Espresso on a dark background, the steam rises above the coffee. Coffee for breakfast in an Italian cafe store, vertical shot, selective focus

The ultimate guide to making the perfect espresso

Espresso. A word that makes the hearts of coffee lovers around the world beat faster. A ritual, a moment of pleasure, a little break in the midst of everyday life. But how often have you thought to yourself: "Why doesn't my espresso taste like my favorite café?" In this blog article, we want to get to the bottom of this. We'll not only tell you how to make the black gold perfectly at home, but also why so many people fail at this seemingly simple task. So, grab a cup and get ready for an exciting journey through flavors, temperatures and the fine art of espresso preparation!

The perfect espresso -Why does the preparation fail?

It's a quiet Saturday morning. The sun is shining through your window and you're standing in your kitchen with a freshly brewed cup of espresso. You bring the cup to your lips, looking forward to the intense taste and... oh no, disappointment again. It's not the strong, aromatic espresso you had hoped for.

Does this sound familiar? Don't worry, you're not alone in this, because making the perfect espresso is an art in itself that many underestimate.
But we're here to shed some light on the subject - because when it comes to the art of making the perfect espresso, a host of variables can make the difference between a heavenly shot and a cup of bitter disappointment:

Under-extracted espresso: a taste that's missing

Do you have an espresso that tastes more like coffee-colored water? Then it could be that you are using less than the recommended 7-9 grams of coffee, the grind is too coarse or the pressure with which you are pressing the coffee grounds is too light or not present at all. Also pay attention to the water temperature (it should be above 88°C) and the pump pressure (at least 9 bar). If your extraction time is less than 20 seconds for 30 ml, this could also be the culprit. And don't forget to keep the grinder and your machine clean - a neglected machine can affect the taste of your espresso.

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Cold or hot espresso: temperature problems

If your espresso is colder than a winter wave in the North Atlantic, then you probably have cold cups, a cold filter holder, too little cup volume or a grind that is too fine. If it's hotter than a summer's day in Death Valley, then it could be due to too short an extraction time, too high a water temperature, too hot a cup or too large a cup volume.

Overextracted espresso: too much of a good thing

Your espresso has a dark-brown, thin foam that quickly stretches to the edge of the cup, leaving behind a black ring? This sounds like a classic case of over-extracted espresso. This bitter brew is a far cry from the rich, full-bodied taste that a good espresso should have.

A few things could have gone wrong here. Maybe you used a little too much coffee? Or perhaps your grind was too fine, which can result in the water not being able to flow through the coffee properly. Another possible mistake could be pressing the coffee grounds too hard.

However, the water temperature also plays an important role. If it is above 92°C, it can burn the coffee and give it a bitter taste. Similarly, a pump pressure of over 10 bar at Portafilter and an extraction time of over 35 seconds can lead to over-extraction.

But it could also be that the quality of the coffee has been affected by heat or age. And even if we want to keep repeating it, it's possible that your grinder or machine wasn't clean.

The perfect cup of espresso

So much for the reasons for failure, now of course we want to reveal the secret of the perfect espresso! With our ultimate guide by your side, you'll be able to create an excellent espresso that will impress even the most discerning coffee drinker in no time:


01

Timing is everything

A good espresso takes between 25 and 30 seconds to brew. So a little patience is required!


02

It's the quantity that counts

You need around 25-30 ml for the perfect cup of espresso. Neither more nor less.


03
Look at the crema

A beautiful, hazelnut-brown crema is the hallmark of a good espresso. It should look thick and appetizing.


04

Freshly ground, please

The secret lies in freshly ground coffee. Pre-ground coffee simply cannot compete with the aroma and freshness of freshly ground beans.


05

Temperature check

The ideal water temperature is around 90°C. Water that is too hot can burn the coffee and water that is too cold does not bring out all the aromas.


06
The right amount of powder

The rule of thumb here is about 7-9 grams per portion. But as always, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Find your own perfect amount.

But wait, before you make your first espresso, let's take a look at the tools of the trade. Because, as with any good craft, the barista needs the right equipment!

  • A proper espresso machine: you can't do without one. Invest in a high-quality machine and your espresso will thank you for it.
  • A reliable grinder: consistency is the key word here. A good grinder ensures consistent quality.
  • Barista accessories: A solid tamper and a good jug are essential. And don't forget the brewing drawer/tap box!
  • Freshly roasted coffee: Please, please, please use freshly roasted coffee. The quality of the beans makes a huge difference.
  • Cleaning utensils: Cleanliness is half the battle - and the key to a delicious espresso. So invest in good cleaning utensils.

With Espresso Perfetto to the perfect espresso

At Espresso Perfetto , we don't take coffee lightly - not because we're not jokers, but because we're just crazy about a good espresso! Whether you're an espresso newbie or an old hand, we have everything your heart desires. From first-class espresso machines to a fantastic selection of the finest beans and matching accessories - you'll find everything under one roof. Because we believe that everyone should be able to enjoy a perfectly brewed espresso. And with Espresso Perfetto , it's child's play. So what are you waiting for? Throw on your barista apron and brew yourself an espresso that tastes so good your taste buds will give you a standing ovation and you'll wonder how you ever lived without that full-bodied, rich flavor.