Mastering the art of brewing the perfect espresso can be as easy or difficult as you need it to be. Just as soon as you’ve got your head around the basics, espresso coffee becomes surprisingly simple.
The problem being that the vast majority of specialty coffee lovers simply make things up as they go along. Rather than taking the time to measure their ingredients and consider their equipment carefully, they simply throw an espresso together and expect barista-quality results.
If you really want to brew world-class espresso at home, you need to take things a little more seriously. The following representing the fundamental basics of espresso coffee brewing every java-head should pay close attention to:
The coffee you brew will only ever taste as good as the water you brew it with. It’s a point we’ve raised time and time again, though one that warrants repeating. If you want to make quality espresso coffee, you need quality water. If planning to use tap water, it’s a good idea to invest in a cheap testing kit to see how hard or soft it is. In any case, picking up an affordable jug filter could make a big difference to the quality of the coffee you produce at home.
What’s the perfect size for espresso coffee grounds? Slightly smaller than you would need from most other brewing methods, with a particle size similar to table salt. There’s a certain amount of trial and error involved, but this is about the kind of grind level you should be looking for. You’ll also need a high-quality coffee grinder to ensure the grounds are consistent in terms of size.
It’s typically recommended that a double shot of espresso be brewed with somewhere between 18 and 21g of coffee grounds. Obviously, the more coffee grounds you use, the stronger and more intense your coffee will become. Feel free to experiment to your heart’s content, until you find the perfect strength for your taste.
This is an extremely important part of the process that all too often goes overlooked or ignored. When you tamp coffee grounds, you press them in a manner that restricts the flow of water and optimises the extraction of the essential compounds within the grounds. According to official guidelines, you should be looking at pressing your grounds with an equivalent weight/pressure of 30lbs – a good set of bathroom scales giving you an indication of how heavy this is.
As for the perfect water temperature, try to keep things between 195° F and 205° F. Invest in a good thermometer, or the kind of machine that takes care of water temperatures with a high degree of accuracy.
Last but not least, it should only ever take between 25 and 30 seconds to pull the perfect espresso. Timings that fall outside this range suggest that something isn’t quite right with your grounds, or your chosen extraction method. Again, expect a little trial and error, before you really hit the nail on the head.
Hayman brings you the very best and freshest specialty coffee for espresso. Our coffee menu includes the world-famous Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, best Kona coffee Hawaii and Panama Geisha coffee beans (i.e. Gesha coffee). They are available as whole bean coffee and as ground coffee (in case you do not have a coffee grinder) - click here to order today, we ship worldwide!