How To - 8 Steps To Make The Perfect Espresso
Espresso is a full-flavored, concentrated form of coffee that is served in “shots.”
What is an Espresso?
It is made by forcing pressurized hot water through very finely ground coffee beans using an espresso machine. The result is a liquid stronger than coffee topped with a “crema” a brown foam that forms when air bubbles combine with the soluble oils of fine-ground coffee and sits on top of a properly pulled shot of espresso. The crema adds to the rich flavor and lingering aftertaste of espresso.
For this how to make an espresso we will be using Aro Signature Blend.
How to make an Espresso?
Step 1: CLEAN YOUR PORTAFILTER
Make sure that the portafilter is clean and tidy before dosing the coffee to your portafilter. Both moisture and leftover grounds might make your future espresso taste over-extracted = astringent and bitter.
Step 2: DOSE CORRECTLY
Most machines have on-demand grinders you just need to push a button with a pre-set dose. If you want to be a really professional, check your dose on a scale before distributing and tamping. This way you can be quite sure that your extraction will be correct because your dose won’t be too much or little.
Step 3: DISTRIBUTE YOUR GROUNDS IN THE PORTAFILTER
Most likely your grinder will dose the grounds to the portafilter’s basket to a mountain or a pyramid shape. This means that you have uneven distribution of the grounds so some parts of the basket will have more coffee and some parts less if you don’t distribute them before tamping. Bad distribution of the grounds might lead to channelling.
You can also use distribution tools if you want to be more precise.Distribution tools are really great way to enhance the consistency of your espressos and their extractions.
Step 4: TAMP EVENLY AND CONSISTENTLY
The aim of tamping is to remove any air pockets in the coffee. Tamp “hard” that you feel that it doesn’t go down anymore. Pay attention that the puck is horizontally leveled so that you avoid channelling and over, under or uneven extraction.
Step 5: RINSE YOUR GROUP HEAD
Before inserting the portafilter to the group head, you might want to rinse the group head to remove any old coffee from it. Easy way to keep your espresso machine clean. Rinsing will also make sure that your group head is properly heated and this way you might be able to extract more your coffee.
Step 6: INSERT THE PORTAFILTER AND START BREWING IMMEDIATELY
After rinsing, insert the portafilter to the group head and start brewing IMMEDIATELY! If you don’t start brewing immediately, the heat from the group head might “burn” the surface of your coffee which leads to bitter notes in the cup.
Fun fact: in World Barista Championships you will lose a point if you don’t start the brewing immediately
Step 7: BE AWARE OF THE YIELD & BREW TIME
Now you are brewing your espresso. If you are using a volumetric machine, be aware of you brew time. In the case of too short extraction time (under-extraction) or too long extraction time (over-extraction) you might want to make a new espresso and/or check your grind size and dose. If you are using a manual espresso machine, be aware of your yield e.g. if your espresso is running a bit too fast, you are just diluting (making it milder) your espresso and possibly also over-extracting at the same time.
Step 8: SERVE WITH A SMILE
If you followed these steps and you’re using a good brewing recipe, most likely you will have a tasty espresso in the cup. And most important of all; SMILE. With a tasty espresso served with smile you can make someone’s day.
How to care for your machine?
DISCARD THE PUCK, CLEAN THE BASKET AND RINSE THE GROUP HEAD. After serving keep the places neat and tidy. Clean the basket from any old coffee and moisture, rinse the group head and insert the portafilter back to the group head. It is much easier, faster and nicer to make the next espresso when places are in order.