipe out your portafilter to ensure the basket is clean and dry. A portafilter is, by itself, a quite simple, but necessary component that is part of every espresso machine.
You will want to grind your coffee with a high quality burr grinder directly into the basket of the portafilter. Grind and dose your coffee as evenly as possible. Generally you will use about 3 tablespoons of coffee (19-21 grams), this is dependent on your basket and coffee.
Now you are going to evenly distribute the coffee grounds in the portafilter by leveling the grounds by hand. Keep your finger straight and and slide it across the rims portafilter to even out the surface.
Tamp the coffee flat in the basket, keeping your wrist straight to make sure the coffee bed is even. The flat surface is crucial for an even extraction.
After you grind, tamp, and extract your espresso, it is important to immediately flush, or purge the group head. You can do this by simply taking your portafilter out as soon as you can after pulling your shot and wiping it clean. Then proceed to purge the grouphead for about 1-3 seconds to ensure all coffee grounds and oils are being flushed out of the screen.
Insert your portafilter into the group head and lock in place. If your machine does not have a time display showing you how long the shot has been brewing use a stopwatch. You will begin your timer and your brew cycle at the same time.
Place your cup underneath the portafilter. Begin the brew cycle and your timer. Your espresso should come out in a steady stream that slowly increases in speed. From beginning of the brew cycle to the end should take anywhere between 23-28 seconds. If the brew cycle was quicker than this try a finer grind. If the brew cycle was longer than this try a coarser grind.
Remove your cup, taste your espresso. From here you will want to judge and adjust your process. Be sure to enjoy the final cup as well!