There is an art to making a good espresso. Many people who thought they are experts at making great coffee with espresso machines failed to realize that becoming a great coffee maker is not just about making superb coffee, it’s all about following the “due process”.
You will need the following items to make a good espresso at home using an espresso machine:
- Good espresso machine – the DeLonghi EC155 is a good one but there are many options out there.
- Good quality beans which are fresh (if you don’t want to grind your own beans, you can buy them ground already – but for pure freshness, I recommend grinding your own)
- Grinder (optional)
- Filtered water – Ensure the water is filtered properly. A bottled water might be the best.
Now let’s move on to the meat of this article.
7 Steps to Making the Perfect Espresso
Making the perfect espresso is more of an art, than a science. Practice makes perfect, but by following these 7 steps, you will be well on the way to making the perfect espresso….
1) Do Proper Research
Research which coffee beans you like the best. Believe it or not, the tastes of different coffee beans can vary greatly due to the different types of roasts that are out there.
2) Grind your own beans
Like most things, quality equipment usually means a quality end product – so do not buy a cheap grinder as they can ruin your coffee. The consistency of the coffee should be like sugar – if it is too fine, then the brew takes too long to brew, resulting in burnt coffee. YUK!
3) Correct Amount of Coffee
Use the correct amount of coffee – 7 grams is advised for a single shot. Although some would say 6 grams is perfect.
But some espresso machines do waste some coffee during brewing, so I always recommend you use 7 grams as opposed to the 6.
4) Pack the Grind Properly
Pack the grind into the filter holder and lightly press using a tamper (you want the coffee evenly packed). A tamper is used to pack the grinds to a density that will provide the right amount of resistance against the water going through the grind.
5) Lock The Filter Handle Tight
Tightly lock the filter handle in the machine and place a warm up underneath it.
6) That Filtered or Bottled Water
Use filtered water that is not boiling!! Fill the espresso machine with filtered cold water – the espresso machine will heat the added water to the right temperature.
7) Start the machine
If your machine is automatic, it will switch off at the perfect time, however, if your machine is manually run, then this is the important step.
The key is knowing when to stop the machine from running. It should take about 5 seconds for the first drops of coffee to come out, but about 25 seconds (depending on the machine) to make a single serve.
Some coffee machines do take up to 8 seconds for the first drops to come out. But be it as it may, once you see the first drop, stay on constant alert for other drops.
The coffee should drip out slowly, appear reddish brown in color with a thick crema. If the crema is starting to appear clear (as it is coming out of the machine), stop the machine immediately.
Your coffee has finished brewing. You can now enjoy your very well made coffee.
If you like your coffee black, simply add hot water to your espresso shot.
Alternatively, if you like your coffee with milk, simply add milk that has been warmed with a frother.
Most importantly, once your coffee has been brewed, for the best flavor, you must drink it immediately.