RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MAKING A PERFECT ESPRESSO
Brewing a great cup of espresso in the morning is a great way to start your day. The drink gives an energy boost with brown crema and a syrup-like body. Is this not just everything you’ll be needing to start your day? But there may be a problem if you don't know how to pull a perfect shot.
That is why we have put together some recommendations that can turn your espresso from good to great. If you're making espresso at home, you’ll need to read these tips to the end. Are you ready to get a better cup?
Let's dive in
BEFORE WE START
We need to keep you informed on some important points. Before you start brewing espresso, you should remember that consistency is the key. This rule applies to regular coffee too. Any change you make will affect the final cup.
You can adjust the measurements just a bit, it shouldn't be so obvious that it changes the taste of the coffee. You should also be careful with the measurements. You cannot eyeball measurements from a recipe and expect it to come out the same.
You’ll have to keep experimenting to know which grind sizes are perfect for pulling a reasonable shot of espresso. Now that we have made this clear, we’ll move to the recommendations
CHOOSE HIGH QUALITY COFFEE BEANS
This is the most important factor to consider when brewing any type of coffee. You just have to use high quality coffee beans- it's a no-brainer. No kind of brewing skill will make bad tasting coffee turn out good. It is very important that you choose the right kind of coffee beans for this drink. It might take you some time to learn the different types of coffee and how they turn out when used to brew espresso, but this guide will help you start out.
Buy medium or dark roast coffee from a good roaster that sells freshly roasted coffee. These roast types are easier to work with, and they naturally balance well in the espresso. You can also order single origin beans, it will be a good starting point.
There are different ways to get the beans, you can get it at the local roaster in Sydney. You should be looking out to see if the roaster will give you details about the origin of the coffee, or you can buy online. You can get really fresh coffee online because it will be pre-ordered, so the beans are roasted when you request for it. Search for roasters in Sydney and look out for Coffee Hero, we deliver coffee all over Australia.
Like we said earlier, the coffee has to be freshly roasted. The first thing to look out for is the roast date on the bag. Read our guide on how to read coffee packaging like a pro. Coffee may not spoil and give out a bad smell, but they start to lose their flavors and wonderful taste within 2 to 3 weeks of roasting. It's best that you don't buy too much coffee at the same time, so you don't end up taking stale coffee. This brings me to the next point.
STORE THE COFFEE BEANS PROPERLY
You have to store your coffee beans away from sunlight. It should be kept in a cool, dry place. If you do this, you’ll be able to retain the freshness and flavor of the coffee for a longer time. It is a good idea to use a canister to store or an opaque vacuum container.
Remember the beans have to be kept away from moisture. If moisture comes in contact with the coffee, some reactions will occur, the beans will start extracting when you are not ready. Once this happens, and you brew the coffee, it will taste bland.
ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR ESPRESSO MACHINE
Before you pull any shot of espresso, you should run hot water through the equipment. We call this a quick purge. This will clean the machine and remove any rancid coffee beans and remove most of the leftover oils in the machine.
If you make a lot of coffee in a day, like 100 to 50 shots, you’ll have to go deeper with the cleaning. Some stubborn oils and old coffee grounds won't just go away, they get stuck. You should invest in a coffee cleaner. You’ll be amazed at the new way your espresso tastes.
USE THE CORRECT GRIND SIZE
As we mentioned, you’ll get the best flavors if you buy whole coffee beans and grind them yourself. Use a fine grind, if you use a grind that is too fine, the coffee will come out bitter.
However, if the grinds are too coarse, the brewing water will just slide past the grounds instead of extracting the flavors you want. The coffee will just have a weak taste. It's quite difficult to tell the difference between a grind that is fine or too fine. You may not be able to tell the difference when you touch them, that's the reason why you should get a grinder that has micro adjustments. These grinders have really small grind settings- other grinders may only have macro settings.
Note that getting the perfect grind will require experimentation- its normal. Keep changing the settings slightly a couple of times until you get the kind of grind that brews a perfect shot.
