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Espresso Brewing Guide

Put that espresso machine to good use with this simple brewing guide. Every machine is different, so have fun experimenting with creating the perfect cup.


Espresso Brewing Guide

Espresso machines use heat and pressure to extract the flavour and character from the coffee. With this method, you are producing a single shot of espresso. This can be enjoyed alone, or blended with steamed milk. Adding hot water will create an Americano. With this method, the most important variables are the coffee grind, weight and time. Let’s get started.

What you’ll need

  • Espresso machine with portafilter
  • Grinder
  • Tamper
  • 19-21g coffee
  • Timer
  • Scale

The method

Keeping your machine clean and making sure everything is piping hot will be key to this method. The coarseness of your grind is also essential, so get familiar with the espresso grind to achieve the best success. 

  1. Start by cleaning and drying the portafilter. On the scale, measure between 19-21g of coffee directly into the portafilter. This should be ground to the consistency of icing sugar.
  2. Flatten the coffee and then tamper it down until it feels like the coffee is pushing back. The coffee needs to be level before the next step.
  3. Before inserting the portafilter into the machine, purge the head with hot water to make sure everything is up to temperature.
  4. Place your espresso cup under the nozzle. Engage the grouphead and then start your timer. Watch the stream as it falls from the nozzle. It should look like a mouse’s tail and it should take 23 to 28 seconds to fill your cup. If the stream comes too quickly, try a finer grind. And if it takes much longer, you might need a coarser grind.

Top tips

  • This method pays you to get physical with the coffee, make sure you touch the grinds so you’re aware of how coarse or fine it needs to be for your machine.
  • Always grind your coffee right before serving to achieve the boldest flavours.
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