The Eight Espresso Brewing Steps Every Barista Should Know - and Do!
1) Buy only fresh-roasted whole bean coffee and use it as soon as possible after roasting. Store the coffee in a cool, dark, and dry place.
2) Grind the coffee just before brewing. When it comes to Coffee Grinders use a Burr Coffee Grinders because it produces a consistent grind size and doesn't overheat the coffee beans like a Blade Coffee Grinder. The best type of Burr Coffee Grinder to use is a Conical Burr Grinder.
The Espresso Machine and Grind Size
3) The grind size for espresso needs to be very fine. For pump-driven espresso machine the grinds can be a bit coarser than if you use a steam-driven espresso machine.
4) Use about 1.5 ounces (7.5 grams) of ground coffee to produce a 1.5 ounce shot of espresso. The espresso brewing time should be about 22 seconds although this may vary slightly based upon several factors.
5) The water temperature produced by the espresso machine should be 90 degrees Celsius and the pressure generated by the espresso machine should be 9 Bars, or Atmospheres of force which pushes the hot water through the ground coffee. See Espresso Technical Specifications for more details.
6) You may need to adjust the length of time of the espresso shot based upon variables such as unusual humidity or temperature, the quality of the roasted and ground coffee, whether the coffee was stored properly, and other factors. If your shot comes out poorly then consider what the cause may be and make adjustments accordingly.
7) The proper enjoyment of an espresso shot. is appreciated by drinking the espresso right after brewing while it still retains its intensity and fine tastes and before the flavor begins to degrade due to a lowering of the temperature and oxidation.
8) Drink your espresso like the Italians, “solo” in one hearty gulp. This will give you the full impression of the experience with the nuances of the tastes, aromas and other fine qualities of the espresso drink.
Coffee and Espresso Brewing Tips
See the Espresso Coffee Guides detailed coffee flavor profiles of Specialty Coffees and instructions on preparing Espresso Drink Recipes and Espresso Cuisine.
For espresso brewing tips see Pulling A Perfect Espresso Shot as well as How to make Lattes and Cappuccinos.
For tips on brewing the perfect cup of coffee see our section on coffee brewing. Detailed definitions of coffee and espresso terms can be found in the Coffee and Espresso Glossary. Also see the World's Best History of Coffee.
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