We all have our guilty pleasures, and many of us cannot start our day without our caffeine fix. If you’re an espresso lover in particular, it’s probably a dream of yours to be able to make it yourself at home. Perfecting espresso is something difficult. Trying to figure out how to get the perfect measurements and understanding the tricks you need to master is crucial to reach the perfect espresso. Even when you try searching it up or asking friends, you will get confused because everyone will give you their own personal opinion based on their own experience. It is important to understand that not everyone likes their espresso the same exact way and not everyone uses the same machine. In this article, you will find a few secrets that will help you make the finest espresso.
1. Select Your Coffee
No matter how good your gear is, that doesn’t guarantee you a great espresso. Espresso is usually made with a darker roast, so you don’t necessarily pick out coffee that is labelled “for espresso”. You need to find a dark roast that you prefer. You can always try out different types of beans to find the one you prefer the most. Fresh coffee is essential so make sure you pick out freshly roasted coffee. Many times you will hear people saying that it is best to keep your coffee in the fridge or freeze to keep it fresh, and this has not been proven to be a myth nor a fact. However, you can store your coffee in an airtight container and place them in a dry, dark place to help keep them fresh and dry for as long as possible.
2. Clean Your Portafilter
Leftover coffee and moisture in your portafilter may affect the taste of your espresso. Cleaning your portafilter before you start making a shot is a crucial step and you mustn’t skip it. You don’t have to thoroughly clean your portafilter every time you go for a shot. Instead, you can just knock out the remains of the previous shot and run water over it. Make sure to do a thorough cleansing for your portafilter every other time to avoid heavy and bad tastes in your espresso. You should also clean the shower screen as well. Don’t forget to try your portafilter before adding your coffee grounds.
3. Grind and Measure Coffee Correctly
Coffee dosage makes such a difference in coffee taste. In order to get the perfect espresso shot, it is advised that you measure out your coffee grounds first. A standard dose for a double espresso shot is between 13 grams and 18 grams, but because not all coffee/espresso machines are the same you might want to try out different doses and pick out the perfect taste for you. You can search for tips online, and the advice found at www.dailyespresso.co.uk allows you to explore more about the different doses for different machines. You can write down how much coffee you used every time you try a different dose and rate them out of 10 to see which you liked best. To master making espresso, you may need to go through a little trial and error process and that’s fine because not everyone likes their coffee the same way.
4. Rinse Your Group Head
This is considered to be the main body of the machine because it dispenses the water. It is also called a brew group or just the group. Try to rinse the group head between shots or every other shot you make to get any old coffee out of it. If you are the type of person who uses their espresso machine frequently, like daily or more than once a day, it is recommended that you replace your coffee parts every few months. It is advised to replace both the portafilter and the group head every 3 months for the best coffee results and to be able to maintain your espresso quality.
5. Getting the Perfect Shot
Once you’ve gotten your gear prepared and cleaned, you can start actually making that shot. After you’ve measured your coffee grounds, place the portafilter in its correct position. Make sure that you have pressed your coffee grounds evenly in the coffee filter and be sure to have dried that part before adding the coffee. It is very important that you measure the time taken to make your espresso. Trial and error is the key to know the perfect time it would take to get your desired coffee because it is mostly based on the machine you have and your own preference. An average between 24-30 seconds is mostly recommended, but if your espresso machines take shorter or longer than that, then you may need to adjust your grind size.
6. Adding Milk
A great addition to your coffee would be adding milk. You may think that you don’t like milk in your coffee, but maybe you haven’t been doing it right. Here’s what you need to try to do. Don’t ever add milk in your espresso machine instead of water. The sugars and proteins in the milk will damage the inside of your machine. You can try adding milk to your espresso shot afterwards, this will give you a very much desirable taste. It is best if your milk is warm or even hot, because cold milk will cool down your coffee and it will not taste as perfect anymore. This is mostly based on your own preference, but it is recommended that the espresso is more than the milk to have that strong perfect coffee taste.
It is best to follow the previous steps constantly and trust the process of trial and error. It is almost impossible to perfect espresso on the first try, and that is completely fine. You may hear some recommendations about the measurements and the type of beans you choose from a friend, someone in a store or read about it online, but you most probably won’t really relate to their taste. Try out new things with your coffee and figure out what you prefer the most.