How To Make An Espresso (Easy Recipe – Beginner friendly)

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Espresso is an incredibly popular drink, and you have to do a lot of steps all for a 1.5 oz drink, but is it worth it? Espresso lovers tend to think so!

How Do You Make An Espresso?

First off, you will need an espresso machine! There are a lot of different machines out there you can buy, it will be tough to respond to so many options. If you already have an espresso machine, let’s begin!

Fill The Water Reservoir

We recommend using filtered water with low mineral content for these two reasons:

  • The taste will be better
  • You will prevent the buildup of limescale

Wipe Your Portafilter basket

Espresso is a lot of work, so you will want to make sure your machine is clean and ready to produce the best quality espresso for your efforts!

Weigh Out Your Coffee And Portafilter

You will need a scale that weighs in grams (to at least 1 decimal point), the amount of coffee beans you are required to use will largely depend on your recipe. It’s usually expressed as the weight of your ground coffee to the finished espresso.

  • The ratio be somewhere between 1:1.5 to 1:2.5
Here are two different recipes using a 1:1.5 ratio.
  • Single espresso shot – 12g of ground coffee to make 18 grams of espresso
  • Double espresso shot – 21 grams of coffee to make 32 grams of espresso
Make sense so far? If you want to make it stronger, add les water per each grams of coffee ground.
The Home Barista has made an excellent reference chart you can use for future use! 
Make sure to weigh out the ground coffee both before and after you grind it! You’ll want to be exact on the measurements, these need to be specific down to 0.1 grams or else it wont be as effective. If you need a scale for weighing, check out this highly reviewed scale on Amazon!

You should also pre-weigh your portafilter as well!

Time To Grind Your Coffee!

Espressos generally use a fine grind for the coffee. This means you will want to keep grinding the coffee beans until the grind resembles salt or sugar (not in color, but size).

Don’t have a good grinder for coffee? Check out this one here!

Weigh out your coffee again

As previously mentioned, you will want to make sure your coffee weight is as close as possible to the required weight. We recommend you try to get it as close as 0.1 grams.

Tamp It! Tamp It Real Good!

Do you need a coffee tamper? You can check out this affordable one here.

Tamping is an important part of the process. This will make the overall quality of the espresso shot even better and you shouldn’t skip it! Pack the grounds down so they are evenly compressed by the tamp.

Weigh Your Coffee Cup (optional)

Make sure to weigh your coffee cup to allow total accuracy in the final product. If you’re feeling lazy, you can skip this step, but the aficionados among us may consider it essential to do.

Flush Your Machine

Turn it on and flush it with water, doing so will produce a couple benefits:

  • The components will be pre-heated
  • It will also clear out any old grounds

Lock the Portafilter In Place

Insert the portafilter in the machine as it is stated in the instruction manual, make sure it feels secure.

Remember To Time It

Virtually everyone has a phone with a timer, if not you probably have an alarm clock somewhere! Grab your preferred timer and set it for 27-29 seconds. If your machine has a preferred run time, use that instead for best results.

Run The Machine!

It’s finally time to brew your espresso. Start the brewing process of the machine for the desired length of time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Try a finer ground, or be more firm in the tamping process!

Have a grind that is a bit more coarse, and try to tamp it less.

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