Brewing 101 Espresso Machine

Here, at Koffee Kult, we take our Espresso very seriously. The distinctive feature of espresso, as opposed to brewed coffee is espresso is commonly associated with cafés because, brewing espresso requires specialized equipment and some skill. Home espresso machines have increased in popularity. Appliance stores and online vendors offer a wide variety of espresso machine options. Obtaining favorable results from these counter-top machines is going to take some tweaking on your part, but with our guidance, you will be brewing your espresso at home!

Espresso Pull

How to brew it

  1. Preheat the cup. This is important to avoid a thermal shock that might result in a modification of the flavors. You can preheat your cup by placing it over the machine or adding hot water before pulling the espresso shot.
  2. Clean the portafilter.
  3. Pull out the portafilter and clean and dry the basket using a dark towel.
  4. Grind the coffee. Remember that if you want the right flavors, you need finely ground coffee, which you will get using a special espresso grinder. 
  5. Dose. The dose depends on the size of the basket of your espresso machine, but the regular sizes can hold between 14 to 18 grams. If you want to be a geek about your espresso, you can weigh the dry dose and set up a recipe, for example, 1:2, 1 part coffee – 2 parts water.
  6. Distribute the grounds evenly on the basket, you can do this by gently tapping the portafilter with your hand or on the tamping mat if you have one.
  7. Tamp it by gently pressing the coffee in the basket to remove any air pockets. Press the coffee evenly to get a straight coffee bed. You do not need to use extreme pressure.
  8. Clean any ground coffee that is left on the top of the basket, ears or spouts of the portafilter.
  9. Now, with hot water, rinse the group head to flush any old coffee particles and discard the hot water.
  10. Insert the portafilter and immediately start the extraction. You will have enough time to pull your cup and place it before the coffee starts pouring. If it starts pouring immediately, that means that you need to adjust your grind size and set it finer. If it takes too long, then set it coarser.

Ground Coffee vs Coffee Beans

The average time of extraction of the espresso should be between 20 to 30 seconds. If it’s extracted too quickly, called an under extraction, it will taste sour. On the other hand, if it takes too long, called an over-extraction, it will taste bitter.

Taste your espresso! Do you like the result? If yes, enjoy it or add steamed milk to make your favorite milk beverage. If not, adjust your settings: grind size, recipe, dose. Espresso is all about experimenting because every coffee will taste different.
Now it’s time to clean the machine. Discard the puck of coffee, clean and dry the portafilter, rinse the group head and insert the portafilter again.

Coffee cups

Pro tips

  • If you want to have more control over your extraction, you can weigh the espresso during its extraction.
  • When modifying the variables, pick one at a time. Do not change grind size and dose at the same time because it will be hard to replicate and achieve a consistent result.
  • Experiment with different recipes like 1:1,5 or 1:2,5 in order to define the flavor profile you like.

We recommend our Dark Roast and Eye Cracker for espresso. 


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