Producing the perfect espresso at home is not difficult. We consider three primary contributing factors to establishing a great espresso; The Grind, The Quantity, and The Tamp. Minimising variances with these key elements should ensure you have the perfect espresso, every time!
What you Need
Cup of your choice
Step 1 – The Grind
You’ll need a quality grinder to produce even grounds, preferably a conical burr grinder. Avoid blade-based grinders at all costs, as they produce inconsistently sized grounds, which makes for a problematic extraction.
Grab some freshly roasted beans for grinding (1-3 weeks since the roast date), preferably Rabbit Hole Coffee Beans.
Beans past their best-before date tend to produce dull crema and flavour
Espresso grind settings should be fine, and you’ll need to tweak it based on your preferred quantity and tamp pressure, keeping in mind that your settings can vary with each bean.
Step 2 – The Quantity
The quantity depends on the filter basket(s) you have for your machine, as well as your personal strength preference. Rough guide is 6-8g for a single shot, and 16-18g for a double shot. A digital scale next to your coffee machine is a useful addition for weighing your ground coffee.
Step 3 – The Tamp
You are aiming for a flat, clean surface to tamp the coffee grounds. An uneven tamped surface, or a surface with holes in it will result in the water passing through the compacted grounds unevenly. Lightly place the tamper on the grounds to compact them. The second step is to apply consistent vertical pressure of approximately 3.5kg of force (you can use scales if being technical) Finish off with a turn of the tamper to ensure no coffee grounds become stuck on its base.
Step 4 – Extraction
We aim for 9 bar of pressure for extraction. If the shot runs too fast, you may need to grind finer, or increase your quantity. Ideally, the extraction should take care of itself; 30ml of beautiful golden coffee in approximately 25-30 seconds (longer for double shot, shorter for single shot).