Perfect Espresso at Home!
This article is a quick guide to getting started making a perfect espresso at home!
I have read many books, researched online and been making espressos at home for many years, and I am sharing with you the tips I have learnt for you to get started without getting all geeky on making espresso.
Yes, you can measure every coffee bean, grind, water and second of brewing, but this is a quick guide to get you started on making your perfect espresso at home! There will be a bit of trial and error, but you will get to a great espresso very quickly with these recommendations and tips!
Getting set up!
Before you get started, clean the group head where the coffee grinds go. (Any stale or old coffee grinds can make your espresso taste bad). And turn on the espresso machine so it is heated and ready to go. Some devices can take a while to heat up. Also, it is best to have good water, preferably bottled or filtered, to make an excellent espresso and keep the espresso machine in good condition.
If you do not have a grinder and buy ready ground coffee, you can skip the next section.
Note: the fresher the coffee, the better!
Grind the coffee beans fresh for the best flavor and results. Usually grind to the size of sugar when starting out and then test and adjust to suit your machine and liking.
Check out our grind size chart.
A burr coffee grinder is best to grind the coffee evenly.
If the coffee grinds are too fine, it will take longer for the machine to brew and the coffee can be burnt and bitter.
If the grinds are to course the water will run through very quickly, and the coffee will be weak.
So it does take some testing but a few tries, and you will get the hang of it!
Dose and tamp
Next is to dose the group head, basically, fill the coffee grinds into the handle of the espresso machine. Tap the side gently, and then use the tamper to press firmly on the coffee grinds. A good press that leaves the top relatively flat and smooth is good. Clean off any excess grinds and then put the head into the espresso machine. Most machines are push up gently and give a quarter turn.
Note: If there are excess grinds around the top of the head, it can make it hard to put in and turn it fully. Make sure the coffee grinds don’t protrude above the top of the group head.
You can rinse the espresso cup with hot water to warm it. Then place it under the group head. Turn on or press the button on the espresso machine to start brewing the espresso. Depending on your espresso machine, it will stop itself, or you will have to stop it when you see fit. Usually, when the espresso cup is near full or when you see the brew start to go light brown, it’s time to stop.
Note: If you start the brewing and after ten to fifteen seconds there is no signs of coffee or just a little drip coming out of the head it can be because the coffee grinds are too fine. In this case, it is best to stop the machine and leave it for a minute as there can be a good bit of pressure on the head, and you may get splashed with hot water. So leave it to sit for approximately one minute then remove the head and try again with a bit courser of coffee grinds.
What to do next?
Next, enjoy your espresso :)!
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