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Espresso Brew Guide

Despite its intimidating demeanor, anyone can become a master of espresso through practice and experimentation. While machines vary significantly, the grind, weight and time are key factors when brewing quality espresso. It may be required to make adjustments on one or more of these elements several times to get your shot dialed in.

What You Will Need:

  • Espresso Machine with Portafiler
  • Grinder
  • Tamper
  • Hat Trick Coffee (19-21 GRAMS)
  • Timer
  • Scale
  • Knock Box

Brewing Instructions:

  • Remove your portafilter from the espresso machine’s grouphead. Place it on a scale and tare the weight.
  • Purge your grouphead thoroughly with hot water.
  • For a double shot, grind between 18–21 grams of coffee into your basket. The proper grind is crucial to a balanced, delicious shot of espresso. It might be necessary to adjust its fineness a bit. In general, the grind ought to be quite fine, resembling a fine powder.
  • Gently distribute the coffee so that the bed is as flat as possible.
  • Place your portafilter on a clean, flat surface and position your tamper level on top of the grounds. Without driving your palm into the tamper’s base (which can cause gnarly wrist problems down the line), apply pressure downward. You don’t need to tamp incredibly hard—just enough to seal the coffee in evenly. Twenty to 30 pounds of pressure should do it. Give the tamper a gentle spin. This will smooth, or “polish,” the grounds for an even extraction.
  • Position the portafilter in the grouphead and start your shot. 

Brew Tip: The shot should start with a slow drip, then develop into a gentle, even stream. Near the 30 second mark, the extraction will end, causing the shot to thicken and start “blonding,” or turning yellow. Stop the shot just as this process begins.