May 11, 2020 2 min read
It’s often said that the perfect extraction is a combination of factors, including choice of coffee, adjusting the grinder and grinding, and choosing the right equipment, amongst other factors. Extraction time is also critical for the perfect shot of espresso. Follow these steps for the right dose from a commercial espresso machine:
To start, you need a scale.
If we delve a little deeper into espresso-making we see that forcefully extracting all those flavours from a fragile product is a genuine feat of strength.
First, make sure you finely grind the espresso beans. The right grind is essential for the perfect espresso: not too coarse, not too fine.
Then, pour the ground coffee into the portafilter. The amount of coffee depends on the size of the espresso. It can be single (7 to 9 grams of coffee) or a double (14 to 18 g), and some even make triple espressos!
Then use a tamper to press the coffee into the portafilter, to keep excess water from seeping between the beans and creating a bland, poorly drawn espresso. Next, the pivotal moment: insert the portafilter into the espresso machine and let it work its magic!
But what happens in the brew group?
As mentioned above, high pressure hot water flows through the coffee, but there’s a lot more than just that involved in the process. The water is almost boiling (between 92 °C and 96 °C). If the water is too hot, your espresso will not brew properly.
The water is then passed through the coffee under high pressure (at about 9 Ba). The pressure extracts the oils and the flavours in the coffee beans. These oils also form the crema. The extracted liquid is finely filtered and then poured into the cup. Depending on the amount of water passing through the coffee, an espresso can be short (a little water) or long (a little bit more water).
This is when you taste (or add milk foam to make a latte, cappuccino, cortado, etc.) ...and enjoy!
For a short single shot:
Grind a single dose with your grinder, into your single filter holder. Use a tamper to press the ground coffee into your portafilter.
Put a scale with a cup under the brew unit, then press and hold the programming button until it flashes. Press the single dose button.
Pull 30 g of espresso. Press the single shot button to pause the flow of water. This sets your dose.
An espresso dose, in grams and/or ounces, is:
30 g (1 oz) for a short single
56 g (2 oz) for a short double
56 g (2 oz) for a long single
120 g (4 oz) for a long double
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