Easy Steps To Brew The Perfect Espresso At Home

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Do you love the fresh taste of espresso you get from your favorite coffee shop? And wish to brew the same at home for half the price? Then you’ve come to the right place!

Making espresso isn’t rocket science. The only ingredients required for an excellent brew are good quality coffee beans, the right equipment, and a few techniques. There are no rigid rules to follow to brew an espresso, each person has various tricks up their sleeve.

So, here are the steps I follow for a perfectly brewed espresso.

  1. Use Good Quality Coffee

You won’t get good coffee without good quality coffee beans. Before you buy your beans, make sure you pick according to your taste. Next would be to check its roasting profile and date. Always buy freshly roasted beans as coffee loses its flavor over time.

Also, don’t purchase packed ground coffee because it isn’t fresh and lacks the flavor that we get from whole beans.

  1. Clean The Portafilter And Group Head

Before you even begin dosing your coffee, make sure the portafilter is clean and free from any coffee residue. If you don’t clean the leftover coffee grounds and moisture, it will affect the taste of your espresso. Making it more bitter and sharp.

Additionally, clean the group head before inserting the portafilter on it for the same reasons. Rinsing the group head also ensures it heats evenly and extracts more coffee.

  1. Grind Coffee Finely

Grind size matters! The grind size is the main element determining the taste of your brew. For a delicious shot of espresso, grind the beans finely. But not too fine that it resembles flour.

If you have a grinder or an espresso machine, pour your dose in the basket and set it to medium-fine or fine setting. The grind size should resemble a mix of powdered sugar and beach sand. If you don’t have the equipment to make a perfect espresso, don’t forget to check out the best coffee and espresso maker combo here.

  1. Choose Water To Coffee Ratio

This depends on your coffee taste preference. The most common ratio used by cafes for an espresso is 1:2, i.e., for every gram of coffee, you extract two grams of espresso. However, you can experiment until you find the ideal ratio. For instance, I like mine 1:1 for a bitter and stronger shot. Remember, there is no defined ratio for an espresso, the perfect ratio is the one that suits your taste.

  1. Distribute And Tamp Coffee Grounds Evenly

The grinder pours the coffee grounds into the portafilter in an irregular shape, giving you unevenly distributed coffee grounds. This leads to channeling, which means the water flows quicker from some areas. Giving you an under-extracted espresso.

Thus, tap the portafilter from sides and bottom, then swipe your finger over the coffee grounds to distribute them evenly.

Once distributed, don’t forget to tamp the grounds. Tamping is necessary to remove air pockets from the coffee puck, to extract more flavors, and to ensure it’s leveled to the tee. It isn’t necessary to tamp with a certain amount of pressure, just do it until you feel the coffee is compressed enough.

  1. Now Start Brewing!

After making sure the portafilter is clean and letting the water run from the group head for 2-3 seconds, your espresso is ready for brewing. Insert the portafilter on the group head and start brewing immediately. If you don’t, you risk burning the surface of your coffee grounds from the group head’s heat. Also, be wary of your brew time because you don’t want to start making a new espresso in case of under or over-extraction.

Only after grinding, dosing, tamping the coffee, and cleaning the machine, a delicious espresso shot is brewed. Seems like a lot of work, but don’t good things come to those who wait?

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