Nail the PERFECT Espresso Shot

We are coffee geeks. We aren’t ashamed to admit it. And one of the things that really suits are intellectual fancy is perfecting all things coffee! Recently we have been toying with creating the perfect espresso shot and we thought it would be cool with you to share our findings! There are a couple of different coffees that we have been using recently, but our favorite is probably Caveman Coffee. They have a convenient subscription service where you choose what kind of coffee you want, and then send it to you every month. You can sign up here (we swear they don’t pay us!)

The art of espresso making revolves around perfecting the grind of the coffee powder, the dose of the coffee shot, the tampering of the coffee on the portafilter and the temperature at which the coffee should be heated to get that perfect brewing espresso shot. Let’s take a look at the basic steps involved in getting that espresso shot right to the t.

Grind the coffee beans

finely ground espressoIn order to get the consistency of the coffee powder correct, the coffee beans should be ground neither too fine nor too coarse. When ground too fine, the espresso takes longer to brew giving it a bitter burnt taste and when ground coarsely, the water runs through the powder too fast not being able to capture the flavor making the espresso shot weak. Thus, ensure that the coffee is ground to consistency similar to granulated sugar. You can either use an espresso grinder or get the coffee ground at the coffee shop.

Nailing the dose for the espresso shot

The dose of the espresso depends on whether you are preparing a single or a double espresso shot. A single espresso shot typically requires 7 grams of coffee powder while the double espresso shot requires double of that which is 14 grams. This is usually the standard measurements used for the above two types of espresso shots.

Tamper the powder nicely and evenly through the portafilter

espresso portafilterFirstly, ensure that you clean the portafilter by running a shot of water through it for a consistent temperature. Then distribute the coffee powder evenly over the portafilter by wiping off any excess powder. Then comes tampering of the coffee. For all the espresso beginners out there, tamper is the tool used to compress the coffee into the portafilter. Tamping is a vital process in the espresso world as it ensures that the coffee grind is levelled rightly in the portafilter so that when water hits it, extraction of the coffee that comes out of it is slow, uniform and consistent. When tamping the powder, place your arm ideally at a 90 degree angle to your body with the portafilter on a level surface and apply around 30 lb pressure to ensure that the coffee grind is compact on the portafilter.

Pour the espresso shot

pouring espressoEnsure to run hot water through the drophead of the machine before brewing the espresso so as not to suddenly overwhelm the grind on the portafilter with high temperatures. For one shot of espresso, the volume of water should typically be 1 ounce. The entire brewing process of an espresso shot should normally take around 20 to 30 seconds from the second you turn on the machine. Once you place the portafilter into the machine, the brew will start to pour down in 5 seconds in the form of a uniform continuous stream for about 7 to 9 seconds. The initial rain is a thick rich brown honey like consistency in the bottom which then changes to a golden lighter creamier brew on the top. Also, make sure to use a standard espresso mug to serve justice to that delightful concoction.
Well, hopefully the above steps prove helpful enough to master the art of making espresso. Happy espresso making!