Basics of Espresso
If you want to make that home espresso machine work better for you, here are a few things we look for in a coffee shop to make our shots beautiful.
Make Sure you have 9 bars of pressure:
Barometric Pressure is the force exerted by the atmosphere. When making espresso, you usually want nine bars of pressure, or nine times the weight of the pressure at sea level . Check the gauge on your machine to make sure it’s right at 9.
Finely ground coffee:
Espresso is extracted best from finely ground coffee. Too fine of ground and your shots will run too long and be bitter. Too coarse of ground and your shots will run too fast and be watery. Look for a double shot (2oz of volume) to pull in 23-30 seconds.
Type of beans Light vs. dark
If you want a darker more bitter espresso use darker roast beans. Too light of roast will make a sour shot, so I prefer something with a medium roast for a nice well balanced flavor.
Technique on making better espresso:
-Clean equipment: make sure you are cleaning out the espresso portafilter baskets and steam wand regularly. PuroCaff is a brand of espresso machine cleaner that works well for this.
-Freshest ground coffee: Grind your espresso right before you make it to ensure the best flavors.
-Proper water (temperature and filtered): The water you put in will affect the espresso you get out. Filtered water is key, and make sure your water is hot enough when you go to extract the espresso. You want the water to be right off of boiling temperature. Most home espresso machines control this for you, but if you are pulling multiple shots, make sure to let the water heat up again between extractions.
Have fun and don’t be afraid to try multiple times, rarely do I get a perfect espresso shot on my first try. If you have patience and a little know-how you’ll be making tasty espresso in no time!