Barista tips for making great espresso


1. Start with freshly roasted beans: The freshness of the beans is key to making great espresso. Make sure to use beans that have been recently roasted and stored properly. 10 days to 30 days are optimal to get a flavorful coffee. After 30 days the flavors start to drop off.

2. In general, the yield ratio for espresso is typically around 1:2, which means that for every gram of coffee used, two grams of espresso are produced. For example, if you use 14 grams of coffee to make a double shot of espresso, you can expect to yield around 28 grams of espresso.

However, it is important to note that the yield ratio can vary depending on several variables. For instance, if the grind size is too fine or the extraction time is too long, the yield ratio may be lower, resulting in a more bitter and over-extracted shot. Conversely, if the grind size is too coarse or the extraction time is too short, the yield ratio may be higher, resulting in a weaker and under-extracted shot.

Ultimately, the ideal yield ratio for espresso will depend on your personal preferences and the specific coffee beans that you are using. Experimenting with different ratios and brewing methods can help you find the perfect balance of flavor and strength for your taste.

3. Grind the beans just before brewing: Grinding the beans just before brewing will ensure the maximum flavor and aroma of the espresso. Grinding coffee beans to the correct size is essential to ensure that the coffee is extracted properly during the brewing process, which affects the taste and aroma of the final cup of coffee. The more control you have here the more control you have over the quality and taste of your coffee.  Burr grinders use two revolving abrasive surfaces, known as burrs, to grind the coffee beans into a consistent size. They typically have adjustable settings, allowing you to control the coarseness of the grind. Burr grinders are generally considered to be the superior choice, as they produce a more consistent grind, which is crucial for making a great cup of coffee. Blade grinders, on the other hand, use a spinning blade to chop up the coffee beans.

4. Tamp the grounds evenly: Tamping the grounds evenly and with the right amount of pressure is important for a consistent shot. Use a tamper to apply pressure to the grounds in the portafilter.

5. Use the right water temperature: The ideal water temperature for espresso is between 195°F and 205°F (between 92°C and 96°C ). If the water is too hot or too cold, it can affect the flavor of the espresso.

6. Brew for the right amount of time: A good shot of espresso should take between 25 and 30 seconds to brew. If the shot takes too long or too short a time, it can affect the taste and texture of the espresso. 

7. Pay attention to the crema: The crema is the layer of foam that forms on top of the espresso. A good crema should be thick, creamy, and golden-brown in color. If the crema is thin or discolored, it can be an indication of a problem with the shot.

8. Clean the equipment regularly: Regularly cleaning the espresso machine and accessories is important for maintaining the quality of the espresso. Make sure to clean the portafilters, group heads, and steam wands after every use.

By following these tips, you can make delicious espresso every time.