Espresso is a small beverage prepared from around 17-20 grams of coffee where the water of 92-94 degrees has been forced at 9-10 atmospheres of pressure, the grind size of the coffee has made the brewing "flow" time approximately 25-38 seconds.
While brewing, the flow of espresso will appear to have the viscosity of warm honey and the resulting beverage will exhibit a thick dark gold cream foam ("crema") topping. Espresso should be immediately served to its intended consumer.
As a first step, we recommend using a 1:2 brewing ratio while preparing your espresso shot.
For example, if you use 18g of coffee as your dose you should multiply the yield (weight of your espresso shot) by 2, which would give you 36g of the final brew.
The second step is to try your drink and adjust the grinder accordingly.
The ideal time for brewing your espresso (18/19g of coffee) should be around 34-38seconds. If it's any longer or shorter the problem is probably your grind size.
Imagine a pipe full of small rocks and a second pipe full of sand. Now pull some imaginary water through it – the outcome is that in the rocky pipe water will flow very fast and in the sandy one,
it will take time to start dripping.
The general rule is:
Too sour/acidic/time is too short – your brew is probably under-extracted, you should make your grind size finer.
Too bitter/time is too long – the brew is over-extracted, the grind size should be coarser.
- Americano/Long Black – espresso poured ON TOP of hot water 4/6 oz
- Flat White – espresso + 4oz of very lightly steamed milk
- Latte – espresso + 6oz of lightly steamed milk
- Macchiato – espresso + few teaspoons of very foamy milk
- Matcha/Any coloured powder latte – 1 scoop of powder well mixed with a tiny bit of water (to make a foam) + 6oz of steamed milk
- Cappuccino – espresso + 4/6oz of heavily steamed milk
The correct temperature for steamed milk is around 68/70 degrees. After this point, all the proteins in milk start to create bitter flavours instead of sweet ones.
Milk should always be as fresh as it is possible. Milk that is not fresh is losing its ability to create a stable foam and soon after the steaming will start to breakdown.
We strongly recommend using full-fat milk as the fat adds a delightful texture and lets us enjoy not overwhelmingly intense coffee flavour.
By Marta Krokowska
Some of you will know Marta for her awesome training sessions that she kindly runs for our cafe partners and her awesome latte art.