Espresso is a kind of strong black coffee. It contains less caffeine than a normal cup of coffee, although there is a large amount of caffeine per ounce.
This is also a very versatile drink and can be used to create other delicious beverages. For instance, many people use it to create delicious cocktails such as espresso martinis.
With the best taste, smell, and versatility, expresso gives a very pleasant, concentrated boost for the entire day. When random people visit restaurants to have it, true espresso lovers like to brew it at home.
Moreover, taking charge of your happiness gives satisfaction that can not be found in any restaurant. So, if you are a true espresso lover, we are here to help you prepare the best tasting perfect espresso all by yourself.
Before starting, note that making espresso requires concentration on the details, dedication, and zeal. Although, the effort is worth it. Now, Let's dive in.
Step 1: Get All The Tools
Gather all the tools required for making your espresso. You are going to need-
- Espresso machine- Different types of machines have been designed to make espresso, although the core system is quite the same. The machines can be automated as well as manual. The delonghi ec 155 espresso machine has been in the market for more than 15 years and is still going strong.
- Grinder- The grinder is your most important espresso-making tool. Probably, more than the espresso machine. It crushes the coffee beans into fine particles.
- Coffee- Use premium grade coffee beans and store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to keep them fresh, and to preserve the quality.
- Water- It makes up about 90% percent of the espresso. So, to get the purest and smoothest espresso, make sure to use the cleanest, purest, filtered water available.
Step 2: Preheat
Before brewing coffee, preheat your machine. The time may vary for different models. Also preheat the cup and the portafilter by running hot water through them. You can also pull an empty shot with water only, to preheat them. Heating the tools is necessary to make sure of the quality of the espresso.
Step 3: Clean The Portafilter Basket
Before pouring coffee into the portafilter, you need to clean and dry it with a fresh towel. No water or residual coffee should be left there because your coffee should be dry till you put water to it. You don’t want the extraction process to begin before you are ready to prepare the coffee.
Step 4: Grind The Coffee
You will get the best espresso if you grind the coffee immediately before making it. The coffee beans should be freshly roasted.
The texture of your ground coffee should be like granulated sugar. If the texture is finer, your espresso may have a bitter and sour taste, and if the texture is more coarse, the espresso may be watery with no actual taste. So, make sure to get the correct texture to have the best aroma and taste.
You may need to practice and test it a few times depending on your machine and taste preference. Take time to find out the right setting for your equipment. If needed, look into your machine's user manual for help.
Step 5: Dose Correctly
Fill in the portafilter with ground coffee from the grinder by simply pushing a button by hand or by the portafilter itself. Set the dose beforehand based on your preference and machine.
Normally, for a single shot, the dose is somewhat 7-10 grams, and for a double shot, it is between 14-20 grams. Use the scale for weighing.
Step 6: Distribute Grounds
The grinder will fill your portafilter like a mountain or in a conical shape. So, there will be an unequal distribution of coffee and you may find some air pockets.
You need to distribute the ground beans equally and level it before tempting otherwise, it may cause unequal distribution of coffee and uneven channeling of water. You can buy distribution tools, although most people simply use their hands for this.
Step 7: Tamp
Take the tamper and press it on the coffee surface with enough pressure until the coffee has a fine, even look and the surface is horizontally leveled.
This is to ensure no air pocket is left and to get an even puck, so that water gets to run through evenly.
Step 8: Clean The Rim
Clean the rim to avoid any excess coffee, and so that it will form a tight seal on the espresso machine.
Step 9: Brew Immediately
Now, you need to place the portafilter on the group head and begin brewing immediately. You can never delay at this point, or the heat of the group head will burn the surface of your coffee and leave a bitter taste.
Place the preheated espresso mug/glass below the stream. It should take about 20-30 seconds to brew the coffee. Initially, the color is dark brown. With time it gets lighter until the color turns yellow. That is the point when you should stop the shot.
If you brew more than that, your coffee will be tasteless. Whereas, if you stop the shot early, it won't have the expected taste. Watch your timer, notice the color, and practice until you get the perfect shot.
Step 10: Clean Up
Now that you have your coffee, don't forget to clean the tools, and make sure not to make your kitchen disorganized. Clean the portafilter from water or any old ground coffee(Don't simply dispose of them, use them for gardening), rinse the group head, and clean any coffee blot beneath the cup. Place the portafilter back on the group head and you are good to go.
Keep experimenting with all the equipment's settings, coffee dose, timing, and all other variables until you brew like a pro! Who knows one day you may work as a barista as well!