USE THE RIGHT COFFEE RATIO
The general rule is to use a 1:2 ratio. That means you should use 1 gram of coffee for every 2 milliliters of water. For example,15g of coffee grounds for 30 ml or 20g of coffee grounds for 40 ml. You can tweak the measurement to get the exact kind of flavor you need.
This means that if you use more grounds, you’ll get a cup that is highly concentrated. If you use fewer grounds, you’ll get a more balanced brew. Feel free to play around with the ratios and get the exact ratio you like.
USE QUALITY WATER AND THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE FOR BREWING
You should also consider the kind of water you use, don't just focus on only the quantity of water. If you use poor quality water, it can damage your espresso machine. For example, hard water can result in limescale build-ups which affect the performance of the machine. The water will also influence the taste of the espresso. If you use tap water that is treated with chlorine, your espresso will turn out dull. This is because hard water can dull the taste of brews.
So you should use water that has a neutral pH level. You can filter the water just before brewing. For the temperature, the normal temperature for brewing is 90 to 96 degree Celsius.
Note that the hotter the water, the faster the coffee flavors will extract. If the water is a couple of degrees cooler or hotter, the flavor will be affected.
ENSURE THAT YOU TAMP PROPERLY
When you have added the coffee grounds in the coffee puck, you’ll see that they are uneven. This is where tamping comes in. It will help to remove any space that is in between the coffee grounds.
There are not many rules on the force to use while tamping the espresso, but the important factor is that you have to be consistent. If you want to use 10 Lbs of pressure today and 30Ibs of pressure tomorrow, then your espresso will brew differently. You surely don't want that so be consistent.
CONSIDER GETTING A MANUAL ESPRESSO MACHINE
We suggest that you skip automatic espresso machines and go for the ones that give you control over the brewing process. Some automatic espresso machines only allow 1-3 preset recipes. What happens if you want to use more coffee grounds and make more coffee or probably tamp differently? You can't.
You may find it difficult to start using the manual machine, but the learning process is fun. You’ll get a hang of it after brewing a few cups.
This might seem like a simple exercise, but it requires you to be detailed and pay attention. We know that things may not go as planned, that is why we have made a short list of some problems you might face when making espresso and how to fix it.
THE DRINK HAS A SOUR TASTE: This one of the most common issues people face when trying to pull a shot of espresso. This is a common problem when you use a lighter roast instead of a medium to dark roast. This sour taste is caused by under extraction.
If you want to fix this, you have to increase the contact time for your shots. That is, you have to grind finer, so the shot will run for a longer time.
WEAK TASTE: This happens when you use a larger amount of water for little coffee. If you use the ratio of 1 part coffee to 2 part espresso, this problem will occur. That is 18g coffee and 36g espresso.
BITTER OR ASTRINGENT ESPRESSO: The bitter taste comes when the coffee is over extracted. Then the astringent taste comes from the coffee channeling. Channeling is a process in coffee making where the water passes through the coffee puck and pours through another pathway, leading to uneven extraction. These two problems can easily be fixed by using a coarser grind and increasing the time the shot runs
COFFEE RUNS FAST: If you have tried everything we just told you and the espresso still runs fast, then it's possible that your coffee is quite old and stale. You see why we told you to use freshly roasted coffee beans for espresso?
ESPRESSO HAS A FLAT TASTE: If your coffee tastes flat, then it means that the coffee is stale. The only way to avoid this is to make sure you grind coffee some minutes before brewing. Grind coffee has about 30 minutes to one hour to stay fresh.
After reading this post, we are sure you’ll start an exciting journey of coffee experimenting. You’ll get to enjoy all the flavors that espresso has. You shouldn't find it so difficult to make exceptional espresso at home. By looking at these recommendations, we are sure you’ll be able to make café quality espresso.
All this experimentation and perfect espresso starts with brewing with the high quality coffee beans. So, buy High quality coffee here and start pulling the perfect shot.