Coffee Machine Solutions - South East Queensland

Coffee and Coffee Machine Articles and Reviews


Towards The Perfect Espresso

You’ve been through the agony of choosing the perfect home espresso machine, maybe a shiny new Minore 111, a beautiful Rancilio Silvia or the classic Giotto.  There you are in your kitchen admiring the classic lines of your new espresso machine and with dawning horror you realise that you must produce the perfect cup of coffee or your spouse is going to kill you.

Don’t despair! A few simple steps and you’ll be putting a satisfied smile on that adoring face and probably entertaining all the local neighbours as well.

That lovely Compak K-3 Elite or the compact Rocky grinder that so wonderfully partners your espresso machine will provide the perfect grind for your fresh-roasted beans recently purchased from your favourite purveyor of fine coffee. Armed with a milk jug and a tamper you are now ready to tame the savage beast.

A single shot of 25-30 mls of espresso coffee should be sweet and aromatic, covered with deep russet coloured crema both smooth and even.
Overfill the basket of your group handle or portafilter with a mound of coffee and tap gently a couple of times to settle the coffee before smoothing off with your finger.

A single basket in your group handle holds approximately 7 grams of ground coffee and a double basket approximately 14 grams. Using a tamper pack the coffee down into the basket of the group handle and polish the surface with a final twist of the wrist to a smooth even finish.

There is a great deal of controversy regarding how hard you should tamp and the best advice is to ensure your tamp is even and then experiment with pressure until you are happy with the shot.

You are aiming to produce a flat , consistent medium that will allow the water to evenly permeate through the coffee (very important that it flows evenly through the coffee) and extract the appropriate amount of oil from the grind.

Running a little water through the group head before inserting the portafilter to stabilise the temperature and ensure the screen is clean is another little insider secret.  Depending on your machine you may have a pre-infusion option that wets the coffee puck prior to applying the pressurised water and helps to achieve that perfect pour we are all striving to achieve. 

The extraction time should be 25-30 seconds and the flow should resemble warm honey with consistant colour dropping in a steady pour. Stop the extraction if the colour of the pour begins to lighten - or ‘blonde out’ as it is referred to in certain circles .

You have now produced a wonderful espresso shot, the basis of all the classic coffee drinks, and are well on the way to the perfect espresso.