How To Make a Great Espresso
What Is Espresso?
Espresso coffee involves forcing highly pressurised water through finely ground coffee and requires an espresso machine to work. Espresso literally translates as ‘express’, referring to the 23-28 seconds delivery time on a shot. It’s a very quick and aggressive way to produce coffee. This is different to other coffees which use different, slower techniques like immersion or pour over brewing, where hot water gently coaxes the flavour from the coffee.
The outcome of brewing under high pressure gives a more concentrated brew and a stronger flavour. Espresso is your building block for drinks like Latte and Americano.
Key Steps To Creating A Great Espresso
Of course it takes time and experience to get this right but here are some basics to get you started.
Warm The Cup
Espresso is sensitive to sudden changes in temperature so always warm the cup first.
Grind Your Own Beans
For espresso the grind is really important as this affects how quickly the shot is pulled. Freshly ground coffee will taste far better than pre ground/older coffee. If you can, grind the coffee directly into your porta filter basket.
Accurately Dose Your Coffee
You will need 18-20g for a dose depending on how you like it. Gently shake to settle the coffee then level it using your finger.
Use you tamper to gently push the coffee down.
Purge Your Group Head
Sounds a bit painful but this is all about letting hot water flow through your group head before you use your porta filter.
Timing Is Everything
As your espresso comes out it shouldn’t rush out in 5 seconds but it should come out steadily and then increase slightly. The whole process from start to finish should take between 24-28 seconds.
Patience Is A Virtue
Taste your coffee and see what you think. You may want to change your grind to produce coarser or finer coffee. If your coffee flows too fast out of the machine the grind will need to be finer.You may also need to experiment with your beans.