This article is originally posted at MyEspressoShop.com - how to make espresso at home.
If you’re familiar with espresso and have fallen in love with it (like us!), then you know that sometimes it feels like it would be impossible to replicate it in your own kitchen. But how can you get started making your own espresso with or without your mahlkonig ek43 or a rocket espresso? We will get you pointed in the right direction, so you can start pulling delicious shots in no time!
1. First fill the reservoir of your espresso machine up (or connect your water line if the machine is plumbed!). And we know we’ve said this before, but please make sure your water is not too hard. An important first step is water treatment: distilled water can damage your boiler, while hard water can lead to some seriously accumulated scale.
2. Turn your machine on and allow it plenty of time for it to heat up. Depending on how large your espresso machine is, that can take anywhere from 15 to 35+ minutes, so don’t assume you are all set to go as soon as you are at the brewing temperature. Instead, you should wait a bit longer until the whole machine feels nice and warm.
3. Lock an empty portafilter into the grouphead. Then, for a couple of seconds, run the machine. This will brings fresh water up to the front and also heats the parts up that are closest to the coffee. Next wipe the inside of your portafilter off and the underside part of the grouphead and make sure they are dry and clean.
4. Grind a couple of beans to make sure you have the appropriate fineness. Also, don’t forget to remove any old, stale grounds from your coffee grinder! The coffee should appear powdery and clump loosely, but still have a ‘sandy’ feel when you rub it between your fingers.
5. We recommend dosing 18 to 21 grams of freshly ground into your portafilter. As the coffee exits the chute, make sure to slightly rotate the portafilter back and forth to ensure the grounds settle into the basket evenly. Afterwards, level the grounds with the tips of your fingers and fill in any air pockets.
6. Tamp with your elbow, arm and wrist positioned directly over the middle of the portafilter basket. Use your fingertips to press evenly and feel the edge of the basket. Next, inspect the dry puck in order to determine if the ‘bed’ is level or not.
7. Put the portafilter back into the grouphead and start the brewing process. If your machine has a separate “pre-infusion” or pre-brew stage, then complete it first. This enables the stored gas to be released before the full infusion start. When you have fresh coffee, you should pre-infuse until you first start seeing drops exiting out of the portafilter.
8. Start the infusion process and end the brew at your predetermined yield. We recommend starting out with i2 fluid oz (if you are measuring by volume) or around 30 grams (if a gram scale is being used). Before you serve the espresso, pour or stir the espresso into another cup so you can mix the crema.