BREW GUIDE: ESPRESSO
WHAT YOU NEED
Espresso machine (with portafilter)
Knockbox or garbage
STEP 1: WEIGH & GRIND
Remove the portafilter from your espresso machine and wipe it clean and dry with a towel.
Place the portafilter on your weighing scale and tare.
If you are using a dedicated espresso grinder, you can grind directly into your portafilter. For all other grinders, weigh your beans first, grind, and then carefully place the ground coffee in the portafilter. Try 19 g of coffee first and then adjust from there.
Grind size should be very fine, close to the finest that your grinder can go, the size of powdered sugar.
STEP 2: DISTRIBUTE & TAMP
Once your grounds are in your portafilter, you’ll want to distribute them as evenly as possible. A distribution tool can be very helpful in achieving an even coffee bed. If you don’t have a distribution tool, we recommend the tapping method where you tap the front, rear, and sides of the portafilter to knock the coffee into an even bed.
Now it’s time to tamp! Place your tamper on your coffee bed and press down as evenly as possible, taking care to make sure that your tamp is level.
STEP 3: RINSE & INSERT
To prepare your machine to pull a shot, rinse some water through the portafilter to make sure it is clean and hot.
Before brewing, place your scale on your machine’s drip tray, not yet directly under the grouphead. Place your cup on the scale and remember to tare the scale.
Insert the portafilter into the grouphead and lock in place.
STEP 4: PULL SHOT
Once you have placed your portafilter into the machine, immediately begin pulling your shot. At the same time that you start the machine, hit start on your timer.
As soon as you have started the machine and timer, quickly and carefully slide your scale and cup under the portafilter spouts to catch that liquid gold espresso. This will all happen very fast and takes some practice to do it smoothly.
Aim first for 30 g of liquid espresso in about 25 to 35 seconds. You can adjust this later.
STEP 5: EVALUATE AND ENJOY
Once you have reached the desired amount of espresso, stop the brew process. If your shot took 25 to 35 seconds, you are probably in the right range for a good tasting shot, but every coffee is different.
Take a sip. Too bitter? Try grinding the coffee a bit coarser for your next shot. Too sour/salty? Try grinding a bit finer. You can also play around the amount of coffee that you use or the amount of water that you allow to pass through the coffee bed.
Just remember, espresso is complicated and can take a long time to get right. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey.