How to Make an Espresso


If you’ve ever been to a coffee shop before, there’s a slight possibility that you already know what an espresso is. What you might not know yet is how to make your own espresso. Trust us, the process can sound a bit complicated, and it takes a lot of commitment to really master this unique and delicious art form. But once you get familiar with how it works, you’ll get to see why so many people fall in love with it.

An espresso is basically the same as any other coffee; the only thing that differs is the way it is made.

This makes all the difference, because espressos when done right can offer you a frothy layer of crema on top of a delicately soothing layer of coffee. It’s all worth the effort.

So as briefly as we could, we will teach you everything you need to know about making espresso.

Let’s start with a couple of variables you need to know before getting started.

Water is an essential element in all this

– it’s almost equally as important as the coffee itself. Make sure the water you use is clean and without impurities, otherwise it will affect the taste.

You’ll need a grinder that will turn your coffee beans into finer pieces.

For espressos, a finer grind comparable to table salt is required.

You’ll also need to know the standard serving size.

The recommended dose for a double shot is between 18 to 21 grams of ground coffee. This will usually yield enough espresso for a large shot glass. Feel free to adjust this according to your own preference once you get the basics down.

As for the water temperature, you can check your espresso machine if it allows you to make adjustments.

If it doesn’t, it is most likely set to a standard temperature for optimal espresso quality. But there are plenty of espresso machines out there that let you change the temperature – thus altering the taste to suit your liking.

Now let’s begin with the espresso making process. Grab your portafilter – a metal filter for making espresso – and fill it with ground coffee. Making sure it is evenly distributed in the portafilter, use the “tamper” to compress the coffee and keep it even.

Hook up your espresso machine to your water supply or fill up its reservoir. Attach the portafilter to the espresso machine and let the water flow. Make sure to keep your shot glass underneath to catch your yield. The hot water will be forced against the coffee grounds, releasing a delicious mix of water and coffee into your shot glass. If it’s done right, your espresso will have a layer of crema right on top, which you can enjoy by either stirring it with the rest of the coffee, or by sipping it separately.

It takes considerable skill and patience to make the best espresso

So don’t be frustrated if it doesn’t taste that nice at first. You’ll need to master your tamping, as well as finding the proper balance between coffee ground dose and temperature. At the end of the day it’s a fabulous treat for your tongue.

If you want to get started on making espressos, check out our list of the best espresso machines by clicking here!

About the Author espressoteacher

Leave a Comment: