How To Make Espresso With An Espresso Machine

‘It takes skill to make espresso using an espresso machine.’ You’ve probably heard that many times before and it’s more than likely that you believed it. Just because you have an espresso machine doesn’t mean that you can pull off a kicking cup of espresso every time. You’re probably just doing it wrong.

Or main article on the subject, is here: espresso brewing guide. But we love this concise guide with all of the ways you can fail an espresso.

What Is Espresso?

Espresso is a type of coffee that is brewed using hot water and pressure. During the process, hot water  is forced through finely ground coffee beans.  The hot water combined with the pressure, result in a sped up extraction, with a unique flavor and mouth feel. The resulted cup is a strong, concentrated, and bold cup of coffee, unique among all coffee brewing methods.

Here are the most common mistakes that result in a failed espresso shot:

  1. You’re using the wrong type of water. Water straight from the tap has chemicals like chlorine that changes the taste of the water when heated. The perfect shot of espresso needs perfect water.
  2. You do not measure your ground coffee with a scale. For anyone new to using espresso, then you need to measure your coffee. Estimating it will either result to really bitter coffee to an espresso that’s watered down.
  3. You are not using the manufacturer’s specs for how much coffee you use. The majority of the filter baskets on the market hold 14 grams of ground coffee, for a double basket, and 7 grams for a single shot basket. But there are many exceptions.
  4. Make sure it’s finely ground coffee. You’ll end up wasting your coffee if you use coarsely ground coffee and you’re also going to have a dull tasting cup of espresso. Grind size is the most important variable in espresso brewing. A coarser grind will make your shot extract too fast, a finer grind might lead to an over extracted shot.
  5. Don’t use pre-ground coffee. You can probably use pre-ground espresso coffee if you have a pressured filter basket, but we don’t recommend it. For the best results, buy an espresso grinder, and grind before you brew. Coffee grinders for espresso are not cheap, but it’s the right way to make great espresso.
  6. Tamp it well. When you tamp your coffee grounds, you should at least check if the coffee is leveled. Don’t just tamp on the portafilter with uneven pressure.
  7. Your coffee sucks. Fresh coffee is the only choice you have in making espresso. Once you grind your coffee, you should use it fresh off the grinder or a maximum of two days after being ground. Coffee grounds expire faster than whole beans.
  8. You’re not cleaning your machine right. When grounds of coffee get stuck on your portafilter, they also tend to go sour, stale, and eventually, they spoil.
  9. You are using the wrong technique when you are steaming milk. A flat white needs microfoam milk, similar to latte. A cappuccino needs foamier milk, almost bubbly.

We have this super simple infographic guide to making an amazing espresso with an espresso machine. Guide provided by

Espresso Brewing Infographic

About admin

My name is Dorian, and I am a former barista and an eternal coffee lover. I write about coffee and promote good brewing practices. I aim to help my readers understand how can improve their daily coffee routine, and to find their true coffee taste. It's not about trends, it's about your taste.

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