What are 6 top tips for brewing espresso coffee?
There's nothing like a good shot of espresso. It's the perfect way to kick off your day. But if you're new to brewing espresso, it can be difficult to get a consistently great cup of coffee every time. Here are some tips that will help you brew the perfect cup every time:
Use quality coffee
The first step to brewing espresso is getting the right beans. You want to buy fresh roasted, high quality beans, because this will make all the difference in your cup of coffee.
If you're not sure about what kind of coffee suits your taste best, try out different types of roasts and blends until you find one that works for you!
Our mixed packs are a great way to discover the coffees that work best for you.
If possible, use filtered water
One of the most important steps to making great espresso is using good water. Although tap water in Australia is pretty good, you should use filtered water that's free of chlorine and other chemicals, as these can negatively affect the taste of your brew. The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is between 91-96 degrees Celsius (195-205 degrees Fahrenheit), your espresso machine should be set to brew at the perfect espresso temperature.
Grind your beans on-demand
The first step in brewing espresso is to grind your beans. The best way to do this is with a powerful grinder like the Cunill Tron Grinder. These grinders can produce consistent results every time.
Grind right before you brew your coffee, because freshly ground beans will make all the difference!
Prepare your machine
- Clean your machine
Before you brew your first cup of espresso, it's important to clean your machine thoroughly so that it will work at its best and avoid any unwanted problems. Remove the portafilter (group handle) and wipe down with a damp cloth or sponge (no soap), rinsing with hot water if necessary, and then run some water through the group head and purge the steam wand.
- Clean out the filter basket
Your filter basket is where coffee grounds will go after being tamped down by pressure from water flowing through them during extraction; therefore it needs to be cleaned regularly so that no residual flavours are left behind in there (which could affect future brews). To do this: remove any spent coffee grinds and wipe down with a damp cloth or sponge (no soap).
Preheat the cup
Brewing a great espresso requires you to follow some basic rules, but the most important one is to preheat your cup. If you don't preheat it, your drink will lose its heat and crema quickly. Most espresso machines will have a heated tray that does the job nicely.
A good way to ensure that your cup stays hot is by using a double walled glass or ceramic demitasse cup.
The importance of tamp pressure
Tamp pressure is the amount of force applied to the coffee grounds when you are tamping. It's an important part of brewing espresso because too little pressure and the water will pass through the coffee too quickly, resulting in weak extractions. Too much tamp pressure and your espresso will be over-extracted, resulting in a bitter taste and sour aftertaste.
To get it right: Start with a medium tamp pressure--not too hard or soft--and adjust from there based on how your machine reacts to different levels of tamping pressure.
Brewing espresso is a skill. Learn how to do it right by following these tips.
Espresso is a skill, not a science. It's not like baking where you can follow the recipe and get consistent results every time. Espresso requires practice; if you want to make great espresso at home, it's going to take time and effort on your part.
That being said, there are some things that will help you along the way:
- Use quality coffee beans from a local coffee roaster! If possible buy whole beans rather than pre-ground as this gives more control over extraction and essentially how much flavour makes its way into your brew.
- Grind immediately before brewing: Most conical burr grinders have adjustable settings so experiment with different coarseness until you find one that suits both yourself and machine best. Just remember that coffee is an agricultural product and can react to environmental stimulus such as humidity, so unfortunately after getting the grind right, the weather might create the need to make a tweak here or there.
Espresso is a great way to start your morning, but it can be intimidating if you don't know what you're doing. We hope these tips help you brew the perfect cup of espresso coffee!