Brewing Espresso – How to Brew the Perfect Shot of Espresso

Every espresso machine has a personality of its own, so it’s important to know that there will be some variation in brewing times and techniques based on the machine that you’re using. Here are some general tips for brewing great espresso:

1. First and foremost, time your shots. This may seem strange, but most machines will come with a manual that will let you know how long the shots should be brewing. If they don’t, ask the person you’re buying it from what the brew time should be. If you’re buying it from a reputable vendor, they’ll be able to tell you.

2. What if the shots aren’t brewing within the time your machine would suggest? There are a few ways to combat this problem. If you’re using espresso pods you have a little less leverage over this. If you’re tamping your own shots (using ground espresso and then compacting it with a tamper or a spoon) you may need to adjust the amount of pressure you’re using. The harder you compact the grounds, the longer the brew time will be; the less you compact the grounds the faster the brew time will be.

3. Is your grind correct? If your brew time is too long or too short, chances are your grind size is wrong. If your brew time is too long, it might mean that you’re grinding your beans too finely. Try using a coarser grind. Conversely if your brew time is too short your grind is probably too coarse. If you have a burr grinder, which I highly suggest, you can adjust these settings fairly easily. If you’re using a blade grinder, you’ll need to grind longer for a finer grind and shorter for a coarser grind. And if you let someone at a coffee shop grind your coffee when you buy it, just let them know you need it ground differently than usual! If you tell a reputable coffee seller how you brew, they should be able to accommodate you.

Once you’ve got the timing right, here’s how you can recognize the perfect shot:

– While brewing, the espresso will be a golden brown color rather than dark brown.
– Once brewed into a shot glass, you should be able to see the golden brown color remaining on the top of the shot; the bottom will be darker than the rest of the shot.
– The shot will have a bitter-sweet taste, rather than a sour or overly bitter taste. It also will not taste watery.

Thanks for reading – if you’d like more tips about brewing coffee at home, check this out – how to brew espresso!

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