Everyone knows that a cup of espresso is the best way to start your day. This Italian-inspired brewing method is known to create highly concentrated coffees that can quickly satisfy your daily caffeine need.
However, the price of quality espressos in coffee shops is slowly rising over the years. More and more people are simply unable to afford it. What better way to solve this problem than to brew your own espresso at home!
In this comprehensive guide, we will teach you how to create the perfect espresso just like a professional barista.
To start off, make sure you have all the necessary equipment and ingredients:
- Espresso machine, complete with a tamper and portafilter
- Coffee Ground
- Coffee Grinder; only if you are grinding your own coffee
- Full milk (optional)
When grinding coffee ground, make sure to grind just before brewing as coffee in powder form stales quickly.
Choosing The Right Coffee
A great espresso machine is only as good as the coffee you use. It’s not necessary to use dark roast beans that are specifically marked as “for espressos”. Just make sure to choose fresh beans that have a balanced taste and retain their qualities after brewing.
After selecting and buying your coffee, do not put it in the freezer or fridge. This may add unwanted moisture and odor to your coffee. Instead, keep it in an airtight container and place it somewhere cool and dark.
Measuring And Grinding
Grinding coffee is a delicate process, so make sure to follow these steps closely:
- Use a scale to dose your shots; a double shot espresso (2 ounces) is usually made with 13 – 18 grams of beans. Adjust this amount according to your grinder.
- Use trial and error to dial in your grind size parameters so that water can properly saturate; if the grind is too fine or coarse, it will be too bitter or sour respectively.
- Run the grinder for a couple of seconds to purge the previous grind size.
- Once you figure out the right parameters to make coffee ground that’s slightly more fine than salt, you’re ready for the next step.
Brewing Your Espresso
- Insert coffee ground into a dry portafilter, distribute it by hand to make a flat surface, and ensure there is no space or channel for water to enter.
- Even it out further by using your machine’s tamper.
- Run the machine without the portafilter for 3 seconds to flush the group head and purge it of any impurities.
- Lock in the portafilter, put your glass in place and start the machine.
- Time your shots: 2 ounces of coffee must be brewed within 20 – 30 seconds. If the process takes longer or faster than this, that means you need to adjust your grind size parameters.
Voila, you should now have a viscous cup of espresso with a golden caramel crema. Make sure to use the same settings and adjustments each time you brew to ensure consistent taste and quality. You can further add steamed milk to your espresso and create a latte or cappuccino.