When you hear someone talking about how to make espresso, images of tiny cups containing a rich coffee with the potential to awaken you with force equal to that generated by a swift slap to your face may suddenly flash in your mind. Or maybe you just salivate over the tasty beverage.
This is the power of espresso that many of us make a routine stop at the coffee shops on our way to work every morning. This daily ritual gives us enough energy to get us through the work day and return safely home.
There are a few brave souls who make espresso for themselves at home, but they are a few. Most of us new to it the craft can be intimidated by the process and may not be ready to aren’t invest the time and money into the process.
There are several factors to be seriously considered in order to make great espresso at home. Doing so can be difficult for the novice—but it is not impossible! Whether you use an espresso machine or a stove-top ‘moka pot’, here are some tips on how to make great espresso by yourself at home.
1. Grind the beans very fine. Don’t use the same grind setting as you would for brewing regular coffee, because that setting would produce ground beans much coarser than necessary. Your putting the grounds under pressure and finer is usually better
2. Pour cold water into the water chamber.
3. Use only one tablespoon of ground beans per ounce of cold water.
4. Pack the ground beans into the coffee basket evenly. To make sure, press down on the ground beans using a tamper.
5. Level off the top of the ground beans, to prevent overflow.
6. Remove the cup from your espresso machine only when the foam, or crema, has formed upon the espresso itself. The best way to make sure it is ready is by the foam’s color. If it has changed from brown to white, your espresso is ready to be enjoyed!
1. Select a fine-grind setting and then grind the beans before brewing as you would with an espresso machine. Remember not to use the same setting as you would for brewing regular coffee.
2. Fill the pot’s bottom with cold water up to the fill line. If your stove-top moka pot has no fill line, don’t fill past the steam valve.
3. Place the coffee basket in the pot and evenly fill three-quarters of it with the ground beans.
4. Don’t press down on the ground beans. You should pack the ground beans loosely to give it room to spread out when they get wet and begin expanding.
5. Don’t forget to screw on the top of the pot tightly.
6. Set the heat to medium. High heat would cause the coffee to boil and become bitter.
7. Remove the pot from the stove only when you hear the espresso escaping noisily from the top of the pot.
While buying coffee at coffee shops is a treat, espresso can also be enjoyed everyday at home. There’s nothing that can wake you up like a deliciously foamy latte or strong cappuccino!
Hopefully these tips help! Once you get the hang of it and do it a few times you’ll be able to enjoy espresso whenever you like in the comfort of your own home, saving some of the money you would spend at your local Starbuck.
Do you have tips and tricks for making espresso using other effective techniques? Share your knowledge with us. We would love to hear from you.
I am a die-hard espresso fan. I love every form of the drink from straight espresso shots to lattes and cappuccinos. I currently use a Breville BES870XL Barista, it is an awesome machine. BUT, my dream machine is definitely an Italian Quickmill Andreja. Those bad boys make badass espresso. I love answering your questions, leave a comment or question below!