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How To Make The Perfect Espresso

Our 5 Top Tips for Making Espresso at Home
Espresso being made from an espresso machine
Espresso with a home espresso machine

Home espresso machines are becoming more and more popular, as more people are wanting to become coffee connoisseurs. However how can you become the home barista that you want to be, making that perfect espresso in the morning and flat whites for your guests?

Here are our top 5 tips for making the perfect espresso at home:

1. Follow a Recipe

You wouldn't measure the ingredients for a cake by eye, right? So, why take a chance when it comes to espresso?

Use a quality, whole bean coffee, such as our Classic or Revive Blends. Ideally, wait 4 - 5 days after the roast date before using. This allows gases created during roasting to dissipate and the water to do a better job of extracting the flavours from the bean.

We recommend using 18 grams of coffee beans for a double shot. Aim to extract 40 grams of coffee in about 27 – 32 seconds.

2. Water

The quality of the water you use is very important when it comes to making coffee. Use fresh filtered or bottled water preferably. If the water doesn’t taste good on its own, then the coffee won’t either.

Grind settings on a coffee grinder
Adjust your grind settings

3. Get the Grind Right

Use a pair of scales to weigh out the beans. If you know you won’t have time in the morning, weigh batches of beans into tiny jam jars or plastic containers that have an air-tight lid and you'll be set up for the week.

Fill the grinder with just enough beans for each shot and adjust the grind setting so that the espresso runs through in about 25 – 30 seconds. The arrows on the grinder will show which direction to turn for fine and which for coarse.

It will take a few goes to get things right. Make the adjustments with the grinder empty for best results. Make ever smaller adjustments until you zero in on the perfect shot.

4. Tamp the Coffee Firmly and Evenly

Place the edge of the portafilter on a level surface. Tamp evenly and firmly. 'Firmly' means about 30 lbs of pressure, or a strong hand shake. You are looking for a flat, uniform surface to the coffee, not lopsided and with no indentation. This will help the water to pass through the coffee and extract the flavours evenly.

5. Keep it Clean

After following our 5 tips for making the perfect espresso at home, you should now be enjoying your much-improved espresso. Make sure it stays that way by looking after your machine. Clean coffee grounds from around the group head after every use, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for back flushing the machine at least weekly. This way you will avoid the build-up of oils and debris which over time can taint the flavour of your espresso, restrict water flow and ultimately damage your machine.

Latte art
You'll be able to make great coffees for your guests


Espresso is a difficult to drink to make, but by following our 5 tips for making the perfect espresso at home, you should notice a considerable improvement in the quality and consistency of your favourite brew.

Tweak the recipe until you have a nicely balanced espresso, full bodied, neither sour or bitter.

We've some fantastic blends and single estate coffee's which will make for a great espresso. Why not visit our Online Store.

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