how to make espresso

How To Make Espresso – 10 Easy Tips You Can Use Right Now

Espresso is one of the most popular types of coffee in the world, often serving as a basis for other varieties. Even though modern generation espresso machines are now widely available, there is however an art on how to make the best cup of espresso.

We have gathered here 10 tips you can use right now!

#1 Clean the portafilter before dosing the coffee

cleaning the portafilter

Barista cleaning the espresso machine portafilter

This is an essential step, which will contribute to improving the quality of your espresso. Before doing the coffee, you should check the portafilter and make sure it is clean. The taste of the espresso can be affected by both excess moisture and grounds from previous coffees, with prevalent bitter notes.

#2 A precise dose with the right tools

State of the art espresso machines come with an on demand grinder, requiring just the push of a button for the pre-set dose to be activated. However, if you want to be even more precise, you can use a scale to measure your dose. This will ensure the most accurate extraction and it should be done before distributing grounds and tamping.

#3 Ensure the even distribution of the coffee grounds

espresso preparation

The grinder of the espresso machine will distribute the coffee grounds unevenly, which means that there will be different quantities in the various parts of the basket. If left as such, channeling can occur, affecting the quality of your coffee. To improve the consistency of your espresso, you can use specialized tools for even distribution.

#4 Light tamping before the actual heavy tamping

tamping espresso

Waiter using a tamper to press ground coffee into a portafilter in cafe

Tamping the coffee grounds into the portafilter follows distribution, as this will lead to a uniform and adequately compressed puck. In turn, this will guarantee a consistent extraction. In order to further ensure the even distribution of the coffee, consider a light tamping before the actual heaving tamping. A correctly tamped coffee is even and compact.

#5 Use freshly-roasted coffee, preferably Arabica

If you are interested in making a great espresso, do not hesitate to use freshly roasted coffee. The most delicious beverage comes from Arabica beans, which just have been roasted. Robusta might be stronger in flavor but its quality is inferior. You might use a small quantity to influence your espresso’s character, but it should never represent the main addition.

#6 A rinsed group head leads to better espresso

Fail to see the connection? Well, before inserting the portafilter to the group head, you should make sure that the latter is thoroughly rinsed. This will remove leftover coffee, ensuring that your espresso machine is clean. From a different perspective, rinsing the group head will help with proper heating, increasing the extraction percentage.

#7 Use hot water to pre-heat the portafilter

A simple way to pre-heat the portafilter is to run hot water through it. In this way, the extraction will be improved and your coffee will have a better quality. As an alternative, you can place the portafilter into the group head and wait for it to heat up. By running the machine on the espresso cycle, without any coffee, you will also ensure that it stays clean.

#8 Pre-heat the espresso cups for a better beverage

hot espresso cup

Pre-heating the espresso cups will add to the quality of your beverage. You can place the cups on the heating tray of the espresso machine, waiting for a little bit. Alternatively, you can pour hot water into the cups, then throw it out as soon as these are warmed. Either way, a warm cup can make a genuine difference whereas the quality of the espresso is concerned.

#9 Do not push for more than 30 seconds through the coffee puck

Espresso is a type of beverage, which is made by pushing water through the coffee puck for a specific amount of time. The timeframe varies between 25 and 30 seconds. Any less, and you will have a weak beverage. Also, by pushing for a longer period of time, you will risk obtaining a bitter, astringent espresso.

#10 Immediate brewing is a must, otherwise the quality of your espresso will be low

Once the portafilter has been inserted, it is time to brew your espresso. As soon as you have finished rinsing, do not hesitate to insert the portafilter to the group head and begin brewing on the spot. Delays will cause the heat released by the group head to burn the coffee on the surface, leading to bitter notes. You should also pay attention to the yield and brew time. When finished, throw away the puck, clean out the basket and rinse the group head once again.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, these are some of the most important tips for making the perfect espresso. Provided you will follow our advice, you will definitely enjoy a delicious beverage, made just the right way.