How to Make the Perfect Espresso

So, you've bought your machine, bought your coffee and now you are all set to start making coffee! But what do you do? Here are our top tips to getting that perfect espresso shot!

The Coffee

Make sure your coffee has been freshly roasted. At York Coffee Emporium online, all orders are sent out within a week of the roast to ensure ultimate freshness. Buying pre-packed coffee is a false economy - the coffee may be months from the roast, meaning it can be stale before it is even purchased.

Make sure your coffee is freshly ground if possible. If you don't have a grinder and are keen to purchase one, read our guide to grinders. If you don't want to buy a grinder, that's fine, just ensure you buy little and often to ensure your coffee is used up quickly before it goes stale. Ground coffee only has a shelf life once opened of up to a week, so bear this in mind when choosing quantity.

Finally, ensure you are grinding finely for espresso, too coarse and the water will gush through and not pick up the flavour.

Recommended Coffees:

Indonesians, Indians, South Americans, some Central Americans, Blends.

The Machine

When buying an espresso machine, always ensure you are buying a machine with a minimum of an 8 bar boiler pressure. Anything less will not produce enough pressure to warrant being "espresso", it will instead simply be "short strong coffee". Check out our guide to espresso machines.

The Shot

  1. Fill portafilter to the brim with freshly ground coffee, ground finely.
  2. Tamp firmly (industry standard is 30 pounds of pressure).
  3. Wipe any loose coffee off the top of the portafilter. This will stop it sticking to the group head of your machine and clogging it up.
  4. Run a shot off. As a rough guide, an espresso shot should be approximately 7 grams of coffee and a 20 second pour for a single shot, and 14 grams and approximately 25 seconds for a double shot pour.
  5. If the shot is thin, gushes, has no crema or is not a suitably hot temperature, throw away and run another shot off. Espresso machines often need one shot run off to warm through fully before a drinkable shot is produced.
  6. Serve immediately.