Knowing how to make a perfect espresso shot might be difficult at first, but it only comes with practice. Since each one of us has different tastes in coffee, the ideal espresso shot doesn’t depend on the coffee bean itself; it depends on preparation guidelines that you can read below. With these tips, you’ll make the perfect shot of espresso.
Did you choose your coffee machine yet?
You will need to practice on your coffee machine, solely, to get the perfect ratios and extraction time. There are many espresso machines and coffee grinders available; most of the best ones have been reviewed at MajestyCoffee.com, and will show that that they come in different brands, sizes, and features. Try reading the customer reviews as well to pick a suitable coffee machine for you.
First, preheat your coffee-machine
Always start by preheating your portafilter and cup by pulling a blank shot. This will ensure even water distribution in your portafilter when pulling off your espresso shot.
Next, Grind your Coffee Beans
If you really want a fresh taste, you can’t use pre-ground coffee beans. Yet you can grind coffee every morning if you are planning to make your own espresso all day.
When grinding, it is important to reach the ideal texture. If your coffee turns out too fine, the espresso will taste burnt, and if your coffee is too coarse, your espresso will be watery. The ideal grind texture you are looking for is something in between, more like granulated sugar.
How much coffee should you put in your machine?
Test different grams on your machine to know what is best for it as well as the selected bean. Try 8-10 grams for single shots and 14-18 for double shots.
Tamp your coffee
A key factor in making an espresso shot is how you add the coffee grinds to your machine. First, make sure you have the right tamper that fits your portafilter. Now add your grind coffee to your portafilter and hold the tamper perpendicular to the machine and press until the tamper stops moving, and the grinds start to resist the pressure.
Ideal brewing time is between twenty to thirty seconds. However, there is really no precise rule for timing. That’s because the extraction time depends on how much coffee, grind texture and coffee bean origin and roast.
Now put your portafilter in place, place your cup under the machine and start pulling. The volume of water is easy; you use one ounce for one shot and two ounces for a double shot. Once you reached the right level of espresso, check your watch.
You will be able to recognize your espresso shot quality by just looking at it. Your espresso should be rich, dark brown with golden crema (foam) on top. The crema is the best indicator for your espresso shot; if your shot is over-extracted, the crema will be dark and patchy, and if it was under-extracted, it will be thin and pale.
These are only guidelines for espresso as there is no exact recipe. However, nailing the perfect espresso shot is by trial and error. We recommend you ask your favorite coffee barista about their methods to get closer to what you prefer.