Turn on your machine and give it plenty of time to heat up. Depending on the size of your machine, this could take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Don’t assume that you’re ready to go as soon as you’re up to brewing temperature, wait a bit little longer until the entire machine feels nice and warm.
Lock an empty portafilter in the grouphead and run the machine for a few seconds. This brings fresh water to the front and heats up the parts that get closest to your coffee. Then, wipe off the inside of the portafilter and the underside of the grouphead so that they’re clean and dry.
Before brewing, coffee beans need to be cut into smaller pieces. Making espresso requires a finer grind than most methods, with particles around the size of table salt. you know you’re in the right neighbourhood once the ground coffee beings to clump together.
Grind a few beans to check for appropriate fineness and purge your grinder of stale grounds. The coffee should clump loosely and appear powdery, but should still feel gritty when rubbed between your fingers.
16 to 20 grams of freshly ground coffee into the portafilter. As coffee exits the chute, move the portafilter so that the grounds settle evenly in the basket.
Afterwards, use your forefinger to level the grounds and fill in any air pockets. The larger the coffee dose, your shot will increase in both body and intensity. Feel free to adjust your dose according to taste.
With your wrist, arm and elbow positioned directly over the centre of the portafilter basket, focus on pressing evenly, using your fingertips to feel the edge of the basket. Inspect the dry puck to be sure the bed appears level.
Compacting ground coffee with a tamper restricts the flow of water, forcing coffee and water to interact. This process creates an emulsification of solubles and oil as the water passes through producing a ‘crema’. Start with a 30-pound press (your bathroom scale can tell you what this feels like), applied evenly. A firm, level tamp is essential to even extraction.
Remove excess grounds from the rim of the handle with a dry finger. This will ensure you don’t have any coffee grounds build up on the tubber seal in the grouphead. Over time this build up will cause grounds to leak into the espresso you are preparing.
At this point it is healthy practise to purge a short amount of water from the grouphead, ensuring fresh water is used and correct temperature is maintained.
Return the portafilter to the grouphead and begin brewing. If your machine offers a separate pre-brew or”Pre-infusion” stage, complete this first.
By doing so, you’ll allow stored gases to release before full infusion begins. With fresh coffee, pre-infuse until you see the first drops exit the portafilter.
With brewed coffee, we measure coffee input and water input, but when making espresso it’s coffee input and beverage output. Depending on your dose and basket size, aim for about 2 ounces of espresso out, enough to fill a large shot glass. If you’re weighing your shots, a 30-gram yield is a safe place to start
With our recommended dose and yield, about 25-30 seconds should pass between the beginning of extraction and the moment your glass is full. A shorter time means your coffee is ground to course and longer time means it is ground too fine.
Water heated between 90 to 96’c is ideall for preparing coffee. For some machines, this is made possible by a”PID controller”. If your machine has once, you can lay within this range to find what you like.
You’ll notice that lower temperatures draw out more brightness, while higher temperatures produce more roasted flavours. If you’re not able to choose the temperature for yourself, you can assume for now that the machine is doing its job.
The Forge Coffee Roasters,
Don Road, Sheffield,
S. Yorkshire, S9 2TF